Guam is a beautiful little 30-mile-long island in the North Pacific, around one third of the way between the Philippines and Hawaii, that is part of the U.S.A. as an unincorporated territory. It sits almost 1,500 miles south of Japan and around 2,100 miles from North Korea. It is the lower-most island of the Mariana Islands archipelago, the northern portion of which is the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, another U.S. Protectorate.How do I get to Guam?
From the USA and Europe, Delta and United are the major carriers to Guam. Other airlines serving Guam include China Airlines, Japan Airlines and Philippine Airlines. The major airport is Antonio B Won Pat Guam International Airport, which is situated 4 miles northeast of Hagatna, Guam’s capital. From New York, the flight time is about 20 hours (including stopover). Being a popular layover country for people travelling to Asia or Palau, there are plenty of international connections from the United States.Can I get to Guam by boat?
Apra Harbor is the principal port in Guam. There are no ferry services. It is mostly a port of call for shipping lines.How do I get from the airport to my hotel? From the airport, you can arrange a transfer from your hotel to avoid the hassle of finding a taxi. You may also sign up and download the Stroll Guam app, a ride sharing app like Uber. For more information, you may visit their official website (https://strollguam.com). There are plenty of rental car options at the airport as well. How do I get around Guam?
Guam may look compact on a map, but you can’t get very far on foot due to the heat, distance, and lack of signage or sidewalks outside of Tumon. The island is unique and if you are traveling to Guam, it is highly recommended to rent a car because public transportation is not that great. Though the island is small, the landscape is quite hilly and everything is spread apart so walking or biking is not the best way to get around and see the sights.
Car rentals are available through most major companies and can be arranged at offices throughout the island including the airport and hotel lobbies. An international driving permit or a US license is required.
Taxis are available near major shopping centers and at hotels. Fares are metered.
Guam Mass Transit Authority operates buses to most villages in Guam. Trolleys connect hotels and shopping centers.
A valid passport is required by the nationals.
US citizens are required to carry a passport. However, in certain cases, a US citizen may be able to enter Guam from the US mainland or the US territory with proof of citizenship and a valid photo ID Card.
Visa requirements for Guam are the same as for mainland USA: travelers require a visa, or if qualified, many travel visa-free under the US Visa Waiver Program. There is also a is a Waiver Program specifically for Guam and the northern Mariana Islands.
Being a US Territory, Guam uses the US Dollar (USD) as its official currency. Most major credit cards are widely accepted in Guam. ATMs are available at the airport, some hotels, shopping malls and grocery stores.Is the water safe to drink?
Water is chlorinated, and relatively safe to drink.What is Guam known for?
Guam is a vibrant, tropical paradise, complete with powdery beaches, and coral reefs teeming with underwater life. Away from the beach, find historic buildings in the bustling capital, Hagatna, swinging nightlife in Tumon and a melting pot of Asian, European, Pacific Rim and American cultures.
Those looking to get active can lace up those walking boots and climb Mount Lam Lam, or hop on a jet ski and whizz over the surrounding crystal clear waters. Guam is the largest and most southerly island of the Mariana Islands and has been an important US strategic base since WW II.
The most populated island is Micronesia, this unincorporated US territory is full of American accents, and sadly the Chamorro language is less spoken today than it once was. Glamorous, modern Tumon Bay is where most of the hotels are, and it’s pretty commercialized with duty-free shopping being the order of the day.
There is much more to Guam, though. It’s a thoroughly multicultural island for one thing, and the Chamorro culture is starting to be pushed more than it has been in recent decades. There are many pretty villages to explore, while a singular local cuisine is being celebrated more.
If you leave Tumon Bay behind, you’ll find Guam full of rustic settlements, with many immaculate, secluded beaches, and a few glorious waterfalls. Don’t pass up opportunities to meet the locals on your travels, either, who are known for their charm and warmth towards visitors, and are increasingly passionate about making their traditional culture as prominent as it used to be.
The United States' strong presence in Guam, perhaps because of the large military base located here, which dominates the north of the island. Even so, the area harbors a spectacular coastline of palm trees and turquoise waters, so don’t miss it.
The official languages of Guam are English and Chamorro, but being that it is a melting pot of languages and cultures, you’ll hear many other languages spoken such as Philippine languages; other Micronesian languages; and Asian languages such as Korean, Japanese Mandarin and Cantonese.Where are the best places for shopping in Guam?
You’ll find plenty of places to go when it comes to shopping. Mega malls like Agana Shopping Center and Guam Premier Outlets, Micronesia Mall and DFS Galleria, and the world’s largest K-Mart (open 24-7).
If you are looking for designer goods, head to the large brand name outlets in Tumon Bay, Guam Premiere Outlets and Agaña Shopping Center, the two retail meccas. Tumon Plaza is in the heart of the entertainment district and part of the Outrigger Hotel complex. Fartherout lies Tumon Sands Plaza and Guam Premier Outlets. All major shopping centers have restaurants and movie theaters.
Guam is home to the largest K-Mart branch in the world, which is open 24 hours and it is among the smaller shopping centers on the island, together with Home Depot.
Flea markets are popular in Guam, great for weekend bargain hunting if you’re willing to rise early. Chamorro Village showcases locally made crafts, souvenirs and foods of the Chamorro people. Live cultural shows are also occasionally held here. Coconut Villa Gift Shop sells souvenirs and handmade items. Dededo Flea Market is situated in the village of Dededo on Marine Corps Drive. Here, you will find everything from local handicrafts to plants, clothing, jewelry, kitchen utensils, food, and more.
Because of the island’s duty-free status, there are often good buys on watches, perfume, jewellery, alcohol, china, stereo equipment and cameras. Though it appears that there is no sales tax, a 4% tariff is built into the price.
Shopping hours are generally Monday - Saturday from 10 am to 9 pm, Sunday 12 noon - 6pm, but hours do vary from center to center.
A range of nightclubs feature music and dancing. Major hotels frequently stage shows with musicians from the USA mainland, or local performers including the Guam Symphony and Choral Society. There are a number of cinemas in Tamuning, including at least one 14-screen cinema, most showing recent USA films. Dinner shows featuring the traditional dances are held nightly in several hotels. There are also facilities that specialize in Chamorro and other forms of Micronesian island dances. The Tumon Bay SandCastle is a world class performance and entertainment facility and has a multilevel New York-style disco. Many hotels also have discos and/or the popular karaoke bars.What is the food like?
A wide selection of restaurants features American, Chinese, European, Filipino, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean and Mexican food, especially in touristy areas like Tumon Bay. Guamanian cooking is very similar to Spanish cuisine. There are a lot of international franchises like Hard Rock Cafe, McDonald’s, Hooters, and KFC.
The location of Guam makes it the perfect place to enjoy fresh seafood, which can be baked or grilled with vegetables or eaten raw like sashimi. Some of the must-try foods include kelaguen (chopped chicken with hot peppers, grated coconut and lemon juice), mahha titiyas (coconut tortillas), apigigi (a dessert made with tapioca and coconut milk, wrapped in a banana leaf and grilled), and bunelos (banana donuts).
Due to its proximity to the equator, Guam has high temperatures all year round and a typically tropical South Sea climate. The island is one of the wettest regions in the world, but it's breathtaking beauty is impressive. Basically two travel times can be distinguished on Guam:
The dry season runs from about mid-December to the end of June. During these months you’ll experience lower humidity and somewhat more moderate day temperatures. December is still quite humid as a transition month, especially in the first half of the month. Many people agree that the dry season is the best time to visit.
At the beginning of July at the latest, the rainy season starts on Guam, trade winds now carry moist Pacific air to the island and heavy rainfalls and often thunderstorms occur almost every afternoon and evening. The risk of typhoons is quite low, but statistically Guam is affected about every 8 years during the rainy season.
Yes, just take sensible precautions to protect yourself and your property against petty crime. Don’t leave passports in rental cars, especially in the trunk, as there have been a high number of thefts by gangs targeting vehicles of those who appear to be tourists.
Violent crime, including gun crime, rarely involves tourists, but you should take care when traveling in unfamiliar areas. Avoid walking through less traveled areas alone, especially at night. You can find public advisories and information about recent incidents on the websites of local law enforcement authorities.
In an emergency, call 911.
You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you’re referred to a medical facility for treatment.
Medical treatment is expensive, make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad.
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