Northern Marianas Islands

Northern Marianas Islands

by Pacific Asian Travel Association (PATA)
Micronesia Chapter

Truly Relaxing Tropical Getaway….A chain of 14 islands, the Marianas – Saipan, Tinian, and Rota awaits you.

We invite you to experience our year-round summer climate and “small town” atmosphere.  Join us on all three islands where you will find an unspoiled natural environment, warm local hospitality, complete with the sophisticated amenities of a tourist resort. No matter your interest or preferred past time, you are sure to enjoy your visit on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota.

Tinian, a short ferryboat or commuter flight away, is a history buff’s delight.  Historic Sites that transformed the world a half-century ago silently guard the past, while revelers party the night away at the famous Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino. Renown for its famous hot peppers, Tinian hosts the Annual Tinian Hot Pepper Festival during Tourism Month in May.  Visit the festival where you will find unique arts and crafts and local delicacies.

Visa and Entry Formalities

Entry requirements for the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) are the same as for any U.S. destination. The U.S. Visa Waiver Program applies.  For further details, visit In addition, a special Guam-CNMI Visa Waiver Program allows visa-free entry from additional countries: Australia, Brunei, Hong Kong (HK Special Administrative Region [SAR] passport or HK Identification card is required), Japan, Malaysia, Nauru, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, United Kingdom.  Under the Guam-CNMI Visa Waiver Program, travelers from these countries, for a maximum of 45 days, seeking admission to the CNMI must possess a valid, unexpired machine-readable passport and must not have previously violated the terms of any prior admission to the U.S. ESTA is not a requirement for these travelers.

How to Get Around

Visitors can freely move around the islands by riding a taxi or driving a rental car.  U. S. driver’s license can be used; foreign visitors can use their home country licenses for up to 1 month.  Shuttle buses are available from most hotels and Duty Free Shopping Galleria in Garapan.  Taxis are available, and many hotels offer airport pick-up and drop-off.

Activities and Adventures . . .

Saipan, Tinian and Rota each present a wealth of historic, cultural and geographic sites that highlight the unique richness of the Northern Marianas.  The best part is, you can easily visit a number of significant sites in a single day due to the intimacy of these small islands.

Marine Activities

Explore the wonders of the underwater world. The Northern Mariana Islands’ pristine coral reefs boast colorful and abundant marine life. The sunken relics from WWII also offer a unique dive experience. A wide variety of great dive sites can accommodate both beginners and experts.

Wind Surfing
The gentle trade winds that blow on the ocean surface create ideal conditions for windsurfers. Windsurfing can be enjoyed all year around in the Northern Mariana Islands. Best Season: November-April.

Para Sailing
Enjoy the panoramic view from the ocean with a parachute; hooked on a boat, it takes you on a ride approximately 30 meters high.

Aqua-Naut/Sea Walker
Experience the underwater world by sea walking. See the various tropical fish that enhance your visit in a 3 meter deep dive. Visitors enjoy the popular adventure that is normally experienced by certified divers. Aqua-Naut/ Sea Walker is a safe and fun activity to enjoy.

Banana Boat
These boats are fast, becoming an integral part of the islands ocean sports. The Banana Boat does not have a motor, but is towed by a motorboat at speeds of 50-60 km per hour. Family and friends will enjoy this floating device that seats 5-6 people.

Submarine Tour
Experience an underwater adventure aboard a real submarine! Take this fascinating ride down 30 meters in the lagoon of Saipan for an up-close look at the world below the surface. This is a great tour for the family to enjoy. Magnificent coral formations and various tropical fish make this tour an event to remember.

On-Land Activities

Dinner Show
A variety of cultural dinner shows are available at certain hotels and outdoor venues. The nightly shows feature a colorful mixture of dances from many islands, while others feature the traditional Chamorro/Carolinian dances with a true local flavor. Dinner is included and the audience can take part in some of the performances.

Sunset Cruise
The sunset cruise offers fine dining, live music, and performances aboard a yacht. The quests can relax and watch Saipan’s picturesque sunset while they cruise through a turquoise lagoon. Perfect for a romantic outing with your special someone. Dinner is included.

Off-Road Adventures
Take an exciting ATV ride on a rough but, scenic-terrain, or adventure into the jungle on a 4WD truck. The tours allow you to experience remote beaches and jungle areas where the natural beauty of the islands is best preserved.

Spa Treatment
Visitors looking to pamper themselves will find a selection of spas waiting to indulge their every desire. Inspired by the natural beauty of the islands, the spas in Mariana Islands offer a vacation with in a vacation. Let the aroma of the island spice blends take you to a heavenly world of relaxation.

The Northern Mariana Islands has six golf courses with spectacular views. Each course offers a unique set of challenges, environments and experiences. The islands year-round warn tropical weather ensures that golf can be enjoyed at all times. Try playing a relaxing round of golf in lush, tropical settings.

Magic Show
Enjoy an exciting and magical evening of entertainment. Audiences of all ages will be overwhelmed when the art of magic comes to life, through the amazing work of a master illusionist.

   Rota Attractions   

Wedding Cake Mountain
Wedding Cake Mountain is the nickname for Mt. Taipingot. Viewed from a far, this rocky mountain resemble a layered cake commonly made for the weddings. It is an ideal place to go hiking and trekking into the lush green forest. Locates south of the Son Song village, this mountain is one of Rota’s postcard sites to capture.

Cave Museum
The museum itself is housed in a cave that is said to be approximately 10 million years old and is worth the visit. The cave is about 250 feet in length. The path is lined with artifacts that span the ages from ancient Chamorro with a few items from the Spanish intrusion. There are also many Japanese and American artifacts that are mostly from World War II era.

Teteto Beach & Guata Beach
Teteto Beach and the Guata Beach are the best snorkeling spots in Rota. Enjoy swimming in the crystal-clear water and sunbathing on white sand beaches during the daytime, watch the beautiful sunrise from a beach bar in the evening, and go star-gazing at night.

Sugar Mill and Trains
The Sugar Mills and the Trains were built and used by the Nanyo Kohatsu (NKK)/ Southsea Development Company.  The Sugar Mill was the only “Brick” structure built during the Japanese era. Mr. Haruji Matsue of the NKK believed the Marianas Islands had a huge potential for developing a successful sugar cultivation and refining industry, and began investigating. Later, he earned the nickname, “Sugar King.”

Where to Stay in Rota?

From boutique hotels to luxury resorts with spas and waterparks, a wide range of accomodations are available in the Northern Marianas to fit your need and budget during your stay.

Hotel Valentino
P.O. Box 491
Rota, MP 96951
T: (1-670) 532-8466/9362
F: (1-670) 532-0655

Rota Coconut Village
P.O. Box 855
Rota, MP 96951
T: (1-670) 532-3448
F: (1-670) 532-3449

Rota Resort and Country Club
P.O. Box 938
Rota, MP 96951
T: (1-670) 532-1155
F: (1-670) 532-1156

The Rota Hotel
P.O. Box 878
Rota, MP 96951
T: (1-670) 532-2000/1/2
F: (1-670) 532-3000

   Saipan Attractions   

Banzai Cliff and Suicide Cliff
Towards the end of the Battle for Saipan during WWII, defeated Japanese soldiers and civilians fled north to Marpi. Today, these cliffs are tourist attractions that offer glorious views despite their sad history. Numerous monuments dedicated to world peace and in remembrance of the dead can be seen at these cliffs.

Micro Beach
Micro Beach is famous for its colors and white sand beaches. The Oceans colors changes several times a day depending on the angle of the sun. The color is said to be most beautify at sunset.  It is popular spot for windsurfing and kite-surfing. Micro Beach is also a historically significant site to Saipan’s Carolinian (Refaluwasch) community. This beach is where the Carolinian migrants set foot upon their arrival on Saipan in the 19th century.

Mt. Tapochao
Although only 1,500 feet above sea-level, Mt. Tapachao is the pinnacle of a mountain ridge rising from the deepest point on the face of earth, the Marianas Trench. It offers an amazing 360-degree view of the entire island of Saipan, as well as Managaha Island and Tinian. Accessible by 4WD, the mountaintop can also be reached more adventurously by rough rails ideal for mountain biking and off-road ATV tours.

Garapan Street Market
The Garapan Street Market at the Garapan Fishing Base on Beach Rd. offers a cacophony of international dishes at a very reasonable price and free live entertainment.  Novelties, arts, and crafts also on sale.  A meeting place for both locals and visitors, the street market is “the place to be” on a Thursday night from 5-9:30 p.m.  Admission is free.

For more information, contact the CNMI Dept. of Community and Cultural Affairs at 670-664-2576.

Managaha Island
As its nickname, “The Pearl of Saipan,” suggests a trip to Saipan would not be complete without paying a visit to the famous Managaha Island. A small island off the western coast of Saipan, the Managaha Island offers snow-white sand beaches and turquoise-blue waters filled with a colorful array of gorgeous marine life. The island is easily accessible by ferries and speedboat (10-15 minutes from Saipan).

The Grotto is considered as one of the best cavern dive sites in the world (voted the world’s No. 2 cavern diving spot by Skin Diver Magazine). A steep decline of 103-steps leads to a natural limestone cave with a pool. Underneath the pool is the underwater cavern with three separate cave outlets to the Pacific Ocean. The 5a.m. morning dive usually features turtles, sharks, and manta rays.

Bird Island
The “Isleta Maigo Fahang,” commonly known as the Bird Island – is a small rock islet standing on coral reef off the northeastern coast of Saipan. The lookout offers remarkable scenery, and is also an excellent spot for bird watching. Be sure to bring a pair of binoculars with you.

Last Command Post
The Last Command Post, located just below the high cliffs in the Marpi, was one of the final strongholds of the Japanese army during WWII. The surrounding cliffs and the walls of the command post bear the scars of countless bullets and bomb blasts. Today, it’s a tourist site featuring several relics from the war. Japanese and Korean memorials are also located nearby.

American Memorial Park
Located in the Garapan area near Micro Beach, the memorial park is a popular spot for strolling or jogging. The park honors the American soldiers and the indigenous people who gave their lives during the Marianas Campaign of World War II. Within the 133-acre boundary are beaches, sports fields, picnic sites, boat marina and mangrove forecast.

More info

Where to Stay in Saipan

From boutique hotels to luxury resorts with spas and waterparks, a wide range of accomodations are available in the Northern Marianas to fit your need and budget during your stay.

Aqua Resort Club, Saipan
P.O. Box 500009
Saipan, MP 96950
T: (1-670) 322-1234 / F: (1-670) 322-1220

Aquarius Beach Tower Hotel
P.O. Box 500110
Saipan, MP 96950
T: (1-670) 235-6025 / F: (1-670) 235-8098

Century Hotel
P.O. Box 501280
Saipan, MP 96950
T: (1-670) 322-1420 / F: (1-670) 233-1424

Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan
P.O. Box 501029
Saipan, MP 96950
T: (1-670) 234-6412-14 / F: (1-670) 234-7049

Hafa Adai Beach Hotel
P.O. Box 500338
Saipan, MP 96950
T: (1-670) 234-6495 to 98 / F: (1-670) 237-2529/2523

Holiday Saipan Resort
PMB A17 Box 10001
Saipan, MP 96950
T: (1-670) 233-3337/8 / F: (1-670) 233-3331

Hyatt Regency Saipan
P.O. Box 5087
Saipan, MP 96950
T: (1-670) 234-1234 / F: (1-670) 234-7745

Mariana Resort & Spa
P.O. Box 500527
Saipan, MP 96950
T: (1-670) 322-0770 / F: (1-670) 322-0776

Pacific Islands Club Saipan
P.O. Box 502370
Saipan, MP 96950
T: (1-670) 234-7976 / F: (1-670) 234-2030

Kanoa Resort
P.O. Box 500369
Saipan, MP 96950
T: (1-670) 234-6601 / F: (1-670) 234-0410

Saipan Ocean View Hotel
P.O. Box 500799
Saipan, MP 96950
T: (1-670) 234-8900 / F: (1-670) 234-9428

Saipan World Resort
P.O. Box 500066
Saipan, MP 96950
T: (1-670) 234-5900

Summer Holiday Hotel
P.O. Box 5152 CHRB
Saipan, MP 96950
T: (1-670) 234-3182-84 / F: (1-670) 234-3077

   Tinian Attractions   

Chulu Beach (Famous for Star Sand)
Chulu Beach is located on Tinian’s northwestern shore. It was used as a landing site by US forces during the World War II Battle for Tinian. This secluded, pristine white-sand beach is perfect for swimming and picnicking. It is also known as the “Star Beach” to the locals because of the star-shaped sand particles can be found among the regular sand particles.

Atomic Bomb Pit
There are two months that indicate the site of the World War II atomic bomb loading and departure in North Field. Two atomic bombs –“Fat Man (Plutonium implosion)” and Little Boy (gun-style uranium)” – were loaded onto the B29 bombers here. Little Boy was dropped on Nagasaki on August 9, 1949. To this date, these were the only attacks with nuclear weapons in history.

Tinian Grotto
Like Saipan, Tinian too has a Grotto. The Tinian Grotto is the islands most popular cavern. Most Divers enter the cavern from the hold on top and exit through one of the other holes. The coral formation is bustling with colorful marine life such as shrimps and crabs.

At the moment, the Tinian Dynasty Hotel and Casino is the only full-scale casino in the Northern Mariana Islands. Feeling lucky? Tinian’s casino offer a wide variety of games such as baccarat, roulette, black jack, slot machines, and many more. Various tournaments and championship games are held at the casino throughout the year drawing both local and international players to the island of Tinian.

Where to Stay in Tinian

From boutique hotels to luxury resorts with spas and waterparks, a wide range of accomodations are available in the Northern Marianas to fit your need and budget during your stay.

Fleming Hotel
P.O. Box 68
Tinian, MP 96952
T: (1-670) 433-3232 / F: (1-670) 433-3022

Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino
P.O. Box 468
Tinian, MP 96952
T: (1-670) 328-2233 / F: (1-670) 328-1133

Subscribe to our Stripes Pacific newsletter and receive amazing travel stories, great event info, cultural information, interesting lifestyle articles and more directly in your inbox!

Follow us on social media!

Facebook: Stars and Stripes Pacific
Flipboard: Stars and Stripes Community Sites

Looking to travel while stationed abroad? Check out our other Pacific community sites!
Stripes Japan
Stripes Korea
Stripes Guam

Recommended Content

Around the Web