Like a studded crescent moon upon a bed of glistening sapphires, The Marianas attracts visitors to its embrace.

A tropical paradise offering the relaxing shores of magnificent beaches and crystal clear blue waters, as well as the lively bustle of night life, shopping, a wide range of ethnic restaurants, and a multitude of outdoor activities.



The Marianas were first settled around 2000 B.C. by ancient seafaring people who journeyed in outrigger canoes. They sailed across the vast expanse of the open Pacific and settled The Marianas. Historical records suggest that the indigenous Chamorros were originally from Southeast Asia.

The Marianas were first encountered by Spanish explorer Ferdinand Magellan in 1521 during his world exploration in search of gold and spices. In 1668, 147 years after Magellan’s encounter, Fr. Diego Luis de San Vitores, a Jesuit priest, arrived in The Marianas with the mission to convert and implement Christianity among the Chamorros, thus beginning the colonization of The Marianas by Spain. The islands were named after Queen Maria Ana of Spain.

Led by Chief Aghurubw and Chief Nguschul of the Caroline Islands, the settlement of the Carolinians in The Marianas began in 1815.

Germany purchased The Marianas from Spain in 1899, and the islands remained under German rule until the start of WWI in 1914. That year, Japan took possession of the islands under a secret agreement with the British to keep peace in Asia during the war. After WWI, Japan received the islands by the terms of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919, and then later, as a mandate under the League of Nations in 1920. The islands became deadly battlegrounds during the WWII campaign as Japanese and U.S. forces collided to gain control of the Pacific.

U.S. forces gained control of The Marianas in July 1944. In 1947, The Marianas were placed in a United Nations strategic trusteeship known as the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands with the U.S. as the administering authority. The people of The Marianas decided to enter into a political union with the United States and became a self-governing commonwealth in January 1978. In November 1986, U.S. citizenship was conferred upon the people of The Marianas.



Saipan is located about 120 miles (190 km) north of Guam and 5 nautical miles (9.3 km) northeast of Tinian, from which it’s separated by the Saipan Channel. Saipan is about 12 miles long and 5.5 miles wide. It’s the principal island and major commercial center of the archipelago.

The Chamorro and Carolinan are the indigenous people of these islands. With a friendly spirit, locals are warm and welcoming.



Tinian is about 5 nautical miles southwest of Saipan, separated by the Saipan Channel. It has a land area of 39 square miles, with its highest elevation at Mount Lasso (561 ft).

The island has a variety of flora and fauna, and limestone cliffs and caves. The Tinian monarch is the island’s only endemic bird species and it is threatened by habitat loss. There is a variety of marine life and coral reefs surrounding the island.


Rota (Luta) is the southernmost island of the United States Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) and the second southernmost of The Marianas Archipelago. It lies approximately 40 nautical miles north-northeast of Guam. Sinapalo village is the largest and most populated followed by Songsong village.

Source: Marianas Visitors Authority