Known as America's Paradise, Saipan is one of the lesser known territories. However, this small island is truly paradise.
Climate: Tropical Rainforest Climate/ Tropical Monsoon Climate
Currency: US dollar (USD)
Official Language(s): Chamorro, Carolinian and English
Best time to Visit: December to March
Saipan International Airport is the only airport on the island. It is about 12 km from the city centre. To get to the city centre there aren't many options with transport since there are no buses. Taxi, car rental or shuttle bus is the best way to get around. From the airport to Garapan by taxi will cost you about $30, of course depending on where you are going. Car rentals vary in price, if you book online sometimes you can find deals for $30 a day. Another way to get to the city is by hotel shuttle bus. You can request to be picked up from the airport for a flat rate as low as $15!
Saipan's city centre is very small. If you are staying in the city centre you can walk to the beach and most shops and restaurants. However, if you want to visit the attractions you need to either rent a car, book a tour with a company or rent a moped.
What to See
Although Saipan is quite small, the sights are quite difficult to get to if you are not renting a car. Most of the sights are free which is great. One of the most popular places to visit is Managaha Island. It is only accessible by boat. Once you get there, you need to pay a $5 cash fee to visit the island. Another popular place is Mount Tapochau. You can hike up the mountain or drive, but the road is not paved. The view from the top is amazing! Make sure to visit Suicide Cliff for a great view of the ocean and to learn more about the history of the island. The most popular place to dive and snorkel is at The Grotto, a collapsed limestone cave. If you are looking to relax, then visit Micro Beach which is right behind the popular Fiesta Resort. Bird Island Lookout is another popular place to visit. From here you get views of a tiny island filled with exotic birds. If you are there at low tide, make sure to walk to the island and explore.
Eat & Drink
The local cuisine in Saipan is mostly meats and seafood. However, Saipan's cuisine is also influenced by neighbouring islands like Hawaii and Papua New Guinea. However, Saipan is highly commercialized due to tourism, so most restaurants are large chains like Bubba Gump, McDonald's and Hardrock Cafe.
Foods to try:
Where to Stay
Saipan is a small island which means accommodations can be quite pricey. There are many resorts that offer all inclusive holidays but can be over $300 a day. However, there are some affordable places, like hostels, guesthouses, pensions or Airbnb if you are on a budget. There are mid-range hotels averaging around $50/night.
Garapan is the largest town in Saipan. Most hotels, restaurants and attractions are in this area so it would be the best place to stay.
Tinian-- One of the three islands that make up the Northern Mariana Islands. It is the least populated island but is only a 10 minute flight from Saipan.
Guam-- The largest of the Mariana Islands, Guam is quite popular because of it's US military presence. It's a popular destination for people from Japan, Korea and China because of it's closeness and perfect beaches.
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