During the weekends the park and pavilions are usually filled, but
during the weekdays the park is fairly empty with small groups of
people scattered throughout the park.
There are two entrances and parking areas to Joseph
Flores Beach Park, one to the north and another on the south side
of the park close to the Hilton Hotel. The north parking lot
is the larger of the two, and if your planning on
going to the beach park during the weekend we suggest you find
parking in the north parking lot where there is usually free
parking during the crowded weekends.
The waters of Ypao Beach offer some great spots
where snorkelers can see a large number of sea life gathered
around live coral. Most of the water within the protective
reef is shallow enough so you can touch the ground without
being completely submerged, but there are certain areas deep
enough where you will need to be able to swim. If you swim about 150 feet directly out
from the only lifeguard tower on Ypao Beach you will come across
an excellent snorkeling spot with a multitude of sea life gathered
around live coral on the sea floor. The spot is currently
marked by a red flag that is floating on the water. In
addition, if you swim around the bay anywhere about 150 feet and
out from the shoreline you'll have an excellent snorkeling
experience, just make sure too be careful of rip currents and pay
attention to warning signs on the beach. If your not
familiar with the water and area you should check with the
lifeguards before going out because during certain times of the
year the current in the bay can be extremely strong even though
it doesn't look like it.
Ypao Beach Park
Ypao has been inhabited by Chamorros for approximately 3,000
years. During the Chamorro-Spanish wars in the 1680s, the
Spaniards burned the village and moved the Chamorros to Hagatna as
part of a population centralization. The next known mention
in historical records of a village here is in 1819 when the French
explorer Louis de Freycinet and his wife Rose Pinon wrote of the
villagers' love of music.
In 1902, the
Americans established a leper colony and built a hospital and
cottages for almost two hundred Chamorros afflicted with leprosy
and gangosa and for the insane. When most of the inhabitants
were transferred to the Philippines, the area was farmed to
provide food for the hospital. Later a penal farm was
In 1942, during World War
II, the Japanese built the nearby pillboxes and gun emplacements
using Chamorros, Koreans, and Okinawans as forced labor.
After the 1944 American liberation of
Guam, the military used Ypao
as an aviation gas storage tank farm. By the 1960s, Ypao was
developed into a public park and named in honor of the first
Chamorro to be appointed Governor of
Guam, Joseph Flores.
The park is on the Guam and National Registers of Historic Places.