Hafa Adai (hello!) and welcome to Guam, a bucket list worthy paradise of secret beaches, scuba diving, hikes and more. Guam is home to approximately 200,000 people, comprised of 160,000 locals (yes, they are US citizens) and 4,000 United States military. Guam is the largest island of the Mariana Islands chain in the Western Pacific area called Micronesia. Prior to ceding to the US after the Spanish-American War Guam’s history extended back to 2000 B.C. with the native Chamorro people. Chamorro matriarchal culture of women as head of household is a main reason that Chamorro culture has survived. Located in the Pacific Ocean roughly between Japan and Australia, the island is multicultural, which is exhibited through its Asian and South Pacific influences in food and hospitality.
Hiking, surfing, paddle boarding, snorkeling, diving. Whatever you fancy, there is no shortage of outdoor activities and watersports here. Bargain hunters will appreciate the tax-free shopping!
Official Language: Chamorro is the official language but almost everyone speaks English.
Weather: The temperatures are around 75-85° F all year round. The best time to go is between January and April, during the dry season.
Flight to Guam:Direct flights are available to Guam from Tokyo, Seoul, or Honolulu. Book a round trip window seat for an eagle eye view of the island.
Getting Around Town: Renting a car from the airport may be your best bet. There is also a red trolley that you can take from the major hotels to different areas of the island such as Tumon (for shopping), Chamorro Village, and the Flea Market.
Things to do:
1.Latte of Freedom: This is a 80 ft tall latte stone that overlooks Asan and Agana bays. Latte stones are a symbol of Chamorro identity. They were actually used as building supports to elevate structures since 800 A.D.
2. Inarajan Pools: These beautiful shallow pools created by natural coral formations allow you to swim or snorkel right on the ocean. There is also a small hike off to the right side of the pools to a platform with an amazing view! You’ll have to cross a small stone bridge and climb up a metal ladder, but the view of the pools from above will be well worth it.
3. Scuba Diving in Apra Harbor: If you’re a diver, you will love Apra Harbor! Charter a boat to visit shipwrecks from both World Wars. Noteworthy wrecks include the SMS Cormoran is a German Tanker from WWI and the Tokai Maru is a Japanese Navy freighter from WWII. The Val Bomber, a Japanense War plane is nearby.
4. Snorkeling in Ypao Beach (pronounced eee-paw): Ypao Beach is located in Tumon, whichis the one of the island’s most convenient beaches. Colorful fish, octopus, and puffer fish call this area home.
5. Chamorro Village: Every Wednesday night, Chamorro Village turns into a night market with Chamorro food vendors, souvenir shops, and dance groups performances. Try the Guamanian BBQ, chicken kelaguen, pancit, lumpia, halo halo, and finadene on red rice.
6. Pagat Cave: This is a freshwater cave that you can swim in! There’s a short, but steep hike, but the trail is easy to follow. Take either floating candles or a frisbee for regular candles on because the cave can be dark.
- Marbo Caves cliffline or Thousand Steps for a beautiful view
- Ague Cove
- Sigua Falls
- San Carlos Falls
Top Beaches: Guam’s beaches are free!
- Gun beach: Great for scuba diving and snorkeling
- Ritidian Beach: Best secluded beach.
- Fish Eye and Family Beach for snorkeling
- Fujita beach
- Tanguissan beach
1. Proa: Guamanian BBQ. Order the Big Feller Trio (Short Rib, Spare Ribs and Chicken)!
2. Fuji Ichiban: Best late night munchie on island! Although known for ramen, order the karaage (Japanese fried chicken), fried rice and gyoza (found on the “side menu”).
3. Niji: Located in the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Niji offers the island’s best Japanese buffet with a fresh sushi and sashimi bar, delicious and savory Japanese hot foods like sukiyaki, shabu-shabu, tempura, and teppanyaki grilled meats. Leave room for the dessert bar, especially the green tea tiramisu cake. Go for lunch and stay for a swim!
4. Linda's Coffee Shop: Go for affordable local breakfast and try the corn beef fried rice.
5. Capricciosa: For Italian served family style try Capricciosa and order the lasagna.
6. Jamaican Grill: Amazing bbq ribs, jerk chicken and Jamaican rice. Order the “Jerk chicken and ribs combo” with half red rice and half Jamaican rice. Try the Splash juice, the #1 juice with mango, guava and pineapple!
7. Mosa's Joint: This top-rated joint has some of the best gyros on the island and the specialty burgers like the lebron jameson burger is a must-try.
8. Ban Thai: Ban Thai has some of the best Thai food on the island.
Where to Stay
1. Outrigger Guam: Located in the center of the main strip, the Outrigger offers a beautiful beach and luxury resort amenities. Upgrade to a Voyager club room for better views and free cocktails, beers and snacks every night.
2. Hilton Guam: This resort’s infinity pool and hot tub spill over a view of Tumon Bay and Two Lovers Point. Request a ground level room with a balcony.
3. Pacific Island Club: Or as the locals call it, PIC. This family-friendly hotel comes complete with a water park!
Fun Facts: Going “around the island” is a popular weekend activity. It takes approximately 3 hours to drive around the island and visit 4-5 popular areas to swim, picnic and hang out. There is a tiny uninhabited island off the southern tip of Guam called Coco’s Island with more birds than Guam’s mainland perfect for bird lovers.
Have you ever been to Guam? Where would you like to go in Guam? Comment below!