St. Eustatius also known as Statia is a quiet little island on the leeward side of the West Indies. It used to be a bustling port frequented by top pirates and buccaneers, but those times have passed. Now St. Eustatius prides itself on being an island that has stayed true to its Caribbean roots. With unspoiled beauty and the slow pace that was representative of the area before the tourism boom, St. Eustatius offers tranquility, relaxation, and a respire from the frenetic pace that marks daily life in many parts of the world.
History buffs will enjoy the Dutch influence that can still be seen throughout the island. Discovered in 1493 by Columbus but taken over in 1636 by the Dutch, St. Eustatius was once the busiest port in the Caribbean. The island was home to at least 20,000 people and had many ships coming to call on a daily basis. How times have changed. St. Eustatius is now a quiet haven for people who want to get away from it all. The island has just under 4000 residents year round. Formerly know as The Golden Rock, this name has taken on a whole different meaning for St. Eustatius in modern day life.
If you like diving, St. Eustatius has some of the best in the world. Their coral reefs are teeming with fish. Diving is the calling card of the island, so if you are an expert or would like to try it for the first time, St. Eustatius is a great place to enjoy this pastime. Outdoor enthusiasts may enjoy hiking the Quill, St. Eustatius’s dormant volcano. There are only three beaches on the island and one of them has such strong undertow that it is not advisable to swim there.
Another interesting activity that this island offers is unlike what is available on other islands. You can participate in a real live archaeological dig when you visit St. Eustatius. The St. Eustatius Center for Archaeological research (SECAR) offers the opportunity for visitors to get involved with an excavation during their stay.
St. Eustatius is the place to go for a relaxing vacation where hiking, strolling, and sunbathing are of the utmost importance. The people are kind hearted and are happy to engage in conversation with you along the way, making your trip feel more like going home than vacationing.
Size: 8 square miles
Language: English, Dutch
Government: Special municipality within the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Currency: US dollar (US$)
Main City: Oranjestad
Main Airport: Franklin Delano Roosevelt Airport
Telephone Country Code: 559
Local Beer: Heineken, Coors Light & Carib
National Dish: Stew goat or seafood
Entry Visa: All visitors to St. Eustatius need to have a valid passport to enter the island. Visas are not required for citizens of North America and European Union countries.
When To Go: The weather in St. Eustatius is warm year round. The temperature hovers around 80°F all year and is cooled by trade winds. The weather doesn’t vary more than 3 degrees during the course of the year. Visit during July to celebrate Carnival with locals amid live music and seafood events.
Marriage Requirements: Couples wishing to get married in St. Eustatius will need to register their intention by creating a Notice of Intent to Marry – this must be done at least 3 weeks before the wedding day and the wedding must take place within a year of this notice.
Documents Required: In addition to the completed application for marriage, both the bride and groom will need their:
• birth certificates along with driver’s licences or other forms of identification
• certificates of no impediment or single status report
Also if applicable:
• divorce papers i.e. decree absolute and/or death certificate of spouse
• proof of parental consent if under 18, stamped and signed by a solicitor
• proof of name change by Deed Poll, stamped and signed by a solicitor
Note: Any documents must be presented in English or Dutch.
Residency Requirement: None.
Fees: There are various fees for getting married in St. Eustatius which include:
• The fees for Betroth: US$ 83.80
• Contracting a marriage on the Courthouse during working hours: US$139.66
• Contracting a marriage after working hours and on weekends, outside the Courthouse: US$167.60
• Marriage book: US$41. 90
• Marriage Certificate: US$ 13.97
• Cost of Apostille: US$ 19.55
Witnesses: Two witnesses must be present at the ceremony if at the Registrar’s Office. Six people are required for marriages outsides the Registrar’s Office.
Marriage Procedure: The marriage ceremony can take place one month after all documents have been received by the Registrar’s Office. The wedding ceremony can be held in English, Dutch, Spanish or Papiamentu.