Territory

Wonders of the Northern Mariana Islands

Alamagan Island
Alamagan Island / OAA Photo Library, Flickr / CC BY 2.0.

WorldBlue  Highlights

The most amazing wonders of the Northern Mariana Islands are:

  • Unique submarine volcanoes – research of the submarine volcanoes north from Farallon de Pajaros has revealed several phenomena very rare or unique on Earth.
  • Beautiful, rugged nature of the Northern Islands. These small islands are tops of steep, active volcanoes and are covered with pristine tropical vegetation.
  • Latte stone settings – unique megalithic structures, found only in Mariana Islands. The largest megaliths are found in Tinian and Rota islands.
  • Petroglyphs. In several caves in Rota, Saipan and Tinian are found interesting, prehistoric drawings.

Map with the described wonders

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WorldViolet Top 25 wonders of the Northern Mariana Islands

Geological wonders

Daikoku Sulfur Cauldron

Northern Islands Municipality

A unique pool of liquid sulfur at the summit of a submarine volcano, one of the few in the world.

Daikoku Sulphur Cauldron at the moment of discovery, Northern Marianas
Agrihan fumarole field

Northern Islands Municipality

Approximately 100 x 100 m large fumarole field in the exotic crater of Agrihan.

East Diamante Volcano Black Forest

Northern Islands Municipality

Submarine volcano between Anatahan and Saipan. A group of more than 50 sulfide mineral chimneys that emit a metal rich, hot solution. The tallest chimneys are up to 9 m tall.

Asuncion Island

Northern Islands Municipality

Several volcanoes of the Mariana Islands look like almost perfect cones but Asuncion could be the most impressive one. The volcano is rising 857 m tall above the sea and is covered with primeval vegetation. Island has fumaroles.

Farallon de Pajaros volcano

Northern Islands Municipality

The most active volcano in the Marianas. This remote island has fumarole fields with a temperature of gases up to 130°C.

Togari Natural Arch

Northern Islands Municipality

Togari Rock is an island with an enormous natural arch.

Togari Natural Arch, Pagan
Banzai Cliff

Saipan Municipality

Some 30 m tall seaside cliff. Another site of mass suicide of Japanese soldiers and civilians at the end of the Battle of Saipan in 1944.

Suicide Cliff

Saipan Municipality

Approximately 250 m high limestone cliff. A site of the mass suicide of Japanese soldiers and civilians at the end of the Battle of Saipan in 1944.

Suicide Cliff, Saipan
Tinian Blowhole

Tinian Municipality

Beautiful blowhole amidst several natural pools with emerald-colored water. Wave action has formed also limestone terraces. During rough weather, the blowhole could get up to 60 m high!

Tinian Blowhole
Blue Grotto of Saipan

Saipan Municipality

A collapsed cave, filled with sea water through three openings to the sea. Sunlight colors the water in eerie blue color. The cave is filled with marine life – sharks, barracuda, and even turtles and rays.

Blue Grotto, Saipan
North-West Eifuku Champagne Vent

Northern Islands Municipality

A submarine vent on a volcano that emits almost pure liquid carbon dioxide at 1,600 m depth. Such phenomenon is known in three places on Earth and at Eifuku it is most abundant.

Eifuku Champagne Vent emitting bubbles of liquid carbon dioxide, Northern Marianas
Lyiang Dangkolo

Tinian Municipality

The largest cave on island with a floor area of 1,300 m². It can be entered by descending some 10 m through open pits – sinkholes.

Biological wonders

NW Eifuku Mussel mounds

Northern Islands Municipality

A unique aggregation of Bathymodiolus mussels. These 18 cm long molluscs cover the rocks densely – no ground is seen behind this unique aggregation of mussels.

Archaeological wonders

House of Taga latte stones

Tinian Municipality

Currently the largest latte stones – megalithic construction (house foundation) of two stones, characteristic for the Marianas. The only standing latte stone here is 4.6 m tall and was a part of the house of mythological chief Taga. Other latte stones have fallen.

House of Taga, Tinian
Mochong latte stones

Rota Municipality

A well preserved prehistoric Chamorro village with an amazing number of latte stone foundations – 53 in total! This is the richest megalithic site in Mariana Islands.

Kalabera Cave

Saipan Municipality

A cave with some 50 prehistoric petroglyphs and white paintings, a possible site of prehistoric burials. Skulls were found here up to the 1920ies. Petroglyphs for most part show people.

Rota Latte Stone Quarry

Rota Municipality

The original quarries for the unique megaliths of Marianas – latte stones. Here are found the largest latte stones – up to 7.6 m long.

Rota Latte Stones Quarry, Northern Marianas
Pictograph Cave

Rota Municipality

This cave is some 60 m long and in several places is decorated with possible prehistoric prehistoric drawings.

Tachognya

Saipan Municipality

Well preserved site of a prehistoric village. It contains a latte stone setting.

Railhunter Rockshelter

Tinian Municipality

A rock shelter – site of an ancient settlement. Sediments in this shelter contain bones of animals that lived in Tinian 400 – 200 BC. Found remnants of 21 species of birds, 9 of these birds now are extinct on Tinian.

Pagan latte stone

Northern Islands Municipality

Latte stones – flat basalt plates made of the hard basalt.

Unai Dangkulu village

Tinian Municipality

Remnants of an ancient village with sixteen sets of latte stones and possible site where latte stones were mined.

Laulau Kattan latte stones

Saipan Municipality

A site with groups of 10 and 6 latte stones.

Lau Lau Beach latte stones

Tinian Municipality

A group of prehistoric megaliths – standing stones.

Legendary wonders

Treasure of Roberton

Northern Islands Municipality

Legends tell that in the beginning of the 19th century a pirate named Roberton hid a treasure of gold in this island. Although much sought, it reportedly has not been found.

WorldYellow Recommended books

Diving & Snorkeling Guide to Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands 2016


New for 2016, with more photos and new images, a macro photography section, and updated dive site and marine preserve info. Guam and the Marianas can be aptly described as hard coral kingdoms. Some 400 species of coral and over 1000 species of fish inhabit these incredible reefs. There is much diversity and intense growth competition on the healthy reefs. This guide is intended to bring to the diver the most popular and unique dive sites of the Mariana Islands.

Our Northern Islands: The first expedition to the Mariana Trench Marine National Monument


Our Northern Islands is a first-person telling of the first expedition to the Mariana Trench Marine National Monument.


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