Self-governing US Commonwealth Territory (incorporated). Gained internal autonomy in 1986.
Head of state:
President George W Bush since 2000.
Head of government:
Governor Benigno Fitial since 2006.
The Northern Mariana Islands consist of a chain of 14 islands nearly 89km (55 miles) in length. Volcanic in origin, they host a variety of scenery including beautiful bays, spectacular cliffs, caves and mountains. Because of their location they played a significant part in WWII, and the many shipwrecks around the coast bear witness to this. These, the numerous coral reefs and the clear water make them particularly good for diving.
Most visits to the Northern Mariana Islands are trouble-free but you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate international terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners. This advice is based on information provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. It is correct at time of publishing. As the situation can change rapidly, visitors are advised to contact the following organisations for the latest travel advice: