The highest point on the island of Saipan, Mount Tapochau (sometimes "Mount Takpochao") rises 474 meters (1,554 feet) above sea level and offers a stunning 360-degree view of the island—visitors can see as far as Rota, Tinian and the northern islands on a clear day. Used as a strategic outpost during World War II, the mountain has historic value as well as vistas: Informative plaques placed along the hiking trail describe the sites below and how they were involved in the war. The concrete statue of Jesus Christ on top is the destination for a Good Friday march of Christian pilgrims from town.
By Paul Sullivan, AFAR Local Expert
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