Last updated on September 25, 2022 by Wandering our World
Guam Island is a small island in the Pacific that, despite its size, has plenty of natural and cultural attractions to offer. With sandy beaches on the western shore, sharp cliffs on the east, and many diverse and interesting little cities, it is a place of true natural beauty.
An abundance of parks, sanctuaries, hiking trails and caves will give every nature lover a chance to explore the unique habitat of this lusciously green island. To add to that, Guam has a rich 4000-year-long history, from the times when the ancient Chamorro tribes first settled its shores, to when the Spanish established a colony here and to the subsequent takeover by the US.
It was also a strategic spot during the Second World War and was at different times under both US and Japanese influences. It’s rare to find a destination that unique! (Recommended: The Best Resorts In Guam).
However right here we will concentrate on five incredible cities in Guam that we absolutely recommend you visit, and show you why!
- Our Final Thoughts
Hagåtña, the island’s capital city, is a small town with around 1000 residents and an abundance of historically and culturally significant sites.
It is one of the most exciting cities of Guam for history lovers, and if you visit it at the beginning of your trip, it will give you a great opportunity to get introduced to the rich 4000-year-old history of this little but unique island.
Below are our top highlights from what is undoubtedly one of the must-visit cities in Guam, and why you have to visit:
1. Latte Stone Park
The ancient Chamarro people that settled on Guam island around 3000 years ago used sophisticated techniques to create the stone pillars for their houses and places of religious worship.
Eight of these pillars, that slightly resemble the shape of a cup, are on display at this park.
They were brought in by the US military from the southern village of Mepo and are now the landmark of the history and the traditions of the Chamarro people.
The shape and look of these stones are extremely unique and can’t be found anywhere else around the world – so if you want to get acquainted with the ancient heritage of this island, Latte Stone Park is a perfect option!
2. Plaza de Espana
Just across the street from Latte Stone Park you can find another historical site – Plaza de Esapana.
During the time of Spanish colonial rule the Governor’s Palace was located here, and presently some parts of it remain, such as Garden House, Azotea and Chocolate House.
It won’t take long to walk around the plaza, but the area is very green and picturesque, and you can take this opportunity to take photos.
Stop by the colonial arches, and the Guam sign, then continue by checking out the Guam Museum if you feel like learning more about the history of the island.
There are also local Chamarro culture historians that offer guided tours and can help you learn about the fascinating and rich history of the island.
3. Fort Santa Agueda
After a busy morning of exploring the most famous historical sites of Guam’s capital city, consider spending an afternoon at Fort Apugan.
There used to be a fortress here that was used by the Spanish to protect trading ships from pirate attacks, and some of the cannons from that period are still on display today.
There is an amazing view of Agana Bay and central Hagåtña from here too, so make sure to bring your camera. Parking spaces are available and you can bring some snacks for a picnic on the spacious green lawn while enjoying the view of the blue skies and the sea.
As it is an open space and there isn’t much shade to be found, it might be a good option to visit in the afternoon when it’s not too hot.
4. Chamorro Village
Chamorro Village is a must-see for everyone visiting the capital city of Guam. It’s a lively and energetic fair full of local street food, fruit drinks and souvenir vendors.
It’s the busiest on Wednesday evenings when all the stalls are open and everyone, locals and tourists alike, come to enjoy a dinner along with street performances and live music.
This fair is one of the best ways to explore the diverse present-day culture of Guam. Bear in mind that it is a very popular destination and there are likely to be long lines for the food; so set aside a whole evening for this lovely event.
If you would like to see a couple of more unique sites before heading to the evening market in Chamorro Village, consider dropping by at Sirena Park where you can see the old Spanish bridge – another monument of colonial times – and a breathtakingly beautiful Flame Tree with fiery red leaves.
Tamuning is one of the largest cities in Guam. It is a commercial center as well as a popular residential and tourist area so it’s where you will find many of the resorts and hotels.
Like the rest of the island, it is full of historical treasures but it also has many beautiful sandy beaches.
1. Tumon Beach
One of the most popular tourist destinations, Tumon is a large beach with stunning views and beautiful blue water and white sand.
It will take you some time to reach beyond the shallow waters, so this place is perfect for families with little kids. Feel free to bring your snorkelling equipment too as you might find different kinds of tropical fish wandering around the coral reef.
There are hotels and resorts around the beach, but despite its popularity, it is not always crowded. Yet the shopping center nearby and the proximity of bars and restaurants provide a necessary break from the heat and make it possible to hang out at Tumon beach all day and wait until the sun sets – a sight you’d definitely want to see!
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2. Underwater World
Underwater World is located right near Tumon Beach, and it’s a great way to explore and learn about aquatic life with friends and family.
Among hundreds of different species you will see sharks, sea turtles, manta rays, and many more! The aquarium’s underwater tunnel is massive and you will get lost in the abundance and beauty of the surrounding sea life.
For those looking for a more immersive experience, the SeaTrek adventure is a perfect option. You will be able to learn more about the animals with friendly guides, pet sea turtles and swim with sharks.
If you don’t have time for such a tour, you can enjoy a meal or a drink at the Splash Bar & Cafe, where you will be seated right near the water where the sea creatures swim around.
3. Gun Beach
If you keep on walking down the coast from Tuman Beach, you’ll find yourself at Gun Beach, which is slightly less crowded. It is also a great spot for snorkelling and diving.
The white sand here might be a bit more mixed with corals, and the beach is a bit more rocky, so swimming shoes could be handy. But because it is a bit less convenient to access, Gun Beach tends to be more quiet.
There is an option of renting a bungalow for the whole day, a perfect way to cool down and hide from the sun if you need to. The Beach Restaurant & Bar – the largest beach bar on the island – can provide all the snacks and refreshments you’ll need, while enjoying an entire day of swimming and sunbathing.
In the evening you can visit Taotao Tasi Theater for a barbecue dinner accompanied by a live performance and a fire show. You will get to enjoy the view of the sea at sunset along with a beautiful dance show filled with bright colors.
4. Two Lovers Point
Guam has a local legend about two doomed lovers – the daughter of a Spanish nobleman who fell in love with a warrior from the Chamorro tribe.
Their romance was forbidden, and rather than being parted, they made their way to this beautiful spot 370 feet above the blue vastness of the Pacific Ocean, and plunged down into the waves, their hair tied together.
Today this location still offers an absolutely incredible viewpoint, with a specially built platform on the cliffs edge – it is the place in Guam to take breathtakingly beautiful photos. From here you can see the wild nature of the island and sometimes even dolphins that visit the neighbouring shores.
The entrance fee provides you with access to all the amenities Two Lovers Point has to offer, and you can use the picnic tables, restrooms, a gift shop and even a small gallery. You can also use the telescopes to get a better look into the horizon and spot dolphins.
5. Joe’s Jet Ski Experience
One of the best and most exciting ways to explore the coastline is to hop on a jet ski and enjoy a breezy adventure up to Two Lovers Point!
The team at Joe’s Jet Ski are very friendly and professional, and the equipment is of the highest level. There you can learn how to use the jet ski if you have never tried it before.
It’s a thrill-guaranteed experience, and if you’re very lucky, you might end up seeing dolphins that frequently swim nearby.
A pleasant bonus is that the tour guides will offer to take pictures of you, and you will also have the option of purchasing footage of your sea adventure shot on a drone. The shots the team takes are incredible and you will be tempted to keep them as memories of your tour.
Talofofo is among the least densely populated cities of Guam and is an amazing destination for those looking to experience the beauty of the island’s natural sites.
There are plenty of river and cave tours to choose from when exploring this eastern coast city of Guam. So if you’re looking for nature and hiking, then Talofofo is one of the best Guam cities to be based in.
1. Valley of the Latte Adventure Park
This adventure park offers riverboat adventure cruises, walking tours and a variety of sports activities for all ages, making it a perfect way to spend time with family or friends and explore the flora and fauna of Guam’s jungle.
During these tours you will witness a Chamorro village, a site with ancient latte stones, a sanctuary full of local animals, and the Botanical Garden.
The riverboat tour is accessible to visitors of all ages, and if you are seeking something a little bit more physically active, consider going on a kayak adventure or paddle-board through the jungle accompanied by knowledgeable and friendly guides.
Occasionally there are more events such as coconut leaf weaving workshops, rope making workshops and coconut oil and candy making classes.
2. Talofofo Falls Park
There are multiple gorgeous fountains at the Talafofo Falls Park, which you can explore both by hiking and taking a gondola tour closer towards the falls. It is a place of great natural beauty that you definitely don’t want to miss out on while visiting Guam.
This adventure park with exciting rides will be a favorite among children, and those curious about the history of the island can visit the museum here too. The variety of activities offered by the park also includes an observation tour, cable car rides and an outdoor shooting range.
Perhaps one of the hidden gems of this park is a replica of Yokoi’s cave – a place that carries an incredibly unique history.
It was the hideout place of a Japanese soldier who spent 28 years avoiding captivity after the second World War ended. There is a plaque commemorating his experience, and the replica of his cave is a memento of the island’s multi-faceted and rich history.
3. Talofofo Caves
Talafofo offers a wide range of natural landmarks, and a jungle trek to the caves showcases the beauty of its forests and some amazing views of the southeast of the islands.
There are multiple treks of various difficulty. Paths start at Ipan, Talafofo Bay and Santa Rita. And as you progress you will discover a large system of caves.
At the end of the trail you will arrive at a beautiful viewpoint overlooking the island. Be sure to get a map of the area, stay on the route and get a tour guide if you need one. For exploring the caves you will need some flashlights. It’s best to have the appropriate hiking shoes and to travel in groups. We’d recommend hiring a guide as incidents have occurred in the past.
Dededo is one of the largest cities of Guam and is located on the northern tip of the island.
In addition to natural parks and trails, this area can also boast its stunning sandy beaches, two of which – Haputo and Urono – are a part of the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
1. Micronesia Mall
Natural sites of island beauty are not all that Dededo has to offer.
For shopping lovers, the Micronesia Mall is a great way to take a break from exploring hiking trails and relaxing on the beach. This mall is the largest in the Western Pacific, and it is a very popular cultural center holding different exciting events for the community.
Micronesia is truly a go-to spot for recreational activities for both visitors and locals. You will find numerous shops, souvenir stands, an amusement park and a movie theater here, not to mention a variety of restaurants and cafes.
2. Morning Market
If you are looking for a more authentic Guam shopping experience, Dededo’s morning market might be just the right option for you.
It opens up very early, and it’s best to get there at around 6am if you want to get a free parking space. If all spaces on the main parking lot are busy by then, you could try leaving your car outside the entrance gates.
There are many food stalls selling dishes from different cuisines, and you can also buy fresh fruit, vegetables and fish. You can also find many vintage goods here, from clothes to various charming knick knacks.
This market is also the best place to go souvenir hunting as it you typically can get them for a much lower price than at a regular souvenir shop.
3. Guam National Wildlife Refuge
Dededo is the home of the Ritidian unit of the National Wildlife Refuge, a sanctuary for many rare species of animals and plants that are native to the island.
Since 1993, this refuge has been devoted to taking care of endangered species, with special attention given to Mariana crows, Mariana fruit bats, and the Micronesian kingfisher, all of which are unique parts of Guam’s habitat.
For those interested in learning more about Guam’s wildlife, the center provides regular talks and tours, all of which are an excellent way to get acquainted with the unique flora and fauna of the island.
4. Mushroom Rock Beach
This small beach is somewhat of a hidden gem and is not a spot for sunbathing, instead it has a very unique feature.
If you keep walking further to Tanguisson, you will see lava rocks that resemble the shape of a mushroom. They look dreamlike against the landscape of the ocean and the vast blue sky, and it is definitely a sight worth seeing!
The sand is a bit more rocky here, so swimming shoes are recommended. You can go snorkelling around the rocks too, or just enjoy a nice walk and a picnic on the shore.
Mangilao is one of the biggest cities on Guam’s eastern coast. Its cliffy coastline provides for great hiking opportunities and breathtaking views. It’s another of the cities in Guam that’s perfect for hiking and nature enthusiasts.
You can even take a thousand-step hike to the top of Fadian Point where a great viewpoint is located. The hiking path is quite clear and manageable even for kids.
Wonderful pictures can also be taken at the green cliffs of Taguan Point, or you can enjoy a morning hike at Fadian Cove, which offers spectacular views, especially at sunrise!
1. Isla Center for the Arts
Isla Center for the Arts is a vibrant space showcasing independent artists’ work and will be a perfect spot for art lovers to visit while enjoying Mangilao.
The center’s aim is to provide access to visual arts to the isolated island, and they do so through an annual programme of exciting exhibitions, lectures, public talks and tours.
Some of the recurring exhibitions include the displays of the works of young artists who study at the University of Guam, which makes a visit here the perfect opportunity to discover young local talent and to support their artistry!
2. Marbo Cave
The rocky eastern coastline gives this city in Guam its distinctive look and plenty of exciting sites of great natural beauty. One of them is the Marbo Cave.
Located within the green jungle and close to the seashore, this cave has deep and ultra-clear water, which allows you to see the rocks underneath. You can take a dip in it or stay within the more shallow section close to the rock, where you can hold on to the rocks if you’re more comfortable that way.
Take extra caution as you descend though as the steps are quite slippery, and be careful while swimming because there are no lifeguards on duty.
The cave is quite dark, which provides a nice opportunity to cool down from the heat outside, but also means that it’s best to bring along a flashlight.
You can continue your journey outside of the cave and get closer to the sea where you will find the Marbo Cliffside viewpoint. The sight of the waves crashing against the rocks is sure to be dramatic, breathtaking and picture-worthy.
The Cities Of Guam: Our Final Thoughts
The many little cities of Guam are unique in their own ways, and luckily it’s super easy to drive around the island and see as many of them as you can.
Go to the capital city of Guam, Hagåtña, to get introduced to the history of the island that goes 4000 years back.
Tamuning will offer plenty of incredible beaches and resorts where you can relax, sunbathe, go scuba diving and try all kinds of different water sports as well as visiting the local aquarium featuring thousands of species of sea animals.
Talofofo area is rich with natural parks, river adventures, hiking routes and caves, while Dededo is perfect for shopping and visiting the local markets. Both of these Guam cities are well worth visiting.
Mangilao and the eastern coast are perfect for hiking, exploring, and discovering dramatic views from the rocky cliffs. And if you’re tired from all the intense physical activities, you can visit the local arts center. You really can’t go wrong with these five fantastic cities of Guam!