Rising straight up from the abyssal depths, this rugged, volcanic island is like a piece of the Pacific teleported to the Caribbean. With a quaint, European charm above the waterline and pristine diving below, Saba calls itself “The Unspoiled Queen.” Healthy reefs with incredible visibility and marine life-covered pinnacles are all protected by Saba Marine Park.
On land, the Saba Conservation Foundation protects the unspoiled wilderness. As you’d expect from a volcanic island, underwater structures and seamounts offer amazing views.
Complemented by shallow patch reefs, Saba has a nice mix of dives ranging from exhilarating drifts over “bottomless” drop-offs to mellow dives on sites full of juvenile fish and interesting invertebrates.
What To Expect
Saba offers incredible dives for both beginner and experienced divers alike. Being surrounded by a marine park for over 25 years, divers can find pristine reefs with an abundance of marine life.
Scuba diving in Saba is an unforgettable experience that offers a unique opportunity to explore the island’s underwater world and see some of the most beautiful marine life in the Caribbean.
Keep your eye out for:
- Sea turtles
- Moray eels
- Caribbean reef sharks
Saba is surrounded by waters protected by the Saba National Marine Park. The Saba Marine Park surrounds the entire island to a depth of 200 feet. This park was established to preserve and manage Saba’s marine resources. It is one of the few self-sustaining marine parks and has a system of mooring buoys for boats to prevent damage to the reefs. Visitors pay $3 per dive to help preserve the marine park and protect Saba’s beautiful underwater world.
Saba’s culture is a unique blend of Caribbean, Dutch and English influences, characterized by a strong sense of community and pride in heritage. The island has a special charm to it with art, fishing and agriculture all being important aspects to daily life. The island is also full of natural beauty with the lushness of Mount Scenery and surrounding turquoise waters. Saba’s culture is shaped by the island’s history, geography and close-knit community, making it a unique and vibrant destination.
Adventure seekers can hike up Mount Scenery, the highest point on the island of Saba. The mountain is covered in lush tropical rainforest, which is home to a variety of flora and fauna including several species that are found only on Saba. Multiple trails can take visitors up the mountain, offering stunning views of the surrounding sea.
Saba National Marine Park
The Saba National Marine Park circles the entire island and was created to preserve and manage Saba’s marine resources. The park boasts more than 30 permanently moored dive sites and is managed by the Saba Conservation Foundation. From shallow patch reefs to deepwater seamounts, Saba offers a variety of topography all protected by the National Marine Park. You can explore the Saba National Marine Park by snorkeling or diving in the abundant waters surrounding the island.
Dive Ladder Bay
Divers and snorkelers can enjoy an abundant area known as Ladder Bay. This area has natural labyrinths and groove formations created by volcanic lava flow. Here, visitors can see nurse sharks, sea turtles, eels and tarpon. With healthy coral formations and surrounding seagrass, marine life is abundant in Dive Ladder Bay.
What prior travelers say
“If anyone is into diving or thinking about getting into diving, Diventures is the absolute best! They make learning and travel so enjoyable! Can’t wait for my next trip with Diventures!”
Know Before You Go
Dive insurance is required on all Diventures trips. We recommend purchasing DAN dive insurance.
Travel insurance is not required but is highly recommended for all Diventures trips. We recommend purchasing DAN trip insurance.
Saba offers year-round diving with seasonal differences in water temperature and surface conditions. The water temperature varies between 77º-84ºF. Visibility ranges from a minimum of 60ft to virtually unlimited. Swells and heavy rainfall may influence visibility, but typically it clears again very quickly.
Daytime temperature on Saba averages around 81°F. Easterly trade winds and the mountain create ever-changing cloud movements. Temperatures will always be cooler on the top of Mt. Scenery.
Electricity on the islands is the US Standard, 110 volts. For American electronics, there is no need for a converter.
Courtesy & Dress
Casual sportswear is an appropriate dress anytime on Saba. Bathing suits are not appropriate within the villages. Being shirtless in any of Saba’s villages is actually against the law.
Everyone speaks English, although Dutch is the official language.
Currency, Taxes & Tipping
Saba uses the US dollar. There are ATMs in Windwardside and the Bottom. Credit cards (including foreign cards) are accepted at larger establishments. Service charges are included on restaurant bills, so no further tipping is necessary. However, gratuity is not included at Tropics Cafe, so tipping will be necessary there. At hotels, a 10% to 15% service charge is generally at the discretion of the guest. Tipping taxi drivers and guides are at the visitors’ discretion.
Getting to Saba
All travel to Saba happens through St. Maarten, so a hopper flight is needed to get to the island. Only a twelve-minute flight, but what a twelve minutes they are! On takeoff, you’ll soar gracefully upward banking hard right to swing around in the direction of Saba. Out over the turquoise sea, that sharp silhouette in the distance with clouds atop is your destination! The runway at Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport is only 400m in length and is reputed to be the shortest commercial airstrip in the world. You’ll get the real sense of landing on an aircraft carrier as you’ll see the waters of Cove Bay to the left and the Caribbean Sea to the right of the runway. The approach is practically at a cliff, the rugged terrain of Saba blocks out the entire sky as you peer over the shoulders of your pilots. Then it’s a sharp bank left and a gentle touchdown.
Need help packing?
We can’t pack for you, but we can share our packing list and travel tips.