• Guam
    © iStockphoto.com / Michael Fitzsimmons
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Guam

By Dmitry Petrounin Dmitry Petrounin Section editor Profile
Located in the Pacific Ocean, Guam Island is part of the archipelago of the Mariannes Islands, in Micronesia. With its status of a 'unincorporated' U.S. territory, the island is among the most important strategic bases in the Pacific Ocean, with numerous military installations and about 12,000 soldiers on the territory. The atmosphere and infrastructures are marked by American culture. Inland, there are mountains covered with vegetation to be discovered, while beaches crowded with body boarders occupy the coast. If you travel to Guam, be sure to make the most of your beautiful, unique surroundings.

Our Editorial team's advice

Due to the crowds of tourists, it is better to avoid periods corresponding to Japanese holidays (late December, late April-early May, July and September).
Tourism is essentially made for a Japanese clientele, and a good number of Nippon customs are practiced in tourist zones.
Take the Atlantis Guam, a submarine that enables you to see ships and coral reefs 492 ft under the sea. Go and dive in Apra Harbor to see the reef, covered with ship and plane wrecks, remains of Second World War U.S-Japanese battles.
Each city has its own Patron Saint, attend one of the parties which celebrates a Patron Saint.

pros

  • +The beaches and the practice of watersports.
  • +A nice climate almost all year long.
  • +The continuity of Chamorro culture.

cons

  • -Tourists are numerous.
  • -Guam has lost some of its authenticity.
  • -Hotel prices are high.

Food

Guamanian cuisine is a curious blend of Spanish, Philippino and Pacific cuisine. You can eat roasted pig, tropical fruits, red rice prepared with achiote seeds, shrimp pâtés, taro leaves cooked in coconut milk, kelaguen (chicken chopped and grilled with lemon juice), grated coconut and spices. To eat chamorro style, you should season your dishes with finadene (a spicy sauce with red peppers, soya sauce, lemon juice and onions). When the main course is over, a betel nut wrapped in a pepper leaf is often served as a digestive (chewed). Chamorro local market, in Agana, is the perfect place to try local specialties, at affordable prices.

Souvenirs

Guam, which enjoys a tax-free status, is considered a shopping paradise by its Asian neighbours. You find a wide range of duty-free products such as watches, jewels, alcohols, perfumes, porcelains, hi-fi equipment and cameras. You can also bring back objects that are more typical, bought in Agana Chamorro village (I Sensong). Shops are open Monday to Friday, from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm and Sunday from 12:00 pm to 6:00pm.