The island of Saba is located in the Caribbean in the immediate vicinity of St. Martin. The island has been a “special community” (bijzondere gemeente) of the Netherlands in the eastern Caribbean since October 10, 2010.
Saba or the “unspoiled queen”, as it is also known, consists mainly of an extinct volcano, the Mt. Scenery. The island is part of the Netherlands Antilles and probably one of the most unknown Caribbean islands. Due to the lack of beaches and thus a rather underdeveloped tourist industry, Saba has managed to maintain its original image.
The island is inhabited by the descendants of settlers from different countries of the world, as despite its unspectacular size it was colonized by the English, French and Dutch over the centuries, as well as the descendants of African slaves.
The coasts are rough and the interior of the island is covered with tropical vegetation. Saba is famous for its national marine park with 30 diving sites.
|Name of the island||Saba|
|Form of government||Special municipality (bijzondere gemeente) of the Netherlands|
|Geographical location||The island is located in the Caribbean and belongs to the Lesser Antilles.It is about 35 km from Sint Maarten|
|National anthem||Saba, you rise from the ocean|
|Religions||58% Roman Catholic, 14% Protestant, 22% belong to other religious communities – such as Islam, Judaism and the seven days of Adventists|
|Languages||Dutch, English and Papiamentu|
|Highest mountain||Mount Scenery with a height of 877m(it is the highest mountain in the Netherlands)|
|National currency||As of January 1, 2011, US dollars|
|Tourist Office||Saba Tourist OfficePO Box 527
Tel.: + 599- 416-2231/2322
Fax: + 599- 416-2350
Email: [email protected]
|Time difference to CET||– 5 h|
|International phone code||00599 –|
|Mains voltage||110 volts|
|Internet TLD (Top Level Domain)||.an or.n|
Saba: cities and sights
The capital of the island is inhabited by about 400 residents and is not “on the ground” but at an altitude of 250 m.
This is where the government and administration of Saba sit. Most of the buildings are in the typical Saba style, flat white wooden houses with some a chimney and red roofs, plus the Saba University School of Medicine.
Fort Bay is the main port for cargo ships and ferries and the only petrol station on the island.
In the city center of the small town there are beautiful, typical island cottages, many of which are still in their original condition.
Most of the hotels and restaurants can be found in Windwardside.
Some sights on Saba
Sacred Heart Church in The Bottom
In The Bottom is the Sacred Heart Church with original wall paintings by local artist Heelen Cornet
Saba Artisan Foundation in The Bottom
The Saba Artisan Foundation, which sells the famous Saba lace and other handicrafts, is located in The Bottom.
Major Osmar Ralph Simmons Museum in The Bottom
The Major Osmar Ralph Simmons Museum in The Bottom exhibits everyday objects from the island’s history.
Harry L. Johnson Museum in Windwardside
The Harry L. Johnson Museum houses artifacts from the pre-Columbian era in a 160 year old cottage. The island’s history is also brought closer to the visitor through magazine articles, historical household items and letters from residents from the 18th century. A particular pride of the museum is a letter from George Bush Sr. thanking a Mr. and Mrs. Steward for their support in the first Gulf War.
Due to the rocky subsoil and the steep slopes, building a road was long considered impossible. But Josephus Lambert Hassell began – despite all the concerns of various engineers – building a road in 1938.
After five years, the first section – from Fort Bay to The Botton – was completed. And in 1951 the Windwardside to St. Johns road opened.
Driving this road takes a lot of skill – so the corners at Windwardside are not easy to negotiate.
Here you can still find the remains of the first settlement on the island, founded in 1640 by immigrants from Europe.
Steps to Ladder Bay From The Bottom, 800 steps carved into the rock lead to Ladder Bay. Until the second half of the 20th century, these stairs were the only way to enter the island. All incoming and outgoing goods also had to be transported this way.
Saba National Marine Park and Saba Bank
Just off the coast of Saba lies this dramatic underwater world with shallows, steep slopes and numerous coral reefs. In 1987 the Marine Park was established, which created regulations for the use, conservation and strict guidelines. The result is limited dives to keep the coral reef undamaged. Sabas Marine Park has received numerous awards.
The Saba Bank has one of the most diverse marine underwater worlds in the Caribbean. An expedition in 2006 found more than 200 different species of fish, including two previously unknown species.
The ascent of the volcano is probably the most popular hiking route on the island. The path leads from Windwardside over 1,064 concrete steps to the summit. The volcano is covered in rainforest with huge elephant ear ferns, mountain palms and mahogany trees.