General Info, Travel Info, & FAQs are provided to assist with your vacation.
ATMs Not all ATMs in the Caribbean operate like those in your home country. Some may only accept a four digit PIN number, so if yours is longer you may want to change it before your trip. Ensure you keep your travel money in your primary chequing account as some ATMs default to this account and will not allow you to choose another. Withdrawal fees are generally much higher outside your home country.
ATMs, also called bankomatikos, are available at the RBTT Bank in Windwardside (tel 599/416-2454) and Windward Islands Bank in The Bottom. They dispense Netherlands Antillean florins/guilders, and generally they accept MasterCard, Visa and bank cards on the Cirrus and Plus networks. FirstCaribbean International Bank (tel 599/416-2216) also has a branch in Windwardside.
BANKING AND BUSINESS HOURS Banks Mon-Fri 8:30am-3:30pm
Post Office Mon-Thurs 7:30am-5pm Fri 7:30am-4:30pm
CHURCHES/RELIGIONS Predominantly Roman Catholic. Protestant, including Anglican, Jehovah's Witness, Seventh-day Adventist and Wesleyan Holiness also represented.
CURRENCY AND CREDIT CARDS The local currency is the Netherlands Antillean florin (NAF, NAf, NAFl, NAfl, NFl or Fl) also known as the Netherlands Antillean guilder (ANG), which is divided into 100 cents. Paper money runs in denominations of NAFl 5, NAFl 10, NAFl 25, NAFl 50, NAFl 100 and NAFl 250 bills, and coins in 1¢, 2.5¢ (very rare), 5¢, 10¢, 25¢, 50¢, NAFl 1 and NAFl 5 pieces. The florin is fixed to the US dollar at approximately NAFl 1.77 = US$1. Most hotels, shops and restaurants accept US dollars, Discover, MasterCard, Visa and traveller's cheques. A few also accept American Express. Prices may be posted in US dollars or Netherlands Antillean guilders depending on the business.
To ensure hassle-free purchases during your trip, you may want to contact your credit card company and let them know you will be travelling abroad.
EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBERS American Express: lost or stolen card, 336/393-1111 (call collect); lost or stolen cheques or cheque cards, 800/393-1966 Discover Card: 801/902-3100 MasterCard: 800-1561 Visa: 410/902-8022 (call collect) Western Union: no agents on Saba
DEPARTURE TAX If you're returning to St Maarten or going to St Eustatius (Statia) the departure tax is $5. If you're continuing on to an international destination the departure tax is $20.
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS All visitors must have a valid passport or proof of citizenship, such as an original/certified birth certificate or voter's registration with official photo identification, and an onward or return ticket.
Nationals of countries other than Canada, the United Kingdom and United States may require a visa. Consult your nearest Kingdom of the Netherlands consulate or embassy.
Note: As of January 8, 2007, all persons travelling by air to the Caribbean, Mexico and Bermuda will require a valid passport, Air NEXUS card or US Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Document to enter and/or re-enter the United States in accordance with the US Government's Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. For more information visit the US Government's Bureau of Consular Affairs website at www.travel.state.gov.
Some countries require single/lone parents or other adults travelling alone with children to provide documents showing evidence of parental/custodial and/or access rights, and/or documents authorizing consent from the parents, legal guardian, and/or the court for the children to travel. Parents of adopted children, particularly those of a different nationality, should carry the proper documents.
NEAREST FOREIGN REPRESENTATION British High Commission: 246/430-7800 (Barbados) Consulate of Canada: 599/543-6261 (St Maarten), 246/429-3550 (High Commission, Barbados), 613/996-8885 (collect to Ottawa) US Embassy: 246/436-4950 (Barbados), 246/431-0225 (Consular Section, Barbados)
As of November 1, 2006
British pound sterling
European Union euro
HEALTH STANDARDS A M Edwards Medical Center (tel 416-3239 or 416-3288) is the only hospital on the island. There is a hyperbaric chamber at the Saba Marine Park (tel 416-3295). Serious cases require medical air evacuation. Your home medical program may not provide payment for medical services outside your home country. Obtaining adequate medical/travel insurance, including air ambulance coverage, and consulting a physician or travel medicine specialist six to eight weeks prior to your trip to determine health risks and necessary vaccinations is recommended.
ILLEGAL ITEMS There are harsh penalties for possession, use or trafficking in illegal drugs; strict regulations for exporting or temporarily importing firearms and certain marine and animal specimens; and strict gun control laws.
LANGUAGE Dutch is the official language, however, everyone speaks English.
POSTAGE There is a post office in Windwardside (tel 416-2221) and another in the Government Administration Building in The Bottom. Operating hours are Mon-Thurs 7:30am-5pm and Fri 7:30am-4:30pm. Airmail to North America can take one to two weeks and to the UK, two to three weeks. Courier service is also available.
Island Communication Services (tel 416-2881) is a privately owned business centre and Internet café. Once a week through UPS they mail postcards and small and large envelopes, which arrive at destinations in the US and Canada within one week. They also sell US stamps.
PUBLIC HOLIDAYS Jan 1 New Year's Day Mar/Apr (varies) Good Friday Mar/Apr (varies) Easter Sunday Mar/Apr (varies) Easter Monday Apr 30 Coronation Day and the Queen's Birthday May (varies) Labour Day May (varies) Ascension Thursday Oct 21 Antillean Day Dec (during the first week) Saba Day Dec 25 Christmas Day Dec 26 Boxing Day
SHOPPING HOURS Shops are generally open Mon-Sat 8/9am-5/6pm.
TAXES Hotels add a 5% government room tax to bills.
TELECOMMUNICATIONS The phone system on Saba is modern and cellular and Internet services are available.
The country code is 599 (for the Netherlands Antilles) and the area code for Saba is 416. Local phone numbers have four digits. To make a local call, dial all seven digits (eg, 416-XXXX). When calling the island from North America dial 011 + 599 + 416 + the local four-digit number. When calling from elsewhere dial 00 + 599 + 416 + the local four-digit number.
Public phone booths use guilder coins or prepaid phone cards, which are available at stores throughout the island. Some international public phones accept credit cards and allow collect calls.
For more information see the section in FAQs: Can I use my calling card from here?
UTS (tel 416-3211), East Caribbean Cellular (tel 599/542-4100, St Maarten) and CellularOne (tel 599/543-0222, St Maarten), provide cellular roaming services. Island Communications Services (tel 416-2881) rents cellular phones. Check with your service provider to see if they have a roaming agreement with one of these companies.
TEMPERATURES The average year-round temperature is about 80°F.
TIME ZONE The island is on Atlantic Standard Time year round, which is four hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). During the summer the time is the same as on the east coast of North America and during the winter, the time is one hour ahead.
Disclaimer: Information is provided as a service to visitors and is updated regularly. All
information should be verified prior to travel.