This is Saba. An unparalleled hiking and
diving paradise – called “the unspoiled queen of the Caribbean” with good reason.
The island is a bit like the setting for an enchanted fairy tale. Just one steep
narrow winding road aptly named “the road” clings impossibly to the steep slopes of
the dormant volcano connecting the islands four towns along with a handful
of even steeper narrower roadways in each of these towns these three ways
convey vehicles everywhere you need to go on the 8 square mile island.
Unlike other islands in the Caribbean tourists get around pretty much
exclusively by taxi largely I think because it would be terrifying to drive
yourself. The only way to get here is from Saint Maarten 30 miles to the north
and there are two choices, a small ferry that runs daily and takes an
hour-and-a-half landing at a port with a steep exit or a short 15 minute flight
that lands excitingly on the world’s shortest runway. Adding to the picturesque beauty the
houses across the island are built in the same West Indian style with a
matching color scheme. Saba’s isolation keeps tourism small-scale and heavily
eco-friendly there are no large resorts and accommodations are largely guest
houses and small boutique hotels. Our hotel had two guest rooms and an amazing
view. With so many hillsides nearly every
guest room on the island has a magnificent view of the ocean and often
of the neighboring islands of St. Maarten, St. Bart, St. Eustatius, and St.
Kitts. With no beaches to speak of the two main tourist attractions in Saba
are hiking and diving, we had come with hiking in mind. With varied terrain
ranging from steep to smooth and dense cloud forest to more exposed forested
lava domes with views of the sea each of the island’s 15 hikes is unique and
include everything from lethal trees to beautiful clear tide pools and often
even the company of wild chickens and goats. Saba is truly a magical island where
visitors are welcomed warmly and life feels simple, unhurried, and abundant.