Get out and about in Saipan, Tinian, and Rota!
The Marianas offers a wide variety of activities to keep your days filled with fun and adventure. Wander around the local market after enjoying time in the museum, or explore the oceans beautiful underwater scenes. Here are some ideas to help you plan your trip!
Noted by media for its “seven shades of blue,” the waters of The Marianas offer exceptional underwater visibility and year-round warm water temperature, perfect for snorkeling. From white sandy beaches to vibrant coral reefs, a variety of underwater scenery with hundreds of marine species can be explored. Managaha, a conservation area voted “Best Beach and Snorkeling” for over 10 years at Japan Marine Dive Fair is a “must see.” A maritime heritage trail in Saipan also offers the unique opportunity to explore historical relics from World War II. On Rota, explore another award-winning locale, Teteto Beach, the underwater wonders of Coral Garden, or Guata Beach.
In addition to snorkeling, water sports for all ages await the adventurous visitor. Stand-up paddling and kayaking allow you to glide across the lagoon and explore at a leisure pace. Parasailing takes a bit more finesse. Banana boat riding, jet skiing, and Jetovator add speed and adrenaline to the adventure. For those who want to delve deeper, underwater walking and underwater scooters await.
Adventures in The Marianas await on land, in the sea, and even in sky. Parasail and feel like a free bird soaring on the wind over the ocean. Fulfill your dream jump out of a perfectly good plane and skydive! Take the helm of an exploratory plane tour around Saipan.
Unwind and de-stress In the cool of the early morning or late afternoon as you stroll along various pathways that put you in touch – literally – with soothing nature. Most accessible is the Froilan C. Tenorio Beach Road Pathway that begins at American Memorial Park and passes through downtown Garapan before meandering alongside Saipan’s western lagoon to Kilili Beach Park in Oleai. Still morning waters mirroring the sky and stunning sunsets provide numerous photo ops. For a shorter stroll, the American Memorial Park heads north from the part, traversing beaches, wetlands, Smiling Cove Marina, memorials, and other historic sites. The more vigorous and secluded Marpi pathway begins at the Last Command Post and ascends to Suicide Cliff, tucked between the road and a forest line overlooking ocean and mountain vistas. For history buffs, check out the Garapan Heritage Trail highlighting historic sites in the area. Don’t forget to stay hydrated while walking and hiking!
Most hiking trails in The Marianas are unmarked and secluded and should only to undertaken with a guide for safety. Forbidden Is. hike on Saipan is a difficult trail descending hundreds of feet to a breathtaking, quiet beach. Carolinas Trail on Tinian is much more hiker-friendly. On Rota, explore the trail of Mt. Sabana or request permit from the local fish & wildlife office to hike Wedding Cake Mountain. The Commonwealth Forest trail in Marpi, Saipan, is highlighted by indigenous trees and plants.
Luxury shopping abounds in Saipan with a surprising number of name brand retail outlets. Jewelry, watches, clothing, other luxury items and more await the shopper with good taste. Made in The Marianas products make the perfect gift to share the taste, sights, smells and feel of your vacation in paradise. Check out downtown Garapan, the Saipan International Airport, and other retail outlets for a wide variety of choices.
A 2-hour driving tour can take you around Rota, Tinian, or Saipan, with time for a few scenic shots. In Saipan, don’t miss the unspoiled beauty and historic sites of Marpi in the northern part of the islands. On Rota, the quiet beauty of the road from the Rota Airport south past local farms, award winning beaches, and lush forests starts you off in village of Sinapalo, through the only other village of Songsong, and deep into old growth jungle. On Tinian, expect to drive for miles without meeting a soul when you leave the main village of San Jose and explore the scenic and historic sites of North Field and surrounding areas.
At the Northern Mariana Islands Museum of History & Culture in Garapan, Saipan,, get a snapshot of the vast history of The Marianas spanning its pre-history, Spanish era, German era, Japanese era, and United Nations Trust Territory times. A small but fascinating collection of artifacts in this former Japanese era hospital include a forensic reconstruction of a ancient Chamorro man from a skull recovered from an ancient burial site, real gold from the sunken galleon Nuesta Senora de la Concepcion, and more. On Rota, the privately owned Cave Museum houses an eclectic selection of artifacts in – yes – a cave.
(NOTE: The Garapan Street Market has resumed operations effective Mar. 7, 2019. Please contact the Dept. of Community and Cultural Affairs for more information.)
Garapan Street Market on Thursday evenings at Garapan Fishing Base is the perfect spot to pick up an affordable dinner from a wide selection of international cuisine, grab a seat at a picnic table, and enjoy live local entertainment. Pick up a few island souvenirs while you’re at it.
Sabalu Market on Saturday mornings at Kilili Beach Park in Susupe offers a variety of fresh local dishes and international offerings, as well as about a dozen farmers booths where locals pick up fresh produce for the week.
The Saturday morning market at the Marianas Business Plaza parking lot in Susupe features dozens of vendors selling new and used items ranging from tropical fish to electronics, as well as a small selection street vendor food.