Where is Saipan, Tinian and Rota, Northern Mariana Islands

These Islands which once colonized by Spain in 1521 and Japan during WWII belongs to Chamorro people who had their own way of living through hunting, fishing and farming. They’re language is Chamorro. After WWII, it became a Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and people here since became US Citizens. Until today, these islands are territories of United States of America.

I circled with red ink. Its not even visible, but you just need to zoom in at google maps

How to get to Northern Mariana Islands

Tinian, Saipan and Rota are close to each other. The most nearest more famous place is Guam, then the gateway to the international flights would be Japan or Hongkong, and Korea or Guam itself. The famous airlines here are Hongkong Express, Jeju Air, United Airlines, Delta Airlines. Star Marianas Air for within NMI and Guam.

So all you need to get is US visa before you can come and visit here.

I took these routes: Manila-Guam-Saipan-Tinian. Manila-Japan-Saipan. Saipan-Hongkong-Manila. Tinian-Saipan-Rota.

The Weather.

This is a tropical island mostly humid during March to May and some rainy days between June to October. A little cool and windy between November to February. As for me, its weather is perfect all year long.

Tinian Island

The language/People

Except from mother language, people here are fluent in English. There’s also expats from Philippines, Bangladesh, Chinese and others. People are respectful and is definitely safe travel.

Chamorro Dance During their Rota Fiesta

The Food

Definitely diverse too: Filipino, American, Chamorro food, Chinese, name it.

World Resort Breakfast Buffet at $20

Is it expensive to travel to Northern Mariana Islands?

The currency here is US dollars. It can be costly, depends. For example, buffet restaurant is from 15-30 dollars, rent a car is 45 dollars/day, hotels from 40, 60, or 100+ dollars. Groceries mostly from Southeast Asia and US too at reasonable prices.

Air BNB in Rota

How beautiful is Northern Mariana Islands.

All I can say is if you have US visa, earn a little money, pack your bags and come to NMI. It is one of the island paradise in Northern Pacific, crystal clear blue/green waters, white sand beach, waterfalls (Rota), peaceful community and also it has some fair share of past history during WWII. Some old Japanese buildings and remnants of war, a must visit.

Tinian Island’s Chiget’s beach

Waterfalls in Rota Northern Mariana Islands

How to get to Rota waterfalls

Just follow the road straight from Songsong village. Just be watchful of the cliff on each side of the narrow road. At the end of the road, there’s a farm, there’s 2 roads, hit the right side going down until you see a huge breadfruit tree. That’s where the trail to the waterfalls starts. It’s also obvious because of the flowing stream coming down from the waterfalls.

Heading to the Ogkok Waterfalls from Songsong Village

The roads are paved in these area, are mostly covered with shade of the trees which is so cool. The views are really beautiful. On the way, there’s an old Japanese canon that was used during WWII, it’s worth a stop over.

On the way to the waterfalls, over looking the “wedding cake”

It will take about an hour drive to be able to see this first stream. Which means, you’re getting there. Be careful, it’s the start of narrow and zigzag roads. There’s also cliff on both sides of the roads, drive slowly.

The first stream…

There’s a local farm, which leads to 2 roads, turn right. The road starts to be bumpy until on the left side is the breadfruit tree. The trail starts here. There’s no phone coverage starting here until to the waterfalls.

The start of the trail, the breadfruit tree.

Just don’t go if it’s raining or it rained. The water can become brown. I can’t tell exactly when is the best time to travel to Rota as the weather is perfect all year long.

Just follow this stream…

The stream is shallow. There you will see wild flowers and the jungle canopy are thick, it gives off cool breeze. Just follow this lead. It will take about an hour to get there.

Rota Island’s Waterfall

There must be a little cave. Get through it, otherwise, you have to jump off the top (not too high though).

Rota Island’s waterfall

5 Tips When Travelling to Rota, Northern Mariana Islands

  • Travel light. There’s only 20 pounds allowed in the check in area. Other than that you have to pay extra for excess luggage. Just bring few pairs of clothes as laundromats are available in Rota. Wear light clothing inside the plane as well. It’s kinda warm inside.
  • Be prepared for unpredictable weather. The weather can vary from windy, sunny, rainy, and without notice, it keeps changing. So better prepare for it. May it be umbrella, rainy boots, coats.
  • It’s a little bit expensive. Being further from Saipan (capital) make groceries and other stuff more expensive and not a lot of options for fruits and vegetables here. Bringing some stuff from Saipan is a good decision. Restaurants are available and prices are quite understandable.
  • Rent a car. You need to rent a car if you want to explore the island, of course. But once you’re settled in a village, everything is within reach.
  • Be polite. I guess, wherever you go, this is the rule of thumb. But here in Rota Island, politeness is of another level. Please don’t forget to smile, say hi and thank you to the locals. They too have huge respect with their elders. Also, it is a common practice that you wave in each passing car. I also noticed that they are friendly and generous with strangers.

Best Staycation at World Resort Saipan

It is by far, the best Staycation we had in Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands, USA. We have all we need here. And we are located at the heart of Saipan.

Front of the Hotel

So, we paid upon check in (99 USD/night 2 kids 2 adults), no reservation fee. Though, we had to email a reservation form to the front desk ahead of time.

The greetings are warm at the front desk.

The lounge area is very spacious. The area is open to the beach so it is windy and refreshing!

Ocean breeze baby!

So, we arrived at our room which is overlooking the ocean. Very nice, sanitized, well-maintained room. We have fridge, electric kettle, slippers, and the pretty basic but a necessity: clothes rack that can be put at the balcony.

They’re loving it!

Below the balcony is safety to kids which is a plus and oh wait…the sunset!!! OMG!

We can be dreamy this time!

There’s also a one stop shop (I love Saipan store) next to the reception area. Where you can buy swim wears, food, water, and other basic things.

One stop shop inside World Resort

They also have this Oasis cafe with a book lounge ambiance that serves croissant, cakes and some smoothies.

They also serve lunch buffet at 11AM for less than 20 USD (not bad).

Entrance to Buffet Restaurant at World Resort
Kids love the kiddie pool

Dad and I just sat down and watch them. The waterpark has huge slides. There’s pool canal that you can go for a floaty ride, there’s a wave pool and sports pool. They’re a bit over the top when it comes to pool. LOL.

The pool has a restaurant and its by the beach too. Its relaxing to stay here at sundown.

I enjoyed the tranquility of the place at the beach…

The beach can always be a good company.

This is actually our first staycation…and we did have a great time!

Where to Stay in Tinian Island

Tinian Diamond Hotel, the newest hotel on Tinian, Northern Mariana Islands. If you happen to travel to Tinian, I definitely recommend this one. Aside from this is just across Kamer beach, your gateway to Taga and Tachona beach, this is so dear to me as this is managed by a friend of mine, Ms Candy.

The 3 story building gives a glimpse of the front beach from above.

Its rooms are very neat and well-maintained. Incredibly spacious for a the whole family.

A free cheesecake or instant noodle for breakfast can be offered. There’s a store nearby about a 2 minute walk, and also JC cafe, the famous restaurant in Tinian, is just in the corner.

Its location is perfect as you can just walk past Taga beach down to Tachona beach.

How to Travel Cheap in Tinian Island

  1. Befriend Locals. Tinian is a tourist friendly and safe island. From offering you free meal to free rides are one of the things to save while venturing the island. Some might give out fruits and vegetables too!
  2. Stay on the Village. Being within the village is an advantage as you can just walk to stores, to beach, to nearby cafes and to your hotel.
  3. Camp on the beach. You will have the best experience camping on the beach of Tinian as it has a fine white sand, turquoise colored water, free shower and restrooms. Although coming to Tinian requires a US visa and airfare offers a hefty price. Via Hongkong route is the best choice if you’re backpacking.

Surf Rider Hotel

Hotel Review. Saipan. Northern Mariana Islands. USA.

So for a day trip to Saipan, we decided to stay here at Surf Rider due to its appealing location, by the beach, yeah….

I was amazed with the receiving area, it’s quite huge and welcoming.

At first we were greeted by the friendly staff and we were even asked which rooms do we prefer. To our delight, we chose the one closer to the beach.

So one more thing that I liked at surf rider is their in house coin store.

So, this is the front area of the hotel….

Being located at the front beach is the highlight of staying at Surf Rider. The long white sand beach is amazing.

There is a restaurant by the beach but for some reason, wont allow customers to use the tables by the sand? They said, it will be opened at dinner time..so we went at dinner time….

So here comes dinner time, but still not allowed in that beautiful sand area tables..LOL What a pity!

So we just went back to the room and ate a lot of sweets.

Well, surprisingly there’s a gym and laundromat for guests.

Location is great! It’s just few steps from a supermarket, bakery and shops which is a consolation.

If you can request for a room, choose the ones that were newly renovated. These rooms are facing the ocean, you’ll get a nice view and these rooms are newly renovated.

PS: The room’s are nice with huge space and homey ambiance. You can try to stay at surf rider and tell us about your experience!

Tachogna Beach, Tinian

Tachogna Beach. Jimdelle is looking for shells.

It’s a lovely afternoon here at Tachogna beach Tinian Island, Northern Mariana Islands. At the sunrise its water looks radiant and tranquil. But coming here late in the afternoon, we’re chasing that beautiful sunset, a Sibuyan Island-kind of sunset here in CNMI. Simple but unforgettable.

We can find some coconut behind daddy and Sophie

Too close to the village, it’s about a minute drive away or less than 10 minute walk from our place (within San Jose Village), you can reach this beautiful long line of white sand Tachogna beach.

Run Jimdelle, there’s a shark! 😉

Here is a combination of a simple but fulfilling life. Nothing can beat an island life.

So, the sun starts to go down, it’s almost 6PM here in Tinian. My kids are still playing in the shallows. I looked at the silhouette as I quietly reminisce how I would look at the same kind of sunset behind our house in Sibuyan Island some 20 years ago when I was just dreaming about coming to Tinian Island one day.

Sunset at Tachogna beach Tinian Island

P.S.: At weekdays, the beach is empty. Weekends are family time so, everyone’s at the beach. Nevertheless, this piece of paradise remains one of the best. ***Shower rooms/shower areas available for everybody. Just keep the area clean and be respectful to everybody.

5 Beautiful Beaches in Tinian Island

Long Beach Tinian
  1. Long Beach. Located North of Tinian, this is about a 15-20 minute drive from the village. It has the longest line of white sand beach here in Tinian and the most secluded beach, less travelled path. It’s very close to Northfield (3-5 minute drive) away from other historical sites like, the atomic bomb pit, Shinto Shrine, Japanese Communication Building and blow hole.
Long Beach Tinian

2. Chulu Beach. Another secluded beach 5 minute drive away from Long Beach. It is well-known for its “star sands”, tiny sands that looked like a star. We love the breeze here. It feels good to stay for a bit.

Chulu Beach, Tinian

3. Kamer Beach. Kamer beach is just with in the village. Often a place for relaxation both for locals and expats. It’s well-maintained and kept clean. Has clean shower rooms and cottages for barbeque.

Kamer Beach

It’s nice to just sit down on the shore and watch the sunset. And my kids love to play with the pebbles!

Kamer Beach

4. Taga Beach. It is such a relaxing walk from Kamer Beach to Taga Beach. Named after the legendary “Taga” a giant man who inhabited Tinian Island. Here you can have the best view of the sunset as well. (I just took from my cellphone this raw photos).

Taga Beach

Taga beach has a wonderful view when the sea is tranquil. There’s a lot in google search, but i’d like to include in my post too, that sometimes, it can be rough but still, equally beautiful too.

Taga Beach. –> that’s the stairs going down to the shore of Taga beach.

5. Tachona Beach. The most beloved amongst them. It feels like I’m in Boracay Island everytime we come here. This is the most beautiful view in Tinian during sunrise till sunset. The white sand and the turquoise water looks so beautiful, it’s tempting!

My kids would request to stay a little bit longer when we go swimming here. Lovely! Hehe 🙂

A Glimpse of Life in Tinian Island

Life here is not that complicated. Basic things are met. People are friendly. And it’s almost like the usual province life in Philippines.

Yes. this is the only way to the city capital (10-15 minute ride to Saipan). It’s 6 seater plane about 50 US dollars airfare. You can see the whole Tinian and Saipan from above, that’s really rewarding.

This is a laundromat where we do our laundry and dry them at the same time. Just around this building are 5 small stores for the island’s basic needs, 2 pizza restaurants, and 3 other small restaurants, 2 small barber shops and 1 more laundromat.

Life is simple and less worries. About 2 minute drive, you get to work, you get to the beach and you get to the stores.

We do love to walk around and it’s definitely safe even at night time. People on the island know each other. The local people are called Chamorro, one of the friendliest people in the world. Waving of one hand is a form of greeting when you meet each other on the road.

Crops and vegetables grow abundantly here. The land is so fertile. There’s some wild fruits , coconut, and a vast wild hot pepper that’s open for everybody. Chinese farmer can supply the needs of the whole island. Although, some are imported as well. Many of the expats have their own gardens.

*Relax, you’re on island time…

%d bloggers like this: