Planning a Trip
Saba Tourist Board, located in the heart of Windwardside (tel. 599/416-2231; fax 599/416-2350; www.sabatourism.com), is open Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm.
By Plane -- You'll have to get to St. Maarten before you can get to Saba. American Airlines (tel. 800/433-7300 in the U.S. and Canada; www.aa.com) flies nonstop from New York's JFK; Continental Airlines (tel. 800/231-0856 in the U.S. and Canada; www.continental.com) flies out of Newark. From Queen Juliana Airport on St. Maarten, you can take the 12-minute hop to Saba on Winair (tel. 866/466-0410 in the U.S. and Canada, or 599/545-4237; www.fly-winair.com). There are at least five flights per day, depending on volume; fares are from $166 round-trip.
Saba's Juancho Yrausquin Airport (tel. 599/416-2255) is one of the shortest landing strips in the world, stretching only 394m (1,292 ft.) along the aptly named Flat Point, one of the few level areas on the island.
Many guests at hotels on St. Maarten fly over to Saba on the morning flight, spend the day sightseeing, and then return to St. Maarten on the afternoon flight. Winair connections can also be made on Saba to both St. Kitts and St. Eustatius.
By Boat -- You can also take a high-speed ferry from St. Maarten's Pelican Marina at Simpson Bay to Fort Bay on Saba; you'll arrive in about an hour. The Edge (tel. 599/544-2640) departs Wednesday to Sunday at 9am, returning at 5pm, making a day trip to Saba possible. Sometimes the waters are turbulent, making passengers seasick. The round-trip fare is $65 per person or $45 one-way if returning on a different day than your departure. There is also a port fee of $5 per passenger.
By Taxi -- Taxis meet every flight. Up to four people are allowed to share a cab. The fare from the airport to Windwardside is $10, or $16 to The Bottom. A taxi from Windwardside to The Bottom costs $8. There is no central number to call for service. Taking a taxi ride on Saba is likely to involve you in local life -- it's decidedly informal here. Don't be surprised if your driver interrupts the trip to rush a sick child to a plane to be flown to a hospital or pick up an old man to take him up the hill because he'd fallen and hurt himself.
By Rental Car -- None of the major U.S. firms operates on Saba, partly because most visitors opt to get around by taxi. In the unlikely event that you should dare to drive a car on Saba, locally operated companies include Caja's Car Rental, The Bottom (tel. 599/416-2388), starting at $45 to $55 per day and including a full tank of gas and unlimited mileage. Some insurance is included in the rates, but you might be held partly responsible in the event of an accident. Because of the very narrow roads and dozens of cliffs, it's crucial to exercise caution when driving on Saba. Note that traffic moves on the right.
By Hitchhiking -- Hitchhiking has long been an acceptable means of transport on Saba, where everybody seemingly knows everybody else. And if you hitchhike, you'll probably get to know everybody else, too.
On Foot -- The traditional means of getting around on Saba -- walking -- is still much in evidence. Just don't do the walk from The Bottom up to Windwardside unless you're fairly fit and have shoes with good traction, particularly after a recent rain.