Welcome to The Island of Saba.
The Unspoiled Queen
Although the little island of Saba is considered a remote, exotic destination it is by no means "third world". Saba is old fashioned but not impoverished or considered a risk destination.
A different Caribbean...
For those divers and travelers looking for the quiet Caribbean, an island with old world charm that is “like it used to be”…look no further. The island of Saba proudly declares itself "The Unspoiled Queen" referring to her unspoiled nature and inhabitants. Saba is different; Saba is safe. The best way to describe this unique island with less than 2,000 residents is to list our "have nots: Saba has no crime, no high rises, neither traffic nor traffic lights, no pesty insects, no crowds, no fast food restaurants, no casinos, no cruise ships. Oh, and we almost forgot, no beaches. Instead Saba's guests enjoy a choice of small, intimate hotels and private cottages within quaint villages among friendly locals. And speaking of friendly, Saba, unlike some Caribbean islands, is considered to be quite liberal minded from race to religious beliefs to sexual orientation.
Diving is conducted under the auspices of the Saba Marine Park, a model park recognized for its success in protecting the marine environment. Topside Saba is protected by the Saba Conservation Foundation with only a small percentage of the island 'developed' for residential and commercial needs. Ten to fifteen restaurants offer an array of cuisine from outdoor barbecues to fine dining, all at reasonable prices. Saba even has two ATMs, decent cell phone coverage, and island-wide WiFi. Saba is popular for single travelers, families, couples or groups. We hope you will find our comprehensive website answers your many questions--see you soon on Saba!
Info on Saba:
5 things you should know about Saba Island.
1. Where is Saba? The island is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands located 17°38′N 63°15′W, 28 miles to the Southwest of its international hub St. Maarten/St. Marten.
2. Which country is Saba affiliated with? Saba is the highest point in the Dutch Kingdom: Although small (The island has a footprint of less than 5 square miles) its volcanic beginnings (now dormant) resulted in Mt. Scenery’s peak: a height of 2,910 feet. On a clear day you can see the islands of Anguilla, St. Maarten, St, Barths, St. Eustatius, St. Kitts, Nevis and Montserrat from the summit. Although a Public Entity of the Netherlands Saba's first language is English and the island's currency is US dollars.
3. What's the name of Saba's airport? Saba is home to Juancho E. Yrausquin airport which boasts the world's shortest commercial runway! Shorter than an aircraft carrier, "the landing" is when the adventure begins!
4. Which ferries travel to Saba? Saba is accessible via two ferries: The Dawn II ferry travels Tue, Thu and Sat while The Edge ferry travels Wed, Fri and Sun. See the Getting Here page of our website for arrival /departure times and more.
5. Why go to Saba? SCUBA Diving is the top attraction of Saba. The Saba Marine Park protects 30 dives sites around the island of Saba.
Zoom in on the map below to see exactly where in the world Saba is!
Things to do on Saba...
Saba offers an experience like no other Caribbean island. Return customers are not to worry, we haven't built a casino or a shopping mall, but a few enhancements to our island make Saba more enjoyable for locals and visitors alike.
Let us introduce you to the underwater world. Join the fun with a snorkel trip! As there is limited shore access on Saba, the easiest way to explore our healthy reefs is while snorkeling from a comfortable Sea Saba boat with our competent dive crew. Daily afternoon trips can be arranged at our Windwardside office. We'll arrange a taxi pickup for you and any equipment needed. Sea Saba's boats are large and comfortable with shade as well as a sundeck. We always have a qualified dive instructor who stays on board so that first time snorkelers can be comforted. In addition, we have a full range of equipment including snorkel vests, a drift line and wetsuits to add to your comfort and safety. Once you are intrigued, why not consider scuba diving? Sea Saba offers one-day Discover Scuba Diving courses and international full certification classes (you can now receive an international license in just 2 days after you e-learn).
Most of Saba's hiking trails are the original footpaths used for hundreds of years before The Road was created. Imagine the life of the local islanders as you travel from one village to the next or make your way to the rocky shoreline where English settlers fought Caribs over water rights. Saba offers a variety of hiking and nature trails over diverse terrains from tide pools up to Saba's cloudforest: Mt. Scenery. Eighteen trails are continuously maintained by the Saba Conservation Foundation. All trails can be done on your own but are greatly enhanced with one of the park's guides. Learn more about Saba's flora and fauna and loads of Saban lore to share as well. Visit the Saba Trail Shop in Windwardside (adjacent to the Sea Saba shop) for more information on hiking choices, maps or to find out when you can schedule your customized hike.
Arts & Crafts
Opening its doors in December 2016, Sea Saba's new neighbor is Kakona, the place to find your Saba keepsake... Many of Saba's most renowned Artisan's creations can be found behind it's doors.
Working with a cross section of local artists from varied backgrounds, Kakona's goal is to highlight their work and inspire others. Kakona is the creative concept of Sea Saba's own Melanie Marks. Mel's mosaics as well as her glass etchings and more highlight this new shop. John's knives are also a draw in addition to locally made soaps, teas and candles, unique jewelry crafted on island and with island inspirations. Come and explore the many keepsakes to add to your home or just to remind you of your Saba experience. And, there's a full on-line store: www.kakonasaba.com.
Indigenous cultures knew to honor and respect the Mother Earth. The Kakona initiative pays tribute to Saba’s roots while adding contemporary artistry, Keepsakes that are Aesthetic, Kreative, Original, Nature-based, Authentic works…striving to blend Saba’s past and present—each with its own story.
Kakona is the Taino word for trinkets of value and objects of worth. Taíno people, a subgroup of the Arawakan, inhabited the Greater and Northeastern Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean Sea at the time when Christopher Columbus' arrived to the New World.
Saba's most popular artist and former president of Saba Foundation for the Arts, Heleen Cornet sometimes offers art lessons. In winter months, she also heads a weekly Saturday meeting of artists. Heleen took two-years to complete the project we have dubbed, "Saba's Sistine Chapel". The alter of the Catholic Church in The Bottom has been transformed to a biblical Saban rainforest scene. Heleen's timeless art can be viewed any day of the week. Be sure to ask your taxi driver to stop in for a peek or catch it on the way down after hiking the Sandy Cruz trail. Heleen and other artists' paintings are displayed and sold at Five Square Gallery in Windwardside.
Looking for a unique souvenir? Take a wander down "Main Street" in Windwardside and meet a friendly shop owner, visit an artist or have a smoothie at the Snack Shop. You won't find a Wal-Mart or a Colombian Emeralds on Saba but you will find as one shopkeeper's sign reads: "gifts, oddments and pretties". Sea Saba is no longer just great diving t-shirts but has expanded to quality resort wear to satisfy your gift list from infant to XXL--and Merrell and Columbia hiking shoes and REEF sandals in case you forgot yours and want to enjoy Saba's trails.
Jo Bean's Glass Art Studio is a must stop on Booby Hill, jewelry and specialty items can be purchased or plan an extra day and sign up for a class to create your own! The Five Square Gallery is the island's art gallery. Saba Lace can be purchased at their new center @ Lambee's Place. The Saba Lace Ladies meet and are available for demonstrations on Thursdays. The Everytíngs shop is just that...a little bit of everything!
Relax & spoil yourself...
Let it go! Can't forget about that project back home? Got a nagging ache or just want to treat yourself? If the great views, peaceful village lifestyle and fresh air just aren't enough, ask the Sea Saba office gals to book you in to the Frangiapani Spa @ Queen's Gardens Resort. Email us for a full menu of treatments available or to organize a gift certificate for your dive buddy. We're also happy to call once you're on island.
If you feel the need for a workout, just walking Saba's roads or hiking trails is excellent exercise. Certainly you can try running our roads but unless you're a serious runner, most people feel the constant ups and downs are far too challenging. There is a (yes, singular, one) tennis court on the island but play is restricted to members. If you're not traveling with your regular tennis partner, talk to us at the Sea Saba office--John, Lynn and others all play regularly along with a handful of other locals, all at various playing levels. There are also informal Insanity and yoga classes available.
Schedule a tour that takes you from sea to summit to encounter endemic bridled quail dove, brown trembler, grass quit, hummingbirds, and the largest population of red-billed tropicbirds on the planet. We recommend an outing that is part taxi tour, part hiking which takes you to a variety of habitats to observe Caribbean birds and those that are rarely accessed elsewhere.
Image from Kai Wulf Pjotography
5 Things to do on the island of Saba:
Some people are happy to just relax by the pool with a drink..for those who want to explore, the small island Saba has plenty of activities to keep visitors happy.
1. Diving/snorkeling: Explore the Saba Marine Park whether submerged or from the surface--plenty of great marine life to be one with.
2. Hiking: The Saba Conservation Foundation has nearly 20 trails within 7 different climate zones at various levels of exertion. Stop by the Saba Trails Shop to learn more.
3. Arts & Crafts: Want to take your vacation time to aspire to a new hobby? We can happily set you up with classes ranging from cooking classes to hot glass and fusion work, jewelry making with local, natural products, portrait painting, watercolors and more.
4. Shopping: Not the same things you find on every island! Saba is proud to have it's own art gallery as well as Kakona that focuses on hand crafted items from woven shawls and knives to mosaics, hot glass work, soaps, candles and more. Unique to Saba is 130-year old tradition of Saba Lace drawn thread-work and tasty Saba Spice. You can also find quality resort wear and hiking shoes.
5. Dining: You just won't believe how fantastic Saba's restaurants are--from casual to gourmet. There's also wine tastings, gin & tonic tastings and cooking classes available.