Sint Eustatius

The Quill

  St. Eustatius     more than a year ago
Climbing the volcanic cone known simply as The Quil is like visiting a zoo without fences and a botanical garden all at the same time, but remember that this intriguing, yet strenuous 2.5-hour hike can only be completed if you're in good physical condition. The ascent of the 600m-tall extinct volcano is, to put it mildly, not for the faint hearted, especially the last steep section leading up to the breathtaking view at Mazinga. The Dutch settlers first called it Kuil meaning pit or hole, but as the English often have problems pronouncing foreign words, they called it Quill. Along the climb or descent into the floor of the crater you'll be greeted by land crabs, butterflies, iguanas, snakes and exotic birds like the endemic killi killi bird. Hikers who prefer flora to fauna will be pleased to know that at least 17 types of orchid grow in this section of the dense rainforest. There is a small parking lot at the bottom of the trail, but you can also begin your hike at Oranjestad, where the trail is already sign posted. Bring plenty of water and head out in the early morning around sunrise.

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