Saba: A Secret Caribbean Hideaway

Posted by on Oct 21, 2022 in Destinations | Comments Off on Saba: A Secret Caribbean Hideaway

The island of Saba in the Dutch Antilles might be the Caribbean’s best-kept secret.

Think a press trip to attend the launch a new airport terminal would be boring? Not when it’s at Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) on the Caribbean island of St. Maarten.

In between checking out the airport’s new baggage handling system ( a top secret spot where suspicious looking suitcases are whisked off a conveyor belt to be examined by CSI-worthy pros) journalists were offered the opportunity to experience two islands of their choice serviced by Winair airline.

While the aviation geeks (affectionately known as #avgeeks) opted for tours of the SXM control tower, I jumped at the chance to go to Anguilla (an island with 33 beaches I fell in love with during the Anguilla Literary Conference) and Saba, an island I knew nothing about.

Here’s what I discovered about the Caribbean island of Saba. And seven reasons why I think you should put Saba on your must-visit list:

1. Getting to Saba is A Bucket-list Experiences

View of Saba in the Dutch Caribbean Photo by Cees Timmers for Saba Tourism

Photo by Cees Timmers Saba Tourism

To say my jaw-dropped when we approached Saba would be an understatement. This island in the Dutch Caribbean is just an 8 minute flight from St. Maarten on a WinAir Twin Otter plane but a world away in development. It’s tiny, wildly mountainous and as green as a tuft of moss.

It’s so primordial looking it served as Skull Island in the 1936 film King Kong. ( And Universal Orlando launched Skull Island: Reign of Kong a new amusement park ride – which goes to show you how memorable Saba really is)

1. Saba is Untouched by Mass Tourism

Enjoy stunning views and lush vegetation on Saba

Enjoy stunning views and lush vegetation on Saba

Saban homes, simple wooden structures painted white with green shutters and red roofs that looks as though they’ve been lifted from a storybook.

Many have porches with fretwork in a gingerbread style and all are surrounded by cascading greenery. Bananas, breadfruit, begonia and tree ferns grow in profusion on Saba’s rich volcanic slopes.

Residents ( known as Sabans) take clippings from their gardens and leave them on stone fences for neighbours to pick up and transplant. so the island is getting greener by the minute.

3. Saba has No Crowds

Saba is like St. Lucia but at a fraction of the cost

Take a seat, any seat

While that’s not exactly true, I did see a few people in town. Fewer than 25,000 tourists visit Saba each year.

That’s as many visitors as some destinations receive in a single day. If you’re looking for nightclubs this likely isn’t the place for you, but there did seem to be live music and a fun Friday night at Scout’s cafe worth checking out.

Or, you could just sit and stare at the views.

4. Saba restaurants feature fresh seafood

Saba lobster

Saba lobster


5. Saba Beaches

a swimming spot on saba

No beaches but swim here!

6. Saba is still a bargain

Swimming pool at Queen's Gardens on Saba

Looks like St. Lucia doesn’t it? But it’s actually the view from Queen’s Gardens on Saba – a fraction of the cost



7. Saba Offers Hotels, Resorts and Cottages for all Budgets

a sweet cottage on Saba

a sweet cottage on Saba


Travel Planner

Winair: Winair Airlines travels to 14 unique destinations in the Caribbean from the hub at SXM airport in St. Maarten. Destinations include Antigua, Curacao, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Nevis,  Saba, San Juan, St. Barths, St. Eustatius, St. Kitts, St. Maarten and Tortola. You can also go island-hopping via private charter.

Learn about 5 Reasons Why Nevis Might be Your Next Favourite Caribbean Island  

Getting Around Saba: You’ll need to rent a car on Saba as the transportation between towns is not oriented towards  tourism.