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St Eustatius

The locals call this island ?Statia?, but St. Eustatius is also known as ?The Golden Rock?. This area is just starting to develop its tourism industry and nightlife is hard to find. However, if you want a destination for rest and relaxation, then this is the island for you. Most tourists, though, take a day trip to this island from St. Maarten.

It is part of the Netherlands, so the currency is the guilder and there are no customs duties here. US and Canadian tourists need proof of citizenship and a return ticket, while visitors from the UK need a valid passport.


Attractions

The beaches here are most black and not very appealing, but they are suitable for swimming and snorkeling. On the Atlantic side of the island, there are pleasant beaches, but the surf is often high and not conducive to swimming. Search for the elusive blue-glass beads that are real collector?s items because they were once used as money here.

St. Eustatius is a hiker?s dream. You can hike around the base of Quill, which is an extinct volcano and wander through a tropical rainforest with plants and flowers to make you feel as if you are in heaven.

Divers also choose St. Eustatius for the exceptional reefs covered in coral and sea life. At one dive site, called the Crack in the Wall, a pinnacle of coral shoots up from the floor of the ocean. Here divers will also encounter barracudas, eagle rays and other large species of fish.

The only village on the island is Orangestead and it has an Upper and Lower Town. A stone paved road connects the two sections. St. Eustatius Museum contains exhibits on sugar refining as well as artifacts dating back to before Columbus arrived. You can visit the Three Widow?s Corner and the ruins of the Dutch Reformed Church. The ruins of Honen Dalim date back to 1740. This was once the second largest synagogue in the Western Hemisphere, but was destroyed by a hurricane in 1772.

Inside the Jewish burial ground, you can still see the walls of the original bath and you can arrange a tour to visit the Lynch Plantation Museum.


Accommodations And Dining

You won?t find any exclusive resorts here. In fact, you might even stay in a private home.
Some of the hotels include the Golden Era Hotel, where you will find the prices comparable to what you would pay back home. The Kings Well Resort is not what you would expect to find in a resort, but if you are looking for complete privacy, this is what you get. However, there is little security as there are no room keys. The only other accommodation is the Old Gin House, which is a historic landmark on the island. The setting is spectacular and the rooms are spacious, but the bathrooms are only big enough for a shower.

There are also several restaurants to choose from in the hotels and outside. Choose from Chinese cuisine, International, Creole or Caribbean fare. At the Ocean View Terrace, the restaurant is actually an open-air tent where you sit in the midst of hanging plants and historic artefacts.


Shopping and Nightlife

The major place for shopping is at the Mazinga Giftshop, where you can find just about anything you might like to bring back home as souvenirs. You will also be able to buy beach clothes here as well as costume jewellery and liguor.

For nightlife, your choices are limited. Weekends are the best, with live entertainment at the Smoke Alley Bar & Grill. The Stone Oven sometimes has dancing on the weekends, but it does have good food. Other options include Cool Corner and Largo Heights.

 

 

 

 

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