Saba Travel Guide

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Everything you need to know before you fly to Saba

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Average Trip Cost

NA

When To Go

December to May

Official Currency

United States Dollar

Ideal Length Of Stay

5 to 7 days

About Saba

Saba, a municipality of the Netherlands, is a mountaintop island in the Caribbean with most of its landmass underwater.  Its mere 5 square miles is sparsely populated.  Indeed, you can see the few humble abodes that reside on this island clinging to the mountainside.  They are accessible only by a few winding roads.  

Saba is an island-hopping destination from neighboring islands like Saint Martin.  Visitors can go to Saba for day trips via ferry boat or flight or stay for a while in one of the island’s quaint inns.  New to the tourism industry, Saba hosts about 25,000 visitors every year.  

Saba is an unspoiled Queen of the Caribbean as she is so aptly named.  Home to some of the best scuba diving in the Caribbean, Saba is one of the Caribbean’s best kept secrets even as it sits in plain view.  

With a diverse population and just under 2000 residents, Saba is a melting pot with residents from all over the world.  Dutch, Scottish, Irish, and African traditions permeate the area with a predominant amount of its residents’ hailing from that shared ancestry.  Consequently, it is not uncommon to hear Dutch and English spoken fluently throughout the island.  

Saba is also home to the Saba University School of Medicine, where over 500 students are in residence.  

Sometimes good things come in small packages.

The Saba Marine National Park circles the island and allows for diving up to 110 feet.  It also boasts a snorkeler’s trail, which is an area specifically designated for snorkelers to see the best of the underwater world. 

If you are adventurous, climb the 1064 steps to the top of Mount Scenery, the highest point in the Kingdom of the Netherlands.  Eclectic bars and restaurants will be your entertainment when you stay on the island.  Though it is close to Saint Martin, Saba does not engage in the hustle and bustle of its neighbor.  After a day of lounging on the beach, snorkeling or diving the clear waters, and enjoying a wonderful meal, you’ll see why the islanders prefer relaxation to round the clock activity.

Saba, your home away from home.  Come see what the world is like at a slower pace.  Let your gait slow, your mind relax, and your body unwind in this veritable paradise. You’ll be happy you tried this more relaxed approach to vacationing.  Saba – the quintessential island paradise will earn a place in your heart forever.

Where To Stay In Saba

Hotel inventory in Saba is limited, and most visitors stay in private rental and guesthouses.  That said, some of the places to stay at in Saba include: 

  • Queen’s Garden Resort 
  • Scout’s Place 
  • El Momo Cottages 

Activities In Saba

Major tourist activities in Saba include:

  • Learning about the history and people of Saba at one or more of its museums, including Dutch Museum Saba, Harry L Johnson Museum, Maj Osmar Simmons Museum, and Saba Heritage Center
  • Snorkeling and diving the shallow patch reefs to deep underwater seamounts in the Saba Marine Park and Saba Bank 
  • Hiking to the lower slopes and the summit of Mount Scenery, the highest point on the island at 2,877 feet
  • Shopping for arts and crafts at one of the local galleries
  •  

Facts About Saba

Size:

5 square miles 

Population:

1,991 

Official Languages:

Dutch & English

Demonym:

Sabans

Capital City:

The Bottom

Government:

Municipality of the Netherlands

Telephone Country Code:

284

Driving:

 right side of the road

Local Beer:

variety

National Dish:

Goat Meat with peas and rice

Main Airport:

Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport (SAB)

Electricity:

120 V/60 Hz – plugs are US standard two and three-prong

Visa Information For Saba

Saba is a municipality of the Netherlands and as such, the Dutch immigration rules apply.  That said, visas are not required for citizens of North America, Australia, and most European Union countries.  All visitors to Saba need to have a valid passport that is valid for six months after your trip and an onward or return ticket.  

How Long Does It Take To Get A Visa For Saba

With a valid passport and supporting documents, it typically takes two weeks for a Saba visa application to be processed by the nearest Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. An approved visa application grants entry to Saba for three months.  

Is It Safe In Saba

Saba is one of the safest islands in the Caribbean. Crime levels in Saba is extremely low, but visitors should take sensible precautions to secure their possessions.

How To Get To Saba

Most visitors to Saba arrive via Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport (IATA: SAB, ICAO: TNCS).  At just 1,312 feet long, is has the distinction of being the shortest commercial runway in the world and is flanked on both sides by high hills, with cliffs that drop into the sea. 

That said, there are no nonstop flights from the United States, Canada, or Europe to Saba.  Most North American and European visitors to Saba first fly to the Princess Juliana International Airport (IATA: SXM, ICAO: TNCM) on nearby Sint Maarten and then connect to Saba.  

Within the Caribbean region, book flights to Saba via:

  • Anguilla Air Services (Charter): Anguilla
  • SXM Airways (Charter): Sint Maarten
  • Winair: Saint Barthélemy, Sint Eustatius, Sint Maarten (Charter: Antigua)
  • Windward Express (Charter): Sint Maarten

When To Go To Saba

The most popular time to visit Saba is from mid-December to mid-April when the weather is warm, sunny, and typically dry.  From August to late October is the low season as temperatures are hot and muggy; also, there is an increased risk of tropical storms.  

Major events attracting visitors to Saba include:

  • January: November: Saba Rainbow Festival
  • July: Saba Carnival 
  • October: Sea & Learn 
  • November: Saba Lobster Festival 
  • November: Saba Rainbow Festival
  • December: Saba Days 

Weather In Saba

The weather in Saba is mild all year round.  The temperature averages 80°F in summer but can dip to 63°F in winter.  The island benefits from the trade winds that bring a breeze that can render the island cool in the evenings.  August through October is the island’s rainy season and hurricanes.  The dry season is from December through July.

Getting Married In Saba

Marriage Requirements:

Couples wishing to get married in Saba will need to send a letter requesting permission addressed to the Lt. Governor of Saba. It should be sent in advance to secure a date and obtain all of the necessary information. 

Documents Required:

In addition to the completed application for marriage, both the bride and groom will need their:

  • passports 
  • birth certificates along with driver’s licenses or other forms of identification
  • certificates of no impediment or single status report no older than six months

Also, if applicable: 

  • divorce papers, i.e., decree absolute and/or death certificate of spouse
  • proof of parental consent if under 18, stamped and signed by a solicitor
  • proof of name change by Deed Poll, stamped and signed by a solicitor

Note: The documents should be presented three weeks before notification of marriage.

Witnesses: 

 Two witnesses must be present at the ceremony.  When applying for the marriage license, you will need to submit a copy of their passports.   

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