Rota is an island in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) about 40 miles north of Guam and 80 miles south of Saipan, the main island of the CNMI. We flew Marianas Southern Airways, which I've done many times to Guam. This trip was shortly before they ceased operations in the Mariana Islands. It was nice to take a break from 'larger island living' and visit a much slower paced destination. Was good to visit Rota again after so many years.
I took my daughter with me so she could visit more of the islands while living out here. The whole family was supposed to go but there were some last minute changes due to unforeseen circumstances.
The diving was great, so I would definitely recommend Rota if you are into scuba diving. The visibility was amazing on our first dive, it reminded me of Palau (my favorite dive destination in the world). Bella had to hang out on the boat since she wasn't old enough to be certified. She did have a couple 'junior divers' to hang out with before and after the dives though, as PADI now offers certification for those 10 and older.
There were many roads that seemed overgrown and I was warned at the rental car place not to try and 'loop the island' due to the road conditions. We still made it to some of the ancient Chamorro villages and some other cool sites.
The Latte Stone rock quarry is one of my favorites as it's unique across the CNMI. This is on a dirt road less than a mile from the airport and you can stop at this on the way to the bird sanctuary, which is also worth a look.
The Rota Swimming Hole is a beautiful place to spend an afternoon. The lighting is best around mid-day, where the crystal clear spring fed waters really shine! The visibility is good around the outer part of the swimming hole but gets kind of blurry where the fresh water meets the salt water.
Overall, we had a great time exploring the island of Rota and I would definitely like to come back and do some more scuba diving!
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