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 rainforest 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.
Below the waterline lies a colorful kingdom of coral teeming with sharks, turtles and luminous tropical fish. Scuba diving is renowned here, but there are also opportunities for free diving, snorkeling or swimming at one of Saba’s two ocean coves.
Sabans are a tight-knit group; nothing happens without everyone hearing about it, making crime pretty much a nonissue. They welcome newcomers and tend to make travelers feel less like tourists and more like old friends. Before you leave Saba’s shores, you will have experienced the true beauty and community of Saba, made new friends and, like many others before you, a return visit will be the only thing on your mind. To learn more about all the beautiful beaches on the island of Saba, visit here. Now view our Saba Island Caribbean Travel Guide to help plan your next Saba Island Caribbean vacation!
Saba Weather – When to Visit
The average temperature in Saba is a mild 80°F, which generally varies only a few degrees. 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.
Stone and concrete steps—1,064 of them—rise to a mahogany grove at the summit. En route, the steps pass giant elephant ears, ferns, begonias, mangoes, palms, and orchids—six identifiable ecosystems in all. Staff at the Trail Shop in Windward side can provide a field guide. Have your hotel pack a lunch, wear sturdy shoes, and take a jacket and water. The three-hour round-trip is best begun in the early morning.
Harry L Johnson Museum
Surrounded by wildflowers, this pint-sized museum occupies a quaint 1840-built sea-captain’s cottage and is crammed with an eclectic collection. Highlights include vintage photographs of Dutch royalty, Saba’s first telephone, the Steinway piano hoisted up the Ladder by eight strong Saban lads, and an old rock oven. A museum guide brings the stories behind the objects to life. Outside, look for the large cistern used to gather water and, above it, the family cemetery.
Until the mid-20th century, before Fort Bay was enlarged as a port, everything – from supplies to the Queen – was hauled up to the Bottom via the Ladder, a series of more than 800 steps built into the rock on the island’s west coast. Panoramic views aside, these days there’s not much here other than an abandoned customs house halfway along the route. Snorkeling is possible in the bay when the weather’s calm.
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 Windwardside.
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.
Things to Do in Saba
Saba Divers is an award-winning dive center with its main priority on non crowded, safe and fun dives. They organize all you need on the beautiful island. Hotel rooms, restaurant reservations, transfers, hiking tour etc. Their instructors are top notch, friendly and professional and with a passion and love for diving themselves. They are focus on custom designed diving and quality over quantity. Telephone: 599-416-2526 Web: Saba Divers.
Saba Ocean Adventures
Saba Ocean Adventures, based in The Bottom, Saba, Dutch Caribbean, offers Inter-Island Charters, Sport fishing Charters, Circle-Island Tours, Sunset Cruises and Snorkeling Trips. Telephone: 599-416-5557 Web: Saba Ocean Adventures.
At Sea Saba, they recognize that choosing the right dive operation can make the difference between a good dive trip and an extraordinary diving experience. The combination of the most experienced dive team, great boats, attentive service and professionalism are the ingredients that allow them to provide the utmost in your underwater experience. Big boats don’t mean big crowds. Their 40-foot boats have 2 decks with sun protection, sturdy platforms and ladders. With 2 boats, they can split our divers according to experience levels and diving styles. For more than 30 years, Sea Saba is the proven dive center in the region. Telephone: 599-416-2246 Web: Sea Saba.
Saba Freediving School
Saba Freediving School offers all the advantages and benefits for learning how to free dive, obtaining your freediving certification, and discovering the magical waters of Saba. It doesn’t matter whether you are an apprentice or an advanced free diver, you can always count on the support of one of our AIDA specialists. They specialize in freediving Animal Encounter expeditions. Telephone: 599-416-9213 Web: Saba Freediving School.
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.
Best Saba Hotels
Pete’s Cottage is a detached holiday home for adults set in Windwardside in the Saba Region. Guests benefit from terrace, garden and porch. Free WiFi is provided throughout the property. The kitchen comes with an oven, a microwave and a fridge, as well as a coffee machine. Towels and bed linen are provided at Pete’s Cottage. Guests can enjoy various activities in the surroundings, including diving, hiking and swimming.
Selera Dunia Boutique Hotel
Located on the small island of Saba, Selera Dunia Boutique Hotel offers a peaceful garden and charming rooms with stunning mountain views. Each spacious room has free Wi-Fi and cable TV. A tour desk and free parking are available at the property. Bars and restaurants can be found in nearby Windward Side village, while hiking trails and secluded beaches are within a 5-minute drive. Juancho E Yrausquin Airport is 3.1 miles away.
Scout’s Place Hotel
Scout’s Place Hotel is your all-in-one-resort on Saba. A cozy Caribbean Inn with a local bar, excellent restaurant and an award winning dive center round off the picture. Their friendly staff can organize all your activities on Saba and provide you with the information you need to spend a great time hiking, diving or just relaxing on our lovely island. They are committed to make your stay unforgettable and fun.
The Cottage Club Hotel
Privacy, tranquility and comfortable amenities combined with attentive and charming service are an integral part of your stay at The Cottage Club. Conveniently situated to the activities of Windwardside Village, yet seemly miles from civilization, this lovely collection of Saban cottages and the central Great House, surrounded by lush palm-filled tropical gardens, provide a low-key estate like setting.
El Momo Cottages
Peace – Nature – Silence. Nature lovers who enjoy priceless amenities of tropical flowers, palm trees and hammocks overlooking a deep blue sea and warm hospitality will find El Momo to be the perfect retreat. It’s small, quiet, charming and a little “Robinson Crusoe like”; A little piece of paradise where time moves slowly and attention is paid to details. They have breathtaking sea views and fantastic ocean sunsets from October to March.