Tinian and San Jose Northern Mariana Islands
Ancient Chamorro latte stones dot the House of Taga landscape
A tiny haven of diving and World War II history
The Manhattan Connection
In World War II, when much of the island was used as an air base by the U.S. Navy, the local streets were laid out and named after those in New York City. You can still drive on Broadway, 42nd Street, Lenox Avenue, Riverside Drive and Eighth Avenue, even though you’re 13,000 kilometers away. The abandoned runways can be seen in North Field, where plaques mark the pits where the Enola Gay and Bockscar planes were loaded with atomic bombs before heading off to Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Monuments and Artifacts
The prehistoric taga stones are relics of the ancient palace built by the Chamorro King Taga over 3,000 years ago. More recently, Tinian was an agricultural producer for a local Japanese sugar and rum company, and evidence of Japanese habitation is visible in the Shinto shrines, cannons and ruins dotted around the island’s jungles and caves. The most spectacular natural monument is the Blowhole, where columns of water shoot 10 meters in the air.
Recreation on Land and Water
Scuba diving is the primary reason visitors come to Tinian – numerous reefs, wrecks and caves lie under the waters surrounding the island. Favorite spots include Dump Cove, where you’ll see planes, tanks, ammunition and Jeeps from World War II, and Tinian Grotto, the most popular cavern dive. Spear fisherman will like Unai Dankulo, which means “Long Beach,” on the eastern shore, while cliff fishing can be done from Oceanside Cliffs. If you’d prefer to just lie on the beach and do a bit of snorkeling, spend some time at Taga Beach, Tachogna Beach or Chulu Beach. Stroll by the harbor during a visit to San Jose, the island's largest village.
Tinian was likely first seen by famous explorer Ferdinand Magellan during his journey around the globe.