Caribbean Tourism

Saba

Walking

Before the road was built people got about Saba by donkey or on foot and there are still numerous steep trails and stone steps linking villages which make strenuous, yet satisfying, walking. The Saba Conservation Foundation preserves and marks trails for those who like a challenge and for those who prefer a gentle stroll. All of them are accessible from the...

Excursions

There are four picture book villages on Saba, connected by a single spectacular 10½ km road which begins at the airport and ends at the pier. The road itself is a feat of engineering, designed and built by Josephus Lambert Hassell (1906-83) in the 1940s, who studied road construction by correspondence course after Dutch engineers said it was impossible to...

Shopping

Shops open 0900-1200, 1400-1800. Local crafts have been developed by the Saba Artisan Foundation in The Bottom and include dolls, books and silk-screened textiles and clothing. The typical local, drawn-thread work ‘Saba Lace’ (also known as ‘Spanish Work’ because it was learned by a Saban woman in a Spanish convent in Venezuela at the end of the last...

History

Saba was first discovered by Columbus on his second voyage in 1493 but not colonized. Sir Francis Drake sighted it in 1595, as did the Dutchmen Pieter Schouten in 1624 and Piet Heyn in 1626. Some shipwrecked Englishmen landed in 1632, finding it uninhabited. In 1635 the French claimed it but in the 1640s the Dutch settled it, building communities at Tent...

Other Sports

Tennis There is a tennis court (concrete) at the Sunny Valley Youth Centre in The Bottom which is open to the public. Basketball and Volleyball Basketball and volleyball matches are held, contact the tourist office for a schedule.

Food & Drink

Windwardside At Scout’s Place, T62205. Breakfast 0700-1000, lunch, sandwiches and salads. Saba Chinese Restaurant, T62353. Cantonese food, salads, steaks, good food, great view, open Tue-Sun 1730-2300, also lunch on Sun 1100-1500, from US$8, best bet for a late meal, no reservations. Tropics Café at Juliana’s, Windwardside, T62469. Does daily breakfast,...

Festivals

Coronation Day & Queen’s Birthday Coronation Day & Queen’s Birthday is 30 April, when there are ceremonies commemorating the coronation of Queen Beatrix and the Queen’s birthday. Carnival Carnival (Saba Summer Festival) is a week near the end of July and is celebrated with jump-ups, music and costumed dancing, shows, food, games and contests...

Flora & Fauna

In September 1998, Hurricane Georges passed just a few kilometres south of Saba, with wind speeds of 180 miles per hour high up in the hills. Many of the bigger trees were blown down, but the island quickly recovered and the lower mountain slopes became green and lush after the rain. The Elfin Forest took longer to recover. Underwater, there was some damage...

Entertainment

Most of the nightlife takes place at the restaurants. At weekends there are sometimes barbecues, steel bands and dances. Generally, though, the island is quiet at night. In Windwardside, Guido’s on Fri, Sat, pool room makes way to a disco, popular with all sections of the community, soca, reggae, rap and disco, loud. In The Bottom, there is life in the bar...

Diving & Marine Life

There are many dive sites of 27-30 m and if you are doing three dives a day you must follow your dive tables and stay within your limit. It is recommended that you take every fourth day off and rest or go hiking. All three dive operations offer à la carte diving and arrange taxi pick-ups from hotels. The waters around Saba became a marine park in 1987 and...

Accommodations

There are no resort hotels yet on Saba and even the most expensive are small and friendly. December to April is the busiest season, although divers come throughout the year. July is also busy because of Carnival and students return from foreign universities. Hotels do not usually give you a room key; there is no crime. The four policemen on the island boast...

Tourist Information

Tourist Office The Saba Tourist Board (Glenn Holm, Zuleyka and Angelique) is at Lambee’s Place in Windwardside, open Mon-Fri, 0800-1200, 1300-1700, PO Box 527, T62231, F62350, www.sabatourism.com Plenty of leaflets and maps and the staff are friendly and helpful. Tourist Office Overseas Antillenhius, Badhiusweg 173-175, 2597JP Den Haag, The Netherlands, T31...

Communication

Telephone Services Most hotels have direct dialling worldwide, otherwise overseas calls can be made from Landsradio phone booths in Windward side or The Bottom. Postal Services Airmail takes about 2 weeks to the USA or Europe. Federal Express is available. The post office in Windwardside is open 0800-1200, 1300-1700.

Getting Around

Land Car Hire There are no buses on the island but you can hire a jeep or car. Drive on the right. Johnson’s Rent A Car, at Juliana’s Guest House, Windwardside, T62469, F62389; Scout’s Place Car Rental, Windwardside, T62205, F62388; Caralfan Rent A Car Saba, T/F62575, Email: cara...@mailcity.com Doing it through a hotel can cost you US$10 more. Hitchhiking...

Getting There

Air Large aircraft cannot be accommodated although there are plans to build a longer runway. Planes do not land in bad weather in case they skid off the end. Winair (T54237 in St Maarten), the only scheduled airline, has 4-5 daily 20-seater flights from St Maarten (15 mins, US$88 return) some of which come via St Eustatius or St Barts. It is essential to...