The Bottom Saba is the largest town and capital of this petite Caribbean destination. This town is the first stop travelers will encounter on the road from Fort Bay, Saba’s main port, to the rest of the island. This tiny volcanic island is only five square miles and is home to just 1,400 people. Of this small population, approximately 500 people live in the capital town. It is one of four charming towns on the island and is known for its architecture, which has become a significant attraction in recent years. As the capital, The Bottom Saba is home to a variety of festivals, events, and holiday celebrations throughout the year.
The most popular festival of the year is the Saba Carnival. This is held every summer and includes a colorful parade full of local musicians and performers. Locals look forward to this event for a chance to sing, dance, and enjoy the festival while travelers look forward to it as a real introduction to local culture. Saba Carnival takes place during the summer, which is by no means the height of the peak season in the Caribbean, but regardless travelers plan a trip during this period to be a part of the festival. Weather in Saba is consistent all year round, so visitors don’t have to worry about summer heat when considering attending the festival.
The Bottom is also home to another festival, Saba Day. On this national holiday in December all of the offices, banks, and schools are closed and locals celebrate with parades, concerts, performances, and more. Including everything from fishing competitions to contests for kids including drawing, this is a highly anticipated day on the island. Beyond festivals, the capital town is home to local government offices, a library, stores, and even a school of Medicine. While you won’t find any of the fancy shopping or dining that other Caribbean Islands offer, you will discover an authentic way of life.
Located on the south side of the island, Fort Bay is one of the liveliest places on the island. Here tourists and locals frequent two bars and one restaurant. Travelers who arrive by boat from St Maarten will arrive in Fort Bay. This is the only port on the island, and is very important to the local people because it is where all supplies are delivered. If you are planning on spending time on the tiny island of Saba, you are sure to spend some time exploring all that beautiful Fort Bay has to offer. Beyond The Bottom Saba, other places to discover include Windwardside and Mount Scenery.
In recent years, art and architecture has gained attention in Saba. From art galleries to the local architecture, visitors are arriving not only for the scuba diving and hiking, but also for local craftsmanship. During no other time of year is this quite as evident as during Saba Carnival. Parades and performances are colorful events that show off the creativity and talent of local people. If you’re interested in art, culture, and tradition, the Saba Carnival will provide an excellent introduction to these features of the island.
Image: Serge-Melki (flickr)