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The Northern Mariana Islands, especially Rota, Tinian and Saipan, offer some of the best diving sites in Micronesia.

Inserted/Added by: lars, © Author: Lars Hemel

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The Northern Mariana Islands, Marianas or Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) is actually US territory but operates completely on its own largely living of tourism. Its name was given during the 17th century Spanish colonization when this group of 14 tropical islands was named after the Spanish Queen Mariana of Austria. These northern volcanic islands make up a line of more than 400 miles adjacent to the Marianas Trench, the world deepest known ocean depth. The main three islands are Saipan, Tinian and Rota and together with Agrihan, Anatahan, Alamagan and Pagan these are the only inhabited islands in the Mairanas. Guam is sometimes called the most southern island of the CNMI, but we describe Guam as a complete different dive group.

Saipan with Garapan and Chalan Kanoa is the capital and the island where most tourists go to. Make a visit to Isleta Maigo Fahang, also known as Bird Island, Forbidden Island, the sheer Banzai Cliffs, Managaha Island or the famous Banadero Caves. Saipan has some of the shallowest lagoons offering an excellent environment for tryout dives in waters less than three meter deep filled with hard corals, soft corals and marine life. Tinian is a popular place as well, just south of Saipan, with sights including the House of Taga and the casino of the Tinian Dynasty Hotel according to American model. Continuing south, before reaching the rugged terrains of Rota, you will find the beautiful uninhabited island of Aguijan. Less developed Rota offers stunning natural sights such as the Toga Caves, Agusan Swimming Hole and the nice village of Songsong. All offer a wide range of different restaurants, cruises, luxury resorts, healthy spas and actually all that interests tourists. There are many historical and cultural attractions including war artifacts and memorials from World War II.

The Marianas are rugged and remote and offer some of the best diving in the world. Rota, one of the three main islands, is easily reached after a twenty minute flight from Guam. There are many shallow lagoons, limestone caves and plenty of marine life. The waters are also rich in game fish and there are many fishermen organizing trips to catch ulua or marlin. There are many spectacular caves with phenomenal underwater light shows, wrecks remembering of its tragedic role it played during World War II and excellent coral formations, walls and shallow reefs. It is a dive environment every diver would like to have been at least once in their lives. Dream away at its magnificent beaches and crystal clear blue waters that offer some of the best diving spots in the world.

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