A warm weather escape located just northeast of Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands are a tropical paradise in the Philippine Sea. One of the five inhabited U.S. territories which includes Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and American Samoa, it is one of two territories which have a Commonwealth status within the U.S.
Home to just over 53,000 people, the Northern Mariana Islands are made up of a number of islands, two of which are permanently inhabited and three which are considered its main islands. From its beautiful beaches to its popular attractions such as its casinos or its vast World War II history, there are plenty of things that make this a must see destination for any traveler. Take a closer look at this divine island destination with us today.
First settled over 5,000 years ago by ancient seafarers, this islands have a long and rich history. From its first settlers believed to have descended from Indonesia to its first European visitor, Ferdinand Magellan in 1521 and later its roll in WWII, these islands history is one of diversity, unique culture, wars, peace and so much more.
Saipan – The largest of the islands which make up the Northern Mariana Islands, Saipan is also the capital. Around 12 miles long and roughly 5 miles wide, Saipan is the commercial and financial capital of the region. Unlike other islands, this island is not volcanic in nature but is actually formed by a rising coral reef. From its pristine white sand beaches to its world class amenities, Saipan truly is a paradise found. While many of the island’s most popular sites and natural attractions relate to nature, an underlying sense of the sad past of this island can also be seen. Scuba diving represents one of the most popular activities here and underneath the beautiful reef and thousands of colorful fish visitors will find a remnant of its past. Both on land and in the ocean, the WWII history can still be found. Monuments, tributes, stories, museums and artifacts can be found throughout the islands.
Tinian – Situated near to Saipan, Tinian is only 5 miles from this capital islands and is easily accessible by air or sea. Home to Micronesia’s only full scale international standards casino, this is just one reason to visit this popular island. In addition, luxury accommodations, rich history and unique destinations abound as well. From ancient stone monoliths to abandoned Shinto shrines and canons, history abounds here.
Rota – This Island represents a popular area for natural travel and historic travel as well. Home to small villages, parks, bays, museums, seabird sanctuaries and beautiful beaches and coves, Rota is a peaceful escape from the bustle of the larger islands.
Managaha Island – A small island, this island is home to the Grotto, a world famous dive location.
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