Saba Travel Guide & Saba Photos |



Welcome to the Island of Saba, part of Netherlands Antilles, in the Caribbean - LukeTravels.comô

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There are no public buses and no scooters or bicycles for rent on Saba, which makes taxis (or your feet) the best way to go. Taxis usually meet flights; fares are fixed by the government. Saba has very narrow and steep roads that may intimidate some drivers.

Even Sabans are challenged by tight corners in Windwardside - you'd be hard pressed to find a car that doesn't bear scrape marks from kissing at least one stone wall!

If you must have your own vehicle, remember that there aren't many rental cars on the island so try to book in advance. The main rental outlets are in Windwardside. Your home driver's license is valid on Saba. The island's sole gas station is in Fort Bay. Drive on the right side of the road. Hitchhiking is a common means of transportation. In Windwardside, the main hitching spot is near the wall by the Big Rock Market; in the Bottom it's by the Department of Public Works.


When you stand at the airport and look up the mountain, you see the village of Hell's Gate, whose houses seem to cling precariously to the slopes. The road from the airport to Windwardside passes directly through the village. The main landmark in Hell's Gate is the Holy Rosary Church, a seemingly old stone church built just three decades ago.

Behind the church, Hell's Gate Community Center sells the best collection of Saba lace on the island as well as bottles of homemade Saba Spice liqueur. The ride from Hell's Gate to Windwardside is steep and winding. It passes through a variety of terrains, offering some fine scenic views of Saba itself and glimpses of the neighboring islands of Sint Eustatius, St Kitts, Nevis and St Barts.


Although the waters off Saba's east coast are often turbulent, Cove Bay, near the airport, has a little boulder-protected pool that provides a safe spot for cooling off on a hot day. The bay is reached after a five-minute walk along the side road that begins just outside the terminal. Along the road into Cove Bay, there's a signposted trail leading from an old leather factory (now a classroom for medical students) out along coastal bluffs to some nice tidal pools at Flat Point, behind the airport. The hike takes about 15 minutes each way.

SABA - Island of Saba - Dutch Caribbean - - Luke Handzlik
Saba | Windwardside & Mt. Scenery covered in clouds
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The island's largest hamlet, Windwardside has curving alleyways lined with picturesque cottages and flower-filled gardens. Being on the windward side of the island, just below Mt Scenery, this hillside village is lush and green and a tad cooler than other parts of the island. Windwardside makes the best base for visitors, as it has the most hotels, restaurants and shops, as well as the tourist office, the museum, a good art gallery and the trailhead to Mt Scenery.

While walking around you'll probably notice that many homes have Dutch doors, the top halves of which are commonly kept open in the evening, allowing people to chat from their living rooms with neighbors strolling by.

The Saba Museum is in a garden-like setting surrounded by wildflowers, including black-eyed susans, the official island flower.

The museum is in a typical Saban home, whitewashed with green-shuttered windows, and re-creates the living quarters of a 19th century Dutch sea captain.


There's a four-poster bed with period decor, a collection of pottery fragments, Amerindian hand tools and lots of memorabilia, including maritime documents, sextants and a compass. Windwardside is just east of the middle of the island, about halfway between Hell's Gate and the Bottom, and connected to each by road.

SABA - Island of Saba - Dutch Caribbean - - Luke Handzlik
This is the Island of Saba | View from our cottage & Mt. Scenery
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The Bottom is Saba's administrative center, but beyond that it's a quiet, lovely town. As you first enter, you'll come upon the Department of Public Works, a former schoolhouse flanked by tall night-blooming cacti that give off a wonderful fragrance in the evening. On the next corner is the Anglican Church, a picturesque stone structure more than 200 years old. The town also has a couple of cobblestone streets lined with old stone walls.

The Bottom is located in the southwest corner of the island. A kilometer-long road leads to Fort Bay, the island's commercial port, on the southwestern coast. This winding section of road leads down through dry terrain punctuated by Turk's-head cacti. Fort Bay has dive shops, the marine park office, the island's power station, a water desalination plant and Saba's only gas station and hyper baric chamber. While there's no beach at Fort Bay, it's possible to join the local kids swimming at the pier.

SABA - Island of Saba - Dutch Caribbean - - Luke Handzlik
Saba | Windwardside cottage house
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The island's premier hike is to the top of Mt Scenery, a strenuous climb up a virtual nonstop run of stairs (1064 in all) that ends at the highest point in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The clearly marked trail begins at the side of the road a short walk west of the tourist office in Windwardside. Hiking time is about 2-1/2 hours roundtrip. If you rise early enough, the summit is a great place to watch the sun come up.

As ample reward for a good workout, you'll get a close-up view of an elfin forest with its lush growth of ferns, tropical flowers and epiphyte-covered mahogany trees, and if clouds don't roll in, the summit provides panoramic views of Saba and neighboring islands. There are interpretive signboards along the trail and a few shelters for shade - though it can get very hot a midday so be sure to bring water. After reaching the summit, be sure to continue along the left side of the radio tower to reach a scenic lookout 330ft beyond.

SABA - Island of Saba - Dutch Caribbean - - Luke Handzlik
Saba | Windwardside
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For a quick sense of what Saban wilderness is like, take the 45-minute roundtrip hike to Maskehorne Hill. After about ten minutes of climbing old stone steps through a forest thick with tall elephant ears and birdsong, you'll reach a small dasheen farm. At the farmer's hut, turn left off the Mt. Scenery Trail onto the Maskehorne Hill Trail, a dirt path through the forest that continues to nearby Maskehorne Hill and a view of Windwardside.

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