Those looking for the typical Caribbean tourist experience - drinking, gambling, beaches - will want to stick to next-door neighbor St. Maarten. But for a remote escape known for ecotourism, including hikes, climbs and spectacular dives, Saba delivers. The smallest island (five square miles) in the Netherlands Antilles, Saba is primarily a dormant volcano covered in rain forest. A single road (aptly named "The Road") takes visitors to quaint villages, where you can purchase the traditional Saba lace.
Buildings are precariously perched on hillsides in Windwardside, the second largest village of Saba. At 1,700 feet above sea level, the views are astonishing as you amble along the lanes, taking in the red-roofed homes, banana trees and oleander bushes. In a 150-year-old cottage is the Saba Museum, once the home of a 19th-century sea captain, which displays period pieces and old documents. Windwardside makes an excellent base for hiking, especially up the 1,064 steps to the top of Mount Scenery.
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