Guide to Guam: Guåhan, commonly known as Guam, is the southernmost and largest island that forms the crescent chain of the Marianas Islands. Although Guam is only inhabited by 170,000 people, the Marianas remains home to one of the oldest Pacific island cultures dating back 3,500 years.
For many foreigners and Americans, there is much more to know about this US territory than its stability in the international spotlight in 2017 at the height of nuclear missile threats by North Korea or through its subtle mentions in sitcoms (often as a punchline).
Over the years, the island has experienced a complete cultural renaissance. From locally grown musical artists and published authors to community-focused wellness festivals and local craft breweries, Guam is making strides in a never-ending movement toward revitalizing its indigenous language, customs, arts, and culture. Is.
If traveling to this part of Micronesia, know that the region is nothing short of island magic and warm hospitality. From the northernmost point of Litecian (known as the Ritidion) to the southern village of Merizzo, Guam’s lush landscape, forests, and beaches are 30 miles in length and eight and a half miles in width.
History of Guam
Today’s economic climate and the political situation in Guam echo the island’s somewhat complex history; From the Chamorro–Spanish War, which lasted 25 years, marking the end of 300 years of Spanish colonization in 1898, to the Japanese occupation during World War II in 1944, and the U.S. for salvation.
Due to its geographic location in the Pacific, just 1,565 miles south of Japan and east of the Philippines, foreign forces have historically made Guam a prime target. To this day, Guam is still an unincorporated territory of the United States with no political power to vote in presidential elections.
Guhan in the indigenous Chamoru language means “we have,” and despite centuries of colonization and its effects, the people of Guam continue to embed themselves in the core values of Inafamolec (pronounced ee-na-fah mao-lek). . Basically a system built on reciprocity, respect, community, and harmony—a collective culture.
Beaches in Guam
If you are visiting Guam to experience its beautiful beaches, Tumon, a favorite of both locals and tourists, should be first on your list. The beach stretches for about two miles from the Hilton Guam Resort & Spa to the Lotte Hotel Guam, making it easily accessible for those staying on the hotel’s strip.
The calm waters in Tumon are perfect for snorkeling, paddleboarding, or an easy jog with a beautiful view. If you plan to drive around the island, two other places worth a visit are Merizzo Pier and Inarajan’s Natural Pool, which is located at the southern tip of the island.
Keep in mind that there’s no bad time to hit the beach: The island experiences warm temperatures throughout the year.
Guam is home to some of the most beautiful diving spots and hiking trails in the world. Nature lovers can choose from over 44 hiking destinations that range from easy to difficult. Pagat, located in the northern part of the island in the village of Dededo, is a hiking spot with the remains of an ancient Chamoru village and a swimming cave. A visit to this unique place is definitely worth your time.
The trail is made of limestone forests and cliffs and descends before coming to a rocky plateau where there is a large sinkhole. To the left of the sinkhole, there is a fresh water swimming cave that is perfect for cooling off after a hot hike, but before swimming, climb the sinkhole to see the remains of Guam’s ancient village and latte stone, Guam’s old houses. foundation of.
These artifacts and sites are sacred to the Chamoru people; Therefore, deleting or tampering with any of these sites is prohibited. During your journey, you may be pinched by a Taotomona, an ancestral spirit who is not evil but can leave you hurt if disrespected.
Other suggested hiking destinations include Mount Lamlam, the island’s highest peak, and the world’s tallest mountain crossing Mount Everest. The submerged mountain is 1,332 feet above the waters of the Marianas Trench, whereas if Everest were to drop into the Marianas Trench, it would still have water 6,000 feet above its summit.
And if you’re interested in thrilling water excursions, book a diving tour with Guam Ocean Adventures or hit the waves on a jetski with Joe Jetski. Experience the island’s southern charm with the Valley of the Latte Jungle Riverboat Adventure Cruises which will take you for a second with a captivating guide who will teach you about the island’s local wildlife and unique cultural facts.
Guam is made up of 19 districts, also known as villages. The island can generally be divided into three parts- North, Central, and South. Driving around the island is relatively easy as no highway or freeway exists.
Most visitors stay in the Tumon area, close to a strip of hotels, restaurants, shopping, and nightlife. This part of the island is often lively, with hotels and bars hosting live entertainment by local legends, making it a great place to enjoy a good drink during golden hour.
The island’s capital, Hagutana (also known as Agana) is where you’ll find three branches of government, business establishments, and remnants of Guam’s historical period under the Spanish. Stop by the Guam Museum to see more than 300 historical artifacts, and stroll from the museum to Plaza de Espaa, where the old structures of the Governor’s Palace date from 1889.
The southbound coastal drive takes about two to three hours, starting at Hagutana. As you make your way down Highway 2, stop by Fort Nuestra Seora de la Soledud, the last of four Spanish forts built in the village of Umatec.
Southern Beach will give you a glimpse of the island’s laid-back lifestyle and rich history. The southern seaside villages of Agat and Merizzo host a Mango and Crab Festival every year that is well worth the drive.
Mom and Pop stores are known for some of the best “road trip snacks” and breakfast grab-and-go, including Chicken Callagne Wraps, Freshly Fried Empanadas, Spicy Mangoes, and Spam Musubis, the perfect treat to pack make for. Driving around the island.
Food & Drink in Guam
For a complete Chamoru feast, visit Mescala Chamoru Fusion Bistro for Sunday Brunch to try local favorites in a sit-down dining experience. The buffet layout includes works including the island’s staple red rice, prawn kelagen (shrimp seasoned with lemon and hot pepper), tinala katane (dried meat), hagun suni (spinach in coconut milk), fried titias (tortillas). , even more.
Asiga is very important for giving freshness. The beloved Scoop Shop produces plant-based ice cream, coffee and other sweet treats. Their sea salt chocolate chip cookies are sprinkled with crushed salt brought in from the neighboring island of Rota. Their homemade ice creams combine local fruits such as banana, kalamansi, mango and avocado with a coconut soy and coconut cashew base.
Every craft beer enthusiast should make a pit stop by Antigu Brewing to try their craft beer during sunset. This beachside bar has a revolving menu with seasonal flavors, including fruity sours, smoky IPAs, stouts, and mild ales. If you’re looking for a drink unique to Guam, the totche, a fruity and spicy sour, is inspired by a favorite local snack of young mango dipped in salt and hot pepper. Toche translated into Chamoru means “dip”.
Best Places to Stay
Most tourist accommodation in Guam is found in the heart of Tumon Bay, a strip of over 15 hotels, ranging from family-friendly water parks to stunning high-end luxury experiences.
- Pacific Islands Club is an all-inclusive beach resort with endless water sports and recreational activities ranging from snorkeling, sailing, and windsurfing to golf, archery, and outdoor tennis. The hotel is perfect for families who can spend hours of downtime at the waterpark to keep the kids entertained for hours.
- For more luxurious accommodations, The Tsubaki Tower has first-class seats for sunset views of Guam from the infinity pool. The hotel offers deluxe rooms, spacious “outdoor living rooms” with ample balcony space overlooking the water, and chic suites with working space.
- Merizzo Seaside B&B is the perfect getaway from the bustling streets of Tumon and is ideal for artists and writers looking to spend some quiet R&R. The oceanfront property serves as a museum with three separate accommodations with access to kayaks, a hammock, high-speed internet, a private kitchen, and other amenities. The B&B is also a short drive from Merizo Pier and Inarajan Natural Pool.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Guam
Q. Is Guam a part of the USA?
A – Government and society. Guam is an unincorporated territory of the United States governed under the Organic Act of Guam, passed by the US Congress and ratified by the President on August 1, 1950. The Organic Act made all Camoros US citizens.
Q. Are Guam US citizens?
A – Guam is an unincorporated territory of the United States, which means that only select parts of the US Constitution apply to its residents. Individuals born in Guam are considered citizens of the United States.
Q. Is Guam part of the Philippines?
A – Before World War II, Guam was one of five US jurisdictions in the Pacific Ocean, along with Wake Island in Micronesia, American Samoa in Polynesia, and Hawaii and the Philippines.
Q. Why is Guam still a US territory?
A – As part of its campaign during the Spanish–American War, the United States captured Guam in a bloodless landing on June 21, 1898. In 1898, the Treaty of Paris formalized the handover, and Guam officially became the U.S. came under rule.
Q. Why is Guam so important to the US?
A – Guam is now home to about 170,000 people, and its importance to the US military has only increased. Admiral Philip Davidson, before retiring as head of US Indo-Pacific Command earlier this year, said it is now America’s “most important operational location west of the international dateline.”
Q. Can someone born in Guam become president?
A – The same CRS report also claimed that citizens born in the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands are legally defined as “natural born” citizens and, therefore, also eligible to be elected president. are eligible.
Q. Can a US citizen live in Guam?
A – Guam holds a special attraction for US citizens, who can easily live and work in the region. Neither citizens nor permanent residents need a work visa for employment in Guam, and everything runs on US dollars, just like on the Mainland.
Q. Can you vacation in Guam?
A – Many people enjoy traveling to remote Pacific islands to experience a true tropical vacation. Guam is one of those tropical destinations that is not visited by millions of travel enthusiasts. It is worth knowing more about the island of Guam, which is an essential vacation spot.