Akiko Hagiwara, left, and Ayano Braxton, enjoy a morning run in Saipan in The Marianas. The Marianas archipelago offers a breath of fresh air for travelers, offering numerous year-round outdoor activities and strong COVID-19 prevention measures for visitors and residents that have result in a an extremely low case rate in this western Pacific destination.

Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands (NMI) – The Marianas offers a breath of fresh air for cautious travelers looking to experience nature and open spaces after months of confinement due to COVID-19.  The Marianas, a U.S. commonwealth, is located in the western Pacific, just 3 or 4 hours from major Asian gateway cities.  With a population of 50,000(?) people spread across the main islands of Saipan, Tinian, and Rota, this archipelago offers year-round tropical weather with plenty of space and options for outdoor activities. 

The Marianas has had only two COVID-19-related deaths; robust government health protocols enacted early in the worldwide pandemic were welcomed with strong community compliance.  Fifteen percent of the population has been tested for the virus, one of the highest testing rates in the U.S., and the destination has the capacity to test every resident.  The destination is at Community Vulnerability Level Blue, one level short of Green and normal operations under a five-level economic recovery plan.  In cooperation with public health officials, hotels, tour operators and tourism industry stakeholders have established internal standard operating procedures, including thermal scanning, for mitigating risk.

            “The Marianas has enacted a number of protocols that have helped keep our community and visitors safe, which is now allowing us to ease restrictions and transition to a ‘new normal’ where people can start to enjoy normal activities while practicing enhanced safety measures,” said Marianas Visitors Authority (MVA) Managing Director Priscilla M. Iakopo.  “As The Marianas reopens, we want our visitors to feel safe and comfortable during their stay.  Public health officials will continue to monitor the situation and implement measures on products and services toward the goal of keeping both visitors and residents healthy.  Our strong public health guidelines, our low population density, and our abundance of outdoors activities available year-round in this tropical paradise make us an ideal destination. We look forward to welcoming more visitors to The Marianas, where every experience is a breath of fresh air.”

Outdoor activities available in The Marianas are numerous.  Watersports include diving, swimming, snorkeling, jet-skiing, parasailing, windsurfing, fishing, kayaking, paddle boarding, marine life encounters, and more.  Land activities include guided tours of historic and scenic sites, hiking, walking, ATV/UTV tours, picnicking, museums, and more.  Restaurants and stores are open at 50% capacity with strict requirements for 6-foot social distancing.  Masks are required when entering most business establishments and are recommended but optional in public.

For more information on entry requirements, visit  For more information on The Marianas, visit the MVA at