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Sint Eustatius

From Wikitravel
North America : Caribbean : Sint Eustatius
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Quick Facts
Capital Oranjestad
Government NA
Currency U.S. dollar (USD)
Area 21 sq km
Population 3,100 (2006 est.)
Language Dutch, English
Country code +599-3
Internet TLD .an
Time Zone UTC-4

Sint Eustatius, more locally known as Statia, is an island in the Caribbean. Politically, it is a public body ("special municipality") fully integrated in the Netherlands proper.


Get in[edit]

The only regular operated service that goes to the F. D. Roosevelt Airport (IATA:EUX) is the regional airline carrier Winair. A valid passport is the entry requirement for visitors to St. Eustatius including American and Canadian citizens. Visas may be required for passport holders from non- G20 countries.

Be aware that the majority of the island businesses do not accept credit cards. Bring plenty of US dollars. There are only two ATMs on the island, one at the bank and one at the airport. These ATMs run out of money frequently and will not be refilled sometimes for a couple of days.

Statia is on Atlantic time (GMT-4): same as US Eastern Daylight Time, one hour ahead of US Eastern Standard Time.

Get around[edit]

See[edit][add listing]

Hike The Quill, the island's dormant volcano. Visit the award winning Historical Museum Visit the botanical gardens. Go diving or snorkeling.

The wildlife is fairly limited. There are some large iguanas, and that is about exotic as you will find. Expect, however, an abundance of goats, cows and chickens roaming aimlessly. They belong to no one, but are instead remnants of the tribal custom of those who own more animals have more riches. A consorted effort is being made currently to round these animals up and perhaps fence them in. The maybe/maybe not feral cats and dogs also wander. Do not expect one to curl up in your lap while you read a book, but you might be able to lure an occasional visitor to adopt you by setting some food outside.

The island has more to offer in the field of history. Statia was at one point the most important port in the New World. During the 18th century it rose to prominence through a combination of lax Dutch trading controls and the American Revolution. Successive transfers between Dutch, British and French control compelled the once-prosperous merchant community to seek better profits elsewhere, but the archaeological record records their presence. Hence Statia's current motto, "The Historic Gem." Nowadays, the numerous, impressive ruins are still testimony to its once-proud role in world history. Fragments of 18th century pottery are still incorporated into local driveways. The St. Eustatius Historical Foundation operates the historical museum of the island where its history is illustrated and documented. Together with the St. Eustatius Monuments Foundation and the archaeological field station run by the Sint Eustatius Center for Archaeological Research (SECAR) (] they are working on restoring the heritage of Statia to American history.

Do[edit][add listing]

Wave and say, “Good Morning” and “Good Afternoon” as the locals are very friendly and it is a known custom on the island.

Buy[edit][add listing]

Buy bug spray before you travel there.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Try the Fruit Tree for local Dutch cuisine. Smoke Alley is where most of the US contractors eat due to their large portions and abundance of American staples (cheese steaks, burgers, etc.) There are five different Chinese food restaurants on the island; Sonny's is the best.

Drink[edit][add listing]

There are a few places to go on an island less than 8 square miles in area. The largest and longest running industries have been traditionally tourism and port services for the passing oil tankers from nearby Venezuela. The longest running, owner-operated bar is Cool Corner, also known as "Chuckies", after its deceased previous owner, who would frequently drink with patrons and keep the bar open until the last customer left.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

The Old Gin House may be considered the most upscale hotel on the island. Their rates begin at $145 per night. They serve breakfast only, which is included in the room fee, 7:00-10:30. WiFi access is in the lobby and the outdoor patio restaurant/bar.

Kings' Well is a cute resort out by the curve from Upper Town to Lower Town. Very pleasant hosts, and the island macaws visit for the complimentary breakfast. You could eat every meal there if you desired. WiFi on premise. Not much nearby, but short walks get you to the dive centers or the main part of Upper Town.

Get out[edit]

Everyone leaving Statia has to pay a departure fee in US dollars.

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