Scuba Diving in Northern Mariana Islands

The Mariana Islands offer world class Scuba diving. The tropical ocean waters are comfortably warm and full of coral reefs, caves & caverns, ledges and sunken ships. Saipan has over 18 different dive sites, including The Grotto, voted the number two cavern diving site in the world by Skin Diver Magazine. A steep 103-step walk down leads to an underground cavern with a high dome ceiling the size of a church.

The 5:00AM morning dive usually features turtles, sharks, manta rays and tuna. Other dive sites on Saipan include Wing Beach with its large population of octopi, the B-29 site complete with a Japanese bomber-seaplane, a machine gun turret and coral encrusted engines and the Black Coral site with its large stands of highly protected black coral. A resident pod of dolphins patrol this area and often put on a show for divers en route to this spectacular site.
The waters of Tinian are full of WWII relics and make for some fascinating dives. Full and half-day beach and boat dives are available. Many live shells were dumped in the waters surrounding the Mariana Islands after WWII, and divers are strongly urged to look but don’t touch.

Diving in Rota is ideal for observing the many different fish indigenous to these waters. The Mushroom City dive at Pinatang Park is replete with schools of goatfish, yellow spotted emperorfish, surgeonfish, parrotfish, stonefish and lionfish. A white tip shark guards the Sailgai Tunnel dive. Hobbit House dive is an underwater rock/reef formation with four different entrances and exits for divers to swim though. There, divers will swim with skipjacks, sharks and many varieties of reef fish.

There is much wreckage in the waters of Rota including a Chinese river cargo vessel, a Japanese WWII freighter and two Chinese smuggler ships that were impounded by the U.S. Coast Guard off the coast of Guam and sunk as artificial dive sites in 1999. All three islands offer ample locations to snorkel right off the beach.