A twelve minute Winair flight from St. Martin will get you breathtaking views of little red rooftops between a bright green landscape just before you land on the world’s shortest commercial runway on the Dutch Caribbean island of SABA: the Unspoiled Queen. Arriving on her majesty is like returning to an old friend. There’s something in the Saba air…the feeling of home for me. A peaceful place where you can hear every creak, whisper and wildlife noise echo around you – the baby goats in the distance and the sound of Percy blowing his conch shell six days at 6pm since 1983 are two you won’t have to listen too hard for.
SEVEN ABOUT SABA:
7 Lava Shoots
6 Ferries a week to Saba
5 Climate Zones
4 Villages (Winwardside, St. John, Zion’s Hill + The Bottom)
3 Catholic Churches
1 Gas Station (Yes only one!)
Rather than nightlife, Saba is best know for it’s amazing underwater Marine Park scene, where protected reefs and atolls have allowed sea life to flourish. While Saba only has one beach near the airport (with sand from St. Martin), there are plenty of places to submerge into the sea life. Tent Reef is a photoworthy (bring a go pro) rocky entrance to snorkel and spot marine life like barracuda, sea turtles, and plenty of tropical schools of fish in the close to shore reefs. While snorkeling is great fun, you can’t come to Saba and not explore its depths. Renowned for diving, the dramatic dropoffs produce great shelves for deep dives. I loved going down under for my very first one with Sea Saba.
If you’re more of an above ground kind of adventurer, take to one of the seventeen hiking trails. From steep and short to flat and long, there are trails for every level of experience. If you’re looking local knowledge and even a little entertainment, ask around for Jungle James and he’ll guide you on a hike that best suits your interests. We hiked the three hour Sandy Cruz Trail finding fresh mangoes, rosemary, and other medicinal plants along our route.
Just down the hill from the trail is a great treetop lunch at Queen’s Gardens Resort If you’re looking for a place to unfurl, stay here. Tucked into the mountainside, every spacious suite has its own hot tub overlooking postcard views of ‘The Bottom’, one of the four villages of the island, and a staff who take real pride in what they do.
Don’t pass up the opportunity to pamper yourself at their Frangipani Spa, one of the best views on the island where you may mistake the soundtrack playing for the birds chirping in the distance like I did.
Saba is full of stories, one of my favorite including the Road that couldn’t be built. Spending a few days on Saba you can expect to find a little serenity and also local characters and artists about the town. Two experiences I would do over again….
Jobean Glass – An excuse to play with fire, try your hands at making glass beads at Jobean Glass Studio. This therapeutic and creative process make for a perfect homemade island takeaway.
Saba Artisan Foundation: You’ll find the storied Saba Lace, can see the process of ladies screenprinting and taste the saba spice. A great space keeping local tradition and history alive.
When in the Caribbean, say yes to some time on SABA.
*This adventure was graciously hosted by the Saba Tourism Board. Thank you Glenn for driving me all around the island to find my characters to capture. Our film on Saba is coming soon!