SUNDAY COFFEE WITH JEB



Seniors Head For Caribbean’s Thrilling Side

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Senior travelers, the awards for the Best Caribbean Destinations are in and Saba ranked in the top ten. The Reader’s Choice Awards (10 Best.com) selected the Dominican Republic as #1, but Saba made the list. A panel of experts and voted on by the public and ten islands were awarded the top choices.

This Caribbean island in the Lesser Antilles chain, is a special municipality of the Netherlands, measuring just 13 square kilometers. Its surrounding Saba Marine Park, a renowned dive site, is home to coral formations, dolphins, sharks and turtles. There are also offshore seamounts, or underwater mountains created by volcanic activity.

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The Chicago Tribune noted that Saba is “Unspoiled, Underdeveloped and Undeniably Beautiful.”  WSJ highlights its “Stunning Scenery.” The island is called an “Unspoiled Queen” and a “Tropical Kingdom.”

 Seniors Visit Scenic Volcanic Island

Saba is in the northeastern Caribbean Sea, 28 miles southwest of its international hub the island of St. Maarten. In 2010 Saba became part of a Special municipality of the Kingdom of the Netherlands together with the islands of St. Eustatius and Bonaire.

Saba’s birth was traumatic. Circa 500,000 BC the island was formed as the top of a volcano that became active during the middle of the late Pleistocene era. Now a dormant volcano, she has not erupted for about 5,000 years, so no trouble today.

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TripAdvisor has nearly two dozen attractions and things to do that senior travelers will not want to overlook. Dense forest drapes its peaks and valleys, making it look like Ireland, while the traditional red-roofed houses with their green shutters and white gingerbread trim seem plucked from a Brothers’ Grimm fairy tale.

Seniors Find Colorful Underwater Kingdom

Below the waterline lies a colorful kingdom of coral teeming with sharks, turtles and luminous tropical fish. There is no crime, little traffic and a close-knit local community that’s genuinely happy to be in their ‘Garden of Eden’.

The population of Saba is 1,991 people spread into four major villages and includes the 200-300 medical students attending the Saba University of Medicine. The medical school houses a hyperbaric chamber, which coincides nicely with Sabas extensive diving draw.

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Sugar and rum were Saba’s chief exports through the 18th century, as well as fishing, particularly lobster fishing, later. Once trade routes became more open, Saban Lace, a derivative of Spanish Lace, became very popular. By 1928 the women of Saba were exporting $15,000 worth of lace yearly.

Saba is a 15 minutes plane ride from St. Maarten’s Juliana International Airport, the region’s largest airport with flights to the US and Europe. Senior visitors will find the people on Saba to be very friendly.

Taxi drivers have even been known to pick up hitchers, not charging them for the ride if that’s the direction they’re going anyway. Seniors, put Saba on your travel bucket list and enjoy a unique experience. -jeb

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