Guam – Where America Starts Its Day

Now why Guam you might ask – Well, that’s easy enough, I had never been there before! There is not much information to be found about this remote island. Where is Guam? Guam is the largest island in Micronesia – part of the Mariana Island chain. It’s in the middle of the nowhere – 3/4s the way between Hawaii and Southeast Asia.  Some friends were heading back there on another trip, so we decided to tag along.

Here are a few options on how to get there. You can fly about 3 – 4 hours from most major Asian cities, 5 hours from Cairns, or 8 hours out of Honolulu. We chose Honolulu. It was strange to think we were still in the USA after traveling for over 18 hours!  We had crossed the International Date line somewhere en route and had lost a day along the way.

After landing and getting our rental car, we were at our hotel on Tumon Bay in 10 minutes. We arrived right before sunset and enjoyed a bluish purple sky that reflected in the calm sea.



Tumon Bay has beautiful white sandy beaches and calm warm water, great for snorkeling or swimming. It’s where all the major hotel chains are located, hence, it was packed with tourists. The rest of the island was pretty much deserted.

Up early the next morning, we headed north past the Westin Hotel to Gun Beach. Cleverly named for the WWII gun that still sits on its shoreline.

There was a path along the mountain and a cut out in the rocks, to a peaceful beach that had tons of blue star fish.

They looked totally fake. We had to walk out in ankle deep water pretty far before we could snorkel since the tide was super low that morning.

277In the distance there was Two Lovers Point, a lookout on top of the hill in the distance.

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Then we drove south, towards the Port Authority of Guam. We totally felt lost among the freighters and semis. My friend had ensured us it would be worth it. So, past the port and now on to a dirt road with crater size potholes, arriving at Family Beach. It didn’t look like much, but once we got in the water and swam out to the reef- WOW!

We felt like we where swimming in a perfectly stocked aquarium with tons of fish, especially loved the clownfish and anemones.

After a day in the water we were pretty hungry, so we headed to the Jamaican Grill in Tamuning. Yummy.

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That evening the sunset was even more stunning than the night before.

The next day we headed north to Ritidian Beach. Picture postcard perfect.

The Andersen Air Force base is on the north point and the Navy Base also has a big part of the island, both are restricted. We roamed around everywhere in-between. Guam is only 212 sq miles so it is quick to get around. It has the Philippine Sea on the west coast and Pacific Ocean on the east coast.

Tanguisson Beach, had really cool rock formations jetting out of the water.

We walked the shoreline north for about 20 minutes before arriving at Sharks Cove Beach. It was very remote to say the least. There were no sharks, but tons of clams and more blue starfish.

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On the drive back we passed Two Lovers Point.

 

We just kept driving around discovering new and beautiful places. We pretty much had the island to ourselves.

There were WWII sites galore. They were well-marked with” War In the Pacific“, part of the National Park Service. Old bunkers, canons, the Piti Bomb Holes and museums were some of the highlights.

Not to sound redundant, but there were countless fantastic beaches everywhere it seemed.


The kids enjoyed jumping off everything they could find. We found an old diving board missing its board, which looked frightful. They loved it! Also the Merizo Pier on the southern point of the island. We enjoyed conversions with the friendly Chamorro locals, who loved talking about their paradise island. No argument there.

A local legend promoted Chamorro culture by the fort. He had a water buffalo and offered rides.

 

Totally non-native was the McDonald’s  – It was in a trailer, of all things! We got our order to go and settled in on yet another lovely beach and ate like VIPs on our private island.

After Lunch, the boys chartered a boat and did a half day of fishing. They came back with yellow fin tuna and a skipjack tuna.

The boat captain whipped up a delicious dipping sauce and we ate sushi right on the dock as the sun was setting.

We had been warned about the Brown Tree Snakes. There were many traps, but never any snakes. In fact, everyone we talked to said they had never seen one either. Nonetheless, we decided to skip any hiking and stay along the coast.


We ended our last evening back on Gun Beach at The Beach Bar and Grill.

The kids swam in the ocean, played with a Praying Mantis and made friends with the other kids running around.  The adults enjoyed 2 for 1 drinks. Never mind we were still in our bathing suits and cover ups; no on seemed to notice.  Casual dining at its best.

There was even a free fire show as they were practicing right next to us.

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After a terrific experience on this little remote island, yet another great trip comes to a close.

FYI – The Marriott is now called the Pacific Star Spa and Resort. The Hyatt and Westin Resorts would be recommended. Also, my husband can attest to great dental care in Guam as he had to have a tooth extracted while we were there!

The Guam Guide is a great source of information on everything Guam!!!

 

 

 

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