to the Island of Saba, part of Netherlands Antilles, in the Caribbean -
About the Island of Saba
Around the Island
Diving in Saba
How to get to Saba
Map of the Island
Airfare & Hotel Info
Guide to Amsterdam - Holland
Guide to St. Maarten - Netherlands Antilles
SABA - HOW TO
GET TO SABA
Imagine an island in the
Caribbean untrampled by time. Imagine unspoiled landscapes that make
you feel like an early explorer, and friendly English speaking
people who make you feel at home. All this is Saba.
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. Being so small and so remote, few travelers visited before
the 70's. Those who did were themselves well-traveled and found Saba
to be a truly unspoiled paradise. Locals were filled with pride as
these visitors marveled at Saba's unique beauty.
Yearly less than 25,000 tourists come to Saba, and those who do
treat the island and her people with respect and admiration. Even
though the island has modern facilities and technology, their
attitude is strongly conservative towards their nature, development
and industry. They love their island as much as you will.²
THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
Everyone speaks English, although Dutch is the official language.
Documentation for Entry:
All persons, including U.S. citizens,
traveling by air to Canada, Central and South America, Mexico, and
the Caribbean will be required to present a valid passport to
re-enter the country. A valid driver's license will no longer
suffice for re-entry documentation.
Daytime temperature on Saba averages 80F., give or take a few degrees. Easterly trade
winds and the mountain create ever changing cloud movements. Winter evenings often require
a light sweater. Temperatures will always be cooler on the top of Mt. Scenery.
Customs and Immigration:
Saba is a free port, there are no customs. A valid passport, birth certificate or voter's
registration is needed to enter as well as a return or ongoing ticket.
Residents of the following countries will need a visa to enter the
Albania, Bulgaria, Republic of China, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican
Republic, Haiti, Countries of former Yugoslavia; except Slovenia,
Bosnia, Herzegovina, Croatia, Former republic of Yugoslavia,
Macedonia, Kampuchea, North Korea, Rumania, Countries of former
Soviet Union; Armenia, Azerbaijan, White Russia, Estonia, Georgia,
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Ukraine, Uzbekistan,
The Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Vietnam, Libya
The official currency is the NAfl (guilder) exchanged at about. Travellers cheques and US dollars, as well as major credit cards, are widely accepted. Two
branch banks are open on Saba.
Florin: 1 NAf. = 100 cents
The circulation of
bank-notes is the responsibility of the Bank van de Nederlandse
Antillen. The law grants the Bank the exclusive right to issue
The Bank van de Nederlandse Antillen 1998 bank-note series is
largely based on the well-received 'bird' series, which was brought
into circulation in 1986.
The Antillean bank-note series consists of the NAf. 10
(hummingbird), NAf. 25 (flamingo), NAf. 50 (refous-collared sparrow)
and NAf. 100 guilder (bananaquit) bills. The colors of the
bank-notes have been carefully chosen to ensure a clear difference
between denominations. Circulating coins are issued in denominations
of 1c, 5c, 10c, 25c, NAf. 1 and NAf. 5.
Source: Bank van de
Daily concerns are overseen by an appointed Governor and two elected commissioners.
Animals are admitted temporarily to the island with the following
papers: a health certificate dated no more than 10 days before visit
and a record of inoculations, including rabies shot administered no
more than 30 days prior to the visit.
Everyone speaks English, although Dutch is the official
What to Pack:
Saba is on Atlantic Standard Time year round. During day light
savings time, noon in New York City translates to 1 p.m. on Saba.
During spring and summer time, the hour is the same on the Eastern
Seaboard as it is on the island.
Dress Casual. Formal clothes are never required on Saba. Summer sportswear is
appropriate for daytime activities all year round.
Bring a jacket. The mountains create a temperate climate. In the evenings the air
may cool to the mid 60s; with the trade winds you may actually need a light sweater or
Bring your hiking boots. Before
"the road" was built, the only way to get from one village to the next
was on foot or by donkey.
The island terrain is laced with
steep trails and thousands of stone steps linking villages and
homes. If you are not into hiking, there are plenty of taxies.
Bring the necessary exposure suit. According to Travel & Sports Masterguide, diving is
excellent on Saba all year round. In the summertime visibility is at 75 to 100 feet with a
water temperature of around 86°F. In the winter months, visibility increases to 125+
feet, but the water temperature drops to around 75°F.
Bring extra money. The florin or guilder is the official currency, but US dollars
are accepted everywhere. Traveler's checks and cash are preferred, but Visa and MasterCard
Shopping tips Saba Spice is a local liquor made on the island that you must sample. Stop
in and view watercolors and prints from local artists, intricate handmade lace, as well as
the usual fare of T-shirts and postcards.
Rental packages are available. Buoyancy Control Devices, computers, regulators and
1/8" wetsuits will be available upon request for the week, at an extra charge.
Air service from
St. Maarten is available via Winair (Windward Islands Airways):
Winair makes five or more
flights using a DHC-6 Twin-Otter prop plane each day to Saba to
Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport from St. Maarten (SXM) Princess Juliana
Airport. Inter-island flights can be arranged, some are scheduled
weekly. The airport departure tax is $5.00 to Windward Islands,
$20.00 per person elsewhere. Reservations may be made by contacting
the airline at:
Windward Islands Airways
c/o Winair Tour Desk
Telephone: 800 634-4907 or local telephone reservations:
Telephone: 011-599-5452568 - Main Office
Telephone: 203 261-8603
Fax: 203 261-8295
from St. Maarten is available via Dawn II and The Edge:
Travels between Fort Bay, Saba and Dock Maarten in Philipsburg, Sint
Maarten three times a week: Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from
Saba at 6:30 am and from Dock Maarten at 5:00 pm. Please arrive 30
minutes prior to departure. This means of transportation allows the
traveler to spend an extra night in Saba.
Features a fully air conditioned cabin with 22 luxury seats and 400
cubic foot built in freezer. Private Charters to neighboring islands
available. Schedule and pricing subject to change please contact
Saba C-Transport, N.V. for reservations and information.
(Wednesday through Sunday). Travels to Saba from Sint Maarten (from
Simpson Bay/Pelican Marina) on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
and Sundays, departing Sint Maarten at 9:00 a.m. for the 1 hour trip
and returns from Saba, departing Fort Bay harbor at 3:45 p.m.,
arriving back on Sint Maarten at 5:00 p.m. This means of
transportation is good for travelers who overnight on Sint Maarten.
The rate is $60 roundtrip for adults and $30.00 for a child. One way
trips are available for Adults $40 and children $20. Check in is at
8:25 a.m. on SXM and departs sharp at 9 a.m. Charters are also
available for private groups. Capacity is 62 passengers.
View of Airport
Photo Copyright © R. Geerling
1. 'SABA - HOW TO GET THERE'
Content © Copyright 2003 Saba Tourist Bureau
2. Source: Saba Tourism.