What's to do in Guam?
September 20, 2012 5:05 PM   Subscribe

What's there to do in Guam in early October?

I'll be in Guam for the first two weeks in October for work. I will be busy from 9ish-5ish, but if the Hivemind has any suggestions for what to do in their free time, from places for meals (breakfast, lunch, or dinner) in or around Tamuning, to a place to stay or stuff to do after work. I'll also have a free weekend there, so any day trips or other sightseeing suggestions would be great.

I've checked the weather, and it looks grim in terms of rain, heat, and humidity. I will have a rental car, so driving's no problem.

Finally, can I drink the water/eat the food? I'm coming from Boston, and the info on that seems to be a bit conflicted.
posted by Aizkolari to Travel & Transportation around Guam (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Buddy of mine is on a flight back from there as we speak...sent this to him and will fwd you any inside dope.
posted by timsteil at 6:10 PM on September 20, 2012

Yes, you can drink the water. Guam has changed a lot in the past ten to fifteen years. What do you like to do? You'll be longish walking distance to Tumon, which has lots of touristy stuff and restaurants. I'd definitely go snorkeling on the weekend if that's at all appealing. Hagatna had a nice brewery/restaurant, the Mermaid, which was my favorite when I lived there in 2010. Memail me if you have questions.
posted by momus_window at 7:33 PM on September 20, 2012

(On my phone, hence disjointedness)
posted by momus_window at 7:35 PM on September 20, 2012

Ten to fifteen years? The water and food were safe when I was there in 79-80, and likely long before.

Don't limit yourself to the Tamuning area - the whole island is within your reach, at least on weekends. It's pretty small. You could even take a day trip to Saipan, where there are more WWII memorials, and from there to Tinian for a sobering visit to the abandoned airfield that the Enola Gay took off from before attacking Hiroshima.

Snorkeling's not what it used to be, not as many fish in Tumon bay since all the development. But maybe it's better along the fringing reefs.

On the weekend, you could hike Mt. Lam Lam, the highest point, for an amazing view. There's an old Spanish fort over on the Southwest side, I think, kind of toward the Coco Island lagoon. There are views and centuries-old cannons.

Over on the other side (East) there's a swimming hole, which is just a natural pool in the coral. The waves come up and flood the jagged basins & crevices & whatever - I guess they're like tidepools kind of - and you can just wander around there and look closely and you'll see all kinds of amazing sea life, right there in the little pools in the rocks. Colorful fish, even pairs of shrimp and shrimp gobies.

Near there there's a cultural center type of place where someone of Chamorro descent will show you how to make various traditional crafts that were long ago abandoned by the locals.

Talafofo falls is on that side, too, and you can hike to the falls.

Also check out the latte ("latty") stones. They kind of look like birdbaths carved out of stone, and they're the old supports from Chamorro buildings. There's a park with a bunch of them, can't remember where.

I bet you could even locate the cave where the last Japanese WWII soldier hid out until the 1970s.

It's changed a lot there. I heard a rumor Rodney's Birthday Party Road even has a proper street sign now.

Now, I'm getting nostalgic. And a little jealous. Have fun.
posted by univac at 8:01 PM on September 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

Thanks for the answers so far. I didn't mean to besmirch the island's water supply, but this CDC page seemed to imply that it might not be potable. I do like to hike and snorkel and am open to all kinds of cultural or outdoorsy activities.
posted by Aizkolari at 6:04 AM on September 21, 2012

I just hadn't heard the water thing, and thought it was bizarre - there are Coach stores and resort hotels.

I remembered a couple nice restaurants: Meskla (Chamorro fusion) and PROA. There's also lots of good midrange Japanese food. Really, it's not a big island, and your colleagues/hotel will have good recs.

If you like hiking, you might want to try a boonie stomp. (The schedule is old, but there's contact info.) Often, they hike somewhere you can swim/snorkel and/or go by ancient villages with latte stones, and it's a pretty friendly crowd.

The Navy base has excellent snorkeling if you have someone with a military ID to get you in. Otherwise, Gun Beach, north of Tumon, is a good bet.

Driving around the island is a nice day trip - you can stop when you see a beach/view/Spanish building you like, and purchase tuba (homebrew palm wine) if you're so inclined.
posted by momus_window at 7:41 AM on September 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

Great diving and snorkling is easily available on Guam, check in with one of the local dive shops. One of the easiest really nice places for snorkel or SCUBA is Gun Beach. Have lunch at Jeff's Pirate Cove.
posted by X4ster at 11:36 AM on September 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

From a restaurant standpoint (sorry, fuzzy on place names), there was a good Mexican restaurant near the city hall/downtown area towards the middle of the island, and nearer towards the tourist strip, there was an amazing BBQ/Jamaican restaurant. I would highly recommend it.
posted by Ghidorah at 5:15 AM on September 23, 2012

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