Sint Eustatius Holidays – Tours & Adventures Travel Guide
Sint Eustatius is blessed with a naturally beautiful volcanic landscape where visitors will discover a rich history and fascinating culture. Discover the adventure and activities on offer and marvel at the abundance of wildlife.
Sint Eustatius History and Culture
Sint Eustatius was until 10 October 2010 part of Netherlands Antilles which was dissolved. The Netherlands Antilles was made up of five countries; Bonaire, Saba, Sint Eustatius (which are now special municipalities of the Netherlands) and Curacao and Sint Maarten (which are now constituent countries of the Netherlands).
The Netherlands Antilles was originally discovered and settled by the Spanish in the 15th Century. By the 17th Century, the Dutch had conquered these islands and made them their military bases and more important the trading center for the slave trades in the West Indies. With the abolishment of slavery in 1863, these islands declined in importance. It was not until the 20th century that these islands began to flourish again by serving as oil refineries centers for Venezuela. It is also lately that tourism has played a greater role in the economic growth of these islands.
Due to the colonization by the Dutch, the cultures of these islands are largely influenced by the Dutch way of life. In addition, these traditions are often infused with a local flavor making them a unique potpourri of culture for each respective island. These cultural diversities are reflected in the festive events that display the colorful parades, the vibrant music like the Calypso and Pan Music as well as the traditional cuisines of the island.
Sint Eustatius Holiday Highlights
The island of Sint Eustatius differs tremendously from the island of Bonaire and Curacao in the sense that it does not cater to mass tourism. Sint Eustatius is instead more inclined towards eco tourism and has a more laid back and relaxed atmosphere.
The beauty of Sint Eustatius lies in its simplicity and a landscape that is unblemished by urban development. Also known as Statia, the island main attractions are its historical relics found among the ruins in the town Oranjestand as well as the 600 archaeological dig sites all over the island. The Sint Eustatius Museum also has superb collections of artifacts of the island including a 2000-year-old skeleton. Other notable historical highlights on this island include Fort Oranje and Fort de Windt. The island also has several shallow shipwrecks that offer a superb vision of the underwater world. Last but not least, nature lovers would love the hike to the island dormant volcano called the “The Quill”. The crater’s bottom contains some unbelievably massive trees.
Notable sites of interest on St Eustatius include;
- Fort Amsterdam
- Lynch Plantation Museum
- De Graaff House
- Dutch Reform Church
- Gertrude Judson Memorial Library
- Honen Dalim Synagogue
- Three Widows Corner
When To Go
Because the hurricane season runs from July until October travellers should ideally visit Sint Eustatius around November to early December and from May to June.
The real charm of Sint Eustatius lies in its people and you cannot savor the true essence of the Caribbean without getting to know the people. You need to join in and mix with the local population in order to get a feel of the warmth and character of the local populace.
Try eating at the local food stalls. Not only is the food cheaper but you’ll also get the authentic taste of the local fare and not just a watered down version! In addition, you get to mingle around and ask what is what.
If you have three day on Sint Eustatius then consider spending day one and day two scuba diving around the various dive sites like the Aquarium, Barracuda Reef, Charlie Brown and Wreck City. On the third day, hike the Quill Crater.