Saba, the unspoiled Queen of the Caribbean

Saba was my favourite, not surprisingly, but unexpectedly. It’s tiny, with one road going thru it, which has to go up and over from the two main coastal entry points: the airport on one side, or the ferry port on the other.

I loved Saba

The rest of the island’s coast is barely reachable, as Saba is basically a massive mountain rising straight out of the sea. Cliffs all around it’s edges keep the inhabitants inland and uphill, and the two major towns are simply ‘Windward’ and ‘The Bottom’, which is more like the only flat-ish part in the middle.

panoramic of Saba’s typical hilltop, red-roofed villages

Hiking trails circle the mountain, connecting towns and parishes and the few accessible shores. There’s no beaches, so jumping in the water can be done at the bottom of the ‘The Ladder’ trail (if you dont get swept away by huge waves on the rocks) or the harbour where boats share the port. The only thing resembling a beach was beside the airport, but the tide pools in the rocks below the runway were more appealing.

playing the conch shell by the airport cost to start our cross-island walk

We did a cross island walk, nearly 10km, one morning, which is just up up up for the first hour and a bit, then another hour just cruising back down, with a stop at the ‘top’ of Windward side. The top top of the island is Mt. Scenery, which marks the highest point in the Dutch Kingdom at 887m. You can hike to it in just under 2 hours from Windward side, but I stopped short at Mas’Cahone’s hill viewpoint since the peak was covered in misty clouds.

tidepools

Saba was clean, green and full of trails, an absolute hikers paradise. My favourite trek was the Sandy Cruz trail, which wraps halfway around the mountain from Upper Hell’s Gate to Troy’s Hill. Just after you reach the trail end, you’ll pass Queen’s Gardens Resort where you can opt for a $27 gin and tonic to cool down, or you can carry on down to ‘The Bottom’ and start hiking back up and over along the Crispeen Trail.

Mas’ Cahone’s viewpoint

The biggest highlight I missed out on completely – Saba is a diver’s dream. If you like underwater adventuring, this island has even more there than on land, at least so I’ve heard, so dont only go there for the landlocked nature.

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