SAIPAN—Go beyond the end of the paved roads in the island and discover pocket beaches that you didn’t think existed.
These ‘pocket’ beaches which are usually nestled between coves along the rocky shoreline are usually hidden from view by thick blankets of shrubs, and are not usually photographed by anyone else except for those who really take the time to explore them.
Most of Saipan’s pocket beaches require some hiking. Some are accessible but others are very challenging, with hard to find trails but that just adds to the thrill of the adventure. Once you get to the pocket beaches which are usually unpopulated, it will make you feel like you have stumbled upon your own little paradise, a beach you can call your own at least for the day.
The Old Man by the Sea is one of the most popular pocket beaches on Saipan, but a lot of people don’t even know where it is. The point where the trail starts is easy to miss, and you have to hike through the jungles to get there but the effort is worth it when you get there.
Head further and take another fork in the road before you reach the King Fisher Golf to get to Jeffrey’s Beach, another hidden gem that only very few knows about. On rainy days, access is almost impossible as the rough road becomes a river. Beyond the Kingfisher Golf Course is another pocket beach called Hidden Beach. Lately, the beach has lost its sense of being ‘hidden’ as tour operators have added it to their jungle tour itinerary and the beach is always teeming with tourists but the beach is breathtaking. It’s where Saipan’s blow hole is located, and the giant waves smashing against the huge rocks formations are a sight to see.
If you have the stamina to hike down to the Forbidden Island, the beach is one superb location for camping but getting there is not for the weak of heart. Go up north to the very end of Marpi and you discover Cow Town Beach, another pocket beach which may not be swimmer-friendly because of the strong currents but it’s a photographer’s dream.
Up south is the Ladder Beach. As the most accessible pocket beach, privacy does not come with the package but it is a popular venue for weddings and parties.
Saipan has more pocket beaches waiting to be discovered and rediscovered. These beaches are waiting for the daring who goes beyond the paved roads to find the treasures.