Guam is the largest and southernmost island in the Mariana Islands archipelago. Guam is a territory of the United States of America. It is considered to occupy a militarily strategic location, south of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Guam is one of many islands that make up Micronesia, which politically consists of Belau (Palau), the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Kiribati (anthropologically having affinities with Polynesia and Micronesia), the Marshall Islands, and several remote islands designated as the US-administered islands of the Central Pacific. All of Micronesia has close political ties to the US.
Guam is an unincorporated and organized territory of the United States. Located in the northwestern Pacific Ocean, Guam is one of five American territories with an established civilian government. The capital city is Hagåtña, and the most populous city is Dededo. In 2015, 161,785 people resided on Guam. Guamanians are American citizens by birth. Guam has an area of 544 km2 (210 sq mi) and a density of 297/km² (770/sq mi). It is the largest and southernmost of the Mariana Islands, and the largest island in Micronesia. Among its municipalities, Mongmong-Toto-Maite has the highest density at 1,425/km² (3,691/sq mi), whereas Inarajan and Umatac have the lowest density at 47/km² (119/sq mi). The highest point is Mount Lamlam at 406 meters (1,332 ft) above sea level.
The Chamorros, Guam’s indigenous people, settled the island approximately 4,000 years ago. Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan was the first European to visit the island on March 6, 1521. Guam was colonized in 1668 with settlers, like Diego Luis de San Vitores, a Catholic missionary. Between the 1500s and the 1700s, Guam was an important stopover for the Spanish Manila Galleons. During the Spanish–American War, the United States captured Guam on June 21, 1898. Under the Treaty of Paris, Spain ceded Guam to the United States on December 10, 1898. Guam is amongst the seventeen Non-Self-Governing Territories of the United Nations.
Before World War II, Guam and three other territories – American Samoa, Hawaii, and the Philippines – were the only American jurisdictions in the Pacific Ocean. On December 7, 1941, hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Guam was captured by the Japanese, and was occupied for thirty months. During the occupation, Guamanians were subjected to culture alignment, forced labor, beheadings, rape, and torture. Guam endured hostilities when American forces recaptured the island on July 21, 1944; Liberation Day commemorates the victory. Since the 1960s, the economy is supported by two industries: tourism and the United States Armed Forces.
The main tourist area is around Tumon Bay, which has a number of high-rise hotels and resorts similar to Waikiki Beach. Cheaper accommodations exist near the airport, especially around the village of Harmon. Be aware that Harmon hotels tend to be on the seedier side since Harmon is a mixed industrial/residential neighborhood. Many of the flights scheduled through Guam to other locations (especially in Asia) often require an overnight layover, so plan ahead. Some hotels offer airport pickup, as taxis can be quite expensive.
PIC Resorts – Guam, 210 Pale San Vitores Rd, ☎ +1 670 234-7976, checkin: noon. edit
Tamuning Plaza Hotel, 960 S Marine Dr, ☎ +1 671 649-8646, checkin: 1PM; checkout: noon. $49.50.
Hyatt Regency Guam, 1155 Pale San Vitores Rd (Tumon Bay), ☎ +1 671 647-1234 ([email protected]), 455 Rooms and suites.
Pacific Islands Club Hotel and Resorts: Guam, 210 Pale San Vitores Rd (Tumon Bay), ☎ +1 671 646-9171 ([email protected]), 800 hotel rooms with ocean views. 70 sports & recreational activities. 7 restaurants & bars.
• Chamorro Night Market. Wednesday nights at the Chamorro Village in Agana. Somewhat overpriced and touristy– in fact, certain restaurants and shops (which are there permanently during the week) will actually charge more during the night market than they do normally.
• Mangilao Night Market. Thursday nights at the Santa Teresita Church in Mangilao. A more community-oriented night market with generally cheaper prices and a greater selection of local (if not always Chamorro) food.
• Fish Eye Marine Observatory. An underwater observatory at the Piti Bomb Holes Preserve. If you don’t want to pay the fee, you can just swim out (following the pier) and snorkel in the area to the left of the observatory. Vast (but not particularly diverse) forests of both hard and soft coral can be found.
• Cabras Island Channel. Park across the street from the Cabras power plant. There is an artificial channel for coolant water. No swimming, but the water is very clear, and you can see various coral and fish as well as some particularly evil-looking sea urchins. A path along the left side of the channel will lead you out to the ocean.
• Gun Beach. From Tumon, head north, pass the Hotel Nikko and take the next right to the Beach Bar. Multiple signs will claim that parking is for Beach Bar patrons only– however, they fail to mention the public (dirt) parking lot immediately to the right of the Beach Bar parking. If this area is full, park at the Nikko’s public parking area and walk past the dumpsters to the small beach access path. As with the rest of Guam, snorkeling areas are quite far out from the shore. There is also a pathway along the rock cliff to another beach.
Airport, Bus, Train Station
AIRPORT, BUS, TRAIN STATION
Won Pat Guam International Airport (GUM) is the only civilian gateway to the island and is located only a few miles inland of Tumon.
The airline servicing Guam is United Airlines, which offers non-stop service to Honolulu with onward connections in Honolulu to Chicago,Denver,Houston,Los Angeles,Newark,San Francisco,and Washington-Dulles. It also offers non-stop flights from Guam to Cairns in Australia, as well as most major cities in Japan, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Seoul, Palau, Manila, and many of the Federated States of Micronesia.
All other service to Guam is through East Asia on Delta Air Lines (serving Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya), JAL (Tokyo), Korean Air (Seoul, Busan and Osaka), China Airlines (Taipei), Eva Airways (Taipei) and Philippine Airlines (Manila).
GVB’s New Year’s Eve Fireworks Display to light up Tumon Bay
December 28, 2016
(Tumon, Guam) The Guam Visitors Bureau (GVB), along with Matson and United Airlines, present the return of the annual New Year’s Eve fireworks show.
GVB Board Of Directors Election
December 12, 2016
11:30 a.m. ~ 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, January 3, 2017 at Ocean Sirena Ballroom, Sheraton Laguna Guam Resort
GVB Launches “Christmas Love from Guam”
December 10, 2016
The Guam Visitors Bureau will light up the heart of Tumon Bay with the Christmas Love From Guam Holiday Illumination Light Park from December 10, 2016 to January 15, 2017.
November arrivals reach new high
December 8, 2016
Guam welcomed 125,748 visitors in November 2016 to become the best November in Guam’s tourism history. It exceeds last year’s numbers by 3.3%.
Guam wins best booth at 2016 International Travel Fair
November 10, 2016
(Taipei, Taiwan) The Guam Visitors Bureau (GVB) recently returned from the 2016 Taipei International Travel Fair (ITF), which was held from November 4-7, 2016.
TAISUKE UEDA FINISHES AS TOP HALF MARATHON WINNER
October 30, 2016
(Tumon, Guam) The Guam Ko’ko’ Road Races wrapped up another successful Ko’ko’ Weekend with nearly 1,500 local and international runners converging at Governor Joseph F. Flores Memorial (Ypao Beach) Park early Sunday morning.
Satomi Yamamoto joins GVB as new Director – Japan Market
October 20, 2016
(Tumon, Guam) The Guam Visitors Bureau (GVB) has announced that Mrs. Satomi Yamamoto has joined the Bureau as the new director for the Japan Market. She started with GVB at the beginning of October.
FY2016 smashes 1997 record in tourism arrivals
October 11, 2016
More than 1.5 million men, women and children traveled to Guam’s shores in the last fiscal year. From October 2015 to September 2016, Fiscal Year 2016, 1,510,944 people from around the globe came to our island — that’s more than nine times our population.
GVB launches new campaign: Visit Guam 2017 – The Year of Love
October 7, 2016
(Tumon, Guam) The Guam Visitors Bureau (GVB) is proud to announce the launch of its new Visit Guam 2017 campaign. From breathtaking panoramic views to soft white-sand beaches and spectacular sunsets, Guam is a perfect destination for cultivating love and romance. This is why the theme for Visit Guam 2017 is the “Year of Love.”
GVB Japan Manager to retire after nearly 24 years
September 29, 2016
(Tumon, Guam) The Guam Visitors Bureau (GVB) has announced that after nearly 24 years of service, Japan Manager Yuji Mitsumori will retire from GVB tomorrow, September 30, 2016.
GUAM BRINGS STAR POWER TO JATA
September 26, 2016
(Tokyo, Japan) Guam continued to shine bright on the final day of the JATA Tourism Expo with added star power from half Chamorro, half Japanese pop sensation Alice and over 80 dancers from the Guam Chamorro Dance Academy.
CHAMORRO CULTURE IMPACTS JATA
September 24, 2016
(Tokyo, Japan) Guam’s 4,000-year-old Chamorro culture continues to stand out at the world’s leading tourism-related event in Japan.
GUAM ATTENDS JATA TOURISM EXPO JAPAN 2016
September 23, 2016
Guam is joining over 150 countries and regions from around the world over the next three days for the return of the JATA Tourism EXPO.
Food & Beverages
FOOD & BEVERAGES
• Jamaican Grill, Tumon, Hagåtña and Dededo. Jamaican fusion restaurant featuring chicken, ribs and fish.
• Jeff’s Pirates Cove, Ipan, Talofofo, ☎ +1 671 789-COVE, . A great place to stop for a burger, beer, or tasty Greek dishes. Situated just off the beach, the outdoor tables command a great view of the sea. Friendly staff, but hit-and-miss food quality.
• Linda’s Coffee Shop, Hagåtña. Hole in the wall favorite of locals and the late night crowd.
• McKraut’s, Malojloj. This German bar and restaurant is far off the tourist track. They serve real German food and celebrate Oktoberfest every year.
• Pika’s Cafe, Tamuning. Serves breakfast and lunch with an emphasis on local produce. Very popular on weekends – prepare to wait a while for a table, but it’s worth it.
• Shirley’s Coffee Shop. A Guam staple since the 1980s – serves Asian and American eats in a family atmosphere.
• Island Sunrise Cafe, 286 Chalan Canton Ladera, Talofofo Guam 96915 (Traversed the island down Rte 4 to the three-way intersection above Talofofo Bay. Turn right and go up the hill past Notre Dame High School and drive past two bus-stops (both on the right), then turn right at the Island Sunrise Cafe sign (you’ll see signs guiding you along the way). You’ll find this lovely hideaway perched up on the cliff line offering one of the island’s most breath-taking coastal vistas.), ☎ 989-5071, 8am-8pm closed on Wednesday. Local cuisine and BBQ. As an added bonus breakfast is served from 8am-8pm.$5-$10.
• Buddies Billiards and Brew, (Behind Tick Tock), ☎ 649-CUES (2837).
• Bully’s Bar & Grill, (1F of The Plaza), ☎ 649-2389.
• Cafe Havana, (Hyatt Regency Guam Resort), ☎ 64SALSA (647-2572).
• Casa Nami, San Vitores Rd (Across from Pacific Islands Club, 2F), ☎ 646-NAMI.
is fairly simple and similar to the mainland US. Roads are not graded to US standards and are very slippery in rain, take caution. The main route on the island is Marine Corps Drive/Guam Route 1 (Better known as Marine Drive). On main roads in Guam, expect congestion. Many people purchase vehicles described as “Guam Bombs” which are older vehicles that are great to get around in and affordable.
Buses are available, but the frequency at which they operate is very unpredictable, you may end up waiting 2+ hours for a bus. The Guam Public Transportation system is generally known to be unreliable and slow.
The Tourist Shopping Buses stops at most hotels in Tumon. The Shopping Bus costs $2 for a one-way ticket and $3 for a round-trip ticket.
is only safe in the central business districts of Hagåtña and Tumon. Walking anywhere else around the island is hazardous due to dangerous vehicular traffic and the lack of sidewalks.
Observe caution when engaged in water activities on Guam, as in any coastal area, as currents can be swift and unpredictable, depending on the season. During the rainy season (from about August until March), water can pool unevenly on road surfaces. Pooling of rain water can lead to flooding of roads in the southern half of Guam, which does not have sewer drainage built under the road surfaces. Furthermore, many roads are in disrepair and potholes are frequent, which can easily blow out tires. Violent crime is fairly low, but property crime tends to be high, so safeguard valuables in vehicles. Sex crime is very serious problem in Guam. For the tourists, be careful when you are jogging in isolated area such as remote road to Two Lover’s Point. There were some sexual assault cases in that area. Rental cars have stickers and can be targeted by thieves. Guam is in a major earthquake zone, and these occur every few years. That said, there have been few casualties to date.
There are many retail outlets in Guam, including DFS (Duty Free Shoppers) which operates several stores in hotels, a large “Galleria,” and a store in the Guam Airport. Further, visitors to Guam will note some of the same shopping opportunities that exist in “the States.” Although there is no Wal-Mart, there is a large K-Mart that does a very high volume of business. Indeed, visitors who are used to the cavernous voids of K-Marts in the US may be surprised to find that they can barely squeeze through the aisles of the Guam K-Mart.
The Tumon Bay area possesses many duty-free shopping outlets and boutiques catering to Japanese tourists. Among these are boutiques selling Bvlgari, Chanel, Cartier, Dior, Fendi, Ferragamo, Gucci, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Rolex, and more.
For US citizens, Guam offers greatly increased customs exemptions coupled with duty and tax free importation of goods. However, take care with the basic prices offered in stores. Much merchandise has been shipped a very great distance at no small cost.