Dutch Antilles | St. Eustatius (Statia)

‘Statia is a paradise for nature lovers. Wonderful hiking awaits the adventurous…’ So the tourism website claims. And I fully agree. Discover ‘The Golden Rock’ in pictures.

The ascent of the Quill is not very strenuous. But the real treat is to descend into the crater containing a semi-tropical rainforest. Once inside you can enjoy gazing up at the gigantic silk cotton and fruit trees that tower the canopy. Woody lianas hang down from above, while various types of fungi spring from the ground.

 

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Walk in the Boven National Park to the First Gilboa Ridge and along the Boven Trail to Venus Bay.

 

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Zeelandia Beach takes its name from Statia’s first Dutch settlers, who were from Zeeland province in the Netherlands. The dark-sand beach is not ideal for swimming, but it’s a turtle haven.

 

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On the road…

 

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View from the Miriam Schmidt Botanical Garden.

 

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Fort De Windt, with excellent views over St. Kitts.

 

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A walk up and in the Quill. Looming over the island, the photogenic peak, known as the Quill (whose name is derived from the Dutch word ‘kuil’, meaning pit or hole), spikes high above the rolling terrain below. The once-active volcano now lies perfectly quiet and makes for a fantastic hiking daytrip.

 

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During our hike we encountered the harmless, red-bellied Racer snake. The Quill is home of many of these snakes, but they should not be feared as they are very docile and will not attack humans.

 

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The gumbo-limbo is comically referred to as the ‘Tourist Tree’ because the tree’s bark is red and peeling, like the skin of sunburnt tourists.

 

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More info

www.statiatourism.com

www.steustatiushistory.org

http://www.statiapark.org

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sint_Eustatius

www.lonelyplanet.com/sint-eustatius/sights

St. Eustatius