The Best Saba Travel Guide – Saba is a volcanic island rising out of the Caribbean, and is a ‘special municipality’ of the Netherlands –. Saba is known as the “Unspoiled Queen of the Caribbean”. Nearly half of Saba’s 5 square miles (13 square km) is covered in verdant tropical rain forest; the other half is sprinkled with picturesque villages. You’ll find no franchises here. You will find small eclectic bars and restaurants that will infuse your nightlife after you’ve hiked a mountain rain forest trail, dove a dive site or just lounged by a pool with a good book. It’s easy to fall into the pace of island life. Every year, more tourists are turned on to Saba’s charms and make the 11-minute flight from St. Maarten into the tiny airport with a runway not much larger than an aircraft carrier’s.
Beyond beaches, marine life is what makes a trip to Saba so exciting. Because the underwater world in Saba is protected, you must make a reservation with one of the three tour companies to go scuba diving. The expertise of local guides will ensure that you see the best coral, tropical fish, sea turtles, and more all around the island. If you don’t have your scuba diving certification, you could always take the lessons while in Saba or simply spend a few days snorkeling. You will see almost everything that scuba divers will see right from the surface of the water. After a good exploration, a picnic on one of the beaches will be the ideal refreshment.
If you’re looking for a way to enjoy the landscape that doesn’t include hiking boots or scuba gear, Saba cruises are a great option. You can lounge in the sun aboard a charter boat or sailboat and enjoy the views of the scenic island. This is a comfortable alternative to spreading your towel on the black sand beach in Saba. Ask at your hotel if they have a recommendation for a boat tour, or you could always climb aboard a ferry as well to get the “at sea” experience. However you decide to spend your days in Saba, you will be glad you took the time to discover this unspoiled island. To learn more about all the beautiful beaches on the island of Saba, visit here, or visit us on Pinterest.
Saba Island Weather – Best Time to Visit Saba Island
The weather in Saba is consistent all year long and the average temperature is a pleasant 80°F. The high season is from mid-December through mid-April and during these months you might find Saba Island beaches to be slightly more crowded. In the summer, temperatures may climb up to 88°F, while in the winter they may occasionally drop below 70°F. The high season is mid-December to mid-April when the European and North American countries have there coldest months and residence often head to warmer climates.
Traveling during the hurricane season from the beginning of June until the end of November, risk the possibility you may encounter one of the storms.
Saba beaches may be scenic, but they don’t exactly fit the traditional profile of Caribbean beaches and their miles of sugar-white sand. This tiny island is known more for its outdoor adventures than for its sunbathing opportunities. Because of the volcanic nature and size of the island, Saba Island beaches aren’t what many travelers think of when they picture the Caribbean. If you are looking for an unspoiled island where you can indulge in adventurous activities from scuba diving to snorkeling to hiking, then Saba will be perfect for you. On the other hand, if you’re dreaming of long walks on miles of beach, you may want to spend part of your Caribbean vacation elsewhere.
Saba beaches aren’t only for sunbathing. Many visitors plan a picnic and enjoy the scenery instead of lathering on the sun tan lotion. This Caribbean island draws an adventurous crowd who are more interested in climbing Mount Scenery than baking on the beach. Visitors will have two choices of Saba Island beaches, the black sand beach at Well’s Bay or Cove Bay.
Behind a breakwater constructed from boulders to keep currents at bay, this little cove is one of the island’s two ocean swimming spots, with excellent snorkeling in calm weather. It’s sunniest in the morning; there’s a small strip of coarse sand but no amenities. Order a taxi at the airport for the return trip or hike the 4 km Spring Bay Trail to Windward side.
This marine park encircles the island, dipping down to 200 feet. It’s zoned for diving, swimming, fishing, boating, and anchorage. A unique aspect of Saba’s diving is the submerged pinnacles at about 70 feet deep. Here all forms of sea creatures rendezvous. The information center offers talks and slide shows for divers and snorkelers and provides literature on marine life. Before you visit, call to see if anyone is around.
Best Saba Restaurants
Chez Bubba Bistro $31 – 60
On a rooftop amid a lovely garden strung with fairy lights, this romantic and charming restaurant is owned by the attentive, service-oriented team at Queen’s Gardens Resort. The American-born, Netherlands-trained chef offers a menu of well-executed French classics like escargots, frog legs, salad with smoked duck breast, excellent steaks (like filet Mignon with or without a slice of foie gras), or a chicken breast roulade stuffed with blue cheese. But it’s not all meat. There’s a vegetarian quiche and fresh fish on the menu, too. Be sure to try the terrific, unusual desserts. Telephone: 599-416-2539 Web: Chez Bubba Bistro.
Queen’s Garden Restaurant $31 – 60
You can expect excellent service to go with superb Saban lobster or some other tasty offering at Queen’s Garden Restaurant. The smoked-duck-breast salad starter is mouthwatering. Go early for cocktails at the outdoor bar, overlooking the pool, then stay and be awed by the star-studded sky. Poolside parties, musical events, and theme nights with international flavors spice things up. A jacket is required for dinner. Telephone: 599-416-3494 Web: Queen’s Garden Restaurant.
Bizzy Bee Bakery Under $10
Chat with the locals in the town center while you buy sandwiches or something sweet to have with your tea or coffee. The turkey panini and breads such as cornbread, multigrain, sunflower seed, pumpkin seed, and milk bread are also tasty. The tourist bureau is right across the street. Telephone: 599-416-2900 Web: Bizzy B Bakery.
Brigadoon $31 – 60
Brigadoon has a varied menu of Caribbean and Mediterranean dishes, including several choices for vegetarians. Try local lionfish or lobster, grilled sushi-grade tuna on an organic local salad, grilled steak or pork tenderloin, or a tasty curry. On Wednesday and Friday there is shawarma on the menu (reserve by 2 on the same day), and Thursday is prime rib night. Come early to enjoy cocktails and local gossip. Telephone: 599-416-2380 Web: Brigadoon.
Island Flavor $11 – 30
The menu at Island Flavor offers everything from grilled fish to burgers to Thai-spiced chicken satay. Be sure to try one of the refreshing fruity chilled drinks. It’s open for breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snacks (on request you can have dinner here, too). Be sure to check out the craft shop next to the restaurant. Telephone: 599-416-7756 Web: Island Flavor.
Best Saba Bars & Nightlife
In the Scout’s Place bar you can meet divers, tourists and locals alike. Experience the famous sunset while enjoying a drink on one of our two terraces. Spend an afternoon by the pool overlooking the sea while sipping a cocktail, or linger in the beautiful garden courtyard to either fill in your log book or simply to relax. Telephone: 599-416-2740 Web: Scout’s Place.
Looking for somewhere that offers local, Caribbean food? An inviting atmosphere? Endless drinks? Then look no further! Stop by The Hideaway, leave all your worries and stress behind and escape at The Hideaway! Telephone: 599-416-2795 Web: The Hideaway.
Named for its original owner, Pops; this seaside hangout quickly became a staple hang-out for Saban locals and visiting tourist alike. Now, reopening its doors after a complete renovation, Pops Place hopes to reclaim some of its old charm with a flair for the real. It boasts a bar reminiscent of a ship. Its relaxed interior with subdued colors, beckons those who want a quick drink or a leisurely meal. Telephone: 599-416-3640 Web: Pop’s Place.
Swinging Doors is definitely the place where everybody knows your name. It anchors the corner in Windwardside opposite the Big Rock Market. Owner and bartender Eddie Hassell has the neighborhood watering hole recipe down pat: a well-stocked inventory, and simple fare to include hot dogs, hamburgers, French fries, etc. Telephone: 599-416-2506 Web: Swingin’ Doors.
Tropics Café’s charming terrace dining room overlooks the pool with a panoramic view of the mountainside terrain and the sparkling blue Caribbean Sea. Enhance your experience by relaxing at the pool with a cool refreshing drink and unique menu choices that only Tropic’s can provide. On Fridays, 2 for 1 beers, free Jell-O shots, and great appetizers platters. Free wine and happy hour every day from 4pm until 5pm (except Mondays). Telephone: 599-416-2469 Web: Tropics Café.
Top Saba Hotels & Accommodations (Includes St. Martin)
There are not many Saba choices for accommodations, so you can stay at nearby St. Martin and take the ferry to Saba.
This looks like my perfect vacation destination! I love that it is small and quiet, but also has all the things you need. It looks very peaceful to just sit and read a book or head out to get a bite or a drink at one of the locations you’ve mentioned.
This post is very informative and gives a lot of great information on the island itself, as well as getting there and what to do when you’re there.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on such a beautiful place!
Jen, So glad you enjoyed reading and learning about Saba Island. Yes, small and quiet, but packed with all the things you want to do on such a wonderful Caribbean Island. Thanks for visiting BeachTravelDestinations.com
This post is incredibly informative. I’m always looking for new beaches to go to (I’m border-line obsessed with the ocean), and I always love to find these hidden gems! I will be sure to add Saba to my bucket list! 😀
I am right there with you, so much so that I just recently moved close to the beach. It calls my name 😀 Glad you enjoyed the read on the Saba Island Travel Guide. Please do come back when you are ready to plan, and maybe I can help you find a great deal!
Great guide and I’ve always wanted to go to the Caribbean but had never heard of Saba before this. It looks amazing! Quick question – Do you know of any good gym’s on the island?
Yes, Saba is amazing! There are two gyms on Saba. One is in Windwarside behind Rumours (the pizzaria) and the other is at school (behind the library). Both have a number of Nautilus type machines as well as free weights and benches. The school gym just opened in mid-semester, so everything is brand new In additon to the machines, it has a treadmill. The Windwarside gym has (I believe) more free weights. So, you will be able to keep up with your work out while also having fun 🙂
The only thing I like more than going to the Caribbean, is learning about new places to visit in the Caribbean! Did I read correctly that no passport is required to visit? That’s so cool! Although I have one, it makes me intrigued to see what kind of island it is. From my experiences, the smaller the island, the cooler the experience. Saba is definitely getting put on my list of places to go next.
Yep, no passport and you are right, small island does equate to a very unique and fun experience. Thanks for digitally experiencing Saba Island. Hopefully you can plan and make your visit to this Caribbean paradise soon!
The island doesn’t look big enough to land a plane on in the big picture above but when I read what was on the island all together I was quite shocked and impressed, just looking at it it looks inhabited to be honest, could I take the whole family there, kids and all?
It isn’t that big of an island, but yes you could take the entire family there. They have great villas available and the price is better than, say going to St Lucia or one of the other popular Caribbean Islands. Thanks for visiting the Saba Island Travel Guide Matthew!
What a beautiful island! Thank you for posting information about the recent hurricane and its impact on Saba. I am looking to visit early next year. Is there a hotel that is best with children? Thanks!
Yes it is beautiful! Your best bet for a great hotel good for children is going to be The Cottage Club Hotel. The price is actually really great and these are cottages with a kitchen and family area, along with all the amenities of a hotel. You and your family would feel at home and have a wonderful time staying here. Please let me know if you have any other questions.
It’s good to read that Saba made it out of this hurricane season OK so far. I have been wanting and planning a trip there, but wanted to make sure that the island was intact and taking visitors 🙂 I am definitely looking for some relaxation and fun in the sun. You have provided everything for me, awesome site and information on Saba. The perfect place… quiet, romantic, and relaxing… with great beaches! Thank you for sharing!
Yes, it is good that they missed all the devastation. Now you are good to go and can start planning your fun in the sun. Saba is definitely a great Caribbean island that stands out for being peaceful, quitter, and of course with amazing beaches. Let me know if you need any more information.
What a nice little island. I have never heard of Saba, yet I’ve been to St. Marteen twice and totally loved it. Best beaches in my opinion and very safe. Im happy I found and learned something new today. Thank you so much.
Yes, most people have not heard of Saba before making it kind of a gem in the Caribbean, as you will find the tourist crowd to be a little (maybe a lot) less than other Caribbean islands. I would have to say that the beaches of Saba are going to be very comparable to those of St. Martin. You would enjoy Saba for sure! Thank you for reading the Saba Island Travel Guide!
I also loved to travel just like everyone else but I really like researching the place before going to truly understand and appreciate the beauty and uniqueness of the place.
I have not went to Saba Island but it is definitely one of goal to be able to one day travel there.
I really enjoyed your article, as it was just about everything I needed to know about this place! Will definitely come back to your site again! Thanks! 🙂
Great and thank you for reading the Saba Island Travel Guide. I am glad you were able to find the information you were looking for! Saba Island is a unique and great Caribbean island for sure.
It is sad to know saba was hit by the hurricane but it still seems like a great place to vacation .I love the recommendations on the hotel and restaurants it really gives you a lot of choices, The island looks beautiful and I like the way you talk about its history and all the fun things you can do on this island. Awesome post about Saba Island
Thank you so much Alesia, and I am glad you enjoyed reading the Saba Island Travel Guide. Yes, I am sure with their rebuilding efforts, they will be beautiful once again real soon. Thanks for visiting!
Very nice web page on Saba. My wife and I have traveled extensively in the Caribbean and have never been to Saba. Glad to hear it was spared by the hurricane. You provide a lot of good information about the Island. Very informative. Makes the reader want to visit the Island. Personally, I prefer the less traveled spots in the Caribbean. This is one of them and I’m glad. I love the recommendations on hotels and restaurants on the island. Saba is worth looking into for a vacation. Thanks for the great information, Saba is definitely a destination I am now planning!
Thank you so much, and yes it is less traveled to but so worth it. If you have any questions or need help with planning, please let me know! Thanks for visit the Saba Island Travel Guide!
I have visited your site on numerous occassions and I must say you are very thorough with your reviews of the islands. Thank you for putting in so much effort.
Saba sounds like a perfect place and I will definitely be putting this on my “bucket list” as a destination to visit soon. I have had my mind set on a Caribbean vacation, and Saba seems to be the perfect beach getaway for me.
My one concern is the sharks you mention, have there been any shark attacks on swimmers? When anyone mentions sharks I immediately get images in my brain from the movie “Jaws”.. LOL
You are so welcome Moni, and I am glad you have enjoyed visiting BeachTravelDestinations.com. Yes, there is the threat of sharks in the waters of Saba, but their worst threat is hurricanes. They have been hit with more high winds from hurricanes than most any other islands. So avoiding hurricane season, will take away most threats when visiting the island.
Looks like an idyllic little island. Shame to hear it has been affected by hurricane Irma. Looking at that luscious landscape it makes me want to book a vacation somewhere in the Carribean.
Do you know if they have bike rental available over there? I like to cycle a lot. Perhaps the island roads are too steep and winding though for a tourist bike ride?
It is idyllic that is for sure. Luckily they were not heavily damaged and they are already on the road to repair 🙂 Because of the steep incline of the land, with few areas that have flat surfaces, biking would be a tremendous workout. That is probably why there are no bike or moped rentals on the island. Thanks for visiting the Saba Island Travel Guide.
My husband, children and I planned to charter a boat in St Martin or St Vincent and then head to Saba, but because of the hurricane Irma, we decided to cancel the trip. Now that the place has recovered, we can finally go sailing there. Awesome!
Since the municipality is Nederlands, what is the most spoken language in Saba? Dutch?
Thank you for this useful Saba travel guide!
Yes, Dutch is the official language of the Netherlands, as well as what is predominantly spoken in Saba. If you speak English, you will feel comfortable in Saba, as many speak very good English. Yes, they did not suffer much damage from the hurricane thankfully, and welcome visitors. Thanks for visiting the Saba Island Travel Guide.