Dutch Antilles | Saba

Saba’s nickname does the island justice: ‘The Unspoiled Queen’.  This baseline refers to her unspoiled nature and inhabitants. ‘The best way to describe this unique island with only 1400 people is to list our “have nots”. Saba has no crime, no high rises, no traffic or traffic lights, no pesty insects, no crowds, no fast food restaurants, no casinos, no cruise ships. Oh, and we almost forgot, no beaches.

Instead Saba’s guests enjoy a choice of small, intimate hotels and private cottages within quaint villages among friendly locals. And speaking of friendly, Saba, unlike some Caribbean islands, is considered to be quite liberal minded from race to religious beliefs to sexual orientation.’

 

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Saba’s  Juancho E. Yrausquin airport ranks among the ten most dangerous airports to land in the world.
The scariest part about this run way is the length. The Saba International Airport has the world’s shortest commercial airport runway: only 400 meters and ends with a cliff drop to the sea. High hills also flank one side of the runway.

 

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Windwardside, the second biggest town on the island.

 

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We combined several hiking trails in Saba National Park. First we descended to the former sulphur mine, then picked up the ‘All too far Trail’ which blends into the ‘Sandy Cruz Trail’. Then we continued along the’Bottom Mountain Trail’, back to Windwardside via the ‘Maskehorn Hill Trail’. Although the weather was not optimal, we enjoyed the long day trip through thick rainforest. I should stress RAIN in rainforest 🙂

 

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The Bottom, the island’s capital city. Even though at 830 feet, it sits in the bowl of an extinct volcano.

 

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Monument in memory of the engineer that made ‘the road that could not be built’. The Road is indeed something of an engineering marvel, now connecting the four main settlements on Saba: The Bottom, Windwardside, Hell’s Gate and St. Johns.

 

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Taking the 1064 stone steps up Mount Scenery, a potentially still active volcano.

 

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View over The Bottom from Mount Scenery.

 

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View over the airport and Windwardside from Mount Scenery.

 

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Standing tall at roughly 3,000 feet, or 877 meters, is Mount Scenery. The dormant volcano is probably the best known attraction of Saba and is the highest point of both Saba and the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

 

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We traveled with SNP, Natuurreizen van ANWB and were lodged in The Cottage Club in Windwardside.

 

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There’s only one real beach on Saba, at Well’s Bay, which also is the island’s only harbor. Needless to say, this rocky and volcanic strip of sand – which often comes and goes with the tides – is not the reason you come to Saba, although there is good snorkeling offshore. On the other hand, the Saba National Marine Park, which circles the entire island, has been called one of the best places in the world to dive.

 

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More info

www.sabatourism.com

http://discoversaba.com/nature-and-eco-tourism-on-saba

www.sabapark.org/hiking_trails

Eilandwandelingen op Nederlandse bodem (dutch only)