Dive Rota Logo - Image

Diving Sites


Most of the dive sites are a 10-15 minute boat ride away depending on ocean conditions.

There are also some dives that can be done from land and you can check some of those here: Shoreline Access Guide for the islands of Saipan, Tinian and Rota

The following is a general listing of some of the diving sites that are visited. As you can see there are a variety of sites and something for all experience and skill levels.

A-Frame
Photo-Of a Lionfish Photo-Of a Spotfin Lionfish Photo-Of a common Nudibranch Photo-Of a school of Blue-Green Chromis
Depth: 25-60 feet
Skill Level: Novice to Intermediate
Access: Boat - Mooring/Shore
Description: Individual coral heads big enough to contain small caves dot the sandy bottom. Check these crannies out for lobster and lionfish. Look around for stingray's, clown fish, gobies, top shells and Nudibranchs. Schools of black surgeonfish and parrotfish feed on the reef and occasionally white tip sharks cruise the area.

Cable Run
Photo-Stonefish Photo-Divers on Tour Photo-Coral
Depth: 40-60 feet
Skill Level: Novice to Intermediate
Access: Boat - Mooring/Shore
Description: So named for the cable car system that used to deliver phosphate from the Sabana on top of the mountain to the waiting factory down below. Sandy bottom with scattered reef and coral heads. The remains of a WWII Japanese auxiliary submarine chaser lies scattered across the bottom just off the site of the old phosphate factory. Look for the large propeller blade off an unknown ship. Various reef fish, large lionfish and stonefish.

Coral Garden
Photo-Butterflyfish and Snorkeler Photo-Orangefin Anemonefish Photo-Schools of Tropical Fish Photo-Crown of Thorns Starfish Photo-Orange Crab Photo-Flatworm Photo-Yellow Tang Photo-Nudibranch (Chromodoris elizabethia) Photo-Napoleon Fish
Depth: 15-60+ feet
Skill Level: Novice to Intermediate
Access:Boat - Mooring/Shore
Description: An area that contains a variety of coral formations. Here are many different species of colorful tropical fish including garfish, octopus, Nudibranchs, sharks, clown fish and turtles that are unafraid of intruding divers. This is the first Marine Protected Area in the C.N.M.I and as such the taking of game, either by hand or spear, or collecting shells or artifacts is prohibited.

More Coral Garden information
East Harbor
Photo- Of a Hawksbill Turtle Photo- Of a Hawksbill Turtle Photo-Giant Green Moray Eel Photo-Nurse Shark
Depth: 10-70 feet
Skill Level: Novice to Intermediate
Access: Shore
Description: A beach dive that starts across the street from the dive shop at Rota's East Harbor boat ramp. A short swim either underwater or on the surface takes you through the harbor channel. Then head out to the second reef. Scattered reef and coral heads are the main terrain features along the way. This is a good warm up dive or a third dive for the day. Look for the large barracuda that sometimes hangs out just below the surface outside the channel. The area is littered with several ships anchors that appear and disappear with the changing sands. Common sightings include stingrays, turtles, octopus, porcupine pufferfish, schools of surgeonfish, parrotfish and on rare occasions small crocodile fish.

Note:Use caution and common sense when going through the boat channel. If underwater stay on the bottom and to either one side or the other of the channel. If on the surface also stay to one side or the other and if you hear or see a boat approaching stop and raise your arms to let boat operators see you. Also beware there is sometimes a strong current that runs out of the boat basin.

Fireworks
Photo-Stingrays Photo-Stingrays and Jacks Photo-Red Leaf Fish Photo-Reef Fish Photo-Diver and Coral Photo-Garden Eels
Depth: 15-70 feet
Skill Level: Novice to Intermediate
Access: Boat - Mooring/Shore
Description: An easy relaxing dive that starts on the reef in about 15 feet of water and continues down to a sandy bottom with scattered coral heads that contain a variety of small fish which, seek the shelter of the coral, but come exploding out in great numbers once they become accustomed to the divers presence. Keep an eye out for stingray's that roam the sand flats, garden eels and razorfish that dive into the sand when they feel threatened. Very nice coral formations around the boat mooring.

French Tunnel
Photo-Spiney Lobster Photo-Giant Green Moray Eel
Depth: 25-65 feet
Skill Level: Advanced (Entry-Drift Dive/Surge/Overhead Environment/Free Floating Safety Stop/Exit)
Access: Boat - Drift
Description: A medium sized cavern with lobsters, sharks and turtles. Large boulders are scattered about the sea floor hiding lots of marine life and assorted corals.

Harnom Point
Photo-Harnom Point Dropoff Photo-School of Bigeye Trevally Photo-Bigeye Trevally up-close Photo-Crinoid on the wall Photo-Whitetip sharks
Depth: 50-110+ feet
Skill Level: Advanced to Experienced (Entry-Drift Dive/Depth/Currents/Free Floating Safety Stop/Exit)
Access: Boat - Drift/ Mooring
Description: A dynamic wall dive that continues down into the ocean depths. Stopping along the way at the fish bowl you can see pelagic fish including schools of barracuda, jacks, dogtooth tuna and the occasional marlin. You may also see large Napoleonfish, humphead parrotfish, turtles and sharks.
Notice: Currents in this area can increase, decrease or shift directions with no advance warning!

Hobbit House
Photo-Hobbit House Dive Site
Depth: 40-60 feet
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced (Overhead Environment)
Access: Boat - Anchor/Drift
Description: An unusual rock/reef formation that is honeycombed inside. Divers can swim through rooms from 4 different entrances and exits. Local residents include large skipjack's, sharks and many varieties of reef fish.
Note: This site is only accessible at certain times of the year under certain conditions.

Jerry's Reef
Photo-Spider Conch Photo-Whitemouth Moray Eel
Depth: 30-60+ feet
Skill Level: Novice to Intermediate
Access: Boat - Anchor/Shore
Description: A coral reef surrounded by white sand is home to many small reef fish, garden eels and assorted shells. This is a good warm-up dive.

Joanne's Reef
Photo-Yellowfin Goatfish Photo-Octopus Photo-Star Puffer
Depth: 15-75 feet
Skill Level: Novice to Intermediate
Access: Boat - Mooring/Shore
Description: Calm water and clear visibility reveal a wide variety of reef fish,goatfish, parrotfish and snappers navigating the reef from a hard bottom at 30 feet down to the sand at 60 to 80 ft. On the bottom are lionfish, spider conch's, octopus and sometimes a giant reef ray. Patches of soft "leather" coral.

Liyang Rai (Lee-Jang-Rey) "King's Cave"
Photo-King's Cave Dive Site
Depth: 20-100 feet
Skill Level: Experienced (Entry-Drift Dive/Overhead Environment/Surge/Depth of the Entrance/Free Floating Safety Stop/Exit)
Access: Boat
Description: Rota's "Super Dome" cave with only one way in and one way out. This dive can only be done when conditions permit and only with special arrangements with extra safety equipment and safety diver. Lobsters, snappers, jacks, whitetip sharks, several varieties of cowries and unusual white sponges. When the sun is overhead divers may be able to get a glimpse of the suns rays that come through a 2-foot hole in the roof of the cave. Interesting formation and an unforgettable dive.
Note: This site is only accessible at certain times of the year under certain conditions.

Pearlman Tunnel
Photo-Pearlman Tunnel Dive Site Photo-Turtle meets diver Photo-Spiny Lobster
Depth: 30-80 feet
Skill Level: Advanced (Entry - Drift Dive/Depth/Overhead Environment/Currents/ Surge/ Free Floating Safety Stop/Exit)
Access: Boat - Drift
Description: A large overhang shelters lobsters, lionfish, sea fans, sponges and pink lace coral. With a hole in the ceiling at the back of the overhang, this dive makes for some very nice photography. Once outside the tunnel you drift along a wall trying to count how many different types of ocean creatures you can see. Watch carefully for turtles.

Pinatang Park
Depth: 30-60+ feet
Skill Level: Novice to Intermediate (Entry-Drift Dive/Currents/Surge/Exit)
Access: Boat - Drift or Anchor/Shore
Description: The reef stretches along the shoreline on the west side of the island with hard corals looming up in individual outcropping's resembling mushrooms. Schools of goatfish, yellow spotted emperorfish, surgeonfish, parrotfish, stonefish, lionfish, emperor angels, moorish idols and conch shells are the normal inhabitants. Pelagic fish include bluefin trevally and groupers.

Pona Point
Photo-Divers and Seafans Photo-Moray Eel and Banded Shrimp Photo-Crinoid with small fish inside Photo-Titan Triggerfish
Depth: 30-100+ feet
Skill Level: Advanced (Entry-Drift Dive/Depth/Currents - Updraft's & Downdraft's/Surge)
Access: Boat - Drift/mooring
Description: A short wall dive. Sea fans, crinoids, clownfish, lionfish, pillow starfish and other wall life contrast with pelagic fish. The currents on this dive can at times be like riding a fast train or a roller-coaster.

Sailigai Tunnel / Sailigai Arch
Photo-Sailigai Tunnel Dive Site Photo-Sailigai Arch Dive Site Photo-School of Blue-lined Snappers
Depth: 40-80 feet
Skill Level: Advanced (Entry-Drift Dive/Depth/Currents/Surge/Overhead Environment/Free Floating Safety Stop/Exit)
Access: Boat - Drift/Mooring/Shore
Description: Hidden under an overhanging ledge, the entrance of the tunnel is at 60 ft. and is sometimes guarded by a white tip shark. The tunnel curves upwards and exits at 45 ft. In the area around the tunnel you can find stingray's, clown fish and a variety of other fish. The end of the dive concludes at a bridge like arch with sea fans hanging from it's interior.
Note: A mooring buoy is also available for use in the cove at this site making it rated for less experienced divers or just a nice easy dive when the ocean is agreeable.

Senhanom Cave (Rota Hole)
Depth: 30-80+ feet
Skill Level: Advanced (Entry/Currents/Surge/Overhead Environment)
Access: Boat - Drift/Mooring
Description: A grotto approachable only from the water, with the entrance at about 40 ft. Inside are schools of redfish, bronze sweepers and sometimes a lobster or two. The suns rays shining down through the roof opening can be most hypnotic. This is the dive site of many award winning underwater photographs (1st place Best Shot Of Diver MVA/NMDOA "Diving Photo Contest 2005"), a Scubapro poster and many diving articles.

Senhanom Wall
Photo-Falco Hawkfish
Depth: 60-130+ feet
Skill Level: Advanced (Entry-Drift Dive/Current/Surge/Depth/Exit)
Access: Boat - Drift/Anchor
Description: Edge of a reef flat in 40-50 ft. of water that drops off into ocean depths of well over 130 ft. Look for blue spotted groupers, schools of pyramid butterfly fish, Napoleonfish, dogtooth tuna and sharks along the wall. Some nice soft corals are found here.

Shoun Maru
Photo-Bow and Kingpost of Shoun Maru shipwreck Photo-Divers descend on the shipwreck Shoun Maru Photo-Divers going down on the Shoun Maru Photo-Diver exploring bow of the Shoun Maru Photo-Huge school of goatfish Photo-Diver with spadefish on shipwreck Photo-Engine of shipwreck Shoun Maru Photo-Engine and boilers of shipwreck Shoun Maru Photo-Spotted Garden Eels Photo-Spotted Garden Eel
Depth: 70-100 feet
Skill Level: Advanced (Depth/Currents/Free Floating Safety Stop/Exit)
Access: Boat - Drift/Mooring
Description: A 400ft. Japanese WWII freighter in great visibility. The wreck has been blown open by man and tested by Mother Nature for 60+ years to reveal trucks, bicycles, bottles, bathtubs and a triple expansion steam engine. Surrounded by garden eels.

More Shoun Maru information
Smuggler Ships of Ilek (E-Leak)
7- screws
Photo-Ship 7-Screws before sinking Photo-7-Screws shipwreck awaits divers Photo-Ship 7-Screws before sinking Photo-7-Screws shipwreck awaits divers Photo-7-Screws shipwreck awaits divers
Depth: 75-105 feet
Skill Level: Advanced (Depth/Currents/Overhead Environment)
Access: Boat - Mooring
Description: One of two Chinese smuggling ships that were impounded by the U.S. Coast Guard off the coast of Guam. They were sunk off of Rota in Sasanhaya Bay as artificial dive sites on February 11, 1999. On a calm day the ship can be seen sitting on a white sand bottom from the dive boat. This ship is a typical Chinese river cargo vessel and with a 120 ft. length and a beam of 23 ft. it can easily be explored in it's entirety even at it's 100 ft. depth. A very unique thing about the ship is it's seven engines and propellers.

Snake Eyes
Photo-Shipwreck Snake Eyes Photo-Shipwreck Snake Eyes - Stern Photo-Divers Exploring the Bow Photo-Looking at dive boat on surface from inside the wreck Photo-Damage done to shipwreck during a typhoon Photo-Stern section typhoon damage
Depth: 65-95 feet
Skill Level: Advanced (Depth/Currents/Overhead Environment/Sharp Metal)
Access: Boat - Mooring
Description: You can see the ship from the surface as you start down towards it. During typhoon Chata'an in July 2002 the ship broke in half just behind the deckhouse and what was once a fine underwater photo subject now lies in two separate sections.

More 7-Screws / Snake Eyes information
Sub Chaser #1 (At Coral Garden)
Depth: 20-90+ feet
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advance
Access: Boat - Mooring/Shore
Description: On a sandy bottom with scattered coral heads at 90 feet is what is left of one of three WWII Japanese auxiliary submarine chasers. This area was heavily damaged in June of 1996 when depth charges on the site were declared a major hazard and were blown up by the U.S. Navy at the request of then CNMI Governor Froilan C. Tenorio. There are still many parts of the ship lying around the immediate area.

Sub Chaser #2
Photo-Ships engine Sub Chaser 2 Photo-Ships propeller Sub Chaser 2 Photo-Divers examine ships propeller Photo-A Spotfin lionfish looking for a place to hide
Depth: 30-60+ feet
Skill Level: Novice to Intermediate
Access: Boat - Mooring
Description: Among the crevices and corals of the reef lie the scattered remains of a WWII Japanese auxiliary submarine chaser. One of three in the area. There isn't much left of the WWII era wooden ship. All that is recognizable is the engine block, prop shaft and the propeller. A few metal bits and pieces are scattered about the engine block, but mostly they are too covered in coral growth to be noticed (unless you look closely). This site is within the boundaries of the marine sanctuary.

Songton Reef (Sunset Villa)
Photo-Crab in coral Photo-Emperor Angelfish Photo-Lemonpeel Angelfish Photo-Teardrop Butterflyfish
Depth: 20-60+ feet
Skill Level: Novice to Intermediate
Access: Boat - Drift/Shore
Description: Ocean conditions permitting this is an excellent reef dive for beginners and experts alike. A large variety of hard corals cover this entire reef area. Numerous tropical fish can be found everywhere. A very beautiful dive that is good for fish and coral photography.

Table Top
Photo-Butterflyfish at Tabletop Photo-Trumpetfish in the rocks Photo-Dragon Wrasse Photo-A Christmas Tree Worm
Depth: 15-60+ feet
Skill Level: Novice to Intermediate (Current can be strong at times)
Access: Boat - Mooring/Shore
Description: The site is dominated by a 15 mater tower of rock rising from the sea floor. It's difficult not to think of "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" when you descend the first 5 meters to the "top" of the rock, a nearly flat platform home to dusky anemonefish and the anchor point for the mooring buoy. You start the dive by spiraling down the tower, not noticing at first all of the marine life hiding in the cracks and crevasses in the rock. A few larger fish are fairly easy to spot: A juvenille Rockwater wrasse, some Moorish idols and a variety of butterflyfish. Then the divemaster begins to point to the less noticable species. You can see trumpetfish hiding in a small cave. Searching along the bottom the divemaster locates two varieties of gobies, as well as a scorpionfish, which he warns the group away from by emphatically making a big "X" with his forearms. After exploring the bottom at about 20 meters you begin to spiral back up the tower to your safety stop back at the "Tabletop." Watching the anemonefish or exploring the cracks and fissures for other shy residents of the tower provides a nice diversion while waiting out the last 5 minutes of the dive. - Warren Michel - Local Rota diver

Takatoshi Point
Depth: 50-130+ feet
Skill Level: Experienced (Entry-Drift Dive/Depth/Currents/Free Floating Safety Stop/Exit)
Access: Boat - Drift
Description: A deep dive takes you through a large opening in the reef wall. Usual sightings include lobsters, turtles, Napoleonfish, humphead parrotfish and white tip sharks.
Note: This site is only accessible at certain times of the year under certain conditions.

Turtle Ridge
Photo-Closeup of a Green Turtle Photo-A turtle in Your Face Photo-Green Turtle Looking for a Good Eating Spot Photo-A Green Turtle Feeding on Algae Photo-A Green Turtle and a Diver Photo-A Green Turtle Coming Up for Air
Depth: 30-40 feet
Skill Level: Advanced (Entry - Drift Dive/Currents/Surge/Free Floating Safety Stop/Exit)
Access: Boat - Drift
Description: The main attraction here are the turtles. It is possible to see anywhere of up to a dozen turtles during this dive. Usually green turtles feeding on the seaweed and algae that grows along the top of the ridge with the occasional hawksbill turtle.

gold Bar
Dive Rota, P.O. Box 941, Rota MP 96951
E-mail: mark@diverota.com

Home / About Us / Airline Services / Contact Us / Current Events / Diving / FAQ / Links / Places to Stay / Visitors Photo Gallery / What to do on Rota

Copyright © 2016