The Northern Mariana Islands are a chain of 15 tropical islands in the western Pacific Ocean, about 120 miles (193 km) north of Guam. At 12 miles in length and 5 miles wide (19 x 8 km), Saipan is the largest of the 15 islands, and site of the CNMI capital. Settlement of Saipan and its neighbouring islands occurred circa 2000 BC by the Chamorro people who arrived via similar routes as their cousins in Guam. Ferdinand Magellan first sighted the Mariana Islands in March 1521 and claimed “Las Islas de las Velas Latinas” for Spain. In 1668, the islands’ name changed to the present one in honour of Mariana of Austria, the widow of Spain’s king, Philip IV. In 1986, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the Northern Marianas a United States Commonwealth and its residents U.S. citizens. Today, Saipan boasts a well-developed tourist industry, which is concentrated around Garapan, the capital. In addition to beaches and colourful marine life, American World War II relics, overgrown Japanese bunkers, and mangrove swamps can be seen around the island. Garapan, located on the western side of the island, is home to major hotels and the American Memorial Park, which honours American soldiers who died during the Battle of Saipan.