The island of Saba (pronounced say-bah) located in the Caribbean has oftentimes been described as a paradise island with spiky volcanic peaks. It is an ideal place for the traveler who is looking for a secluded haven, in a friendly and peaceful surrounding. The island rises steeply from the clear blue Caribbean Sea and offers a magical experience to its visitors.
Saba has four small villages that are quaint and charming, reminiscent of the 17th century pioneers. Giving its visitors a sense of stepping back in time, although the island does offer many modern luxuries. The island is home to the famous Saba Marine Park which is second to none. You can scuba dive, hike, admire nature or do all three! Because of its nostalgic feel, the island appears un-trampled by time and you may end up feeling like an early explorer, while the friendly English-speaking natives will make you feel right at home.
All travels to the island connect in St. Maarten. Most of the major airlines in North and South America and Europe carry daily flights into ST. Maarten (SXM). They also offer special charter flights from major cities during the winter season. A ferry service from St. Maarten is available via Dawn II and the Edge. You can easily find information on both on the internet to plan ahead.
Once you are on the island of Saba if you choose not to walk or hike, taxis in and around the island are easy to find along ten miles of concrete roadway.
The island of Saba is known for:
- Diving – Saba offers some of the best scuba diving in this section of the world at over 27 different unspoiled diving locations.
- Mountain Scenery – Outside of the Windwardside, Mountain scenery stretches over half a mile or so into the sky beckoning climbers to conquer the more than 1000 stone steps to its summit.
- Airport – The Saba airport, Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport was built in 1959 and boasts the worlds shortest commercial runway approved for only three models of planes. At just 400 meters long it has oftentimes been compared to an aircraft carrier.
- Hiking – Hikers from all over are attracted to the island. It features a network of 18 botanical trails, carefully marked and maintained.
- Quaint Villages – Unique architecture- Saba has four charming villages, Windwardside, The Bottom, Hell’s Gate and St. Johns. The villages have neat houses with white wooden facades, sloping red roofs, green shutters and gingerbread trim fitting into the mountainside among the lush foliage of palms and other flora.
- Delicious Cuisine – Although the island is tiny it has a great array of restaurants to suit every taste.
- Wandering Beach – Saba has only one wandering black sand beach that comes and goes with the season. It is great for hiking along with being a prime picnic spot and is located at Well’s Bay.
- Unique Island Craft – Saba lace also known as “Spanish work” is a unique type of needlecraft painstakingly created by the native women of Saba.
- The Road That Could Not Be Built – Saba has only one road aptly called “The Road” it was constructed by Lambert Josephus Hassell who despite common opinion believed that the road could be built and started building the road in 1938, after many years it was completed in 1958.
- The People – The people of Saba, Sabans, are quite friendly and welcoming. You may join them at the local bars and restaurants where, rest assured; they will engage you in lively debate. With a very small population after only a few days you will feel right at home.
It is best to visit Saba during its carnival in late July to early August. However because of its location and tropical climate you may visit all year round.
Photo: Flickr / lj8677