You Can Hike To The Highest Point In The Netherlands While In The Caribbean

From stroopwafels to tulip fields to the bustling red light district of Amsterdam, there's no nation in the world quite like The Netherlands. If you love the outdoors and want to go hiking in the Netherlands on the nation's tallest mountain, you'll need to get off of the continent of Europe and head over to the Caribbean. Wait, what? How is The Netherlands' tallest mountain not in the actual Netherlands? Well, it technically is, only it's found in one of the overseas Dutch territories instead.

Saba, a 5 square-mile island located approximately 28 miles off of the coast of St. Maarten, is one of the Caribbean's best hidden gems. With a quirky local community, serene diving, and a completely unspoiled atmosphere, Saba is simply a jewel in itself that's especially ideal for nature lovers. However, as unique as the island is on its own, this Dutch territory just so happens to be home to the highest point in the Kingdom of the Netherlands at the island's Mount Scenery. At a jarring 2,910 feet high, Mount Scenery can be hiked in just a few hours to be on top of the world, or at least, on top of The Netherlands.

Hiking Mount Scenery

Here's what to know before you go. Hiking Mount Scenery is slightly challenging. To help guide you to your goal, there are steps, 1,015 of them, to lead you to the top. This is because the terrain can be slippery and muddy since it is a rainforest hike. For the average person, the 2.1 mile roundtrip hike takes a little more than two hours. Once on top, you'll be treated to three different viewpoints to take in Saba, and on a clear day, you can see other nearby islands, like Sint Eustatius, St. Kitts, and Saint Barts. To best set yourself up for success, hire a local guide, wear good-grip shoes, and bring a hiking stick.

If you're short on time or not up for the challenge of steeply inclined Mount Scenery, you can get equally stunning views at the much easier-to-reach Mas'Cohones. The trail is along the same one as Mount Scenery, only at one point, you'll take a turn when you see a sign that says "Mas'Cohones," which will lead you to the viewpoint. This hike only takes about 20 minutes one way, and is much less strenuous and arguably equally rewarding thanks to the picturesque views provided by Saba's natural beauty.

Hiking aside, this tiny island is worth the visit

Aside from hiking to the highest point in the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Saba has at least a million other reasons why it's well worth visiting. For starters, it's an easy day trip from St. Maarten, where you can either fly or take a 90-minute ferry ride. The flight, operated by WinAir, is highly recommended, as it's only 12 minutes long. Not only that, but you'll have the unique opportunity to fly into Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport, which is home to the shortest commercial runway in the world at a cool 1,300 feet, or roughly 400 yards in length.

To learn a new skill and to take something home as proof, head to Jobean Glass Art. Here, you can create your own colorful glass jewelry, and be accompanied by the one-of-a-kind Jobean, who is a master in her craft.

For a unique way to see Mount Scenery, get out on a boat and hit those vibrant blue Caribbean waters. As you ride around the island, you'll have the opportunity to take in its dramatic peaks, and of course, an opportunity to jump into the water to snorkel or scuba dive, where your chances of sighting a sea turtle are quite high.

No trip to Saba is complete without trying the island's local spirit, Saba Spice. Coming in a wide variety of flavors, Saba spice is a high ABV product, usually around 151-proof, so proceed with caution!