Carolina Cottage Rental Villa - Troy Hill - Saba - Dutch West Indies
Back to Home Page
Diamond Rock at Well's Bay
Saban History Things to do on Saba Dining Getting to Saba
logo

The Unspoiled Queen of the Caribbean
Saba (pronounced "Say-ba" in English) is the smallest island of the Netherlands Antilles, located at 17°38′N, 63°14′W. It consists largely of the dormant volcano, Mount Scenery (877 m), the highest point of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Saba has a land area of 13 km² (5 sq. miles). At the 2001 Netherlands Antilles census, the population was 1,349 inhabitants, which means a population density of 104 inhabitants per km². In 2004 the population was estimated at 1,424 inhabitants.

Its current major settlements include The Bottom, Windwardside, Hell's Gate and St. Johns. Despite the island's Dutch affiliation, English is the principal language spoken on the island and has been used in its school system since 1986. The Netherlands Antillean guilder is the official currency, but the U.S. dollar is accepted everywhere on the island.

Saba is home to the Saba University School of Medicine, which was established by American expatriates in coordination with the Netherlands government. The school adds over 300 residents when classes are in session, and it is the prime educational attraction. A.M. Edwards Medical Center is the major provider of healthcare for local residents.

Saba is slated to become a special municipality within the country of the Netherlands, but the schedule for this transition has been delayed indefinitely.



History
500,000 BC - The island of Saba is formed from the top of a volcano that became active during the middle of the late Pleisocene era (500,000yrs ago). Saba is a dormant volcano and has not erupted for about 5,000yrs.
1175 BC - Hunters and gathers called Cibony are considered to be the earliest settlers on Saba. They lived near Fort Bay where recent radio carbon samples show that the site is over 3,000yrs old.
800 AD - Arawak Indians migrated into the Caribbean basin from South America and built villages on Saba.
1493 - Christopher Columbus passed Saba on his second expedition to the new world. Some say that he mentioned seeing “smoking volcanoes” during this voyage and it was possible that he was referring to Saba and its cloud formations.
1816 - Saba becomes a Dutch Colony
The Twentieth Century - Saba develops at a far greater speed:
1909 - A navigational school is started by Frederick Simmons to train young Saban men in the ways of the sea.
1920 - As Saba relied (and continues to rely!) on collected rainfall for its water, cisterns were constructed for individual homes and communal use as well.
1943 - The first stage of “The Road That Couldn’t Be Built” was completed. Josephus “Lambee” Hassell took a correspondence course
in road building and under his supervision, over the next 15 years, the road was completed.
1963 - The Juancho E. Yrausquin airport was constructed on the site of the
first landing and regular air service begins.
1972 - The Leo A. Chance Pier was built at Fort Bay.
1987 - The Saba Conservation Foundation & Marine Park were established
to preserve Saba’s terrestrial and marine environments.
1990 - The SCF acquired its own hyperbaric facility.
1998 - The Sulphur Mine property was donated to the SCF and has now been designated the National Park.
2006 - As The Netherlands Antilles is dissolved Saba chooses a closer association with the Netherlands rather than independence.

Activities
Diving
The Saba National Marine Park encompasses the waters and sea bed encircling Saba, Netherlands Antilles from the high water mark to 200 feet (60 meters) deep. In total, the marine park covers approximately five square miles (1300 hectares). At the time of its creation in 1987, the government passed the Marine Environment Ordinance to protect the coral reefs and other marine life found in the park. The Saba Conservation Foundation manages the Saba National Marine Park, as well as the island's hyperbaric facility and natural sites on land.

A number of regulations ensure that the park's thriving aquatic life remains healthy. Zones divide the area according to acceptable uses. For instance, commercial fishing is forbidden in certain places to prevent overfishing. The reefs are protected from damage by 36 permanently anchored buoys where boats can moor. And scuba divers are not permitted to dive by themselves; they must dive with guides from one of Saba's three dive shops. Protecting the Saba National Marine Park is not just an environmental concern, it's also an economic concern. Tourism currently brings in more money to the island than any other industry, and the Saba National Marine Park is the biggest tourist draw.

Aside from the fact that Saba's reefs have remained healthy, several natural formations attract divers to the marine park. A few features were formed through volcanic activity, such as the Pinnacles. These peaks rise up to 100 feet (30 meters) from the ocean floor, covered with corals, sponges, and other invertebrates. In the Ladder Bay area, a natural labyrinth was created by flowing lava. Other attractions include underwater caves, tunnels, and rock walls.

Many different species of life inhabit the Saba National Marine Park. Soft corals abound, while hard corals live only in the waters on the island's east side. Types of fish found in the park include parrotfish, blue tang, black durgon, and barracuda. Sharks and stingrays frequent certain areas. Octopus, turtles, and spiny lobster make the park their home also.

Saba's residents may access the park for free, while visitors pay $3 (US) per dive (in addition to dive shop diving fees). The park fee supports maintenance of the park and its equipment.

Hiking
The hiking in Saba's rainforest is not to be missed with the main trail, Mt Scenery, being the most popular. It is possible to stop at any point and return to Windwardside, or challenge the climb for the views from the top. The Saba Trail Shop asks a $3 donation for the trail upkeep, and guests receive a trail badge. Windwardside boasts great little restaurants for lunch: Scout's Place, Tropics Cafe, Brigadoon and many more. There are a few shops selling local crafts such as the local Saba lace, Saba Spice Liqueur, hand blown glass jewelry, and artwork. The villages are quaint with low built cottages all whitewashed with red and green roofs, tiny narrow roads and very friendly locals.

Art
Saba has acquired quite an artist community over the last few years. The Peanut Gallery located at Lambee's place offers a diverse selection of artists work from oil paintings, pastels, photography, prints, and much more. The art gallery also hosts an “Artist of the Month” collection where you can sample works of either a resident or visiting artist. In case you are feeling inspired the art gallery also sells an array of art supplies. If you’re interested in joining an art class by one of the resident artists, please make sure to inquire whether one is taking place at the time of your visit.

Dining
Restaurants
Most restaurants offer theme nights in addition to their regular menu. There are several great restaurants on Saba we suggest you make sure to try them all while you’re on the island.
Brigadoon Restaurant
Michael (chef) and Trisha (hostess) Chamma make a great team. Michael has an extensive menu with many great specials and fresh fish choices. Brigadoon has the best prime rib in town and is only available on Thursday evening; make sure you have your reservation in early, so that you don’t miss out. And don’t forget to leave some room for their Rum Nut brownie or homemade ice cream. The Brigadoon is closed on Tuesday evening. Opening hours are from 6:30pm till closing.
Chinese Restaurant
The Chinese restaurant is situated directly up the hill from The Brigadoon restaurant. Ask to take a look at the menu at our front desk; we will be more than happy to get takeout for you. They specialize in Cantonese food as well as salads, steaks and fries. The Chinese restaurant is closed on Mondays. Open for lunch and dinner.
Scout’s Place
Scout’s place is located directly up the road from Juliana’s; they provide great theme nights from Spit roasted Chicken night and Gyros night (theme nights go for as little as $10.00 per plate). In addition there is a Seafood night with ‘fresh catch of the day’ and other specialties, there is also a Fajita/Mexican night for Enchilada lovers. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily.
My Kitchen
Whether it’s for lunch or dinner "My Kitchen" (formerly YIIK) is always a great place to dine! Willem is a great host. Make sure to inquire at our front desk what is available during that particular week. Their “Hikers down, Divers up” burger can’t be missed and their mouth-watering pastas and fresh Saban lobster will have everyone leaving satisfied. Open for lunch and dinner.
Saba’s Treasure
Take a stroll thru Saba’s History, decorated by our neighbor Robby Lynn, you’ll truly feel like an Saban Sea Captain in this tavern. Saba’s Treasure a great place for a pick me upper or an awesome pizza. Some people insist that Saba’s Treasure serves the best pizza on the island, baked in their stone oven with your choice of toppings; you’ll have to agree with the locals. Open for lunch and dinner. Saba’s Treasure is closed on Sundays.
Ecolodge Rainforest Restaurant
For something great, fresh, and different, enjoy a candlelight dinner, in the Rainforest. The menu at the Ecolodge changes daily depending on what veggies the garden supplies. The menu includes such mouth-watering specialties as our Red Curry Coconut shrimp (our guest’s favorite), Chicken Penang, and Mom’s apple pie and homemade ice cream. Decorated by artist Heleen Cornet, their son Chef ‘Bernt’ (not pronounced Burnt) cooks savory meals that all our guests rave about. Tom van’t Hof is your host and waiter, he established the Saba Marine Park as well as the Saba Conservation Foundation, any questions you might have about the underwater world or the island’s flora and fauna Tom will surly be able to answer. Don’t miss Tom’s slide show “A Virtual Hike” on Wednesday nights. Open for breakfast lunch and dinner, The Rainforest restaurant is closed on Mondays for dinner only.
Family Deli
The Family Deli is located in the Bottom, great for takeout lunches that you can take along with you on the dive boat. They provide local cuisine and a variety of excellent pastries and cakes. They have many great theme nights including ‘Thai Night’ on Sundays. If you’re strolling around the Bottom, don’t forget to stop by and grab yourself a bite. Open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Gate House
The Gate House has been recognized by the Wine Spectator as one of the best restaurants in the world for wine lovers, (August 31, 2002 issue). Enjoy Michel’s exceptional French and Caribbean Cuisine; from spicy shrimp to foie gras, creole fish to curry lobster, and great home made desserts. Don’t miss their extensive wine list with more than 130 wines and champagnes; most of them are also available by the glass. The Gate House provides transportation to/from the hotel included in the cost of the meal. Open daily for lunch and dinner.
Lollipops
Located between the villages of St. John's and The Bottom, specializing in local cuisines and many great specials such as 20 shrimp for $20.00. They are open for lunch and dinner, and during the weekends the restaurant is transformed into a nightclub, with local and inter island DJ’s playing the latest Caribbean hits, to which everyone can dance the night away. They also provide takeouts, if you’re interested make sure to stop by the office and take a look at their menu. Open daily for lunch and dinner.
King’s Crown
Enjoy a fine dining experience at The King’s Crown part of Queen's Garden Resort at Troy Hill. Chef Hans and Max serve an excellent meal; enjoy a mystical view of the Bottom in exquisite surroundings, while fine French cuisine. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner everyday.
In Two Deep
Located at the Fort bay Harbor. A great place to sit and have lunch in their air-conditioned bar, while watching the boats come in and out of the harbor. Try their Philly cheese steak sandwich; it’s one of the best on the island. Open daily for lunch.
Pop’s Place
Located at the Fort Bay harbor, Pop’s Place is the place to be if you want to hear some sea faring stories of present times and days gone by while enjoying a cold drink. They serve a variety of local dishes such as ‘Salt Fish and Johnny Cakes’. Open daily from noon till early evening.

Travel
Getting to Saba by Air:

Saba is located 28 miles southwest of St. Maarten, reached by a short 12-minute flight on Windward Island Airways. Winair provides 5 easily scheduled connecting flights to and from St. Maarten each day.

Regularly scheduled international direct flights to St. Maarten are offered by the following airlines:

Continental- flies from Newark on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday
US Airways- flies direct from Philadelphia and Charlotte daily
Delta- flies direct from Atlanta Thursday and Saturday
KLM- flies direct from Amsterdam on Thursday
Air France- flies direct from Paris daily
Corsair- flies direct from Paris on Sunday
American Airlines- flies direct from Miami and New York daily
American Eagle- services SXM several times daily via San Juan
Air-Transat (charter only)- flies direct from Toronto, Montreal, and Halifax on Wednesday and Saturday (check with your local travel agent or airline representative for an updated schedule).
A number of inter-regional airlines also service SXM on a regular basis (check with your local airline representative or travel agent for details).


Saba's Airport
Juancho Yrausquin Airport is located at Flat Point in the Village of Hell's Gate. It boasts one of the shortest commercial runways at around 1300 feet (400 meters). The Dehavilland Twin Otter STOL aircraft, which provides air service to Saba, has celebrated many years of accident free flights to Saba.
A taxi stand is available at the airport, just let them know where you're staying and they'll make sure you get there safe and sound, don't be surprised if you get to know some of Saba's history on your ride up. The landing was only the beginning of the adventure!

We hope you have a safe trip and if you have any questions pertaining to the above-mentioned information, please do not hesitate to contact us, we are here to provide you with all the available options in order to make informed decision.

Getting to Saba by Sea:
The Edge provides services from St. Maarten to Saba on a regular basis. The Edge is now running 5 days per week Wednesday through Sunday. During low season they tend to cut back on their schedule by servicing Saba 3 times per week, mainly Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. Aqua Mania at Pelican Resort is the owner of the Edge. Make your reservations in advance by e-mail with Debbie or while in St. Maarten. The Edge departs Simpson Bay's Pelican Marina at 9:00 AM Wednesday through Sunday arriving at Fort Bay, Saba at approximately 10:30 AM, leaving from Saba (same day) for St. Maarten at 3:30 PM.

The Dawn II
Ferry service runs 3 tmes a week on Tuesday Thursdays and Fridays, Departing from Bobby's Marina at 5pm arriving at Fort Bay Saba around 7pm.

The ferryss schedules do not allow for same day travel connections, some visitors prefer this mode of transport and for those who have overnight layovers in St. Maarten.

We hope you have a safe trip and if you have any questions pertaining to the above-mentioned information, please do not hesitate to contact us, we are here to provide you with all the available options in order to make informed decision.



Carolina Cottage
Virtual Tour
Reservations
Guest Book
About Saba
Useful Links
Contact
Emerald Planet Images
Dive Saba's waters
Mt. Scenery
Hike Saba's Rainforest Mountain
Living Area with Pool & Patio Access
Living Area
Saba Coat of Arms
Carolina Cottage Rental Villa - Troy Hill - Saba - Dutch West Indies