Saipan is the largest island in the Northern Mariana Islands. With a population of just over 40,000, this island is the most populated island in all the Marianas. While Saipan offers gorgeous white sand beaches that overlook clear blue waters, it holds an abundance in history. With nearly 4,000 years of documented history, the adventures we experience there today bring them back all back to life.
The Last Command Post
This historic war site is a reinforced cave that was built by the Japanese military in 1944. It served as an element of Japan’s World War II defensive fortification system against the American forces. This command post belonging to Lt. General Yoshitsugu Saito was a cave located in a valley behind San Roque Village. From it Saito issued a final all-out counter-attack against the Americans before committing suicide on July 7, 1944. Numerous guns and other military equipment have been put on display in front of the Last Command Post since the 1960s.
This historic site gets its name from the Chamorro and Spanish word meaning “skull”. The inner formation of the cave resembles a skull and its walls are filled with pictographs believed to be drawn by ancient Chamorro artists hundreds, or perhaps even thousands of years ago. We know that this site holds an influential purpose and deep meaning for the ancient Chamorro due to it also being a burial site. The remaining artifacts emphasize the spiritual resonance of this site which is truly worthy of our respect.
Forbidden Island is a small outcrop located off of Saipan’s rugged, southeastern coast. It is part of the Forbidden Island Marine Sanctuary. It should be pointed out that fishing, feeding the fish and collecting sand & seashells are strictly prohibited. A lookout provides a scenic view of the remote spot, separated from the beach of Saipan by a narrow and treacherous sea passage. The beach is accessible via a steep hike, which makes the return trip a tremendous ascent. A local guide is strongly recommended due to the deadly currents in the area.