When you are planning family vacations, you may think of all the usual destinations, but for a moment, I would like to consider the amazing area of Guam. Guam is not a country, but it is an organized territory within the United States. This makes Guam a US territory, and part of the United States, and therefore, the answer to the question, “Do I need a passport to travel to Guam?” is yes, but no.
The people from Guam are called Guamanians, and yes, they are considered Guam US citizens. Approximately 169,000 people live in Guam according to the last census, although that number is thought to have dropped in the last few years by a couple thousand.
Where is Guam?
When you look to see where Guam is on a map, you will see that it is located within Micronesia, which is in the western Pacific Ocean. Guam Micronesia is the largest of all those islands and the Guam capital is Hagåtña. When you visit Guam, you will discover that Guam is just over two thousand miles from North Korea.
Travel to Guam
When you decide to travel to Guam for a family vacation, you will fly directly into Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport. The Guam airport code is GUM. Guam flights are usually on Asia Pacific Airlines, as well as United Airlines, so those are the two that you should focus on for your Guam vacation.
When you land in Guam, you will quickly discover that the Guam time zone is the Chamorro time zone. The standard time is ten hours ahead of the Coordinated Universal Time Zone, which converts to UTC+10:00. To give you a better understanding, Guam is fifteen hours ahead of the eastern time zone in the United States. When it is 7:30 in the morning on the East Coast of the US, it will be 10:30 at night in Guam.
There are plenty of Guam travel packages available, so you will never need to worry about breaking your budget to see this incredible part of the world.
Weather in Guam
The weather in Guam is always tropical, so other than rain, you should never have a bad day on this gorgeous island. The rainiest part of the year in Guam is from the month of July. August, September, October November. The rest of the year is fairly dry, but you will still see some rain most days. As for the temperatures, they stay consistent all year long. The lows reach the mid-70s Fahrenheit, while the highs are usually in the upper 80s.
Best Time to Visit Guam
From looking at the weather, you can probably see that the best time to visit Guam is whenever you wish! If you dislike lots of rain, then I would suggest going when it is considered their drier season. However, if you are not going to let some rain ruin your family vacation, then you can choose whichever month works best for you.
There are many smaller towns and villages within Guam, but there are a few larger cities in Guam you will love exploring. Those larger Guam cities are Hagåtña, Dededo, Yiqo, Mangilao, and Tamuning-Tumon-Harmon.
Where to stay in Guam
You will have so many options when it comes to staying in Guam, thanks to this part of the world quickly becoming a sought-after vacation destination. If you want a luxurious family vacation in Guam, then you must choose one of the luxury resorts over along the beaches of Tumon Bay.
There are also plenty of family friendly hotel options within the capital of Guam. Many of these Guam resorts and hotels are not that far from the Guam airport which means you will never be inconvenienced during your stay.
Places to visit in Guam
Ritidian Point is one of the best places to visit in Guam, because you can see such amazing wildlife there. Your first stop should be the Guam National Wildlife Refuge, as this is where you will see numerous archeological remains from the Chamorro culture. There are also tree snails and fruit bats to spot if you keep your eyes open and stay alert. After you have explored the refuge, venture back to Ritidian Point to spend a little time on the sandy beach and go swimming in the water.
The best time to visit the Chamorro Village Market is Wednesday nights, because traditional dances are being performed and you can watch them as you eat some local cuisine. If you can’t make it to this village market at this time, you can still go any other day of the week. The atmosphere will just be a little more laid-back and not as vibrant on those days.
When you are ready for an ever more laid-back experience, as well as a cultural and religious one, you must take time to visit the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica. This was the very first Catholic church on the island, and it was constructed back in 1669. In the upstairs of this cathedral, you will find an art museum that has works of art from local artists, as well as a few from around the world.
If you have never seen a green beach before, then a trip to Tolofofo Beach is a must. The green sand was created by the lava flow on the island and it is only one of the four green beaches in the entire world.
Ferdinand Magellan is the explorer who discovered Guam back in 1521 and you can look at the monument that is dedicated to the person who put this small island on the map. Unfortunately, the Magellan Monument is not exactly where Magellan came on show, but it is close enough to give you a general idea.
Seeing the marine life without entering the water and getting wet is possible at the Fish Eye Marine Park. When you are visiting, you can go below sea level to look out any of the twenty-four windows. Just on the other side of those windows are coral reefs and more than two hundred different species of fish. To get up close to all this marine life, and the coral, you will need to go out scuba diving or snorkeling.
Guam is currently a US Marine Base, so during your visit, you may want to wander through the Pacific War Museum. This museum is full of history, including everything you need to know about the US reclaiming this territory from Japan in 1944.
More history can be found in the Guam Museum, which only opened back in 2016. All the exhibits focus on the history of this island and your entire family will learn a lot when you are there.
The Plaza de España was where the Spanish Governor’s Palace was located. This palace was constructed in 1734, but once the island was invaded during World War II, it stood empty. One of the last historical things to see in Guam is the Fort Nuestra Senora de la Solidad. This is a Spanish fort that was built between 1802 and 1819 and it was designed to protect those who traveled between the Philippines, Acapulco, and Mexico.
Fun Things to Do in Guam
When it comes to what to do in Guam, there are plenty of Guam activities to keep you busy. Dolphin watching is popular in Guam, so there are plenty of tour groups that will take you out to watch them in the water. If you are lucky, and the water and weather are cooperating, you may even have a chance to feed these creatures.
If you love being in the water, then snorkeling, scuba diving, and swimming might be your better options. However, for a slightly different adventure in Guam, you may want to consider the Tarza Water Theme Park. This water park has nine thrilling water slide rides, including the Flowrider, which is the only one on the island.
Most people love to go shopping when they are on vacation and vacationing in Guam will be no exception. Over in Tumon, JP Superstore is the place to shop. As you peruse the items in this store, you will find clothing for women, men, and kids, as well as home goods, perfume, foods, and the decadent Guam premium chocolates.
Everyone loves to eat while on vacation, so take advantage of the traditional Guam cuisine when you are there. One of your best meals will be Sails BBQ, because it will have you barbecuing ocean-side and making new friends at the same time.
So, all these years, when you were wondering where exactly Guam was on a map and why anyone might want to vacation there, now you know! This island is full of beauty, adventures, and enough things to do to keep every member of your family happy on your vacation. I recommend beginning to plan your vacation to Guam immediately, because you are not the only person who is quickly realizing how spectacular this US territory truly is and you may find that hotels and resorts are booking faster than ever before.