Rising straight up from the abyssal depths, this rugged, volcanic island is like a piece of the Pacific teleported to the Caribbean. With a quaint, European charm above the waterline and pristine diving below, Saba calls itself “The Unspoiled Queen.” Healthy reefs with incredible visibility and marine life covered pinnacles are all protected by Saba Marine Park. On land, the Saba Conservation Foundation protects the unspoiled wilderness. As you’d expect from a volcanic island, underwater structure and seamounts offer amazing views. Complemented by shallow patch reefs, Saba has a nice mix of dives ranging from exhilarating drifts over “bottomless” drop offs to mellow dives on sites full of juvenile fish and interesting invertebrates.

    Great Dives

    • Third Encounter – Cruise this horseshoe shaped seamount and perhaps take a trip to the tip of a seamount called “Eye of the Needle.” This mount rises from the deep to within 27 metres/90 feet. Look for giant sponges and colorful corals and watch for sharks swimming by or the occasional manta ray.
    • Man O’ War Shoals – Twin peaks rise up close to the surface from the sand below. Spiraling up and between the peaks you’ll find diverse marine life from black coral, to elusive sand tilefish, to uncommon Atlantic spadefish and African pompano.
    • David’s Dropoff  – Named after the Saba Marine Park’s Director, David Kooistra, this site features boulders that plunge from the shallows down to the sand bottom at 36 metres/120 feet. In the shallows, you may discover what’s left of a stolen sailboat that went down here. Keep an eye out for sharks and dolphins.
    • Big Rock Market – This site boasts nice hard coral formations with lots of overhangs that shelter high hats and sleeping nurse sharks. Check out elkhorn, star, large plate and brain corals, which often house nudibranchs and frogfish.
    • Diamond Rock – Currents bring plankton-rich water to this rocky pinnacle attracting schools of juvenile barracuda and horse-eye jacks. In the volcanic sand around the pinnacle, look for interesting fish including flying gurnards, batfish and yellowhead jawfish.
    • Customs House – This distinct rectangular reef has a great sand area that is home to garden eels and southern stingrays. Look for drooping sponges and large gorgonians. You may see a cleaning station and even spy long forgotten coral-encrusted anchors of old cargo boats.

    Want to know more? Visit ScubaEarth® for further information on thousands of dive sites, marine species, destination essentials and more.

    Dive Summary:

    Visibility – Visibility is usually good and ranges from 15-30 metres/50-100 feet.

    Water Temperature – During the winter, the water temperature is about 24°C/76°F and warms up to 28°C/84°F in summer.

    Weather – Easterly trade winds keep the temperature comfortable, even a little cool in the evening at 21°C/70°F in winter, but it can get to 29°C/85°F on a summer’s day. June through October is hurricane season in the Caribbean.

    Featured Creatures – Conch and nudibranchs inhabit the healthy reefs. Brown and blue chromis and other tropical fish flit about the coral. Garden eels peek from the sand. Hawksbill and green turtles, barracuda and spotted eagle rays can be found swimming the many dive sites.

    Recommended Training – The PADI Deep Diver course is recommended since on many of the pinnacle dives you start deep and work your way shallow. AWARE – Fish Identification and PADI Digital Underwater Photographer courses will help you identify all the marine life you capture with your camera.

    Travel Info

    Note - Travel to any destination may be adversely affected by conditions including (but not limited) to security, entry and exit requirements, health conditions, local laws and culture, natural disasters and climate. Regardless of your destination, check your local travel advisory board or department for travel advice about that location when planning your trip and again shortly before you leave.

    Language – Dutch is the official language, but English is widely spoken.

    Currency – US dollar is the official currency. Credit cards are widely accepted.

    Major Airports – You get to Saba’s Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport by flying through St. Maarten’s Princess Juliana International Airport.

    Electricity and Internet – The electricity in Saba is 110 volts, 60 Hz. Internet is widespread.

    Topside Attractions – Your adventure starts when landing at the airport, which is perched on the side of a cliff. Hike through the Elfin Forest to see a wide variety of flowers. Shop for Saba lace – needlecraft painstakingly created by the women in Saba. Stop by the museum to learn about Saba’s history.

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