Saba, known as the Unspoiled Queen
Saba is only 5 square miles (13sq. km.). It is the top of a volcano sitting on the ocean bottom and emerging above the waves. The landscape is rugged from the top of Mt. Scenery, the volcano, down to the sea. Originally settled by English and Irish immigrants, and the haunt of pirates, this tiny island and its inhabitants carved out a difficult life by fishing, and hardscrabble farming. Today the island is a special municipality of the Netherlands and ecotourist destination. Expect to hear English, Dutch and some Spanish spoken.
Fort Bay is the main harbor, and the major settlements on the island are all villages including the capital, The Bottom. Windwardside is the main tourist destination. Hiking the Mt. Scenery Trail to an 1800 ft. view over the island, scuba diving, and exploring the local art scene are typical activities for the visitor. A must see (and purchase) is Saba lace, a unique handcraft.
Saba can be reached from nearby St. Maarten by ferry or plane. If you are a nervous flyer, be warned the J.E.Yarausguin Airport near Zion’s Hill (formerly known as Hell’s Gate) can be a spectacular experience. It speaks to the skills of the pilots as they land and take off on perhaps the shortest commercial runway in the world sandwiched on an uncommon (for Saba) flat piece of land surrounded on three sides by the sea. Once there, you can rent a car but it may be more advisable to leave the driving to local taxis as the hairpin turns and changes in elevation test the best driver.
Saba is an escape to an unusual, largely unspoiled Caribbean island.