Diving on Saba
Saba plunges below the sea as steeply as it rises above. From shallow patch reefs to deep underwater seamounts, the Unspoiled Queen offers sites suitable for any diver’s level of experience.
Past volcanic activity created spectacular formations and structures such as underwater lava flows and hot springs. The reefs are populated with schools of tropical fish and healthy coral, while sheer, close-to-shore walls are covered with sponges of all sizes. Unusual and exciting sightings are always possible in Saba’s waters, including frequent shark encounters.
Saba offers year-round diving with seasonal differences in water temperature and surface conditions. The water temperature varies between 26C and 28C (77F-84F). Visibility ranges from a minimum of 20m (60ft) to virtually unlimited. Swells and heavy rainfall may influence visibility, but typically it clears again very quickly.
Due to the steepness of the coastal zone, shore diving is prohibited. All diving must be done with one of Saba’s licensed dive centers. Their expertise contributes to a safe, convenient and informative diving experience. Fortunately, Saba’s dramatic coastline naturally limits coastal development. The quality of the marine environment, resilient reef communities and rich and varied marine life continue to lure divers to Saba’s unspoiled waters.
View Dive Site Map for Saba: Saba Dive Site Map | Saba | Sea Saba Advanced Dive Center | Saba Deep Charters
View the diving brochure: Diving Information
Snorkel trips in the Saba Marine Park
Sea Saba - $39.00
Join Sea Saba for an afternoon snorkel when the conditions permit. We confirm snorkeling conditions every morning, so contact us if interested. Snorkelers join the afternoon dive boat that departs at 1 PM. Price includes rental equipment and taxes. Price excludes $3.00 marine park fee.
Saba Deep (Coming Soon)
Come explore Saba's most sought-after snorkeling hot spots. The island has more than a half-dozen snorkel zones. Some of the most popular spots include Torrents Point, Wells Bay, Cove Bay, Fort Bay, and Tent Bay to name a few. Beneath the sea you will encounter stunning, diverse, and well-protected sea life. The Hawksbill turtles have also been known to swim along with snorkelers, let's make it happen!
- What's Included:
- Professional Fishing Guide with 30+ Years of Experience in the Caribbean
- Safety Equip. & First Aid Kit Onboard
- All Taxes, Fees and Handling Charges
- Head with Shower, Galley with Dining Area, Air-conditioned Cabin
- Complimentary Assortment of Beverages and Snacks
- Swim Platform, Snorkeling Equip, Noodles & Other Toys, SO BRING YOUR SUIT!
- Scuba and Snorkeling equipment rental available
The Saba Marine Park
The island’s dive tourism, which started in the early 1980s, introduced SCUBA enthusiasts to the wealth of Saba’s underwater world. Saba Marine Park was established in 1987 with permanent moorings, regulations of use and maintenance and a strong conservation attitude.
Saba’s marine park has received several honors and remains the only park of its kind in the world to be completely self-sufficient in its operation. The park is situated around the entire island and includes the waters and seabed from the highwater mark to a depth of 200 feet, as well as offshore seamounts. A zoning system is applied to get the best possible compromise between different uses of the marine environment.
Saba Marine Park Features
Saba is a dormant volcano that rises steeply from the ocean. Depths of 1,000 feet and more are found within a half-mile from shore. The nearshore environments present some very interesting and extremely varied diving experiences, while the offshore dives will leave you absolutely speechless.
Saba is blessed with an abundance of fish in the Marine Park. This is the result of restrictions on fishing, anchorage and extensive diver education as to the rules and regulations. One dramatic indication of this is a large number of Nassau Grouper (Graysbys, Hinds, Coneys) that can be seen on every dive. Ecological surveys have recorded over 150 species, all with healthy populations. Some of the most common pelagic fish include Horse-eye Jacks, Great Barracuda, Wahoo, Tarpon and 5 species of shark. Schooling fish include Wrasses, Blue Tangs, Chromis and Surgeonfish.
On almost every dive, Parrotfish, Triggerfish, Angelfish, Snapper and Grunts can be seen in abundance. In sandy areas, Lizardfish, Sand Divers, Flying Gurnards and Garden Eels predominate.
Corals and Sponges
True reefs are found at a few locations within the Marine Park. The vast majority of coral structures can be categorized as coral-encrusted boulders. These boulders are volcanic in origin and generally originate from the hillsides along the coast. Both hard and soft corals and sponges cover the boulders to such a degree that the rock is often not visible. The Pinnacles are coral-encrusted volcanic structures rising out of the seafloor 100m (330ft) below. Gorgonians, Sea Fans, Barrel Sponges and Chimney Sponges are abundant everywhere. Elkhorn Coral colonies can be found at sites east of the harbor.
Turtles and other critters
Due to the protection of their food sources within the Saba Marine Park, both Green and Hawksbill Turtles thrive around Saba. Provided that divers approach slowly, the turtles will continue to feed while having their picture taken. With restrictions on fishing, Conch, Saba Lobster and a variety of crabs can commondly be observed on most dives.
If you’re lucky…
In addition to the creatures described above, you may be fortunate enough to spend time with some regular visitors to Saba. These include Hammerhead and Whale Sharks, Manta and Spotted Eagle Rays, Longsnout Seahorses and Frog Fish. During winter months, you can sometimes hear whales singing to each other or you may even see them breaching.
Dive Operators & Charters on Saba
Saba Dive Map
Click here to learn more about dive sites around the island on this interactive map from Sea Saba.
Diving Brochure: Diving Information
Marine Park Rules
While enjoying the beauty of Saba’s precious waters here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Take only pictures – leave only bubbles!
- Listen to your dive leaders and dive THEIR plan
- Don’t touch the coral, harass the wildlife or remove anything from the Marine Park
- Ensure that you practice excellent buoyancy control
- Don’t feed the fish or leave anything in the Marine Park
- Gloves are not permitted except for holding the line at your 3-minute safety stop
- When photographing, adjust all settings before framing the shot and ensure that you and your equipment do not contact the reef
- The use of light sticks is not permitted as they may be ingested by marine life