Journaling The Journey

Guam: 2 Day Exotic Tropical Paradise

Hyatt Regency Guam, Ritidian Point, Gun Beach, Tumon Beach, Two Lovers Point

Guam is a pretty dot of land in the Western Pacific.  This US Territory is surrounded by white sandy beaches, a lush jungle with 106 mountains and see your toes clear blue water.  Magic!

On our journey to see and experience every country in the world, we kept on coming through the tropical island of Guam.  During our last long journey through the region from Mongolia, we had many wonderful stops through the Western Pacific, including one here. 

This island is a pretty gem and has a few stunning beaches and a marine preserve that just cannot be missed.  Even though this is quite a small island, there are over 100 mountains here which are wonderful to hike.  Everything is miniaturized, but this island does remind us a lot of the islands of Hawaii.

Getting to Guam

Flights from certain parts of Asia are relatively short and inexpensive.  For example our flight from Fukuoka, Japan into Guam was only 4 hours long.

However, if you are flying in from North America, the travel time is unfortunately quite long.  One way to get here is via the United Airlines Island Hopper which is an airline route between Guam and Honolulu, Hawaii.  It flies via several small islands in the Federated States of Micronesia and the Marshall Islands

Best Time TO Go

The climate on this island is tropical, with high humidity, and an average year-round temperature of 28.5°C.  

Like most tropical places there are 2 seasons here.  There is  the wet one which lasts from July to November with the greatest rainfalls between August and October.  

The dry season lasts between January and May.  And the transition months are December and June when the weather can either be wet or dry.

A Brief History

Latte Stones, Two Lovers Point, Ritidian Point
The many Latte Stones of the island. These ones are located about a 30 minute walk north of the Hyatt Regency Guam Hotel.

This island has quite a long and interesting history, especially of it’s Chamorro people.   However, today, the people who live on Guam are called Guamanians, and they are American citizens.

The Chamorro people settled on Guam about 4,000 years ago. A Portuguese explorer named Ferdinand Magellan was the first European to visit Guam in 1521. Spain colonized Guam in 1668.

Guam was an important stop for Spanish ships between the 16th and 18th centuries. The United States captured Guam from Spain in 1898.

Before World War II, there were five US territories in the Pacific Ocean: Guam and Wake Island in Micronesia, American Samoa and Hawaii in Polynesia, and the Philippines. 

Hours after Japan captured Pearl Harbor in 1941, it also captured Guam.  However,  the United States recaptured it in 1944.

Connectivity-SIM Cards

The recommended SIM cards for Guam are DoCoMo and GTA ones.  

DoCoMo is located at the Micronesia Mall: 1088 West Marine Corps Dr, Dededo, 96929

GTA is located at the Naval Base Guam Bldg. 258, Santa Rita, 96910

Where to Stay

Hyatt Regency Guam
The view from our balcony at the Hyatt Regency.

Luxurious international-standard hotels are set in landscaped gardens on the beaches of Tumon Bay, the island’s premier resort destination. A few hotels are also located in the southern and central parts of the island.  As the island is quite small, everything is located within 10-20 minutes of the GUM International Airport.

Unfortunately, the island was hit by a strong typhoon in June 2023.  The ravage of that storm brought a lot of flooding and the damage is still visible across the buildings and homes on the island.  Many accommodations simply closed down, due to the powerful typhoon damage on top of the losses from COVID.

However there are still quite a few fantastic places to stay on the island that we can wholeheartedly recommend.

Hyatt Regency Guam

Being Hyatt Globalists, we always love a good resort stay at one of their hotels.  And why not?!  We spend 60 nights a year in a Hyatt property to be able to be Globalists, so why not enjoy the amenities of these resorts?!

The Hyatt Regency Guam did not disappoint!  The hotel was quite busy so they were unable to provide us a suite.  However, we were given one of the larger rooms on a high floor overlooking the stunning turquoise water below.  In addition, we had the free buffet breakfast, free parking and access to the Lounge which served alcoholic beverages and warm and cold snacks in the evening. 

This 5-star hotel is located on the stunning beach of Tumon Bay.  It also has 4 swimming pools, 5 on-site restaurants, fitness center, etc.,  However, due to the typhoon some services have been suspended, so check with the hotel if there is something specific that you are looking for.

Dusit Thani Guam Resort

Dusit Thani Guam Resort is also a 5 star hotel located on the gorgeous Tumon Bay.  This resort offers a variety of accommodations including rooms, suites and villas.  Their Devarana Spa is well known for it’s treatments and services.

In addition, this hotel has 6 different options for dining from the casual to the more sophisticated occasions and palates.

Hotel Tano

If you are looking for a more affordable option that is also within the Tumon Bay area, then we would recommend Hotel Tano.  It is a clean and friendly accommodation with a lovely large pool across the street from the Hyatt Regency Guam.

Best Beaches and Water Activities

Tumon Beach
All the hotels that we recommended are on this gorgeous bay called Tumon Bay.

This island is really special because of it’s white sandy beaches and see your toes water.  There are 3 beaches that we really enjoyed as well as a marine preserve located at the northernmost tip of Guam, called Ritidian Point.

In addition, both Tumon Beach and Gun Beach offer incredible sunset views.  Two Lovers Point is also a very popular place to catch the sunset. 

The western point of Ritidian Point is also a great place to lay out a towel and watch the fiery globe descend into the deep blue waters of the Western Pacific.

Tumon Beach

Tumon Beach on Tumon Bay is the most popular beach in Guam, and for good reason. It is a crescent shaped beach with  a long stretch of white sand, clear turquoise waters, and plenty of amenities, such as restaurants, bars, and shops. However, it can also get quite crowded, especially on weekends.

Because this beach is on a bay, the water inside the bay is warm and calm like bathwater.  It is truly one of our favorite beaches in the world!

All of the accommodations that we recommended are located on or very close to Tumon Beach and both the Hyatt Regency and Dusit Thani have private access to this beach.

Please note that some of this beach is not accessible to non hotel residents.

Two Lovers Point

Two Lovers Point
The view of Two Lovers Point

Two Lovers Point, is also known as Puntan Dos Amantes in Chamorro.  It is a prominent cape and seaside cliff in Tamuning.   In addition, it is one of four National Natural Landmarks on the island, and is associated with a tragic Chamorro folktale.

The legend of Two Lovers Point tells the story of two star-crossed lovers, a Chamorro woman named Hina and a Spanish soldier named Diego. Hina’s father was a powerful Chamorro chief, and he disapproved of her relationship with Diego. He forbade them from seeing each other, but they continued to meet in secret.

One day, Hina’s father discovered their relationship and was furious. He ordered his men to capture Diego and put him to death. Diego was executed, and Hina was heartbroken. She ran to the edge of the cliff and threw herself into the ocean below.

According to legend, the spirits of Hina and Diego can still be seen at Two Lovers Point on moonlit nights. They are said to appear as two shooting stars that meet and merge into one.

Given the natural beauty of the place and the powerful legend, Two Lovers Point is a popular tourist destination.  In addition, it offers stunning views of Tumon Bay and the Pacific Ocean. It is also a popular spot for weddings and other special occasions.

Note, that to access the actual Two Lovers Point there is a small fee.  However, many get around that by driving slightly further.

Gun Beach

Gun Beach

Gun Beach is a smaller, more secluded beach located a few kilometers north of Tumon Bay. It has a short stretch of white sand, calm waters, and stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. 

The waves here are more powerful than the protected ones of Tumon Beach.  During the day many folks come to play volleyball at Gun Beach.  And during the weekends it is a local family destination.   In the evening, Gun Beach becomes a beach club with many party goers and quite a bit of noise from the many bars around the beach.

Ritidian Point

Ritidian Point
A view from some shade on the glorious beach of Ritidian Point.

Ritidian Point is a marine preserve located at the northernmost tip of the island. It has a long stretch of white sand beach, crystal-clear waters, and a variety of marine life, including dolphins, turtles, and tropical fish. Ritidian Point is a great place to swim, snorkel, and dive.

The most awe-inspiring part of the refuge is the mile-long stretch of pristine beach. It’s reachable via a short path from the Nature Center parking lot, and it’s the perfect place to relax, swim, and sunbathe.

But if you’re looking for a nice place to picnic, head down the dirt road that runs off to the left behind the Nature Center. When you pass the end of the grassy field, you’ll come to a series of shaded parking stalls along the road. These are ideal picnic spots, with trees and other vegetation providing privacy from other picnickers.

You will need to bring your own chairs, tables, and trash bags, but you’ll have access to an almost unbelievably spotless white-sand beach.

When you get to the beach, be sure to take a look at the coral and fish that are easily visible in the clear water. And as the water stretches out to the horizon, it takes on shades of blue and blue-green until it settles into the dark blue of deep ocean just past the reef.

Ritidian Point is a truly special place, and it’s one that you won’t want to miss on your trip to this island.

Best Hikes

Ritidian Point
The view of Ritidian Point from the mountains

Besides the amazing beaches, this island also has lush rain forests and 106 mountains to discover and trek!

There are  a number of hiking trails that offer stunning views of the island’s rain forests, beaches, and coastline. Some of the most popular hiking trails include Mount Lamlam, Tarzan Falls and many others.

Saturday – Boonie Stomper Hikes

Guam Boonie Stompers is a non-profit Guam corporation hiking group composed of volunteer leaders committed to public access while protecting the island’s heritage. 

Every Saturday, Guam Boonie Stompers offer public hikes to a variety of destinations such as beaches, snorkeling sites, waterfalls, mountains, caves, latte sites, and World War II sites.

The best way to see future available hikes to visit the Boonie Stompers Facebook Page.

Hikes are $5 per person over 17 and children must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Mount Lamlam Hike

Mount Lamlam hike
The gorgeous view from Mount Lamlam

Mount Lamlam is the island’s highest peak (400 meters), offering stunning views of the ocean and mountains of the southern end of the island. It’s also a bit of a challenge, with steep slopes and slippery rocks. But the rewards are well worth the effort!

The hike starts at the trailhead on Route 2 in Agat. The path is well-worn and easy to follow, but it can get slippery if it rains. Be sure to wear good hiking shoes and gloves to protect yourself from the sword grass.

The hike is 4.4 km long and is an out and back.  It takes between 1.5 – 2 hours to complete, depending on your pace. The first half of the hike is relatively easy, but the second half gets steeper and more challenging. There are a few places where you’ll need to use your hands to scramble up the rocks.

Once you reach the summit, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the island. You can see all the way to Tumon Bay and the southern tip of the island. It’s a truly special place.

Tarzan Falls Hike

Tarzan Falls
Tarzan Falls are a great place to hike.

Tarzan Falls is a moderate and relatively short hike, as it is only a 2.6 km out and back.  Most hikers complete it in about 50 minutes.  However, beware as it is wet and slippery even during the dry season, so boots are highly recommended for this trek.

The trail is fairly easy to follow as there are blue ribbons in the trees.  It is also a very popular place for people to hike and walk, so you will see other people on the trail.

If you want a refreshing break, bring your swim wear and a towel, as it is incredibly exhilarating to dip into the cold water of the falls at the half way point of the hike.

The trail-head is in the middle of the island on Cross Island Road here.

Wrap Up

Graffiti near Hyatt Regency Guam

Guam is not usually the exotic tropical island destination that most folks envision.  However, it really surprised us!  This is a quiet small island that has stunning white sandy beaches with turquoise see your toes water at a fraction of the price of Hawaii (once here).

The cliffs show off the beauty of the Pacific Ocean and the many mountains offer a variety of albeit short, yet wonderful hiking opportunities.

If you are limited on time, then make sure to at least visit Tumon Beach, Two Lovers Point and Ritidian Point.  These are truly the highlights!

In addition, if you enjoy diverse cultures, this is the island of the Chamorro people.  The Chamorro culture and history sure do shine throughout the island.  

Have you been to Guam?  What did you think?  Did it remind you of Hawaii as much as it did us?  Let us know in the comments.  We would love to hear from you!

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