Saipan has certainly gotten some bad press in the last number of years with its sweat shops (now closed), Jack Abramoff scandal with the Northern Mariana Islands as a client, high joblessness rate etc, gambling & alcohol addictions etc. This aside, the small island has a unique variety of outdoor activities and attractions that will appeal to the outdoor enthusiast.
The Grotto, a deep dive spot connected to the ocean by several tunnels is very picturesque and is one of the most well known dive spots on the island. Take a drive up the rutted dirt road to the highest point on the island, Mount Tapochau which towers over the relatively flat island at 1,560 feet. The Mariana Trench (deepest spot on earth) is merely 10 miles off the coast here and from base to top, Mount Tapochau is one of the tallest mountains on the planet.
Saipan featured heavily in World War II and the northern part of the island still has many remains and reminders from this war including the Banzai and Suicide Cliffs where Japanese military men and civilians fearing capture threw themselves over the side to their death. The tiny island of Managaha is located minutes from shore by a speedboat and is located in a lagoon and is surrounded by coral. The waters here are among the most picturesque in Saipan and the beaches are arguably Saipan’s best.
You can reach Saipan directly on a nonstop flight from several cities in South Korea, Japan and China as well as from Guam. For more information visit: www.mymarianas.com