Here’s a place that’ll probably sound foreign to your ears. Despite being a part of the United States, most mainland Americans themselves have probably never heard of it.
Located in the western Pacific Ocean, the island of Saipan is the largest island of the Northern Mariana Islands – otherwise also known as the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Along with fifteen other islands, the Northern Mariana Islands are part of the US territory. Some of the others include Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands and American Samoa.
Saipan has a particularly interesting geographical location, neighbouring several countries from different continents. The island is east of the Philippines; south of Japan; and west of Hawai’i.
To many people’s surprise, Saipan is actually a hidden paradise. With that, the island is an outright playground for all sorts of water activities – scuba diving, kiteboarding, cave snorkelling, cliff diving, and even windsurfing. But if you’d rather stay afloat and keep yourself dry, there’s still fun adventures for you like trekking, stargazing, and sightseeing.
Sights Not To Be Missed
An underrated tropical haven – Saipan is home to diverse islands and stunning natural landscapes that remain unvisited by many.
This marine protected area is said to give the most breathtaking view of the ocean in all of Saipan. Bird Island is home to thousands of birds at the Saipan Botanical Garden, hence its name, and is best viewed from above or afar than on the foot of the island itself.
Grotto Dive Site
Directly connected to the open ocean, scuba diving from the Grotto dive site is definitely something to look forward to in Saipan. The island is known for its world-class scuba diving sites, and this particular one has been awarded the second-best diving spot in the world by Dive Magazine.
Getting to the cavern can be quite the challenge – it’ll take one approximately 112 steps to reach the tip of the diving site. But the short journey is more than worth it. As you dive in, the deep blue waters will take you through a spellbinding, other-worldly experience. Below the surface, abundant coral and stunning limestone formations awaits.
Despite its stunning facade, Banzai Cliff has had quite the troubling past. Sometimes better known as ‘suicide cliff’, Banzai Cliff is where countless Japanese soldiers jumped to their deaths to escape the Americans during World War II. While the area has a tragic past, the beauty of it remains.
Situated at the center of the Island is Saipan’s highest peak – Mount Tapochau, soaring at nearly 500 metres tall. It is only from this viewpoint can you get a catch a stunning 360-degree view of Saipan. Don’t forget to catch the sunset from the best view in the island.
While it remains as the untouched beauty that it is, make sure to add Saipan into your list of places to visit – before tourists begin to flock to this hidden paradise!