Hiking Trails

Caribbean Travel: Saba Reopens and Ready to Introduce Island: Travel Weekly

Saba, the tiny volcanic island southwest of St. Maarten, which has just reopened its borders, looks set to capture travelers with a focus on safety, outdoor adventures, and a host of new offerings.

“With almost the entire population of 1,900 [residents] vaccinated and as we focus on natural beauty, Saba is one of the safest destinations for those looking to explore and rejuvenate after the past year of quarantine, ”Saba Commissioner said , Bruce Zagers.

Islanders have spent time under lock and key improving accommodation and tourist infrastructure and are ready to welcome visitors with fresh hiking trails, a new flight option, and a recently discovered underwater archaeological find for divers.

Vaccinated travelers do not need to self-quarantine upon arrival; unvaccinated travelers should be quarantined for five days.

In addition to the regular 15-minute round-trip flights on Winair from St. Maarten (approximately $ 200), travelers can also charter flights on SXM Airways for $ 1,200 for six passengers.

The runway at Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport in Saba, one of the shortest in the world at 1,300 feet, is wedged between high hills on one side and cliffs that plunge into the sea at both ends.

Two ferry services operate in both directions, and each trip takes less than two hours, but beware: the seas can be rough.

The Saba Conservation Foundation has added boards and walking steps where possible on many of the island’s hiking trail systems.

The Trail Shop, the hub of Saba’s hiking activities in Windwardside, the island‘s second largest town, is building a botanical garden that will feature local fruit trees and medicinal plants as well as species that once grew in Saba but which are now hard to find.

As for accommodation, El Momo Cottages, perched atop Booby Hill, added a poolside patio during the lockdown. Juliana’s hotel has added four captains’ suites; each suite has a bespoke Captain’s Diary with historical content and images of the four Captains of Saban for whom each suite is named.

Queen’s Garden Resort & Spa has added a yoga platform to its wellness offerings at its Frangipani Spa.

Saba has a wide range of dive sites, including more than 30 in the Saba Marine Park.

During a recent study of the seabed, the Archaeological Center of Saba discovered two large ship guns crossed on top of each other. Both are over eight feet long, but no evidence of shipwreck has been found in the area. It appears the guns were sunk intentionally, either to reduce the weight of a stranded ship or to prevent them from falling into enemy hands, according to the center.