Banks -- First Caribbean International Bank, Upper Town (tel. 599/318-2392), is open Monday to Friday 8:30am to 3:30pm. The Windward Islands Bank, Upper Town (tel. 599/318-2846), is open Monday to Friday 8:30am to noon and 1:30 to 3:30pm. The banks have ATMs.

Currency -- The official unit of currency is the Netherlands Antilles guilder (NAf), at NAf 1.78 to each US$1 (1 NAf = 55¢), but nearly all places will quote you prices in U.S. dollars. As such, prices in this guide are quoted in U.S. dollars.

Customs -- There are no Customs duties because the island is a free port.

Documents -- To be on the safe side, all citizens of any country should travel the Caribbean with a valid passport.

Electricity -- It's 110-volt AC (60 cycles), the same as in the United States.

Emergencies -- For the police, call tel. 911; for an ambulance, call tel. 912; in case of fire, call tel. 912.

Hospital -- A licensed physician is on duty at the Queen Beatrix Medical Center, 25 Princessweg, Oranjestad (tel. 599/318-2211).

Language -- Dutch is the official language, but English is commonly spoken.

Safety -- Although crime is rare, it's wise to secure your valuables and take the kind of discreet precautions you would anywhere. Don't leave valuables unguarded on the beach.

Taxes & Service Charges -- There's a $5.65 tax if you're returning to the Dutch-held islands of St. Maarten or Saba; if you're going elsewhere, the tax is $12. Hotels on Statia collect a 7% government tax, plus a 3% turnover tax. Most hotels, guesthouses, and restaurants add a 10% to 15% service charge.

Telephone -- To access AT&T Direct for calls to the United States from Statia, call tel. 001-800/225-5288. To call Statia from the U.S., dial 011 (the international access code), then 599 (the country code for the Netherlands Antilles), and finally 318 (the area code for Statia) and the four-digit local number. To make a call within Statia, only the four-digit local number is necessary.

Time -- St. Eustatius operates on Atlantic Standard Time year-round. When all time zones are on standard time, 6pm in Oranjestad is 5pm in New York. During daylight saving time, the island keeps the same time as the U.S. East Coast.

Water -- The water here is generally safe to drink.

Weather -- The average daytime temperature ranges from 78°F to 82°F (26°C-28°C). The annual rainfall is 1.1m (43 in.).

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.