Saba (Dutch Caribbean)
“The Unspoiled Queen of the Dutch Caribbean…“
The island of Saba, the smallest ‘special municipality’ of The Netherlands, is a green jewel that abruptly rises out of the Caribbean Sea. Located just south of St. Maarten and north of St. Kitts, the island’s dramatic topography is dominated by the (dormant) volcano ‘Mount Scenery’ and boasts 7 different ecosystems, making the landscape – protected by law since 1986 – very diverse.
Unlike many other Caribbean islands, Saba has no beaches and hence escaped the typical ‘sun-sea-sand’ tourism development as seen elsewhere in the Caribbean. Its rugged slopes are covered with lush fauna which can be explored through a network of guided hiking trails. Under the water line an outstanding and intact ecosystem provides many opportunities for quality scuba diving and snorkeling. Diving is conducted under the auspices of the Saba Marine Park, a model park recognized for its success in protecting the marine environment. The isolated character and small population (under 2,000 inhabitants) has ensured a strong and genuine local identity, consisting of a distinct local architecture and heritage.
- Since it has been protected since 1986, the quality of the natural tourism product above and below the surface is outstanding
- The Sabans are very proud of their heritage and tourism seems to have enhanced their identity
- Because of ‘visiting friends relatives’ tourism and events like Sea & Learn, Saba does well all year round and has therefore little seasonal pressure
- There are programs for enterprises, visitors, and the public to contribute donations to community and biodiversity conservation initiatives
Point for improvement:
- Saba is still fully dependent on fossil fuels; more could be done to increase production and consumption of renewable energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.