Diving Saba, Dutch Antilles

Jul 22, 2010
Outside Magazine
A hawksbill off Saba

A hawksbill off Saba

Too many Caribbean dive destinations are marred by ailing reef systems, corny resorts, and crowded boats. And to reach big-fish spots like Costa Rica's Cocos Island, expect hundreds of miles on a liveaboard (i.e., lots of strangers). So if you want a serene tropical getaway that happens to offer superlative diving, head to quirky little Saba, a five-square-mile, 2,900-foot dormant volcano in the Dutch Antilles. Landing in a Twin Otter on Saba's tiny, cliff-perched runway is an adventure in its own right, and you'll find deals on lodges like the Hummingbird Villa ($375 per day for two; sabahomesforrent.com), with its private pool. Then there's the diving. Saba's fish-rich marine park was established in 1987 as a preventive measure, not a Band-Aid, so encounters with turtles, sharks, eels, rays, and macro life are common. Be sure to hit Diamond Rock and Eye of the Needle for lava-sculpted formations, then arrange a night dive at Ladder Bay, a sharky spot near shore. Day trips with Sea Saba, $150; seasaba.com

Filed To: SCUBA Diving
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