Saba, a small mountainous island without beaches in the Netherlands Antilles, does not attract the large numbers of travelers that other destinations in the Caribbean do. Fewer than 25,000 travelers come to the island each year, all seeking retreat and adventure in the captivating mountain and underwater terrains.
Due to Saba's smaller size and profile in the Caribbean, many travelers may not be as knowledgeable about the culture, history, landscape, and appeal of Saba as they are about other islands in the region. Luckily, there are a number of informative resources about this quietly charming island.
Although the island has no beaches, Saba attracts large numbers of eco-tourists and adventurers looking to explore the unbelievably rich landscape of the Saba Marine Park and the flora of Mt. Scenery. Friends, family, and coworkers who have traveled to the island can be beneficial resources as you research your travel. Perhaps your interest in the island was originally sparked by a recommendation from a friend, or from hearing a conversation on a business trip. Listen to what other travelers have to say in order to form a general impression about Saba. In the later stages of your research, friends can provide suggestions for places to eat and stay. Fellow hikers and scuba divers may be able to share tips for making the most of the rich and varied terrain. Travelers can also learn about former travelers' bad experiences and how to avoid them during their own trip.
Probably the most complete and extensive resource for researching Saba is the Internet. With a staggering number of Web sites dedicated to providing information on nearly every conceivable topic, the Internet can be a convenient, easy, and rewarding resource. This guide site provides travelers with a wealth of information regarding Saba. Travelers can use the intuitive interface to search through the comprehensive collection of information, facts, and contacts. Travelers can find information ranging from which airlines provide service to the small airport, to what kind of clothes to pack for a trip to Saba.
Travelers who have finished reading through this site and wish to consult other sources can contact the Saba Tourist Bureau. The Bureau can be a helpful and official source for general or specific information regarding Saba. The Official Site of Saba's Tourist Bureau can be accessed at http://www.sabatourism.com/. For additional tourism related information, prospective travelers can also consult the Caribbean Tourism Organization. If you are searching for specific information regarding an aspect of life on Saba, Internet search engines may yield productive results. Search engines such as Google allow Internet users to enter customized search terms that will produce thousands of results for Internet pages with varying levels of information relevant to your search. Generally, the most relevant results will be listed first.
While using various Internet search engines, travelers are likely to encounter several types of Web sites that could prove useful in researching Saba. These sites include Internet vendors, bulletin and message boards, and online travel magazines.
Internet vendors can provide deals on airfare, cruise travel, accommodations, tours, and transportation. By entering a location and date of travel, you will receive a listing of results for travel needs such as airfare and accommodation. A varied listing of flights should be displayed, with options for air carriers, flight times, and connections. Hotel listings can provide a clue about the kinds of accommodations available on the island, where they are located, and what kind of services they provide. These sites may also offer package deals, allowing travelers to secure airfare, accommodations, rental vehicles, and tours all in one price. Even if travelers do not elect to book their travel using these Internet vendor sites, searching through them can prove useful.
Message and bulletin boards are another type of Internet site that travelers are likely to encounter. Various travel oriented sites will have discussion boards where former and prospective travelers can meet in an electronic gathering place to discuss travel and tourism on Saba and other destinations. Message boards can be divided into general discussion forums and specialized forums, such as hotels or dining. Travelers who are looking for information, but who do not wish to enter the fray, can simply scroll through the archives of posted comments, questions, and responses to see what past travelers have said about the island. Others may elect to enter the discussion and voice their own questions or concerns. On active message boards, former travelers are often more than happy to provide advice and information. Travelers should be cautious when using this resource, however, as the information received on these sites is unofficial and comes from unverified sources. Always verify important information with official sources to ensure the quality of your trip and your own safety. Never give out personal information such as addresses, phone numbers, or credit card numbers to users in these forums.
Another online source of travel information are travel magazines that keep online databases of their articles and features. Travel magazines that focus on islands and the Caribbean may have articles dealing directly with Saba or have features that address general travel or attractions in the Caribbean. Researchers who access these online magazines may be able to browse through searchable archives of past articles to find relevant information.
Of course, the Internet is not the only means of obtaining useful information regarding Saba. Some travelers do not have regular access to the Internet or may feel uncomfortable conducting research online. These travelers may find their local bookstore to be most useful in their search for information. Many of the travel magazines found on the Internet may be available in their current hard copy edition on the magazine rack of your local bookstore. These magazines can provide current information on trends, activities, and issues that are relevant to different islands within the Caribbean. Even though a magazine might not directly address Saba, it could address information that is indirectly relevant, such as in an article about scuba diving. Magazines also have advertisements which may give travelers ideas for tours, hotels, or activities.
Before leaving the bookstore, remember to consult the travel book section. Guidebooks in this section will deal with both general Caribbean travel and travel specifically to Saba. These guidebooks offer a wide array of travel information, but may utilize different layouts. Travelers should take time to look through several guidebooks to see which cater to their preferred vacation style. Many travelers to Saba are interested in eco-tourism, but not all guidebooks will present equally helpful information on this topic. Travelers may wish to purchase a book to carry with them to consult as they hike up Mt. Scenery.
With so many available resources, it may be difficult to know where to begin researching your Saba vacation. But taking the time to scour books, magazines, and the Internet can give you invaluable assistance as you plan your dream vacation to this tiny island in the Netherlands Antilles.
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