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About Saba


Unspoiled Queen


Saba is called the "Unspoiled Queen" because of her protected natural habitats, home to a diverse and thriving wildlife. A small, quiet island, Saba has a lot to offer people who value the natural world. Saba will appeal to those who appreciate an unspoiled natural environment and want to be able to enjoy it in peaceful and friendly surroundings. Saba has no high rise hotels, no traffic or traffic lights, no pesky insects, no crowds, no fast food, no casinos and no cruise ships! The overwhelming appeal is the opportunity to completely unwind and discover the natural beauty of this island - in the rain forest or the ocean.
 



                          Saba is a beautiful tiny island – where you can indulge your passion for the natural world.
                           An "undiscovered" dive destination it offers divers some very special habitats to explore.
                                     Saba has no crowds, no crime, no resorts, no high rises, no "pesky insects" !


         


Off the Beat Track - The Authentic Caribbean

Saba really is "off the beaten track", only 5 square miles, the smallest island of the Dutch Caribbean, formerly the Netherlands Antilles. Saba welcomes just 25,000 tourists each year, and the island is very relaxed, free of any mass tourism. Saba is in the eastern Caribbean, 170 miles east of Puerto Rico and 30 miles south of St. Martin/Sint Maarten. It has just 1500 residents, living mainly in The Bottom (the capital). "Bottom" is a corruption of the Dutch word for "Botte" which means bowl. Saba has just one road called……The Road. The weather is typical Dutch Caribbean averaging 27°c (81°f), with a cool breeze. As a tropical island the climate does not change much, warm and sunny all year. However Saba, like St. Martin/Sint Maarten has higher rainfall than the other Dutch Caribbean islands, which feeds the lush rain forest on the island. The rain is in short downpours, usually September to early December. After the rain - warm and sunny again.

Saba - one of the smallest islands in the Caribbean won the "2010 Top Island in the Caribbean" - a truly remarkable achievement.


History

The Caribbean has always been an important trading hub and many nationalities have settled on the Caribbean islands. In 1664 early French and Dutch settlers were evicted by the buccaneer Sir Henry Morgan. In the 17th and 18th centuries, Saba was a haven for pirates, most notably, Hiram Breaks, who coined the phrase "Dead Men Tell No Tales." Saba was under English, French, Spanish and Dutch rule for many years, coming under Dutch rule in 1816, and is still part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. There are two official languages on Saba: Dutch and English, but English is the predominant language. The various nationalities blended into that wonderful Dutch Caribbean cultural mix, peaceful, friendly and very relaxed.


Saba's Natural World

Saba's natural attractions are the big attraction and most activities are based around the appreciation of the island's natural beauty. You can hike around Saba's rain forest on marked trails that pass old ruins, through caves, through the rain forest. The dense rain forest can be seen through the light clouds on Mount Scenery (862 m) - the highest point in the Kingdom of the Netherlands ! Although the island has modern facilities, Islanders' are very conservation conscious and have opposed any major commercial development. The islanders' heritage of farming, fishing and seamanship has generated this appreciation of their natural environment. The Saba Conservation Foundation was founded to protect and preserve the natural environment and cultural heritage. Saba is a volcanic island, there are no bays or beaches, but the island is rich in flora and fauna. Saba offers a level of diversity that seems impossible given its extremely small size - over 60 species of birds and 200 species of fish. The Saba Conservation Foundation protects the nature and cultural heritage of the island. The Saba Marine Park protects the ocean around the island.


Diving - A Whole New World

European divers have only recently discovered the fantastic diving on this tiny island. Saba is a dormant volcano that rises steeply from the ocean - hot springs, lava tunnels, massive walls and huge pinnacles that rise to within 25 metres of the surface. Clear water conditions enable divers and snorkellers can see some wonderful underwater features, marine creatures and larger ocean-roaming creatures.

BBC NEWS CHANNEL  -  Marine Treasure Found  
By Rebecca Morelle  BBC News science reporter.
An underwater mountain with some of the richest diversity of marine life in the Caribbean has been found by scientists.
During a two-week dive researchers discovered scores more species of fish than previously known in the region and vast beds of "seaweed cities".  The find was made in the Saba Bank Atoll. 
Click the links above for more about Saba's nature, diving and snorkelling.


Accommodation

There is, as you would expect, no large "tourism industry" on Saba, although visitors do provide the main source of income. Accommodation on the island is in small hotels - bags of character and personal service. Hotel rooms, studio rooms and cottages - all have the usual modern conveniences - including kitchens so you have the freedom to self-cater should you wish. Click the Accommodation link for more information.
Nightlife
The nightlife is casual, intimate and friendly - based on the hotels, restaurants and bars. If you have come to Saba to enjoy the natural treasures it offers, this will be the kind of night life you relish and cannot get elsewhere in the world. Click Things To Do for more information.


Health & Safety As safe as Saba !

Saba is one of the safest places in the world thanks to the residents, a tight knit community, who are exceptionally welcoming to tourists. Island authorities say there is no crime on Saba. The Dutch Caribbean has a rich cultural heritage. This cultural mix has given each island a welcoming atmosphere. There are no dangerous animals or insect-borne diseases on Saba Island.    
There are no special vaccinations required for the Dutch Caribbean - no major health issues. Please see our "Practical Stuff" page for more information on the more mundane, but important, details that will help your holiday go well. Whatever your preference, enjoying the fantastic weather in peace or enjoying outdoor sports, we are experienced in organising holidays in the Dutch Caribbean. We would be delighted to prepare a holiday proposal for you. We love talking about these wonderful islands, feel free to contact us by phone. Please see the links to information about this island and our company - above. There is so much more to say and see ! Pictures can be enlarged by clicking on them.