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The west of Saipan offers superb diving at one of the best and richest coral reefs in the world.

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

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Saipan is the largest and most populous island of the Marianas. Geologically it is separated in the rugged eastern side and more developed west side. Natural points of interest are the huge limestone cliffs such as famous Banzai Cliff, Suicide Cliff and the highest point Mount Tapochau at 1554 feet. Saipan is only 13 miles long and 6 miles wide at its widest point with the main towns of Garapan and Chalan Kanoa where you will find many tourist facilities, bars, restaurants and hotels. Saipan, also the capital, is the most touristic island of the three main islands of the Marianas with regular flights from the Philippines, Japan, Korea, Guam and the United States.

Must sees on this beautiful island are Managaha Island which is one of the best spots for snorkeling and Bird Island (Islan Maigo Fahang) with some of the best views on its emerald bays. The dark Banadero Caves, named after the Japanese army that had their last stronghold here, and several World War II relics such as tanks and cannons are popular tourist attractions. The American Memorial Park can be found in the center and serves as a popular place to hang out or to do some workouts. You can walk around the Marpi Pathway or towards the Forbidden Island, reached from the village Kagman on the east coast. The world renowned Northern Marianas Islands Museum of History and Culture explains everything from its early inhabitants up to the tragedy during World War II, from ancient tools to pottery and weapons. Other highlights can be a visit to the Kalabera Cave, the cliffs of Banzai in Marpi, the Saipan Botanical Garden and Saipan Zoo. Beaches are plentiful and make sure to visit at least a few of the following beaches: Wing Beach, Lau Lau Bay, Pau Pau Beach, Marine Beach, Wing Beach, Ladder Beach, Tank Beach, Obyan Beach and Hidden Beach.

Saipan Lagoon or Lagunan Tanapag, at the entrance to Tanapag Harbor, is shallow and during the low tide it is even possible to wade across to the barrier reef two miles in front of the lagoon. Furthermore there are snorkeling trips, diving is easily arranged and even glass bottomed boat tours and a submarine can be booked to take a glimpse at the spectacular underwater world.

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