If you’re looking for a Caribbean island like no other – a true hidden gem with a rich past and none of the usual Caribbean trappings – Sint Eustatius could be the answer.


Sint Eustatius (or Statia as it’s affectionately known by the locals) is certainly not one of the most luxurious of Caribbean islands, but among the diving world it enjoys somewhat of a cult status due to its easy going, informal vibe and truly magnificent dive sites, which have been lovingly protected by a marine park for the past 15 years. The dive sites range from reefs, boat drop-offs, canyons and recent and historical ship wrecks and offer the opportunity to view an amazingly wide variety of marine life in its crystal clear waters.

This tiny island (measuring only 11.8 mile square) is one of the Dutch Caribbean islands and its capital, Oranjestad, has some interesting buildings to discover including Fort Oranje, the Dutch reformed Church and the Historical Foundation Museum, which has interesting pre-Columbian and Colonial relics.

As with everything else on this island, accommodation is on the low-key side and is usually in the form of a guesthouse or inn. Likewise, food is informal but delicious and you will usually find a mix of Creole, Dutch and fresh seafood in the island’s eating spots.