Mt. Tapotchau is the highest point on Saipan. At 1554 ft. (474 meters) from sea level, it offers a fantastic panorama of the island, the surrounding ocean, and neighboring islands. On a clear day, you can see Aguiguan (Goat Island) just beyond Tinian to the south. On a crystal clear day, you can see Anatahan to the northwest, and Farallon de Mendinilla to the north.
(Lake Susupe, Tinian, Aguiguan in the distance)
(If you squint, you can see the silhouette of Anatahan in the distance)
The road up to Mt. Tapotchau is rough, bumpy, and steep at certain points, but the reward that awaits you, especially during the golden hours of sunset and sunrise, is well worth it. You'll need a 4x4 to get up there without any trouble, but I've seen, with amazement, sedans going up the road.
(The road up to Mt. Tapotchau)
At the very top a statue of Jesus looks westward, watching over the people of Saipan. On Good Friday, the Catholic church leads its parishioners up the mountain before sunrise. Many people, myself included, also make it up to Mt. Tapotchau on New Year's Day before sunrise to catch the first dawn of the year.
Standing atop Mt. Tapochau is a must for anyone visiting or living on Saipan. Experiencing the sun rise and set from this vantage is breathtaking. If you're there at sunset, don't leave after the sun goes down. Wait a little while for the lights to turn on around Saipan. It's the cherry on top.
(Garapan at dusk)
With it's magnificent views, Mt. Tapotchau is another reason why I Luv Saipan.
|For more photos atop Mt. Tapotchau, click on the image above|
(hu guiaya hao mama)