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Discover the history and the mystery!

What You Get:

Discover Saipan (and Tinian) with Walt Goodridge, the “Jamaican on Saipan,” and enjoy a fully personalized tour tailored to your interests, whether it’s exploring World War II sites, immersing in nature treks, or delving into Saipan’s rich cultural history. Walt’s flexibility ensures your itinerary reflects your preferences. Gain rare insights from someone who’s embraced Saipan as home, has written several books about the islands, has been recognized by CNMI Senate Resolution and three Governor’s Humanities awards, and wrote a weekly column for the local newspaper for five years. With access to private collections and off-the-beaten-path locations, you’ll experience Saipan in a way few can. Engage in insightful conversation, capture stunning memories, and leave with a comprehensive understanding of this beautiful island!

Choose from these tour options:

World War II Pilgrimage

Take a trip back in time to re-live the bloody 1944 Battle of Saipan, a decisive conflict in the Pacific theater of World War II. Explore and touch relics, pill boxes, block houses, bunkers, landing beaches plus visit the sad yet beautiful Banzai Cliff and Suicide Cliff, plus visit a private collection and more.

Tinian to Hiroshima Tour

Saipan’s sister island of Tinian has profound historical significance as the site from which the Enola Gay and Bockscar took off to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, respectively. Visit the runway, bomb pits, bunkers and relics, and also learn of the archeological signficance of the ancient Chamorro latte stones found nowhere else in the world.

Cruise Ship Shore Excursion

Cruise ships are a once-a-year (or less) occurence on Saipan! Experience a customized “Saipan in a Day” tour of the island in groups of 12 people per van. Start from the time you disembark and return to the dock an hour before the ship’s departure!

Amelia Earhart History & Mystery Tour

For more than 80 years, residents of many Pacific islands have known that Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan were not lost at sea, but were captured by the Japanese military and imprisoned in the old Japanese jail on Saipan. Explore the mystery and decide for yourself…

Saipan plus Tinian TWO Day Tour

On Day One, we’ll tour the entire island of Saipan focusing on WWII, culture, nature or anything else you wish. On Day Two, we’ll rise early and head to Tinian to experience its unique historical and archeological significance—returning by midday, so you’ll still have time for activities on Saipan.

Guam Tour with licensed guides

I don’t conduct the tours personally on Guam, but I work with experienced, knowledgeable, licensed Guam-based guides who will provide the same thorough, professional experience you receive on Saipan and Tinian!

“Saipan in a Day” Tour

Indigenous Chamorro and Carolinian culture, World War II history, breathtaking natural beauty—circle the entire island and experience a little bit of everything in this all day tour of Saipan! Personalize your tour and we’ll focus more heavily on what you’re really interested in!

“Escape from America” Relocation Tour

Where’s the best neighborhood to live? What are the supermarkets like? Where do I get my driver’s license? Where are the schools located? I’ll drive you around the entire island in each village, giving you my honest (sometimes politically incorrect) opinions, experience, tips and advice to answer ALL your questions!

Special Request: video, film or documentary location mgmt, book or dissertation research…

Filming a music video, doing research or directing a documentary on extreme weather, northern island volcanic activity, Chamorro/ Carolinian culture, the garment industry or World War II? These are all requests I’ve received and fulfilled! What’s your project?

“We have been on many tours in many countries and this tour is among the best. Walt is a transplant from Jamaica via NYC but has fallen in love with Saipan. He is incredibly knowledgeable and enthusiastically shares that knowledge. He is incredibly attentive to every detail. The tour was exhaustive and insightful. We felt we really knew Saipan at its conclusion. If I had a complaint, it would be the high cost. Although initially reluctant because of the price, we are glad we chose to do the tour.”

Bill Abbott, New Mexico (more testimonials)

Where is Saipan?

where is Saipan
where is aipan

Located in the western Pacific, a short flight from Guam and 3 hours from Japan, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) is a popular tourist destination rich in history, culture and natural resources. Saipan, just 5 miles wide by 13 miles long, is the largest and most populated of the 15 islands making up an archipelago that stretches 400 miles (north to south) along the edge of the Marianas Trench.

Here's a little background on Saipan!

SAIPAN! You don't really know US!

where is saipan
How well do you know the US? Everyone knows Hawaii. That's part of the United States. The Virgin Islands? That's US, too. Alaska? Puerto Rico? Guam? Yes. Yes. Yes. American Samoa? Well the name says it. They're all part of US.
However, many people don't know about the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI)--a 15-island archipelago that includes the islands of Tinian, Rota and the capital island of Saipan. It's a lesser-known territory of the United States, located in the western Pacific Ocean about four hours from Japan. And until you've discovered Saipan, you can't really say you know US, now can you?
indigenous population of Saipan
The indigenous Chamorro and Carolinian populations of Micronesia first discovered Saipan, and have been living here for thousands of years before the Spanish and even the Germans discovered it!
Jgirls on Saipan
The Japanese "discovered" Saipan, too! It's been a favorite vacation spot for decades. Thousands visit Saipan's white sand beaches and enjoy Saipan's water sports, world class diving, unique mix of cultures and more!
Saipan image from World War 2
US military personnel and their families know Saipan. Saipan was the battle ground for one of the most fiercely fought battles of World War II, and Tinian was the take-off point for the infamous Enola Gay flight to Hiroshima.
Saipan factory workers
Contract workers from Asia and the Pacific, too, "discovered" Saipan. For many years, Saipan's garment industry attracted thousands of workers in search of higher wages and opportunity.
Russians on Saipan
Even Russians have "discovered" Saipan. The CNMI's unique immigration policy allows Russians to travel visa-free to get a taste of America and a tropical vacation from the cold Russian winters. (Chinese nationals can also visit, visa-free! See "Do I need a visa for Saipan?" for latest)
image of marianas trench used on popular tshirt here on Saipan
And quite recently, Saipan, situated atop the Marianas Trench--the deepest part of the world's oceans-- was the site of a grass roots conservation effort that resulted in the landmark designation of the Marianas Trench Marine Monument.
But, even so, Saipan is still America's best kept secret! Isn't it time YOU discovered Saipan, too?


What IS a "personalized" tour?

A personalized tour is

• Unrushed--At your pace!

• Intimate--No huge, noisy crowds!

• Conversational--Ask absolutely ANYTHING you want!

• Customizable--More of what you like, less of what you don't!

• Flexible--Want to go back to that first site? No problem!

• Interactive--Get out, touch, meet local residents...

• Unpredictable--may include a special treat!

• Extended--Twice the duration of standard tours! (7 hours!)

Take my personalized tour and you, too, can discover Saipan, explore Saipan, understand Saipan, and really get to know Saipan (as well as Tinian and Rota) in ways most people never will!

Typically, tours on Saipan are conducted from inside big buses of 50 or more people, visiting just a few manicured sites, lasting for just a few hours, and narrated by a tour guide who has memorized some approved facts and figures-- doing what amounts to a job. Now, that may be okay for some folks.

But what if you had a guide for an entire day; someone who does this as his passion; someone who could take you off the beaten path, show you sites and sights the average tourist never gets to see; taking detours based on your unique interests, in a more intimate setting, with one-on-one conversation in which you could ask anything about the island, and get a real person's perspective while you tour the island? What if you could get all that, AND get to see all the standard, manicured sites, too! Well, that's what a personalized tour is!

(I and my tours were recently recognized by American Memorial Park (The National Park Service) for my efforts to bring visitors to this national historic park!)

Check out Reginald & Al's personalized tour! View Reginald and Al on Youtube

My Discover Saipan Advantage

"Not all tours are created equal!" Every customer is unique. Some have unusual requests for their visits to Saipan, Tinian, Rota, Pagan and Guam--everything from simply finding unique accommodations and transportation to locating specific individuals for genealogical research, or historical/cultural artifacts for study, to visiting "off limits" areas, and doing unique activities! Whatever your unique request, my mission is to "make it happen" for you. In the process, I do everything I can --leveraging professional as well as personal contacts, calling in favors, harnessing my experience in unrelated industries and backgrounds--to make your request come true. That's my Discover Saipan advantage, and that's what you pay for! Sure, you'll pay a bit more for it, but the overall experience, the information, the connection to your guide, plus the photos and memories you'll take with you will be priceless!

How it all started...

image of Suzanne on Saipan
Help! I'm only on Saipan for a short time, and I want to see as much of the island as possible!"--Suzanne
walt goodridge on saipan Photo: Ferdinand Ramos
Hi there!
My name is Walt Goodridge, nomadpreneur author and founder of, and Saipan Bookings. I've been doing this now since about 2008 when the idea for the "Saipan in a Day" land excursion tour came through a request from a woman who was island hopping in the region. Suzanne was going to be on Saipan for one day, and tracked me down through some of the websites I founded (and for which I was recognized by official CNMI Senate Resolution ) and she wanted a personalized tour experience to see as much of the island as possible. (See a recent interview in Beach Road Magazine)
Since my personal experience of Saipan has been overwhelmingly positive and inspiring, I wanted to give her the same "Best of Saipan" experience that I've had. So, I put together a special experience for her. Here's a little bit of one of my actual emails to her:
Dear Suzanne,
Yes, Saipan is many things to many people. Depending on whom you ask, and when you ask, Saipan could be a paradise get-away, a secluded beach, a place to meet the person of your dreams, a den of corruption or, as it is for many, simply a place they call "home."
And despite whatever changes, occupations, takeovers, scandals, scars or tsunamis sweep over the island, there is always something to do and see differently on Saipan!
Saipan has Americans, Russians, Chinese, Koreans, Filipinos, Japanese, Ghanaians, Kenyans, Bangladeshis and more living on this small piece of rock in the middle of the Pacific. But even with all that diversity, it's easy to get trapped within a single paradigm. My tour will help you break free from that trap! Here's why
- Being born and raised in Jamaica offered me a different view of reality.
- As a Caribbean, I have a positive bias towards island living.
- As a writer, I have an eye for detail.
- Being a native English-speaker, I fill a need in this part of the world!
- My Ivy League education gave me a unique perspective.
- My career as an engineer ingrained in me a habit of thoroughness.
- As an "*INTP", I prefer observation rather than judgement
- As a vegetarian, nomad and minimalist, I challenge paradigms.
- Spending most of my life in the heart of New York City, offered me an experience that serves as an insightful contrast to the pace of this my second/third life on Saipan.
- And, finally, as an entrepreneur coach who helps people discover and pursue their passions, I can see value in just about anything!
- In other words: I can help you experience Saipan in ways others can't! You're in for a treat and an experience!

*INTP, Introverted INtuitive Thinking Perceiving (Myers- Briggs personality Test)
photo of suzanne on saipan
"It was exactly what I wanted!"--Suzanne F.,M.D., New York, USA

One thing led to another and.....

Suzanne got exactly what she wanted, and before long, I was giving tours of the island to visitors from all over the world. I've created a unique adventure that few tourists actually get to experience.
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