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Saipan Dive Sites

Dive site map courtesy of Saipan Explorer 

The Grotto

This dive site in is sure to amaze you. After a giant stride into the water from a rock in the cavern, divers can take three different exit holes out to open ocean. Once outside, there are beautiful walls, swim-throughs, and caves to explore. Turtles and Clown Triggerfish are some of the many types of sea life to be seen at this magnificent dive site. Several resident White Tip Sharks lounge on the bottom during the day.

This site is one of the four dive sites most frequently visited by professional dive shops on Saipan. Because of its difficulty, it is typically used only for divers who have already been certified, though on rare rough-weather occasions when all other sites are undivable, open water students and even introductory divers are brought here.

The Grotto is possibly the most popular and most challenging dive in Saipan. It is a natural tunnel leading from the top of a high cliff down below sea level, then exiting into open ocean through three wide openings at depths between 0~60ft./0~18m.

Wing Beach

Wing beach is the beach/boat dive closest to The Grotto. Access is via a very poor dirt road, then to a small jungle clearing near the far northeast side of Wing Beach. From there, beach divers walk across a white pebble beach and follow the northeast rocky wall of the beach down a flat rocky slope, then follow the underwater wall around further to the northeast. Exit is by the same route. This site is not commonly visited by professional dive shops.

There are some great geographical features here, such as large crevices and breathtaking drop-offs. Rock formations include a 30m/90ft. tower and equally deep canyon in the underwater wall.


This shallow introductory beach dive site should not be confused with the Saipan boat harbor of the same name. The two locations are separate, with extremely different beach and water conditions.

Tanapag is possibly the easiest, most convenient, safest introductory dive site on Saipan.Moderate 30ft./10m visibility. Although occasionally strong longshore currents inside the lagoon may reduce visibility to near-zero and require that divers cling to a submerged, anchored rope "walkway" along the dive's route, typically the conditions are near-ideal, with near-zero currents.

The Korean/Japanese Troop Ship

This World War Two troop ship was owned by the Japanese, but sank while carrying conscripted Korean soldiers. It is a rare type of shipwreck since it is in shallow water and contains almost no overhead environment, making it a very simple, safe dive.

Controversially, in the mid-1990s Korean divers placed a memorial plaque on the wreck and a large stone memorial within a few yards of the wreck. The plaque, it's said, mourned the death of the Korean soldiers but made no mention of the other war casualties. This caused a minor uproar in the multinational professional dive community of Saipan. The wreck is located in the large lagoon outside Garapan/Tanapag.

Ice Cream

Ice Cream is outside the lagoon, slightly south of Garapan on the west side of Saipan . It is a very large submerged coral mound of staghorn corals rising from a bottom at about 50 ft to a baseball-diamond-sized summit roughly 40ft(16m) below the surface.

Visibility is typically 20m/60ft, and currents are rarely problematic, though divers should take care to cling to the anchor rope while descending, ascending, and making safety stops.

Obyan Beach

Pronounced "ob-ZAHN". This beach is particularly well used by professional dive shops, both for easy "fun dives" and for open water training dives. Occasionally, dive boats will moor and dive here and also visit the nearby site called "Mushroom rock/Boyscout beach/Secret beach". Located near Naftan Point. Visibility generally varies from 30ft(10m)~60ft(18m). On a good day, there may be 150 + feet of visibility.

Lau Lau Beach

This is one of Saipan's most frequently visited sites, and is an ideal dive site for beginners or people interested in smaller, more colorful animals. Lau Lau hasone of the largest reefs on the island.

Secret Beach / Boyscout Beach / Mushroom Rock

Boyscout 1 & 2 - Both Boyscout beaches are rarely visited by divers or anybody else for that matter, because they are hard to get to. Divers who take the trouble are rewarded with beautiful coral and white sand.Some of the largest clams can be found here.

Bird Island - WW2 Plane Wreck

B-29/Emily - Okay, so the wreck is not a B-29 the name led you to believe, but that of a Japanese H8K or Type 2 Large Flying Boat. The Allied reporting name for this type of plane was Emily. The Emily was an Imperial Japanese Navy Flying boat used during World War II for maritime patrol duties.

Managaha Island - Eagle Ray City

Eagle Ray City is one of the most unique dives in Saipan. Rising out of the sand at a depth 30 feet is a rocky formation that on a good day will have up to 40 Eagle Rays hanging out. While divers hold on to the rock Eagle Rays glide overhead.


Suitable for all skill levels, this is a boat dive site seamount on the Western side of Saipan.


One of the best wall dives in the CNMI, with amazing visibility and fish life located on the southern tip of the island. The top of the wall starts at 45 feet and goes down to over 130 feet

Chinsen Maru

Chinsen Maru is a large Japanese freighter that lies at 30 foot of depth in the lagoon. The ship has been in the water for over 50 years, allowing for some significant coral growth as well as becoming a home to thousands of fish.

Banzai Cliff

There is only a brief time during the year when conditions are suitable for diving, but it is well worth the wait if you like the big blue dives with a beautiful wall

Spot Light

This cavern dive is named Spot Light because when the sun shines through a hole in the top of the cavern, it is like a spotlight shining on a stage. This dive site is very close to Banzai and as with Banzai only accessible during a brief time period. The cavern has some of the largest lionfish you will ever see.

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