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  • Take Your Time on Tumon Bay
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    Take Your Time on Tumon Bay

  • Local Flavor: Enjoy a Bite by the Beach
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    Local Flavor: Enjoy a Bite by the Beach

  • Escape to Ritidian Point
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    Escape to Ritidian Point

  • Take a Dip in Inarajan Natural Pool
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    Take a Dip in Inarajan Natural Pool

  • Meet the People of Hagåtña
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    Meet the People of Hagåtña

Savor Unique Flavors Amid Untouched Natural Beauty
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Guam: An Island Packed with Natural Beauty and Cultural Charm

By Amy Lynch

  • Route distance:
    116.00 km
  • Suggested Time:
    2 days

Savor Unique Flavors Amid Untouched Natural Beauty

Known as the place "where the U.S.'s day begins," the island of Guam is, quite literally, the first piece of U.S. land to experience the sunrise each day. Popular among visitors for its breathtaking tropical beauty, Guam is a road-tripper's paradise with new flavors, adventures and discoveries around every turn. One thing that will strike you while traveling around Guam: The island's Chamorran culture. Steeped in Spanish influence, you'll find a bit of it everywhere in Guam, from its music, art and architecture to its bright, savory foods. And since Guam has a landmass only 48 kilometers long and no more than 15 kilometers wide at any point, it's not particularly difficult to find one's way around. So to experience as much as possible during your stay, follow this road trip that takes you through the entire island.

01
Take Your Time on Tumon Bay
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Take Your Time on Tumon Bay

Most travelers' time on the island begins in Tamuning on Tumon Bay or the adjacent Alapung Beach, both accessible via a short drive from the airport along Route 10A and South Marine Corps Drive. This stretch of shoreline offers water-sports outfitters known for their parasailing excursions, banana boat rentals, snorkeling trips, dolphin encounters and more, and an array of diving companies host SCUBA experiences that can thrill even the most experienced travelers. 

Guam is partially encircled by the Mariana Trench, which means it is near some of the planet's deepest waters and is an essential locale for certified divers of every skill level.  A duo of artificial reefs commemorate the island's military history while showing underwater explorers an unforgettable pair of globally significant sights: one, a German warship from World War I, and the other, a Japanese freighter from World War II.

1 km
02
Local Flavor: Enjoy a Bite by the Beach
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Local Flavor: Enjoy a Bite by the Beach

To get a true taste of Guam, a handful of dishes top the "must-try" list for any visitor wishing to experience the island's best and boldest flavors. The dish most synonymous with Guam itself is kelaguen, a meal made with chicken (although variations may include fish, beef or SPAM), lemon, onions, and coconut as its primary ingredients, cooked by citric acid rather than heat and creating a vivid mosaic of flavors.

After working up an appetite under the sun on Tumon Bay, hungry travelers flock one block inland from Tumon Beach to Beachin' Shrimp for heaping helpings of kelaguen, or just one block further to Meskla Dos for classic U.S. burgers, fries and onion rings. To keep cool in the tropical marine climate, travelers and residents alike enjoy drinks like bottled lemon tea, assam milk tea and Chamorro punch. Alternatively, Gun Beach, just 100 meters north of the beautiful Crystal Chapel on Tumon Bay, is a quiet spot with an excellent — and solitary — pub heralding the edge of a long and quiet shoreline. At Guam Beach Bar, visitors enjoy a favorite local dish of barbecued chicken and spare ribs served with red rice, corn on the cob, and finadene sauce — a salty, soy-based condiment ubiquitous in Guam.

30 km
1 hour by car
03
Escape to Ritidian Point
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Escape to Ritidian Point

For ultimate natural grandeur, head up to Guam Route 3A and follow it along to Ritidian Point, where a national wildlife refuge can be found at the northernmost tip of the island. Blanketed in lush green wilderness and overlooking an endless expanse of blue, the calm glory of nature's call can be heard in the waves just off Guam's farthest reach. The refuge — complete with hiking trails, cave tours, a white sand beach, a nature center and recently discovered ancient village ruins — is only open Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays. 

55 km
1.5 hours by car
04
Take a Dip in Inarajan Natural Pool
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Take a Dip in Inarajan Natural Pool

For an experience that's uniquely Guamanian, leisurely drive the winding 55-kilometer path all the way down the island's center after leaving Ritidian Point. Take Guam Route 4 into the southeastern region, where Inarajan Natural Pool can be found connected to a public park. Thanks to its natural formation against a series of coral outcroppings, it allows for shallow saltwater bathing, rendering a perfect spot for novice snorkelers and casual bathers alike to see all manner of tropical fish up close.

30 km
1 hour by car
05
Meet the People of Hagåtña
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Meet the People of Hagåtña

No exploration of Guam is complete without full sensory immersion in its local culture, much of which is on full display in the capital city of Hagåtña, a 30-kilometer drive up Route 4 from the natural pool. The city lies just south of Alapung and Tamuning/Tumon Bay and holds within it a treasure trove of enriching experiences. Its small population, barely reaching 1,000 people, invites curious visitors to experience its year-round cultural presentations, museums, cathedrals, restaurants and markets. 

The Guam Museum in particular offers a glimpse into the island's history, while the capital city's eateries and shops give visitors a chance to connect personally with locals over handmade wares and Chamorran cuisine. For the quintessential local experience, visit the Chamorro Village in Hagåtña on a Wednesday evening, when the city's central market comes alive with the smell of barbecue, the sound of music and a collective celebration of small business patronage benefiting Guam's artists, makers and proprietors.

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Overlooking the city and bay from Fort Santa Agueda on Apugan Hill

Destination

Hagatna

Aerial view of the city's gorgeous natural pool

Destination

Inarajan

Snorkeling in Tumon Bay

Destination

Tumon

Colorful lion statues on display in Plaza Las Delicias
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Destination

Ponce

A view of Fatumafuti and the Pago Pago Harbor leading to Fagatogo
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Destination

Fagatogo

Flying kites on a sunny day at the El Morro Fort
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Destination

San Juan

Snorkeler takes in the underwater scenery
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Destination

Rota