The Northern Mariana Islands are located in the northwestern Pacific Ocean. It is an insular area and commonwealth, comprising 14 islands. This means that although it is under the jurisdiction of the United States, it is not counted among the 50 states, nor is it a federal district.
A village in northwestern Saipan, named the Capitol Hill, is the administrative center for the Northern Mariana Islands. It is said that the first people to arrive on these islands were inhabitants from Southeast Asia, and they arrived and settled between 4000 BC and 2000 BC.
The islands were under the Spanish rule for some time. Spanish influence in the islands is strong, and there are many Spanish historical artifacts here. Traveling to the Northern Mariana Islands will give you a lovely relaxing holiday, not far from the United States. If you’re planning to visit, be sure to purchase
travel medical insurance or
beforehand in case of any unexpected accidents, injuries, or illnesses.
Things to Do for Travelers in the Northern Mariana Islands
There are quite a few things to enjoy in the Northern Mariana Islands.
- Visiting House of Taga: The house of the legendary chief Taga is one of the major landmarks on the island. It also has a temple, and the place was once used as a meeting house. The pillars still stand strong and have traditional designs carved into them. There are several Atomic Bomb Pits on the island, which are treated as historical sites.
- Enjoy underground sights at Rota: The underground caves in Rota are a sight to behold. The caves are massive and so large that some of them were used as wartime hospitals. Tourists come here to behold the natural beauty of the stalactites and stalagmites, which create intricate shapes throughout the caves. The people of the villages here are very warm and friendly.
- Attend the Tinian Hot Pepper Festival: This festival is held in February each year, coinciding with Presidents’ Day weekend. It is also the time to celebrate the local hot pepper, donni sali, which is native to the island. There is a lot of hot and steamy food to go around, and revelries go on throughout the night—especially around the beaches.
- Go Snorkeling: The waters around the Northern Mariana Islands are clean and warm. Divers and snorkelers have a wonderful time here because they get to see the abundant marine life up close and personal. You can take a glass-bottomed boat to see them as well, and also head over to Bird Island for some birdwatching.
- Take in the beauty of the various cliffs: The cliffs around the rocky beaches offer splendid vistas from the top, and they make for great hiking trails as well. The Banzai Cliff and the Suicide Cliff are most popular, the latter being especially remembered as the spot where hundreds of Japanese soldiers jumped to their death to avoid capture by the Americans during the war.
Travel Risks for International Travelers in the Northern Mariana Islands
The Northern Mariana Islands are largely safe for travelers, but you should look out for a few hazards.
- Natural disasters: The Northern Mariana Islands are at the mercy of the sea, as is the case with most islands. Cyclones and hurricanes are common in the Pacific Ocean, and they can wreak havoc in the islands, especially in the coastal areas. Avoid boating excursions during high tides.
- Diseases: The Northern Mariana Islands have a tropical climate because of their proximity to the sea. Sometimes, there are chances of falling ill due to water- or mosquito-borne diseases. While these are rare, you should still get the routine vaccines.
- Hiking accidents: Hiking to the cliffs of the Northern Mariana Islands is not thrilling, but the landscape is rocky and very tricky. If you are not an experienced hiker, try to follow the easier trails, because an accident or a fall could result in fractures and other serious injuries. You should also be careful while rock climbing in these regions.
- Snorkeling accidents: Snorkeling in the Northern Mariana Islands is a very popular activity, but make sure you know how to swim or have a trainer at your side. You should also not provoke any of the sea creatures that come your way. A bite from a provoked sea animal or any other kind of swimming accident could lead to severe injuries.
- Cave Accidents: The Toga underground caves are spectacular, but always follow the guide. Do not venture into the darker parts of the cave without a guide. Some areas are off-limits as stalactites and stalagmites often break off, which could hurt the tourists.
Northern Mariana Islands Travel Medical Insurance for International Travelers – FAQs
With medical insurance, there would be no need to incur the costs of medical expenses in case you are sick or injured while traveling to the Northern Mariana Islands.
Do I need travel medical insurance for the Northern Mariana Islands?
You are not legally required to buy medical insurance before traveling to the Northern Mariana Islands, but having one will prevent unexpected medical expenses. Travel medical insurance only makes sense if you’re taking an international vacation and participating in possibly risky activities.
Why buy travel medical insurance for the Northern Mariana Islands?
The Northern Mariana Islands are quite safe for traveling, but the seas can be erratic, and the landscape is rocky. There could be accidents during the trip while hiking or diving, and with travel medical insurance, you wouldn’t have to worry about the expenses.
Also, in case your wounds are severe and you have to be airlifted back to the United States mainland, the insurance can also take care of the evacuation.
Northern Mariana Islands Trip Cancellation Insurance for International Travelers – FAQs
It also makes sure to purchase travel insurance with trip cancellation coverage to prevent your loss of money if you have to cancel your trip. This type of coverage provides benefits if your trip gets cancelled for a covered reason as listed in your policy’s certificate wording.
Why buy trip cancelation insurance for the Northern Mariana Islands?
Trip cancellation insurance will make sure that if your arrangements in the Northern Mariana Islands are canceled due to a covered reason like a hurricane or a sudden disease outbreak, or due to any other unforeseen incident, you would not have to pay for the bookings. The insurance company will reimburse you for any prepaid, non-refundable expenses you might have put down (if, again, you are eligible for coverage).
What all is covered under travel insurance for the Northern Mariana Islands?
Northern Mariana Islands travel insurance will cover the following:
- Loss of baggage
- Flight delays and cancellations
- Trip or activity cancellation for a covered reason
- Trip interruption for a covered reason
- Emergency medical expenses
Before You Travel to the Northern Mariana Islands - Do These
- Get all the routine vaccines so that you minimize the chances of waterborne or mosquito-borne disease.
- Stay updated with the weather conditions, and check whether there are chances of any cyclones or hurricanes forming over the Pacific.
- Check to see that your snorkeling operators are licensed and whether they have all the registrations for the pieces of equipment.
- If you want to visit during the Hot Pepper Festival, make your bookings well in advance, as all hotels and guesthouses are full during the Presidents’ Day weekend.
- Visitors insurance could save you from unplanned and massive expenses when things go wrong in Northern Mariana, so compare different plans and purchase the one that suits you.