Scuba Diving Near Saba

Saba's stunning underwater landscape features a variety of marine life that make it one of the best diving locations in the world

Photo credit: © Deborah Coles |

Diving on Saba is a fairly recent activity, beginning only in 1981. Since diving began here, dive operators have worked with Saba's government and local fishermen to conserve the aquatic environment.

Unlike many other destinations, Saba preserved its marine life before it could be damaged, so its coral is completely healthy, and fish populations in dive areas remain undisturbed by fishermen. For divers, this provides breathtaking underwater vistas and excellent photography opportunities.

Saba's warm, clear waters make diving a pleasure. In the summertime, the water temperature averages 86 degrees Fahrenheit, with visibility from 75 to 100 feet. The water temperature drops to about 75 degrees Fahrenheit in the wintertime, but visibility increases to more than 125 feet.

In 1987, the island's coast and surrounding waters were designated as the Saba Marine Park. Thirty-six diving buoys at the park's 25 dive sites provide mooring for boats, preventing damage to coral reefs. Depth at the dive sites varies from 15 feet to 130 feet. Snorkeling is less practical than diving, since there are fewer shallow areas and sites must be accessed by boat.

Diving is permitted only with the guidance of one of the island's three dive shops: Saba Deep, Saba Divers, and Sea Saba. All three offer diving classes from beginner to advanced levels, as well as specialty courses. Saba Divers runs its own hotel with restaurant, Scout's Place, and offers many diving packages that include accommodations. Saba Deep and Sea Saba also offer diving/room packages, partnering with several local hotels and cottages. Saba Deep has a restaurant and boutique in addition to their dive center. Sea Saba also has a boutique in addition to their dive center.

When considering package deals, make sure you know whether prices include transportation from the airport, the Saba Marine Park fee, diving equipment, room taxes, any meals, and how many dives. Whether you want to spend your time in between dives on land or on water will also determine which dive company you choose.

Visitors can also arrange single dives, which is perfect for those who don't want to dive every day. Expect to pay at least $50 (USD) for one dive.

To make the most of your diving excursion, follow the safety guidelines given by your diving guides. Don't wear jewelry or other shiny objects, which barracudas may mistake for prey. Help conservation efforts by not feeding or touching marine animals. Also refrain from taking underwater objects, which is both potentially damaging and illegal. When walking on the ocean floor, shuffle your feet to avoid stingrays.

There is one dive operator, some dive shops, and at least 26 different dive sites to choose from.

Dive Operators and Shops

The dive shops worth considering are provided here:

Dive Shops Near Saba
Name Phone Location
Saba Deep Dive Center (599) 416-3347 0.8 mi. South of Central the Bottom
Saba Divers Dive Center -- 0.8 mi. South of Central the Bottom
Sea Saba Advanced Dive Center (599) 416-2246 Windward Side, Central Saba

The table right below provides you with some key facts concerning the only dive service we are aware of that operates in this area.

Dive Operators Near Saba
Name Type Phone Location Island
Saba Divers Dive Service//12576 -- Windward Side, Central Saba Saba

Dive Sites

Review the following table for some key facts concerning some of the area's dive sites.

Dive Sites Near Saba
Name Quality Max Depth Latitude Longitude
Babylon Very Good -- 17.62955487 -63.2595348358
Big Rock Market -- 70.0 17.6142082682 -63.22889328
Core Gut Very Good 90.0 17.6287692506 -63.2172584545
Cove Bay -- 90.0 17.6407934451 -63.2197475445
Customs House -- 120.0 17.6330517697 -63.257818222
David's Dropoff Very Good 120.0 17.6208344789 -63.2193183911
Diamond Rock -- 80.0 17.6498218982 -63.2539463043
Green Island -- 65.0 17.6489403355 -63.2294392589
Greer Gut -- 70.0 17.6119994772 -63.2452011108
Hole in the Corner -- 75.0 17.6156807805 -63.2241249096
Hot Springs Very Good 80.0 17.6242991681 -63.2598996162
Ladder Labyrinth -- 80.0 17.6260783527 -63.2598781586
Man O' War Shoals -- 70.0 17.6485421731 -63.2517671585
Mt. Michel -- 110.0 17.6304052375 -63.2675170689
Otto Limits -- 55.0 17.6469472416 -63.2512950897
Outer Limits -- -- 17.636335584 -63.2661437779
Poriotes Point -- 75.0 17.6312726538 -63.2585263252
Shark Shoals -- 120.0 17.6453522982 -63.2627534762
Tedran Reef -- 100.0 17.620065865 -63.2619380951
Tent Reef Very Good 65.0 17.6166505191 -63.258934021
Tent Reef Deep -- 120.0 17.6157506568 -63.2568955421
Tent Reef Wall Very Good 100.0 17.6180616579 -63.2607579231
Third Encounter Excellent 110.0 17.6327773995 -63.2670450001
Torrens Point Very Good 50.0 17.6442480947 -63.2544279099
Twilight Zone -- 100.0 17.6341679627 -63.265285471
Well's Bay Point -- -- 17.6379090296 -63.2558012012

To learn more concerning snorkeling, including helpful suggestions and tips skilled divers as well as beginners, read our comprehensive Caribbean diving page.

Saba's dive sites can be grouped into six basic areas, each with its own characteristics.

  • The Pinnacles 
    Peaks formed by volcanic activity rise from the ocean floor, reaching heights up to 100 feet. Corals, sponges, and other invertebrates cover the Pinnacles. Many types of fish, as well as sharks, frequent this area.
  • Wells Bay Area 
    At Wells Bay and Torrens Point, towering spires form a protective cove, making this an excellent place for snorkeling and shallow diving. Underwater caves and tunnels teem with life. Blue tangs, goatfish, and parrotfish love to swim here.
  • Man O' War Shoals to Diamond Rock 
    The waters between Man O' War Shoals and Diamond Rock reach a depth of about 80 feet in some points. Around Diamond Rock currents become strong, so divers should be careful in this area. Brightly colored sponges, smaller coral species, and sea fans inhabit walls and rocks. Types of fish divers are most likely to encounter include schools of black durgons and barracudas. Stingrays and black-tip sharks may be sighted, too.
  • Ladder Bay Area 
    Lava flows created the grooved and protruding forms of a natural labyrinth. Large boulders and gray sand dominate the sea floor, and several types of coral thrive here. The barracudas in this area tend to be curious and may swim very close to divers.
  • Tent Reef Area 
    This extended rock ledge gradually turns into a sheer wall, then becomes fragmented. On the wall, tubular sponges, elephant ear sponges, and black coral thrive. Areas where the ledge is undercut have become havens for snappers. Tent Reef is an excellent area for night diving, where divers may see octopus, sleeping turtles, and spiny lobsters.
  • East Side 
    Dive sites on Saba's east side differ quite a bit from the rest, and good weather is a must for diving here. When the weather does cooperate, calm waters provide excellent visibility. Hard corals abound, as opposed to the soft corals at Saba's other dive sites. Much of this area's coral lives on boulders, but Greer Gut and Giles Quarter are true coral reefs. White sands and a wide variety of aquatic creatures also make the East Side's sites distinctive.

Keeping the safety of yourself and marine life in mind while you're diving or snorkeling will help you enjoy your underwater explorations. See for yourself why tiny Saba is a big deal in the diving world.


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