A diamond in the rough

St Eustatius

A diving paradise bordered by fascinating nature reserves. A crater one can walk on with trees as tall as sequoias. St Eustatius, affectionately called Statia, is just what the brochure claims: 'The Caribbeans hidden treasure'. With such incredibly diverse nature, the Netherlands has gained a diamond in the rough - one that can be polished into a glittering jewel.

By Baud Schoenmaeckers

The DHC 6 of the Caribbean airline Winair is flying at an altitude of 3600 metres. Landing has begun and the top speed of 133 knots rapidly declines to under 30. With 22 passengers on board, the twoengine propeller plane is completely full. Where the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean come together, the water turns a deep blue, a panorama of lyrical beauty. That is, until one spots an oil tanker at anchor and a series of oil storage tanks. Welcome to St Eustatius. The oil industry is the odd man out within the magnificent nature of Statia (...)

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