Travel Advice and Tips for Guam

1. What are the must-visit attractions in Guam?

1. Two of the must-visit attractions in Guam are Tumon Bay and Two Lovers Point. Tumon Bay is a popular tourist spot known for its white sandy beaches, clear waters, and abundance of water activities such as snorkeling, parasailing, and jet skiing. Visitors can also enjoy the vibrant nightlife, shopping centers, and a variety of restaurants and bars along the Tumon strip. Two Lovers Point, on the other hand, offers breathtaking panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and is a cultural landmark symbolizing eternal love. Couples often visit to take in the stunning sunset views and learn about the legend behind the site. These two attractions capture the natural beauty and unique cultural heritage of Guam, making them must-visit destinations for tourists.

2. What is the best time of year to visit Guam?

The best time of year to visit Guam is during the dry season, which typically runs from December to June. During these months, you can expect less rainfall and more sunny days, making it ideal for outdoor activities and exploring the island. Additionally, the months of April and May offer pleasant weather with lower humidity levels, making it a comfortable time to visit. It’s important to note that Guam experiences a wet season from July to November, with a higher chance of typhoons and heavy rainfall, so it’s best to avoid visiting during these months if possible. Overall, planning your trip to Guam during the dry season will ensure a more enjoyable and rewarding experience on the island.

3. How can I get around Guam efficiently?

1. Renting a car is often the most efficient way to get around Guam. There are several car rental companies on the island that offer a variety of vehicles to suit your needs. Having a car gives you the flexibility to explore Guam at your own pace and visit hard-to-reach places that may not be easily accessible by public transportation.

2. Another option for getting around Guam efficiently is to use taxis. Taxis are readily available in tourist areas and can be a convenient way to travel short distances or for those who prefer not to drive.

3. Public transportation on Guam is limited, but there are buses operated by the Guam Regional Transit Authority that serve popular routes around the island. While the bus system may not be as extensive as in other destinations, it can be a cost-effective option for those looking to travel on a budget.

Overall, renting a car is typically the most efficient way to get around Guam due to the island’s spread-out nature and limited public transportation options. By having your own transportation, you can make the most of your time on Guam and explore all that the island has to offer at your own pace.

4. Are there any cultural customs or etiquettes I should be aware of in Guam?

Yes, there are several cultural customs and etiquettes to be aware of in Guam to show respect and courtesy to the local community:

1. Respect for Elders: In Chamorro culture, elders are highly respected and revered. It is important to address them with proper titles and show deference in conversations and interactions.

2. Chamorro Greetings: When meeting someone in Guam, a warm and friendly greeting is customary. Common greetings in Chamorro include “Håfa adai” (hello) and “Si Yu’os ma’åse” (thank you).

3. Removal of Shoes: It is customary to remove your shoes before entering someone’s home in Guam, as a sign of respect and cleanliness.

4. Public Behavior: Public displays of affection should be kept to a minimum in Guam, as it is considered more conservative compared to some Western cultures.

By being mindful of these cultural customs and etiquettes, you can show appreciation for Guam’s traditions and values while fostering positive interactions with the local community.

5. What are some recommended traditional dishes to try in Guam?

Some recommended traditional dishes to try in Guam include:

1. Kelaguen: This popular dish is typically made with either chicken or seafood (often shrimp or fish) mixed with lemon juice, coconut, onions, and seasonings. It has a refreshing and tangy flavor that is unique to Chamorro cuisine.

2. Red Rice: A staple in Chamorro cuisine, red rice is a flavorful dish made by cooking rice with achote seeds, which give it a reddish hue. It is often served as a side dish to accompany main courses.

3. Chicken Kelaguen: Another variation of kelaguen, this dish features shredded chicken mixed with lemon juice, grated coconut, onions, and seasonings. It is typically served with tortillas or red rice.

4. Kadu: A traditional Chamorro soup made with beef short ribs, taro, pumpkin, green beans, corn, and other vegetables. It is a hearty and comforting dish that is perfect for a satisfying meal.

5. Estufao: A savory stew made with chicken, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, and bay leaves. It has a rich and tangy flavor that is sure to please your taste buds.

6. What are the best beaches in Guam for swimming and snorkeling?

Guam is home to some beautiful beaches that are perfect for swimming and snorkeling. Here are some of the best beaches on the island for those activities:

1. Ypao Beach: Located in Tumon Bay, Ypao Beach is a popular spot for both locals and tourists. The crystal-clear waters and calm waves make it ideal for swimming and snorkeling. The beach also has facilities such as bathrooms, showers, and picnic areas.

2. Tumon Beach: Another popular beach in Tumon Bay, Tumon Beach offers excellent snorkeling opportunities due to its vibrant marine life and clear waters. The beach is easily accessible and is a great spot for families looking to enjoy a day by the sea.

3. Gun Beach: Located on the northern tip of the island, Gun Beach is known for its excellent snorkeling conditions. The underwater landscape features colorful coral reefs and a variety of fish species. The beach also offers stunning views of the surrounding cliffs and jungle scenery.

4. Ritidian Beach: For a more remote and untouched experience, head to Ritidian Beach in Northern Guam. This beach is known for its pristine white sand and crystal-clear waters, making it a great spot for swimming and snorkeling. Keep in mind that there are limited facilities here, so it’s best to bring your own supplies.

These are just a few of the best beaches in Guam for swimming and snorkeling. Remember to take proper precautions while engaging in water activities, such as using sunscreen, staying hydrated, and being mindful of local marine life and conservation efforts. Enjoy exploring the beautiful beaches of Guam!

7. How can I stay safe while exploring Guam?

Exploring Guam can be a wonderful experience, but like any destination, it’s important to prioritize safety. Here are some tips to help you stay safe while exploring Guam:

1. Stay aware of your surroundings at all times, especially in crowded or unfamiliar areas.
2. Lock your doors and windows when you are in your accommodation to prevent theft.
3. Avoid walking alone at night, especially in dimly lit or isolated areas.
4. Be cautious when swimming in the ocean and always adhere to warning signs and lifeguard instructions.
5. Use reputable transportation services and avoid hitchhiking.
6. Keep your valuables secure and only carry essential items with you.
7. Familiarize yourself with emergency contact numbers and the location of the nearest hospitals or police stations.

By following these safety tips, you can enhance your travel experience in Guam while minimizing potential risks or safety concerns.

8. Are there any unique shopping opportunities in Guam?

Yes, there are several unique shopping opportunities in Guam that you should definitely explore during your visit. Here are some key shopping highlights:

1. Chamorro Village: This vibrant marketplace in Hagåtña offers a mix of local crafts, souvenirs, and delicious food. You can find handmade items like jewelry, wood carvings, and traditional Chamorro crafts.

2. Micronesia Mall: One of the largest shopping centers on the island, Micronesia Mall is home to a variety of retail outlets, including international brands and local boutiques. You can shop for clothing, electronics, cosmetics, and more.

3. Tumon: The bustling tourist hub of Tumon is lined with shops selling everything from luxury goods to duty-free items. You can find designer brands, local artwork, and unique gifts to take back home.

4. Kmart Guam: While Kmart may not seem like a unique shopping experience, the Guam location is known for offering a wide range of items catering to the island’s diverse population. You can find local snacks, apparel, and household goods that reflect Guam’s culture.

Overall, shopping in Guam is a diverse and interesting experience, with plenty of options to explore and unique finds to discover. Don’t forget to haggle at local markets for the best deals!

9. What are some outdoor activities and excursions to experience in Guam?

There are plenty of outdoor activities and excursions to experience in Guam that cater to various interests and preferences. Some popular options include:

1. Snorkeling and diving: Guam is known for its pristine waters and diverse marine life, making it a perfect destination for snorkeling and diving enthusiasts. There are numerous fantastic dive spots around the island, such as Fish Eye Marine Park and Gab Gab Beach.

2. Hiking and exploring nature: Guam offers a variety of hiking trails that range from easy walks to more challenging treks. Some notable trails include Mt. Lam Lam, the highest point on the island, and Tarzan Falls, a beautiful waterfall tucked away in the jungle.

3. Water sports: Visitors can enjoy a wide range of water sports in Guam, including surfing, paddleboarding, jet skiing, and parasailing. Tumon Bay and Gun Beach are popular spots for these activities.

4. Zip lining: For thrill-seekers, zip lining through the lush forests of Guam is a must-try experience. The Talofofo Falls Resort Park offers an exhilarating zip line adventure with stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

5. Off-roading and ATV tours: Explore Guam’s rugged terrain and off-the-beaten-path locations by joining an off-roading or ATV tour. These tours typically take you through jungle trails, river crossings, and scenic viewpoints.

6. Dolphin watching and boat tours: Head out to sea for a chance to spot dolphins and other marine wildlife in their natural habitat. Boat tours around the island also offer a unique perspective of Guam’s coastline and pristine beaches.

7. Eco-tours and cultural experiences: Immerse yourself in Guam’s rich culture and natural beauty by joining eco-tours that showcase the island’s indigenous flora and fauna. Visit sites like the Valley of the Latte Adventure Park for a combination of cultural and outdoor activities.

8. Golfing: Guam boasts several world-class golf courses with stunning ocean views and challenging layouts. Enjoy a round of golf surrounded by tropical landscapes and ocean breezes at courses like Leo Palace Resort and Onward Talofofo Golf Club.

Overall, Guam offers a diverse array of outdoor activities and excursions that cater to all preferences, making it an ideal destination for adventure lovers and nature enthusiasts alike.

10. What are the visa requirements for visiting Guam?

1. Visiting Guam typically does not require a visa for citizens of the United States, as it is a U.S. territory. However, if you are a citizen of a country that is not part of the U.S. Visa Waiver Program, you may need to apply for a visa before traveling to Guam.
2. Citizens of countries eligible for the Visa Waiver Program can stay in Guam for up to 45 days without a visa but must obtain authorization through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) before boarding a flight to Guam.
3. It is important to check the specific visa requirements for your nationality well in advance of your trip to ensure you have the necessary documentation. Additionally, make sure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your intended stay in Guam to avoid any issues at immigration. If you have any questions or concerns about visa requirements for Guam, you can contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate for assistance.

11. What are the best spots for watching the sunset in Guam?

One of the best spots for watching the sunset in Guam is Two Lovers Point, which offers breathtaking panoramic views of the ocean and the cliffs as the sun sets. Other great locations include Gun Beach, where you can enjoy the sunset from a more secluded spot with stunning views of the water, or Agana Bay, which provides a picturesque setting with the sun setting over the bay. If you prefer a more relaxed setting, the Tumon Bay Sunset Beach BBQ is a popular choice, combining a beautiful sunset with a delicious barbecue experience right on the beach. For a unique perspective, you can also consider watching the sunset from the water on a sunset cruise around the island. No matter where you choose to watch the sunset in Guam, you are sure to be treated to a stunning display of colors and natural beauty.

12. How is the weather in Guam throughout the year?

Guam experiences a tropical marine climate with warm temperatures and fairly consistent weather patterns year-round. Here is a breakdown of the weather in Guam throughout the year:

1. Dry Season (December to June): This period is often considered the peak tourist season in Guam. The weather during the dry season is typically hot and sunny, with lower humidity levels compared to the wet season.

2. Wet Season (July to November): This period sees an increase in rainfall and humidity, with occasional typhoons occurring in the region. The wet season can bring heavy rains and occasional storms, impacting outdoor activities and travel plans.

Overall, travelers visiting Guam should expect warm temperatures ranging from 75°F (24°C) to 86°F (30°C) throughout the year. Humidity levels can be high, especially during the wet season, so it’s important for visitors to stay hydrated and protect themselves from the sun. It’s recommended to check the weather forecast before planning outdoor activities to make the most of your visit to this beautiful Pacific island.

13. Are there any traditional festivals or events that I should try to experience in Guam?

Yes, there are several traditional festivals and events in Guam that you should try to experience to immerse yourself in the local culture. Some of the notable ones include:

1. Liberation Day: Celebrated on July 21st, Liberation Day commemorates the day when Guam was liberated from Japanese occupation during World War II. The festival includes parades, ceremonies, food, and cultural performances.

2. FestPac: The Festival of Pacific Arts, known as FestPac, is a major cultural event that takes place every four years, showcasing the diverse cultures of the Pacific region through dance, music, arts, and crafts.

3. Mes Chamoru: Held in March, Mes Chamoru is a month-long celebration of Chamorro culture, featuring traditional dances, music, language workshops, and culinary events.

4. Gupot Chamorro: This event highlights traditional Chamorro fishing techniques and includes demonstrations, games, and cultural performances.

5. Guam Micronesia Island Fair: An annual event that celebrates the cultures of Micronesia through traditional dances, music, food, and arts and crafts.

Attending these festivals and events will not only provide you with a deeper understanding of Guam’s rich cultural heritage but also offer a memorable and immersive experience during your visit to the island.

14. What are some tips for budget-friendly travel in Guam?

Traveling on a budget in Guam is definitely achievable with some careful planning and savvy choices. Here are some tips to make your trip to Guam more budget-friendly:

1. Visit during the off-peak season to find cheaper accommodation rates and flight deals.
2. Look for budget-friendly accommodations such as guesthouses, hostels, or Airbnb options instead of traditional hotels.
3. Make use of public transportation such as buses or shared shuttles to get around the island, as renting a car can be costly.
4. Take advantage of local markets and street food vendors to enjoy delicious meals at a lower cost.
5. Opt for free or low-cost activities such as hiking, beach outings, and exploring historical sites like the Plaza de España or Two Lovers Point.
6. Purchase a Guam Guidebook to find discounts on attractions, dining, and shopping.
7. Consider booking tours and activities in advance online to secure better deals.
8. Pack a reusable water bottle to save on buying bottled water.
9. Choose to explore the island on foot or by bike to save on transportation costs.
10. Look out for happy hour specials at bars and restaurants for discounted drinks and meals.
11. Take advantage of duty-free shopping in Guam to purchase souvenirs and gifts at a lower price.
12. Consider participating in free cultural events and festivals happening on the island during your stay.
13. Utilize online travel forums and groups to seek advice and recommendations from fellow budget travelers.
14. Lastly, be open to trying new experiences and immersing yourself in the local culture without overspending.

15. Is it necessary to rent a car in Guam, or are there other transportation options?

Renting a car in Guam is not necessary, as there are several transportation options available on the island. Here are some transportation options to consider:

1. Public transportation: Guam does have a public bus system known as the “Guam Mass Transit Authority” that operates routes throughout the island. While the bus system may not be as frequent or extensive as in some larger cities, it can be a cost-effective option for getting around Guam.

2. Taxis: Taxis are readily available on the island and can be a convenient option for short trips or when you prefer not to drive. It’s important to note that taxis in Guam do not use meters, so it’s recommended to negotiate the fare before starting your journey.

3. Shuttle services: Many hotels and resorts in Guam offer shuttle services for their guests to popular attractions, shopping areas, and the airport. These services can be a convenient and hassle-free way to get around without the need for a rental car.

4. Rental bicycles: If you prefer a more eco-friendly and active way to explore Guam, rental bicycles can be a great option. There are several rental companies on the island that offer bicycles for a reasonable daily or hourly rate.

Overall, while having a rental car can offer more flexibility and freedom to explore Guam at your own pace, it is not necessary due to the availability of other transportation options on the island. Consider your travel preferences, budget, and itinerary to choose the best transportation option for your Guam adventure.

17. What are some lesser-known hidden gems in Guam worth exploring?

Certainly! Guam is a beautiful island with many hidden gems waiting to be explored. Here are some less-known hidden gems worth visiting on the island:

1. Ritidian Point – Located at the northernmost tip of the island, Ritidian Point offers stunning views of the ocean and cliffs, as well as a chance to explore the ancient latte stone pillars.

2. Talofofo Falls – This hidden gem is a serene waterfall nestled in the jungle of southern Guam, offering a peaceful retreat and a chance to swim in the refreshing waters.

3. Fouha Rock – A lesser-known attraction, Fouha Rock is a massive limestone monolith that offers panoramic views of the island and surrounding ocean.

4. Gadao’s Cave – An intriguing natural limestone cave located in Inarajan, Gadao’s Cave is rich in history and offers a unique glimpse into Guam’s past.

5. War in the Pacific National Historical Park – While not entirely hidden, this park is often overlooked by tourists. It offers a poignant reminder of Guam’s role in World War II and features historic sites such as Asan Beach and Fonte Plateau.

Exploring these hidden gems will not only allow you to connect with Guam’s natural beauty and rich history but also provide a unique and off-the-beaten-path experience during your visit to the island.

18. What are the best diving and snorkeling spots in Guam?

1. Tumon Bay: This popular tourist area in Guam is known for its crystal-clear waters and abundant marine life, making it a great spot for both diving and snorkeling. The bay is home to a variety of coral reefs, colorful fish, and other marine creatures, making it a must-visit destination for underwater enthusiasts.

2. Gab Gab Beach: Located near the Naval Base in Guam, Gab Gab Beach offers some of the best diving and snorkeling opportunities on the island. The beach is known for its diverse marine life, including sea turtles, sharks, and rays, as well as vibrant coral reefs. The calm waters and excellent visibility make it an ideal spot for both beginners and experienced divers.

3. Blue Hole: This unique dive site in Guam features a deep underwater cavern known as the Blue Hole, surrounded by stunning coral formations and marine life. Divers can explore the depths of the cavern and encounter a variety of sea creatures, including reef sharks, octopuses, and eels. The Blue Hole is a must-visit spot for experienced divers looking for an exciting underwater adventure.

4. Fish Eye Marine Park: Located in Piti Bay, Fish Eye Marine Park offers a unique underwater experience for divers and snorkelers alike. The park features an underwater observatory where visitors can view the colorful marine life without getting wet. Divers can also explore the surrounding coral reefs and encounter a variety of fish and other sea creatures in the clear waters of the park.

Overall, Guam offers a wide range of diving and snorkeling spots, each with its own unique marine life and underwater landscapes. Whether you are a beginner or experienced diver, there are plenty of options to explore and enjoy the beautiful underwater world of Guam.

19. How can I learn more about the history and culture of Guam during my visit?

During your visit to Guam, there are several ways you can immerse yourself in the rich history and vibrant culture of the island:

1. Visit the Guam Museum: The Guam Museum, located in Hagåtña, is a great starting point to learn about Guam’s history and culture. The museum features exhibitions that cover various aspects of Guam’s past, including its indigenous Chamorro heritage, Spanish colonial period, and World War II history.

2. Explore historical sites: Guam is home to various historical sites such as Fort Nuestra Señora de la Soledad, Fort Santa Agueda, and the Plaza de España. These sites offer insights into Guam’s colonial past and military history.

3. Attend cultural events: Keep an eye out for traditional Chamorro events and celebrations happening during your visit. These events often showcase local music, dance, food, and craft traditions that have been passed down through generations.

4. Visit the Latte Stone Park and Historic Village: This park features ancient latte stone pillars, which are an iconic symbol of Chamorro culture. The nearby Historic Village offers demonstrations of traditional Chamorro crafts and practices.

5. Engage with locals: One of the best ways to learn about Guam’s history and culture is to interact with the locals. Strike up conversations with residents, visit local markets, and participate in cultural activities to gain a deeper understanding of Guam’s unique identity.

By taking advantage of these opportunities, you can enhance your visit to Guam by gaining a deeper appreciation for its history and culture.

20. What are some useful phrases to know in the local Chamorro language when visiting Guam?

When visiting Guam, it can be helpful to know some basic phrases in the local Chamorro language to enhance your experience and show respect for the island’s culture. Here are some useful phrases to learn:

1. Håfa Adai” – This is the traditional Chamorro greeting, akin to saying “hello. It is used to welcome someone or to express good wishes.

2. Dångkolo Na Si Yu’us Ma’åse” – This means “Thank you very much” and is a polite way to express gratitude.

3. Si Yu’us Må’åse” – This is a simpler way to say “thank you.

4. Ñå’ån-hu ha’u” – Use this phrase to introduce yourself, which means “My name is.

5. Malago’ I Manmamaila” – This translates to “Have a good day” and can be used to wish someone well.

6. Fanå’gue’ yan hågu” – This phrase means “Come here” and can be useful when asking for directions or calling someone over.

7. Si Yu’us Ma’ase Para Ayuda” – This is a way to say “Thank you for your help,” which can be handy when someone assists you.

By learning and using these basic Chamorro phrases during your visit to Guam, you can not only communicate effectively with the locals but also show appreciation for the island’s unique culture and heritage.