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Presentation of Saba

Member state: The Kingdom of the Netherlands
Surface area (km2): 13
Population: 2000
Density (/km2): 154
Capital: The Bottom

Location

Located in the Leeward islands, 28 miles south of Saint Martin in the Caribbean Sea.

Topography

Saba is the top of a dormant volcano that juts abruptly out of the sea. The 871 m high Mount Scenery dominates the rugged terrain, which is covered in primary and secondary jungle forest. The population lives mainly in 4 small villages, dotted across the mountain and linked together by one road.

Climate

Daytime temperature on Saba averages 26°C, give or take a few degrees between summer and winter. Easterly trade winds and the mountain create ever changing cloud movements.

Economic activities

Saba’s traditional activities were agriculture, fishing, shipping and sailing and the export of Saba lace. The growth areas are eco tourism (hiking, scuba diving and rock climbing) and the Saba University School of Medicine.

Political and administrative status

Saba, including the islet of Green Island, became a public body (often referred to as “special municipality”) of the Netherlands after the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles on 10 October 2010.

Universities/specialities

Saba is home to the Saba University School of Medicine, which was established by American expatriates in cooperation with Saba’s government. The school adds over 300 residents when classes are in session, and it is the prime educational attraction for mainly American and Canadian students.

Focus

Caribbean’s best eco tourism

The secluded island of Saba, within and around an area of only 12 square kilometers, offers some of the Caribbean’s best hiking and scuba diving opportunities. Despite the small area, Saba’s mountainous terrain provides travelers a network of marked trails through the rainforests to discover the beauty of the more remote regions of the island. The Elfin Cloud forest on the top of the volcano is dominated by 200 year old trees. The island is home to more than 60 species of birds, including the Red billed tropic bird, 22 sorts of orchids and various unique species of reptiles. The Saba national underwater park is home of 13 km2 pristine coral reefs. Lying in the territorial waters, the Saba bank, an underwater atoll of more than 2000 km2, has a very rich ecosystem of coral reefs and other underwater life. Thanks to regulations to help conserve the marine parks’ reefs, it has remained a healthy, thriving ecosystem and is often listed as one of the top 10 diving destinations. In 2010 it received the travel & leisure award as best island in the Caribbean.