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The Tide Pools of Saba  
  History & CultureHiking on Saba is a rewarding experience, nature above the waterline is as unique and varied as that which lies below... Let's take a walk down the slopes of Mt. Scenery and see what you can expect to find!

The island’s vegetation varies with distinctive zones which are related to altitude and precipitation. The top of Mt. Scenery is more often than not enshrouded by clouds resulting in a cloud-forest environment. At slightly lower elevations rain-forest vegetation is present. Humidity decreases as one descends and the vegetation reflects the drier climate. Plants and trees found close to shore have adapted to the salty environment.
Saba's Vegetation
The Summit of Mt. Scenery
Mt. Scenery is the highest point in the Dutch Kingdom (877m or 2877ft) and is Saba’s dominant feature. Dense vegetation with a variety of species cover the summit and upper slopes. The Elfin Forest (cloud-forest) dominates the upper 50m (150ft) of the mountain and is comprised of Mountain Mahogany covered with Epiphytes, Orchids and a myriad of other unique and rare plants.

Lower slopes
Just below the summit, Mountain Palms, Tree Ferns, Elephant Ears and Heliconias dominate.
Secondary rainforest and dry evergreen forest are found lower down on the slopes. Species in this zone include Redwood, Sea Grape, White Cedar and Turpentine trees as well as Cacti species such as the Prickly pear. Closer to the sea, grassy meadows with scattered shrubs predominate. Steep cliffs and bluffs can be seen throughout the island with several sheer walls rising over 100m (330ft). Due to its rugged terrain, Saba does not have typical Caribbean beaches but there are several sandy bays that change with the prevailing ocean swells.

Julia Johnson SabaFlora and Fauna
Saba’s plant and animal life is a mixture of native and introduced species. This occurred hundreds of years ago and it is very difficult for the average tourist to tell the difference today. Mango, banana, Black-Eyed Susan, tree frogs, goats and chickens were all brought to the island. Some of our endemic species are the Saban Anole lizards (found only on Saba), Green Iguanas and Red-Bellied Racer Snakes (completely harmless).

Saba is home to over sixty species of birds, many of which are seabirds. Bridled Terns, Sooty Terns and Brown Booby birds breed every year in late spring on Green Island. Red Billed & White-Tailed Tropicbirds nest in the high cliffs while Frigate Birds and Brown Boobies soar near the coast. Other feathered visitors include the Common Ground Dove, Bridled Quail Dove, Red-tailed Hawks, Thrashers, Hummingbirds and Bananaquits.

Tide Pools of SabaOne of the shorter hikes in Saba is the walk, partially climb, to the Tide Pools at Flatpoint. It's one of the few hikes that doesn’t take you through one of the different types of forest on the island, this area is at the coast of the island.

The tide pools are small enclosures between cliffs and rocks which are filled with seawater and are the end product of an ancient lava flow. As the water is completely clear you get a spectacular view of the marine life including; different types of sea urchins, little colorful fish and sea flora. You also have dramatic views of the Caribbean Sea and the northeast side of the island. At certain times there is a rip current warning, due to the fact that the incoming waves can be very dangerous. Check with the trail shop as to the conditions!

Cove Bay - SabaJust down the road from the trail head of the tide pools you'll find Saba's only public swimming pool. Rocks have been placed in the cove as a barrier to the open ocean so Sabans (and visitors alike) can enjoy a refreshing swim in safety. Recently Sand has been added to the shore line effectively creating an artificial beach. If you don't feel like too much hiking this is the ideal spot to chill out for an afternoon, bask in the sun and enjoy the majesty of Saba as she towers above you. At the weekend it's not unlikely to find a barbeque in progress, an ideal time to get to know some of the islanders!

Well's Bay Saba Occasionally, depending on conditions, the usually rocky shores of Well's Bay are transformed into a stunning strip of golden sand, when our "disappearing- re-appearing beach is in, it's everything you can dream of if you are the Robinson Crusoe type: Nearly empty, no facilities, just pure tropical nature and an ideal snorkeling location..

Whilst enjoying the beauty of Saba's scenery here are a few things to keep in mind:

Take only pictures... Leave only footprints!

Have you told someone where you’re going and when you’ll be back?

For your safety, stay on the trail and watch your footing

All trails cross private land – please respect this privilege

Don’t pick the fruit trees – they belong to someone

Use the trash bins for all waste (pick up other garbage if you see it)

Pick up after your dog and keep it under control at all times

Be sure to carry sufficient water and use sun block

Do not disturb plants or wildlife – it is against the law to do so!

Have your Official Saba Nature Whistle available for a Trail Ranger upon request

Report all violations of these rules to the Trail Shop (416-2630)

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Other pages in this section
Above & Beyond
Saban Villages
The Trail Shop
Trail Map
Photo Gallery
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