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Saba is an island in the Lesser Antilles and is the smallest Dutch Special Municipality in the Caribbean. It is located 28 miles Southwest of St Maarten/ St Martin and is known for its mountainous topography.
The island is often referred to as the “unspoiled queen” of the Caribbean.
The island of Saba is very small as it is only five square miles and has four main villages.
These are The Bottom which is the capital, Windwardside, St John’s and Zion’s Hill. In this article we will explore all the pros and cons of living in Saba.
The pros of living in Saba Island are the ease of island hopping, stable currency, beautiful natural scenery and its low crime rate. On the other hand, living in Saba has its cons such as the threat of natural disasters, no direct international flights and no white sand beaches.
Read on for comprehensive details of the pros and cons of living in the Saba Island.
Pros of Living In Saba
Beautiful Natural Scenery
Saba has the highest point of elevation in the Caribbean Netherlands which is called Mount Scenery. It stands at 2,910 feet.
Hiking mount scenery of one of the island’s popular attractions. It takes about 90 minutes each way and the hike is strenuous. There are steps through the rain forest where you can enjoy the island’s wildlife, flora and fauna.
Views at the top of the mountain may be restricted due to heavy cloud coverage.
Bottom Mountain trail, Bud’s Mountain Trail and Dancing Place Trail are some of the other hikes that you can consider when visiting Saba.
Saba is also a favorite destination for diving enthusiasts. The Saba National Marine Park was established in 1987 and as a result marine life on the island is thriving. Some of the well-loved dive sites include Diamond Rock, Third Encounter and Man o War Shoals.
Multi- Lingual Country
Both Dutch and English are spoken on the island. Despite being a Dutch Municipality, English is widely used by locals in their daily lives and has been used in the school system since the 19th century.
Easy Access To Neighboring Islands
With an effective ferry system between Saba and St Maarten, the location is great for island hopping.
You can leave Saba and travel via St Maarten to neighboring islands such as St Barts and Anguilla which you can all access via ferry.
Despite being a Dutch Municipality the official currency of the island is the US dollar.
If you are considering relocation to the island, the potential financial loss from currency conversion should be minimal.
The Island Is Safe
Saba has the traditional Caribbean island atmosphere where people are friendly and community spirit exists. Neighbors still look out for each other and share.
The community spirit of the Sabans was very evident after the passage of hurricane Irma in 2017. Sabans immediately began cleaning up the island and electricity was quickly restored.
Since the island is not over crowded with tourists, visitors to the island can enjoy a relaxing experience in a peaceful environment. Feel free to check out the video below by Dutch Docu Channel on Saba Island.
Cons of Living In Saba
Threat of Natural Disasters
Saba is in the hurricane belt and as such is susceptible to storms during the period June 1 to November 30 yearly.
In September 2017, hurricane Irma struck the island as a category 4 storm and wrecked havoc on the island’s rainforest and buildings.
If you are traveling to Saba during the hurricane season, it is prudent to consider travel insurance in the event of a natural disaster.
No Direct International Flights
There are no international airlines that fly directly to Saba. Nevertheless, persons wishing to visit the island from major international cities can connect via St Maarten.
Flights are only 12 minutes from St Maarten and 90 minutes via ferry with various connections throughout the day. This makes the island ideal for a one day trip.
Saba’s airport Juancho E Yrausquin is well known globally for having a very short runway.
Limited Access To Specialized Items
Being a very small island, there is limited access to specialized goods and services.
Locals rely on neighboring island of St Maarten and the ferry service makes it easy to travel for shopping or if medical expertise is required.
No Beaches On The Island
Saba is widely known as the Caribbean island without any beaches as the waters near the shore is very deep. There are no long stretches of white sand beaches.
However there are two bays that you can use to enjoy the beautiful waters around the island.
There is Cove bay which is situated near the airport. The rocks removed to make the airport were arranged to form a sheltered area where people can swim.
Alternatively, Well’s Bay is another area where there is a sheltered bay which provides a magnificent view of Diamond Rock.
The pros of living in Saba are that the island is safe, multi lingual with amazing natural scenery. On the other hand, the cons of living in Saba are there are no direct flights from major international cities, the threat of natural disasters and limited access to specialized goods and services.
If you are contemplating traveling to Saba or the rest of the Caribbean, cruising is an affordable option to consider. I have recently completed an informative course by cruise specialist, Emma Cruises which you should check out titled How To Cruise For Less.
This course provides detail tips and techniques on how to save money while cruising onboard, onshore as well as the importance of insurance. So if you if you are considering a cruise for your next Caribbean vacation, check out How To Cruise For Less.
Need More Information?
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