Country: Northern Mariana Islands
Where is it?: Oceania, islands in the North Pacific Ocean, about three-quarters of the way from Hawaii to the Philippines
Why do people go here?: A commonwealth in association with the United States (next time you see a “Made in America” sticker on a shirt, see if it says Northern Mariana islands on the tag), the islands are particularly popular with Japanese tourists and those who love package tours. You can get away from the crowds and raised prices, although you have to spend a bit of dough to get there.
What are the main entry points?: Flights from Asia are the most common, and those coming from other countries will probably connect there. Boats to the islands are quite uncommon, although if you’re lucky you may be able to snag one going to a different island.
Currency used: US dollar (USD)
Country Code: 1-670
Religion: Christian (Roman Catholic majority, although traditional beliefs and taboos may still be found)
Ethnic Breakdown: Chamorro, Carolinians and other Micronesians, Caucasian, Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, Korean
Government: Commonwealth in political union with the US
Languages: English, Chamorro, Carolinian
Major Cities: Saipan
Attractions: Diving, US association, Beaches, Relaxation, Saipan
Tourism Office locations and links: PO Box 500861, Saipan, MP 96950, Northern Mariana Islands; Tel: 664 3200/1; Website: www.mymarianas.com
Off-the Beaten Path: Off-the Beaten Path, Bird Island,
Health Issues: No vaccination requirements for any international traveller.
Tips for Visiting
When to go: High tourist season is December through March, it’s also the best time to visit if you want to stay dry.
Specific Events/Holidays: Commonwealth Day, 8 January (1978)
Getting Around: You have to fly to get between islands, and rent a car when you land on them, although taxis are available.
Good to know: The country has the lowest man to man sex ratio in the world. Northern Mariana has an average of 76 male to every 100 female.
Cheapest airport to fly into: The cheapest airport to fly into Northern Mariana is the Saipan International Airport.
Need more information?: Check out the Northern Mariana travel guide for more on what to see, where to stay, and how to get there.