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Introducing Sint Eustatius

Pop quiz: which Caribbean island was once the busiest seaport in the world but is unfamiliar to most people today?

Yes, it’s true, quiet ‘Statia’ was the darling of the Caribbean when valuable goods bounced between Europe, Africa and the New World during the 18th century. In fact, the naturally deep harbor was so sought after that the island changed hands 22 times before the Dutch permanently secured their claim.

Today, the island has shed all evidence of its former self, garnering instead an avid cult following among scuba divers and those who enjoy sun-kissed days full of blissful nothingness. Unlike its neighbors, Statia shows no signs of modernization – no grandiose landscaping, no condo development, and barely a hint of urban planning. Oranjestad, the island’s only town, is a charming collection of ramshackle structures, each one a quiet homage to a bygone era. Statia lets it all hang out.