Saba Travel Guide
One of the Netherlands Antilles, tropical Saba (pronounced say-ba) explodes out of the Caribbean Sea. Though just south of St. Maarten (if you’ve seen the original King Kong, you’ll recognize its majestic silhouette from the beginning of the film), the island couldn’t be more different. Whereas St. Maarten is all beaches, gambling, and duty-free shopping, Saba is ecotourism, diving, and hiking.
Getting around the island means negotiating the narrow, twisting roadway that clings to the mountainside and rises from sea level to almost 2,000 feet. Although driving isn’t difficult, be sure to go slowly and cautiously. If in doubt, leave the driving to a cabbie so you can enjoy the scenery.
Saba Restaurant Reviews
The island might be petite, but there’s no shortage of mouthwatering fare from French to fresh seafood to Caribbean specialties. Reservations are necessary, as most of the restaurants are quite small. In addition, some places provide transportation.
Saba Hotel Reviews
Saba’s few hotel rooms are primarily in a handful of friendly, tidy inns or guesthouses perched on ledges or tucked into tropical gardens. Because the island is so small, it doesn’t much matter where you stay. Among the choices are a couple of delightful small inns and splendid, small eco-resorts. There are also more than a dozen apartments, cottages, and villas for rent. Cable TV is common, but air-conditioning is a rarity.
The history of Saba lace, one of the island’s most popular goods, goes back to the late 19th century. Gertrude Johnson learned lace making at a Caracas convent school. She returned to Saba in the 1870s and taught the art that has endured ever since. Saban ladies display and sell their creations at the community center in Hell’s Gate and from their houses; just follow the signs. Collars, tea towels, napkins, and other small articles are relatively inexpensive; larger ones, such as tablecloths, can be pricey. The fabric requires some care—it’s not drip-dry. Saba Spice is another island buy. Although it sounds as delicate as lace and the aroma is as sweet as can be, the base for this liqueur is 151-proof rum. You can find souvenirs, gifts, and Saban Cottages: A Book of Watercolors, in almost every shop.