Cruise and Beach Destinations
in the Caribbean, Mexico & Beyond
St. Maarten

St. Eustatius Beach Vacation Tips

The Quill, a dormant volcano on St. Eustatius. Credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons license
The Quill, a dormant volcano on St. Eustatius. Credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons license

A St. Eustatius beach vacation belongs in that special category of small, quiet and unspoiled Caribbean islands.

This eastern Caribbean island is only about 21 miles from St. Kitts and 38 miles from St. Maarten. Also known as Statia, the island itself is only nine square miles—about 5.6 miles long and 2.8 miles wide. Visitors need only a scooter or bicycle to get around.

The capital city shares the same name as Aruba’s capital city, which is Oranjestad. The island has a population of about 3,000 people.

Like most Caribbean islands, the high season for vacationers is mid December to mid April. It is the high season because northerners come to the Caribbean to escape winter weather. It also is the high season because the risk of rain is quite low.

Anyone who wants to vacation on St. Eustatius first has to fly into St. Maarten. From there, they have to fly 20 minutes to St. Eustatius on WinAir, a regional airline. The airline has five daily flights between St. Maarten and St. Eustatius, according to the St. Eustatius Tourism Development Foundation.

The island has about a dozen small hotels, inns and villas available for rent. Most of them have prices ranging between $100 and $200 a night.

Attractions and Shore Excursions

The small size and population of St. Estatius means the island doesn’t have quite as many attractions as larger Caribbean islands. Most of the attractions belong to nature and Dutch history.

The dominant feature on the island is a dormant volcano called The Quill. This popular hiking destination rises nearly 2,000 feet above sea level. Oddly, the crater has a pocket-sized rainforest.

The island has a total of seven mapped hiking trails.

Historical sites include Fort Oranje, the Dutch Reformed Church and the Synagogue, all of which date back to the 1700s.

St. Eustatius Marine Park has 30 buoyed dive sites for boats with dives up to 50 feet and three for boats with dives up to 100 feet.

Beaches include Smoke Alley, Crooks Castle, Lynch and Zeelandia. Crooks Castle is known for snorkeling.

Vacation Weather

St. Eustatius weather is similar to the nearby St. Maarten and St. Kitts.

The average daytime temperatures range from the low to mid 80s Fahrenheit in the winter to the high 80s during the summer, according to the Meteorological Service of Netherland Antilles and Aruba.

Rainfall averages about two to three inches a month during the dry season from January through July, although May has a brief spike. The rainy season lasts from August through December with an average of four to six inches a month.

March and April are the best months to visit St. Eustatius for a combination of warm temperatures and low risk of rain. November is the worst month to visit, followed by September and then October.

Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas. He is the author of four books about cruising in the Caribbean, Alaska and Mexican Riviera.
February 17, 2020