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Your guide to The Grotto Caves: The Best Diving in Saipan

A photograph is all you’ll need to convince you that Saipan’s The Grotto is the top destination and diving spot in Saipan, but also a top diving destination worldwide. Take a peek below the earth’s surface as you dive into an underwater paradise and explore this natural wonder. Our guide to The Grotto has diving tips, the best time to go, and other things to see and do nearby.

The Grotto

The best place in Saipan. A must-do in Saipan. Don’t miss this in Saipan — this is how the reviews of The Grotto begin.

Also known as the Blue Grotto of Saipan, this diving spot is located on the north-eastern tip of the island about a 30-minute coastal drive from Fiesta Resort Saipan. We recommend going with a local guide and diving tour operator, especially if you plan on swimming. Expect to pay $60-$90USD to dive The Grotto and $50USD to snorkel-most packages include transportation, entrance fees, and equipment.

Swimming at The Grotto is definitely for the more experienced, and not the best for kids. If you’re looking for kid-friendly activities and swimming spots in Saipan, Micro Beach is a great place to start.

Be prepared to enter another world when diving at The Grotto, of underwater rock skylights and electric indigo water. This magical diving spot has a visibility of 30 meters that’ll easily let you see whitetip reef sharks, barracuda, butterflyfish, spotted eagle rays, and the occasional sea turtle that has come to rest.

Diving The Grotto is one of the main reasons people come to Saipan, but for all its beauty, it can be dangerous, that’s why there are lifeguards on duty and most people go with a guide that provides lifejackets, the proper diving gear, and safety instructions.

Diving The Grotto — All you need to know

The best time to go to The Grotto is from December to April. The Grotto is far from a hidden gem, having been rated by National Geographic as one of the best diving spots in the world, so go early in the morning to beat the crowds.

Grotto Diving Tips from the Pros

  • Bring a diving flashlight
  • Be prepared to walk down and up 100 stairs with 20kg of diving gear on
  • Do a giant stride entry
  • The short hop to the jumping platform is hard
  • Watch your depth gauge carefully; it’s easy to go deep as the water clarity is misleading
  • Be careful of the wave surge getting in and out of the entry points
  • The right hole of the dive has the strongest currents

Other Attractions Nearby The Grotto

Bird Island Lookout is a 16-minute walk from the Grotto. The scenery is stunning making it a must-see coastal spot in Saipan. Hike down from the lookout to the beach and explore the myriad of rock pools.

Coastal watching by day and stargazing by night at Puntan Sabaneta, known locally as Banzai Cliff, is a short drive from The Grotto. As you look out to the ocean, plaques will remind you that this coastal spot has a place in Saipan’s history as the location where Japanese soldiers and civilians jumped to their deaths.

After a day of exploring like a local, we suggest you reward yourself at Fiesta Resort Saipan’s World Cafe buffet with platters of seafood, boats of sashimi, sliver trays overflowing with crab, and a carving station to satisfy all your meat cravings. Get in touch with our Fiesta Resort Saipan concierge team to make a restaurant reservation and for the best tips, advice, and tours when you’re out on a mission.

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