SCUBA diving in Saba

Top Things to Do in Saba

About Saba

Saba is a Dutch island in the Caribbean Sea.  Only five square miles with a population of 2,000, this small island is known as the Unspoiled Queen. With little commercialization and no cruise ships, Saba is a tropical paradise!

Saba was discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1493 but he did not consider the mountainous landscape important enough to colonize.  From its discovery until 1816, Saba changed hands many times…from the Spanish, to the French, and to the Dutch who took final possession.

The island includes four small settlements, the world’s shortest commercial runway (1,200 feet), the tallest mountain in the Netherlands which is the potentially active volcano Mt. Scenery, and world class SCUBA diving.

EXPLORE!
Little Bay, Anguilla

Three Days in Anguilla

It has been a few years since I’ve been to the Caribbean, and I always like visiting a tropical destination during Colorado’s snowy months.  This year I selected a combination of three nearby islands; Anguilla, Saba, and St. Maarten.

Getting to Anguilla

My first stop was Anguilla via St. Maarten.  There is not a direct flight from Denver to St. Maarten, so I had to go through Charlotte.  Short layover times for winter delays encouraged me to fly to Charlotte the previous night.  Good choice!  The Denver airport shut down due to the bomb cyclone winter storm the day after I left.

GO TO THE BEACH!
Ferry from St. Maarten to Anguilla

From St. Maarten to Anguilla

While I read the general information about a ferry transfer from St. Maarten to Anguilla at Stmartinbookings.com, few small details still alluded me. As such, I have written a post for the first timers who are flying into the airport at Simpson Bay on the dutch side of St. Maarten, and need to get to Anguilla.

TIPS!
coffee beans drying in Boquete

Top Things to Do in Boquete

Upon booking my impromptu trip to Panama, I hadn’t even heard of Boquete.  After sifting through a Panama travel guide, I ended up in this small mountain town for three days! Boquete is located in Panama’s western-most Province of Chiriquí about 40 miles from the Costa Rica border.  At 3,900 feet above sea level, its climate as well as its natural environment attracts locals, tourists and a large ex-pat community.

EXPLORE!
fishing harbor with panama city skyline

Two and a Half Days in Panama City

I found a cheap flight to Panama, so I picked up a Lonely Plant guide and figured out a week’s itinerary…three days in Panama City and three days in Boquete.  Aside from the Panama Canal, I hadn’t heard much about the country, so I went with guarded expectations.  I was pleasantly surprised.

I found the wonderful Latin America culture coupled with some American conveniences such as safe drinking water, easy and cheap Uber rides, excellent food, and US currency.  To me, this was perfect!

EXPLORE!
Weisenkirchen on Danube River Cruise

Danube River Cruise

The Danube River

The Danube River originates in Germany and flows southeast 1,770 miles through ten countries and into the Black Sea.  With the help of a lock system, 1,500 of those miles are navigable, thus it is an attractive river cruise destination.

TAKE A CRUISE
Christmas market and cloth hall in Krakow's Old Town

Krakow’s Old Town

I arrived in Krakow from Prague via a seven-hour train ride.  I followed the signage from the train station to Krakow’s Old Town which took me through the mall, up to an exit through a Christmas market, down into a tunnel beneath a street and then into a lovely park dusted in a light snow.  The walk through the park to one of the many streets that lead the square was quite soothing after a long day.

EXPLORE!
View from Bridge of Love

Krakow’s Jewish Quarter

While it is easy to simply google “free walking tours in Krakow”, I recently came across an app called freetour.com.  It is great!  I typed in Krakow and found a walking tour of Krakow’s Jewish Quarter and one of Krakow’s Old Town.

Today I joined the tour for Krakow’s Jewish Quarter.  The English-speaking tour met at in front of St. Mary’s Basilica in Old Town at 2:30pm.  Given it was winter time and dark very early, the tour was two hours rather than the advertised two and half hours.  That was fine with me.

EXPLORE!
Pacski - Krakow Street Food

Krakow Street Food

After I travel a while, I get tired of eating every meal at a restaurant, particularly in Europe where the service is slow.  I recognize it is slow to allow diners to enjoy their meal, but when I am on my own, sitting around is not my first choice.  I’d rather be exploring.  As such for the few days I was in Poland, I seeked out some Krakow street food.

TAKE A BITE!