Renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty, rich culture, and thrilling activities, Guam is a tropical paradise in the Western Pacific waiting to be explored. As the largest and southernmost island in the Mariana Islands archipelago, Guam offers visitors endless opportunities for adventure, relaxation, and creating unforgettable memories. From admiring ancient Latte stones to snorkeling crystal clear waters, this stunning island will capture your heart.
In this comprehensive guide, we highlight the top sights and attractions that make Guam an unrivaled destination for an island getaway. Whether you want to relax on stunning beaches, experience the island’s vibrant culture and history, shop local markets, or revel in exciting water sports, Guam has something amazing in store for you. Read on for the ultimate insider’s guide to exploring this Pacific jewel.
Take in Guam’s Stunning Natural Landscapes and Scenic Coastline
With its pristine beaches, breathtaking cliffs, and lush jungles, Guam’s natural splendor will leave you in awe. The island boasts over 60 miles of coastline marked by picturesque bays, coves, and stretches of sand that make beach-loving travelers weak at the knees. Here are some of Guam’s most magnificent natural attractions and scenic coastal spots:
The crown jewel of Guam’s coastline, Tumon Bay charms visitors with its clear turquoise waters and powdery white sand. Fringed by swaying palm trees, this scenic arc-shaped bay is the island’s most popular beach destination. Watch the sunset while strolling along the palm-lined promenade, go swimming in the calm waters, or try thrilling water sports like jet-skiing and parasailing. With hotels, restaurants, and shopping clustered around the beach, Tumon Bay offers endless options for dining, relaxation, and entertainment.
Located at the northernmost tip of the island within the Ritidian Unit of Guam National Wildlife Refuge, this palm-shaded point offers picture-perfect ocean vistas. Trek out to the secluded sandy beach to admire dramatic limestone cliffs, wander along nature trails to spot native flora and fauna, go snorkeling to explore the area’s pristine coral reefs, and watch sea turtles swimming in the bay. Time your visit for sunset when the sky lights up in a kaleidoscope of colors.
Pago Bay Overlook
For superlative views of Pago Bay’s vivid turquoise waters, head to this scenic coastal lookout along Marine Corps Drive. Gaze out at the sweeping bay fringed by dense greenery and rugged cliffs as schools of fish swim in the crystalline waters below. With its stunning setting, this is one of the island’s most photographed vistas.
Two Lovers Point
Rising dramatically from the Philippine Sea, these scenic limestone cliffs are named after two ill-fated lovers who purportedly leapt to their deaths from the precipice. Visit at sunset to watch the sky transform into an artist’s palette of fiery hues overlooking the waves crashing against the rocks. The area features a park, classy restaurant, and boardwalk trail for peaceful oceanfront strolls.
With postcard-perfect views overlooking Tumon Bay, this pretty palm-lined beach boasts emerald-green waters ideal for swimming and snorkeling. Spend a day relaxing on the soft sand, swimming in the gentle waves, admiring stunning seaside sunsets, and gazing out at neighboring islands dotting the ocean horizon. Its secluded setting makes it one of Guam’s most romantic spots.
Plunging 100 feet into an emerald-hued natural pool, the breathtaking Talofofo Falls reward hikers with a cool refreshing swimming hole. Trek through the jungle-cloaked ravine to admire these majestic cascades and take a rejuvenating dip in the serene pool. Visit after heavy rains when the falls gush with greatest intensity.
Nestled between cliffs covered with thick vegetation, this secluded crescent-shaped beach boasts sparkling sapphire waters and ivory sand with hardly a soul around. Swim, snorkel, or sunbathe in peace. At low tide, you can walk out to explore its offshore sandbar. Its remote setting beneath soaring cliffs makes it a quiet oasis.
Malesso Bell Tower Overlook
Perched on a clifftop overlooking Tumon Bay, this overlook treats you to sweeping vistas taking in Guam’s lush natural beauty. Admire panoramic coastal views from the Gothic-style bell tower on the grounds of the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica. Catch sight of frolicking dolphins and watch dazzling sunsets from this stunning vantage point.
Marvel at Guam’s Fascinating History and Culture
With a rich heritage spanning thousands of years, Guam offers visitors the chance to immerse themselves in the island’s captivating history and diverse Chamorro culture. Ancient sites, historic landmarks, interactive museums, cultural villages, and festivals provide eye-opening insights into the customs, traditions, and storied past of native islanders. Can’t miss attractions include:
Ancient Latte Stones
Among Guam’s most significant vestiges of its indigenous culture are the awe-inspiring latte stones that litter the landscape. Dating back to 1000-3000 BC, these pillar-like volcanic rock formations consist of a base (haligi) crowned with a hemispherical stone capital (tasa). The latte stones once supported houses of Chamorro chiefs. Two excellent places to view the ruins are the Latte Stone Park in Hagåtña and the Latte Stone Quarry in Anigua Village.
War in the Pacific National Historical Park
This poignant park preserves historic sites related to the Pacific Theater battles of World War II when Guam was occupied by Japanese forces. Stand at Asan Beach where American troops landed, see bombs on display at Ga’an Point, and visit memorials honoring fallen soldiers. The park provides meaningful insights into this pivotal conflict.
For an immersive experience of authentic island culture, spend an evening at vibrant Chamorro Village. This sprawling outdoor complex becomes a lively night market on Wednesdays and weekends when local villagers sell handmade crafts, traditional foods, and offer cultural entertainment. Try local delicacies, watch folk dancing, listen to live music, and support island artisans.
Perched atop a towering cliff overlooking Tumon Bay, the ruins of this historic Spanish fort and observation post offer spectacular seaside vistas. Built by Spanish Captain Juan Pardo in 1787, the fort was later used by Spanish forces to repel attacks by American forces during the 1898 Spanish-American War. Wander the crumbling ruins and gaze out across the Pacific Ocean from this strategic defense site.
Plaza de España
Built to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the discovery of the Mariana Islands by Ferdinand Magellan, this palm-shaded Spanish plaza is a popular gathering spot. Stroll past the Statue of Chief Kepuha depicting an ancient Chamorro chief, admire the striking Pale San Vitores Memorial, and read about Guam’s history in the plaques adorning the spot.
This modern museum located in Hagåtña offers illuminating insights into Guam’s indigenous heritage and unique biodiversity. View artifacts like ancient Latte stones, Spanish era cannons, CHamoru handicrafts, and exhibits on the island’s role in World War II. Gain greater appreciation for the natural and cultural history of the Marianas at this first-rate museum.
Attend Guam’s vibrant cultural festivals to immerse yourself in authentic island experiences. Highlights include the Chamorro Village Festival in March, Liberation Day Carnival in July, and the Ko’ko’ Road Race every April. These spirited festivals brim with traditional food, music, dance, and cultural pride.
Reflecting 400 years of Spanish colonial rule, Guam is dotted with historic churches in the typical Spanish-era style. The Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral Basilica in Hagåtña dates to the 17th century while the San Dionisio Church in Umatac was constructed in the 1800s. These handsome old churches provide a glimpse into the island’s devout Catholic heritage.
Enjoy Outdoor Adventures and Recreation
Abundant with natural wonders, Guam offers exhilarating activities to get your pulse racing as you explore its lush jungles, breathtaking coastlines, and underwater marvels. From hiking and water sports to golf and scuba diving, the island sets the stage for heart-pumping adventures and exploring untouched natural environments. Top outdoor pursuits on Guam include:
Lace up your boots and head for the trails to admire Guam’s untamed wilderness up-close. For scenic coastal views, tackle the steep Mt. Lamlam hike. The lush Pagat Trail winds through a jungle-clad ravine to secluded Pagat Beach and Cetti Bay. The idyllic Marbo Cave hike leads past ancient Chamorro rock carvings to a scenic cavern along the coast.
Scuba Diving and Snorkeling
With pristine coral reefs and kaleidoscopic marine life, Guam offers world-class scuba diving and snorkeling in its warm tropical waters. Head to Tumon Bay’s marine preserves or explore popular sites like Blue Hole, Gab Gab Beach, Gun Beach, and Piti Bomb Holes teeming with sea turtles, manta rays, barracudas, and other vivid sea creatures.
Soar above the emerald waters of Tumon Bay for bird’s eye views of Guam’s coastline on an adrenaline-pumping parasailing flight. You’ll swoop 450 feet in the air for unforgettable vistas of the beach and ocean before gently splashing down. Top operators like Tropical Watersports can get you strapped up and airborne in no time.
The waters off Guam offer superb sport fishing as prize catches like mahi-mahi, blue marlin and giant trevally abound offshore. Book a charter boat trip for a day or half-day of deep sea fishing. The best times are spring through fall when seas are calm. Nothing beats grilling up your fresh catch for dinner!
If you crave fast aquatic thrills, rent a jet ski and take off across the waves around Tumon Bay. Cruise along the coastline taking in vistas of sand and sea before navigating a slalom course. With their powerful engines and easy handling, jet skis provide high-octane fun for adventurous visitors.
With year-round warm weather and gorgeous scenery, Guam is a golf lover’s haven with several top-notch courses. Tee off at scenic courses like the JAL Guam Resort & Country Club, Onward Talofofo Golf Club, and starts Beach Resort Guam featuring undulating greens, tranquil water features, and amazing ocean panoramas.
Sea Walker Helmet Diving
For a unique underwater experience, try sea walker helmet diving. This allows you to walk along the seafloor up to 20 feet deep while wearing a pressurized glass helmet with no scuba gear needed. Observe Guam’s vibrant coral reefs and tropical fish swarming around you on this fun and easy introduction to Guam’s marine world.
Paddle out in a kayak to explore Guam’s magnificent coastline from a whole new perspective. Major outfits like Fish Eye Marine Park and Hornet Watersports offer scenic guided kayak trips along the island’s bays and inlets. For added adventure, opt for a clear bottomed kayak to observe marine life below as you skim across the water’s surface.
For cool freshwater fun, go tubing down Guam’s tropical river valleys. Outfitters like Tropical Guam will bus you upriver where you can lazily drift downstream in an inner tube, taking in lush jungle scenery along the bubbling river. Feel your stress simply float away on these refreshing rides down the Talofofo and Ugum rivers.
Indulge in Fabulous Dining and Shopping
When it’s time for a break from beachgoing and sightseeing, Guam offers an array of fabulous dining, shopping, and entertainment options. Savor mouthwatering cuisine from around the world, browse colorful markets, and experience island culture after dark. Top spots for wining, dining, and retail therapy include:
Beach Bar Culture
Sip colorful cocktails while digging your toes in the sand at Guam’s easygoing beachside bars and restaurants. Savor fresh seafood, burgers, and island fare on breezy deck seating with unbeatable views of the ocean. Head to hotspots like Sharkies Tumon, SandCastle Guam, Jamaican Grill, and Beachin’ Shrimp for prime people watching with your pina coladas.
Experience Guam’s indigenous cuisine and flavors at restaurants specializing in Chamorro dishes. Savor staples like red rice, kelaguen (chicken salad with coconut), tininu (smoked meat), and fresh seafood. Highly rated spots include Meskla Chamoru Fusion Bistro, Jamaican Grill, Pika’s Cafe, and Shirley’s Coffee Shop for the real deal.
Tumon Dining Scene
For incredible dining diversity, the tourist district of Tumon boasts an array of international cuisines. Sink your teeth into sizzling Japanese teppanyaki, steaming Vietnamese pho, rich Italian pastas, aromatic Indian curries, sweet gelato, and much more. The central strip of Pale San Vitores Road offers unlimited culinary adventures.
Guam Premier Outlets
This large mall in Tamuning allows visitors to shop til they drop at major U.S. and international retailers. Find steep discounts on brands like Coach, Kate Spade, Gap Factory Store, Levi’s, and more. You’ll also find specialty island shops, souvenir kiosks, and a food court to refuel between shopping sprees.
Local Markets and Bazaars
For a taste of island commerce, browse Guam’s vibrant local markets selling fresh produce, handicrafts, souvenirs, and snacks. The Agana Shopping Center hosts a busy flea market while the Chamorro Village Night Market becomes a lively cultural and culinary bazaar on Wednesdays, Fridays, and weekends.
The center of Guam’s tourist trade, Tumon Bay features no shortage of shops selling everything from designer brands to island kitsch. Find resort boutiques in the Mikiil Mall and Pleasure Island Plaza, plus local artisan wares at The Plaza, Guam Premier Outlets, and T Galleria. The central strip along Pale San Vitores Road bustles with lively retail action.
Sample locally brewed artisanal beers from Guam’s microbreweries after a hot day exploring the island. Slake your thirst with unique ales and lagers at The Mermaid Tavern & Grill, Shirley’s Coffee Shop, and Devil’s Punchbowl Taproom while soaking up the island’s easygoing vibe.
When the sun goes down, Guam comes alive with lively hotspots for drinks and dancing the night away. Party at beachfront nightclubs like Globe and Golden Phoenix Lounge, sing karaoke at Hideout, or try your luck at Paradise Casino in the Pleasure Island district of Tumon.
Family-Friendly Activities for All Ages
With its sunny weather, beautiful beaches, and range of attractions, Guam makes an ideal family vacation destination. Parents and kids alike will love exploring the island’s family-friendly sites and activities. Can’t miss options include:
Guam’s beautiful beaches offer safe, shallow waters perfect for younger swimmers along with fun activities for kids of any age. Build sandcastles, splash in the gentle waves, hunt for seashells, or try out boogie boarding and kayaking. Top family-friendly beaches include Tumon Bay, Tanguisson Beach, Gun Beach, and Ipan Beach Park.
Underwater World Guam
Kids will love getting up-close with sea creatures from Guam’s reefs and beyond at this interactive aquarium. Touch sea stars and urchins in the tide pools, watch sharks and eels swim by in the tunnels, and enjoy daily fish feedings. Located at The Plaza in Tumon, it’s an air-conditioned oasis for families to enjoy.
Kids will delight in the chance to explore Guam’s steamy jungles and natural attractions. Ride the Jungle Queen Riverboat through the mangroves, hike through forested ravines to refreshing waterfalls, or spy native birds on an eco-tour of the Guam National Wildlife Refuge.
When kids need a break from the beach, Guam’s amusement parks provide hours of entertainment. Play mini golf amid tropical gardens at Tango Theatres Mini Golf, ride the coasters and bumper cars at Togcha Amusement Park, or cool off at the Jungle Water Adventure Park’s splash pad and slides.
Museums and Landmarks
Guam’s museums and landmarks bring local history to life in fun, interactive ways. At the Guam Museum, kids can try on native outfits and handle artifacts. View WW2 relics outdoors at various memorials and historic sites. The Plaza shopping center offers regular cultural song and dance performances too.
From the beachfront Chamorro Village festival celebrating indigenous arts to Liberation Day carnivals marked by parades and fireworks, Guam’s festivals offer family-friendly entertainment. Kids will love trying cultural foods, watching street performers, and browsing local handicraft vendors.
Families can bond while reeling in big game fish on a shared charter fishing trip. Cheer each other on as you land mahi mahi for dinner! Shoreline Agana Boat Ramp is an affordable launching spot for families with their own boat and gear.
Best Times to Visit Guam
With its ideal tropical climate, Guam offers sunshine and warm weather year-round. However, certain times of year may be better suited for certain activities based on weather, crowds, and events. Here’s an overview of the best times to visit Guam:
Dry Season (January to June)
Guam’s dry season offers reliably sunny skies and minimal rainfall, making it an ideal time to enjoy the outdoors. With low humidity and calm seas, you can expect great visibility for snorkeling and diving. Hotel rates dip during this quieter tourist season. Late May brings the Ko’ko’ Road Race, a big community running event.
Summer (July to October)
The summer months bring hot and humid weather though abundant sunshine still abounds. Ocean conditions remain calm for watersports. Families often visit in summertime to coincide with school breaks. Guam’s biggest festival, Liberation Day on July 21st, honors the liberation of the island during WWII with carnival rides, street food, parades, and fireworks.
Rainy Season (July to November)
During Guam’s wet season, brief but intense rain showers punctuate the sunny days though temperatures remain warm. Lush jungles spring to life and waterfalls gush with greater intensity. Fewer tourists visit during the rainy months, so hotels and flights offer discounted rates. Just bring an umbrella!
Holiday Season (November to January)
From the American Thanksgiving holiday in late November through the New Year, Guam sees an influx of visitors who bring a festive mood. The Christmas holiday spirit abounds with light displays, parols, and manger scenes on display. New Year’s Eve brings buzzing beach parties and fireworks. It’s one of the liveliest times to visit Guam.
Typhoon Season (July to November)
As a tropical locale, Guam experiences typhoons during the wet season, especially late summer through fall. Most pass by with minor impact, but major storms occasionally hit the island. Check weather forecasts and consider trip insurance in case a typhoon disrupts travel plans. Locals are well-prepared to ride out storms.
Shoulder Seasons (April-May, October-November)
The spring and fall shoulder seasons offer a sweet spot for visiting Guam. Crowds thin as the weather remains dry before the wet season kicks in. With fewer visitors, you’ll have more elbow room at key sights. Hotel rates also dip from the high season peak. Overall, these are pleasant times with flexible pricing.
Getting to and Around Guam
The well-developed transportation network in Guam makes getting to and exploring this Pacific idyll a breeze. Here’s a quick look at how to reach and navigate the island:
The gateway to Guam is Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport located in the northern village of Tamuning. Major carriers like United, Delta, and Japan Airlines offer direct flights to Guam from hubs like Hawaii, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, and the U.S. mainland. Most visitors arrive by air.
Large cruise liners regularly call on the Port of Guam located in downtown Hagåtña allowing passengers to explore the island. Major cruise companies like Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and more include Guam as part of western Pacific itineraries departing from Australia, Singapore, or Hawaii.
Renting a car provides maximum flexibility for exploring Guam at your own pace. Drivers stay on the right-hand side. Taxis and private transfers are readily available at hotels and key sites. Guam’s primary roads are Marine Corps Drive (along the west coast) and Cross Island Road traversing the island’s length. The island is quite manageable by car.
Guam’s public bus network reaches all corners of the island with regular service. The 26 fixed routes provided by Guam Regional Transit Authority make it easy to get between key villages and tourist sites using buses. Exact change is needed.
Colorful, open-air trolleys provide narrated sightseeing tours along popular routes in central Guam. The Underwater World Guam sightseeing trolley does a 2-hour loop hitting top sites in Tumon and Hagåtña. The Plaza Shopping Center trolley offers hop on, hop off transportation.
For a fun alternative to driving, water taxis like the Isla Guam Taxi and Atkins Kroll Water Taxi transport passengers between major resort areas around Tumon Bay and Piti. Feel the wind in your hair as you cruise Guam’s picturesque coastline by boat!
So whether you’re lounging on epic beaches, diving vibrant reefs, exploring ancient sites, or immersing yourself in Chamorro culture, Guam promises the ultimate island vacation. With an array of adventures, natural wonders, and discoveries, this Pacific paradise will create memories to last a lifetime. Let Guam’s tropical charm weave its magic on you. Yo’åmte!