These small islands, sparkling like jewels in the Pacific Ocean, will make you discover the colors that excite your imagination. Discovered by marine navigators nearly four thousand years ago, the Mariana Islands benefit from a natural beauty shaped by the impressive power of volcanoes, swell, and sunshine. Marked by the successive Spanish, German settlements and finally Japanese, the islands keep vestiges of these successive periods whose end point will be the terrible battles with the Americans during the Second World War. Remained under American rule at the end of the conflict, the Mariana Islands have become an American territory in its own right. And now it’s up to you to discover the wonders of these islands.
Where to dive in the Mariana Islands?
Scuba diving at Saipan
Saipan is the largest island and capital of the American Commonwealth of the Mariana Islands. Saipan offers beautiful white sand beaches and many activities all year round, including snorkeling and scuba diving. Among the most beautiful dive sites in Saipan is Grotto, a magical underwater cave that will impress you with its intense light effects; Pipe, a cleaning station for eagle rays that constantly turn into a fairy ballet; Lau Lau Beach which will allow you to discover a spectacular fish ball or Spot Light, Naftan and Banzai Cliff.
Dive at Tinian
Tinian is just five kilometers away from Saipan with a flight of a few minutes. Livestock and agriculture are the main industries of the island. Tourism on Tinian focuses on ocean-oriented activities and has the chance to count some isolated areas untouched. In this beautiful island, with the same shape as the city of New York, you will find beautiful diving sites like Tinian Grotto, fantastic underwater cave; “Fleming”, vertical wall 65 meters deep or “Two Coral Head” dive site ideal for underwater photographers because of its abundant marine life.
Diving at Rota
Rota, located 136 kilometers south of Saipan, is the southernmost island of the Northern Mariana Islands. To get here, jump aboard a small plane and board for a 30-minute flight from Saipan International Airport. Visitors are greeted by crystal clear waters that attract divers from all over the world looking for rich farmland and the smiles of friendly residents. As a diver, you can explore beautiful diving sites like the wreck of Shoun Maru, a Japanese cargo ship sunk during the Second World War; Shenhanon Cave, an underwater cave where halos of light suggest that it is inhabited by the Holy Spirit or Coral Garden and Table Tip, rich spots alive.
When to go to the Mariana Islands?
Enjoying a tropical climate and an average temperature of 27 degrees Celsius, the Mariana Islands have two seasons, dry from December to June and rainy from July to November. However due to wind and swell, some dive sites are only accessible from May to July.
The visibility in the Mariana Islands is quite exceptional. Frequently exceeding 50 meters, it can even reach 100 meters.
The marine currents are not very strong in the Marianas even if it is possible at certain periods to make drift dives. On the other hand, some dive sites are subject to heavy swells that make entering and leaving the water perilous. Ask more information at the on-site dive centers.
Diving Level: It is possible to try scuba diving for the first time in Mariana Islands. Confirmed divers will also find their happiness with caves, wrecks and drop-offs.
The water temperature is very pleasant between 27 and 29 °.
What to see underwater while scuba diving?
Diving in the Mariana Islands you will observe a variety of tropical fauna. You can see reef sharks, mainly white tips, eagle rays in abundance on some dive sites, napoleon fish, sea turtles, tuna, barracudas and many other species. Coral reefs are mainly composed of hard corals and gorgonians.
Divers from around the world also come to admire the superb underwater caves that make the island proud like Grotto in Saipan and Tinian or Spot Light. Expect to discover many narrow passages ideal for testing and improving your buoyancy.