Diving in Statia
St. Eustatius or
“Statia” for short is unique to the Caribbean, with not only a collection of wrecks to explore, but also shallow and deep walls, pinnacles, volcanic canyons and archeological dives, where you have a good chance of finding artifacts from this islands famous maritime history, including pottery, glass bottles and the famed blue beads that were once worn by the island slaves, then cast into the water when they were emancipated.
The islands collection of wrecks dates from the 17th century through to the recently sunk 330-foot ex-cable layer, the Charlie Brown (2003) and the 170-foot long Chien Tong, which was sunk in 2004. Both wrecks already have halos of horse-eye jacks and legions of sergeant majors, and are attracting more marine life, both corals and finned, daily.
For wrecks with a longer underwater history of transformation, the top site to visit is Double Wreck. The wealth of marine life that has gathered at this site included massive schools of snapper and grunts. The wrecks have been down for so long, they have become completely encrusted with coral, and only the vestige of their shapes remain.
If you’ve ever dreamed of putting a few artifacts from your dives on a shelf at home, then you’ll need to visit Blue Bead Hole or Triple Wreck. Particularly coveted are the blue beads.
To get a taste of the prolific reefs of Statia, whet your appetite at the Cliffs where the big boys like to gather — sea turtles, large sharks, and chubby groupers — and play around the thickets of coral.
Of particular interest off Statia is the presence of rarely seen flying gurnards. Here, they cruise the sand and encounters are frequent.
The visibility off Statia generally exceeds 100-feet and as the island is relatively off the beaten path, the reefs tend to be delightfully uncrowded. See the
Passport and/or Visa Requirements
ENTRY/EXIT REQUIREMENTS: All U.S. citizens are required to present a passport, and do not need to obtain a visa. All persons leaving the Statia, pay a Government Departure Tax.
Vaccinations are not required for entry into Statia. Check with your doctor and the Centers for Disease Control on recommended vaccinations for travel at
Culture and Customs
Most of Statia’s culture is derived from its extensive and important place in Caribbean maritime history. Carnival, which takes place in July on Statia, is an island-wide party, featuring Calypso competitions, parades, jump ups and the final burning of King Momo. Unique to Statia, the island celebrates Statia-America Day, which commemorates the day in 1776 when Statia became the first nation to recognize and salute the American flag. Emancipation Day brings the entire island together to celebrate with local food and drinks. In addition, the Queen’s Birthday, which celebrates former Queen Juliana, is an island-wide celebration with picnics, sports and cultural events.
Electricity, Telephone and Internet Access
Electricity in Statia is 110 volts, 60 cycles, so no adapter will be needed for US visitors. The country code for Statia is 599 and direct dial service is fast and clear. Check with your service provider for long distance/roaming information and costs.
Internet service is available at the larger hotels and resort and at Internet cafes.
Bottled water is recommended.
Language & Currency
Dutch is the official language, but English is widely spoken.
The local currency is the Antillean Guilder (ANG), check the exchange rate
History, Art, and Culture
The tiny island loomed large in the Caribbean maritime history. The strategic island changed hands 22 times between the Dutch, English and French, with the Dutch winning out in 1636. The island became a major trading center and its inhabitants became so wealthy that the island was nicknamed, the Golden Rock. On November 16, 1776, Statia returned the 13-gun salute of the American Brig-of-War, Andrea Doria, with an 11-gun reply, officially recognizing the United States of America. The extinct volcano, the Quill, dominates the skyline and today the island has become a quiet eco- minded outpost. It is a place to come to relax. There’s little nightlife, but for travelers looking to dive, revel in a little maritime history and nature, this is just the place. Read more about the history of Statia