Saba is the smallest Islands of the Netherland Antilles but it has also the highest peak of Netherlands with 888 meters at Mount Scenery. With her volcanic origin, Saba is only about 12 minutes from St Maarten by plane. Saba is also very hilly and doesn’t have beach. However the island of Saba is a fine example of ecotourism in action. Tourism is relatively new to Saba, considering the airport opened in 1963, and the pier was completed in 1972 and only one road (called The Road) goes through the Island. Being so small and so remote, few travellers visit and those who do find Saba to be a truly unspoiled paradise.


Christopher Columbus is said to have sighted Saba on November 13, 1493, but did not land, as the island's perilously rocky shores were a major deterrent to Columbus and his crew. In 1632 a group of shipwrecked Englishmen landed upon Saba; they stated they found the island uninhabited when they were retrieved by others. But there has been some evidence found indicating that Carib or Arawak Indians may have been on the island. In 1635 a stray Frenchman claimed Saba for Louis XIII of France and around the year 1640, the Dutch West India Company sent people from the neighbouring island of St. Eustatius to colonize the island. The remains of the 1640 settlements can be found on the west side at Tent Bay. The Netherlands finally took possession of Saba in 1816 after a spell of British occupation during the Napoleonic era. After being part of the Netherlands Antilles until 1986, Saba is now a special municipality of the Netherlands.


The population of Saba consists of only about 1,500 people who come from all over the world. The island's small size has led to a fairly small number of island families, who can trace their last names back to around a half-dozen families. This means that many last names are shared around the island, the most numerous being Hassell and Johnson. Most families are a rich intermixing of Dutch, Scottish, Irish, and African heritage.


To See

Saba is a magical place for scuba diving, hiking, ecotourism & adventure, nature trails & walks, birding, climbing, or just admiring the nature!  Mount Scenery is an extinct volcano rising from the floor of the Caribbean. In Saba, the Artisan Foundation exhibits early examples of Saba Lace, intricate embroidery on linen that resembles lace. Local specialities include calaloo soup, curried goat and an abundance of exotic fruit. The island’s four villages are mere clusters of ornate timber cottages perching on the flanks of the mountain. Vegetation becomes increasingly lush towards the summit and the crater itself holds a tropical rainforest scattered with exotic flowers. Saba's beauty extends below the waterline into an exciting marine environment rich in corals and active with fish life.

Usefull Information

Airports: SAB-Juancho E Yrausquin Airport.

Area: 13 sq km (5 sq miles).

Business: Opening hours are from Monday to Friday 0830-1130 and 1330-1630.

Capital: The Bottom.

Climate: Hot, but tempered by cooling trade winds. When climbing Mount Scenery, the temperature will drop slightly when gaining in altitude.

Clothing: Lightweights and cottons are worn throughout the year. Umbrellas or light waterproofs are needed for the rainy season. Bathing suits are not appropriate within the villages. A light wrap may be needed in the evenings in the wintertime.

Currency: Netherland Antilles Florin (NAG). Traveller's checks and cash are preferred. Credit cards also widely accepted.

Customs: The following items may be imported into Saba by tourists over 15 years of age only, without incurring customs duty: 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 100 cigarillos or 250g tobacco; 2l of alcoholic beverages; gifts to a value of NAG100.

Economy: Saba has some agriculture, producing sorghum, groundnuts, fruit and vegetables, as well as a modest fishing operation. There is no manufacturing industry other than textiles. Tourism is the most important part of the service sector.

Electricity: 110/220 volts AC, 60Hz.
Entry & Departure requirements: Please refer to the official Saba tourism websites (link below) or ask us.

Health: There is one hospital in The Bottom plus the University School of Medicine. Medical insurance is essential.

Holidays: New Year’s day (01 JAN), Good Friday & Easter Monday (MAR-APR), Queen’s Birthday (APR), Labour Day (01MAY),  Ascension (MAY-JUN),  Antillean Day (JUL), Saba  Day (DEC),  Christmas (25-26DEC).

Language: Dutch is the official language. Papiamento (a mixture of Portuguese, African, Spanish, Dutch and English) is the commonly used. English and Spanish are also widely spoken.

Political status: Special municipality of the Netherlands (Dutch Caribbean).

Population: Approximately 1500.

Religion: Roman Catholic majority; also Anglican and Wesleyan.

Security: There is no crime on Saba but elementary precautions are always important to respect.

Shopping: Shopping hours are from Monday to Saturday 0800-1200 and 1400-1800. Artists find Saba a perfect inspiration for their work. Many watercolours, photographs, jewellery and books are displayed in two art galleries.

Taxes & Service charges: The government room tax of 5% is automatically added to your bill. A service charge of 10% or 15% will be added to your bill. For taxis and guides, tip at your own discretion.

Telecommunications: The international dialling code to call Saba is 599.

Time: Standard Time Zone: GMT – 4 hrs. Saba Island Time does not operate Daylight-Saving Time.

Transportation: Saba has one road, 15km (9.5 miles) long, bisecting the island from the airport to Fort Bay. Traffic drives on the right.



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