The Saba airport is a major point of entry for travelers to this small island, though some do also arrive by boat. If you want to visit this tiny, five-square-mile island via air, you’ll book flights to the Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport, is the only airport on the island. A few minutes after landing, you will be driving along The Road, which is the only major road on the island, toward your hotel or destination. This island is known for its mountain climbing, scuba diving, and hiking, so get ready for an adventurous vacation!
Flights to Saba have gained notoriety in recent years for one reason: The airport is known for its very short runway. The Saba Airport is home to an optical illusion because of its landscape. On one side of the runway there are high hills, while on the other side there are cliffs dropping into the sea. These geographical details make for a thrilling landing at Yrausquin Airport—at first, it will feel as if the plane could overshoot the runway and keep going straight into the sea. Visitors should rest assured however that pilots who land here are very accustomed to the runway and accidents are extremely rare.
Flights to Saba most often take off from another island in the Caribbean. Winair is a local airline that offers service between Saba and St Martin; this flight only lasts twelve minutes. Saba Airport also welcomes charter planes. If you are planning your own tour of the Caribbean, then choosing charter might be more convenient for your schedule. Anguilla is a popular place for charter flights to and from Saba. Some travelers who have seen pictures and read details about the runway in Saba plan a trip to the island just to land on the exciting strip of landing space that runs into the sea.
While Yrausquin Airport is one popular way to enter Saba, ferries and cruises are the other popular way people arrive. Saba is still off the beaten path for many tourists, so compared to other Caribbean islands the number of international visitors isn’t very impressive. However, the travelers who do plan a trip to Saba like it this way, as they have the coral reefs and mountain trails all to themselves. Another reason some travelers don’t consider Saba to be at the top of their list for the Caribbean is the lack of beaches. This island doesn’t have the long, sandy beaches that other islands in the Caribbean do. However, many visitors take a ferry over from St Martin for a day to see the natural beauty of the island of Saba; if you’re more interested in an adventurous vacation than in lounging on the beach, this is a great destination.
Whether you choose flights to Saba or to arrive by ferry, you will be glad you got off the beaten path to explore an unspoiled island in the Caribbean. Some travelers choose to only stay for a day, while others adapt the Caribbean pace of life and take things slow. There are a few hotels on the island, scuba operators that will share their expertise about marine life with you, and even small towns that are known for their architecture and art. Once you take the time to stop and smell the roses, you will discover all that there is to see and do on the tiny island of Saba.
Image: Mike Roberts NYC (flickr)