Submitted by Heather Court on
Saba is an island like no other, this serene and lush tropical paradise has earned the title as one of the top 10 islands in the world by National Geographic. That distinction is well deserved. Surprisingly, this small gem of an island offers up a vacation unmatched in the Caribbean and it was a "must do" on my bucket list.
My trip there started out from St.Maarten, my vacation spot for the coming week. I decided to take a ferry over rather than flying, and made myself comfortable for the hour and a half trip to her Dutch sister island of Saba. This ferry service, came recommended as a great way to "meet" the island. As we made our way across the ocean, you could slowly see Saba rising out of the sea in the distance. Her jagged cliffs, that boasted green tops, gave a protective feel to the coastline, and it looked as if it were impossible to dock anywhere. Fortunately, the island has created the perfect harbor called Fort Bay, which is where we docked and cleared immigration. This colorful and bustling port is a stark contrast to the cliffs that meet the ocean's edge.
From The Bottom up
I had booked a tour package with that included a taxi ride to the Trail Shop as well as a lovely bagged lunch. To say Saba is small is an understatement, but what she lacks in square kilometers, she makes up for in character. Our taxi driver made our group feel as if we were family back home for a visit. He was a fabulous tour guide as we made our way up the winding roads, that were lined in beautiful rock walls. This journey up the mountain is not for the faint of heart. There is but one road, called "The Road" and it leaves no room for error. The narrow street twists and turns its way up, while cars and trucks pass you on the way down.
Homes and businesses lined the streets, all sharing picturesque little red roofs, immaculate gardens and an abundance of greenery. The view was spectacular, and it seemed to get better with every turn we took. We finally made it to our destination, the Trail Shop, where we were able to get maps and information. We then began our hike up into the mountain. Saba’s Mount Scenery seems to envelope you the higher you go. The fauna surrounds you as you make your way up the stone carved steps and the sounds of birds and other wildlife blocks out everything, even your own thoughts. It was so easy to get lost in the beauty of Saba’s surroundings. Huge elephant ears and ferns surrounded us and the higher we climbed the greener it seemed to get.
At the mountain top
I was treated to a 360-degree view of the ocean and surrounding islands when I reached the top. It felt as if time stood still here, as if I was on top of the world. Nature seems to have preserved this island, and it could have easily been 1617 instead of 2017. Fun fact: This point atop Saba’s hill is funny enough, also the highest point in the Dutch kingdom, even though it is thousands of miles away in the Caribbean sea.
I will be back someday
On our way back to the port, we were met by so many beautiful local homes, and we came across people who clearly had pride for their home and island. Eager to share their history, I was met with open arms and warm smiles, and treated to tales of the islands past. I honestly could have spent a few more days exploring Saba, and I was pleased to see there are several packages available for this tiny enchanting island. My next vacation will probably include another ferry ride, an island tour and perhaps a guided hike. I would certainly recommend taking along some sturdy shoes or sneakers as the hike up Mount Scenery is without doubt a workout, and make sure to bring water, the warm Caribbean sun can dehydrate you quickly.