Northern Mariana Islands Travel Guide

By | August 15, 2021

The Northern Mariana Islands (full name: Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands) are an outlying area of ​​the United States and are located in the Pacific, south of Japan and north of Guam. They consist of 16 islands of volcanic origin.

The island chain extends for about 690 kilometers from the northern island of Ucacus to the island of Rota in the south. The largest islands are Saipan, Tinian and Rota. The Northern Islands are only sparsely populated.

The three main islands Saipan, Tinian and Rota are the most important holiday destinations, they are considered true tropical paradises. You can take part in tours organized by the locals or explore the island on your own. The beach and crystal clear water provide the best environment to just relax. A popular activity in the Northern Mariana Islands is diving.

As a country located in Oceania defined by, the Northern Mariana Islands were divided into four different municipalities. The Northern Islands Municipality is made up of the ten islands that are naturally located in the north of the Mariana Islands. The other islands are also known as the southern islands and are made up of the municipalities of Saipan, Tinan and Rota. These three are also the only ones that have their own ports. In addition, these three islands are the only permanently inhabited islands in the northern Mariana Islands.
Although people lived on the other more northerly islands until 1980, there was a risk of volcanic eruptions continued to increase, they then had to be evacuated. So these islands are practically uninhabited today. Only 6 people live on Alamgan Island.

The seat of the mayor of the Northern Mariana Islands is on Saipan. The city ​​of Shomushon on Pagan is the administrative seat. Since this was completely evacuated, the unofficial seat of the administration is set up on Saipan today. This condition was supposed to be temporary but has persisted since the 1980s. When the northern islands can be inhabited again is unclear, because the risk of volcanic eruptions is still there.

Northern Mariana Islands Travel Guide

Northern Mariana Islands climate

As on many other islands in the Pacific, the Northern Mariana Islands have a tropical, warm and always humid climate. Due to the high humidity of 80% and more, it is quite humid all year round.

The thermometer hardly fluctuates because of its location not far from the equator. The maximum daily values are around 30 ° C for most of the year. Only at the beginning of the year in January and February do they drop to “only” 28 ° C. At night it also stays tropical and warm. Less than 25 ° C is almost never measured. Intensive solar radiation and high humidity make the temperatures appear 4 to 8 ° C higher than the actual measured values ​​show.

The temperature of the surrounding Pacific Ocean is constantly pleasantly warm and averages around 28 ° C. The sea is therefore always suitable for swimming and diving trips.

With precipitation visitors must always count on the Northern Mariana Islands. Significantly less rain comes from the sky in the months of December / January to June. There are only a few clouds in the sky and the sun shines more or less all day. It is completely different in the wetter season from July to November / December. Tropical showers and thunderstorms can then be experienced daily on the archipelago. During this time, typhoons can also hit the Northern Mariana Islands because they are directly in their train path from the Pacific to the Asian mainland.

The Northern Mariana Islands are influenced by trade winds all year round. During the European winter they come from the northeast, while in the European summer they come directly from the east.

Northern Mariana Islands – key data

Area: 464 km²

46,050 residents (July 2011 estimate, CIA). Asians 56.3%, Pacific islanders 36.3%, whites 1.8%, mixed ancestors 4.8%, others 0.8% (2000 census).

Population density: 99 residents per km²

Population growth:
-4.004% per year (2011, CIA), highest percentage population decline worldwide.

Capital: Saipan (62,392 residents, 2000)

Highest point:
unnamed point on Agrihan, 965 m

Lowest point: Pacific Ocean, 0 m

Form of government: The Northern Mariana Islands are a US Commonwealth Territory with internal independence (since 1986), the constitution dates from 1978. The Northern Mariana Islands Parliament consists of two chambers: the House of Representatives with 18 members and the Senate with 9 members. The residents of the Northern Mariana Islands are US citizens but do not have the right to vote in US presidential elections.

Administrative division: 4 municipalities: Northern Islands, Rota, Saipan and Tinian

Head of State: US President Barack Obama, since January 20, 2009

Head of Government: Governor Eloy Songao Inos, since February 20, 2013

Language: The official languages ​​in the Northern Mariana Islands are English, Chamorro and Carolinian. Distribution of languages: Filipino languages ​​24.4%, Chinese 23.4%, Chamorro 22.4%, English 10.8%, other Pacific island languages ​​9.5%, other 9.6% (2000 census)

Religion: Christian (especially Roman Catholic), but there are also traditional religions in the Northern Mariana Islands.

Local time: CET + 9 h
On the Northern Marianas there is no change between summer and winter time.
The time difference to Central Europe is + 9 h in winter and + 8 h in summer.

International phone code: +1 (670)


Mains voltage: 110/120 V, 60 Hz