If coming from the Americas or Europe, I don’t necessarily recommend Guam for a destination vacation. The logistics and costs are just too high. However, I do recommend you consider Guam under two circumstances:
1. If you live somewhere in Asia with a direct flight — Korea, Japan, or the Philippines.
2. And if you are on an around the world trip, taking a gap year, or spending extensive time in Asia.
Here in are some reasons to consider spending some time in Guam –
The Familiar: For those from the United States or other Western Nations, Guam can be a reprieve from the sensory overload after traveling for months on end. Everyone speaks English. You will find some American chain stores and restaurants. Speed limits are in miles. The US dollar is used.
Still a little “Foreign” and different: And yet, despite what I said above, Guam is not the United States, Europe, or even Asia. It is really a mix of all three. Guam has a very distinct and proud CHamorro culture. The Spanish left a lasting legacy. Much of the population is from the Philippines and tourists come from Korea, China, and Japan. And of course, the United States has considered Guam a territory for about 120 years (except for the years it was occupied by Japan). So there are still enough differences that will make you stop and think about your assumptions and history books. It is also not as advanced as many of the surrounding countries. I think of it as 1980 with cell phones.
Travel: Guam is a jumping off point for the rest of the Marianas, Palau, Marshall Islands, and Micronesia. If traveling around the Pacific, use Guam as a home base to see the rest of the islands in this area.
Diving: Guam has some of the best and yet cheapest diving in the world. If you have ever wanted to learn how to dive and get certified – this is the place.
Hiking: Guam has some amazing hiking. My father spent some time in Hawaii as a child and was upset when he returned as an adult to see how commercialized and busy it was. The path to his favorite waterfall is now paved with an entrance fee. Guam is the Hawaii of 60 years ago. Every weekend I park my car on the side of the road and traipse into the jungle to a waterfall, swimming hole or secluded beach. And more often than not, I am the only one there.
The View: Guam has spectacular sunrises and sunsets. Almost daily and without exception!
The Weather: It is always 88 degrees. Sometimes it is also windy or raining, but it is reliably warm but not unbearably hot. This makes it a great option during the winter and even the summer.
Think about it next time you are in the Pacific!!!