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Guam travel guide

About Guam

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, Hagåtña, 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 Marianas Islands and has been an important US strategic base since World War II.

The most populated island in 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 commercial 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 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 US’ somewhat overbearing presence in Guam is perhaps best typified by its military base, which dominates the north of the island. Even so, the area harbours a spectacular coastline of palm trees and turquoise waters, so don’t miss it.

Key facts

Area:

544 sq km (210 sq miles).

Population:

172,094 (UN estimate 2016).

Population density:

297 per sq km.

Capital:

Hagåtña.

Government:

US External Territory (unincorporated). 

Head of state:

President Donald Trump since 2017.

Head of government:

Governor Eddie Calvo since 2011.

Electricity:

110 volts AC, 60Hz. American two-pin (flat) or grounded three-pin plugs are used.

Travel Advice

Most visits to Guam are trouble-free but you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate international terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.

This advice is based on information provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. It is correct at time of publishing. As the situation can change rapidly, visitors are advised to contact the following organisations for the latest travel advice:

British Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Tel: 020 7008 1500.
Website: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

US Department of State
Website: http://travel.state.gov/travel