If here for work, or using Guam as a jumping off point to elsewhere in the region, most typically Palau, you may only have one day on the island. Here is my recommendation on how to maximize it. I have deliberately left off snorkeling, diving, hiking, and sun bathing — as I assume you will have plenty of opportunity at your next destination.
The island is only 25 miles long and easy to travel in a circle. For this blog post, I am starting in Tumon Bay and heading north but you can obviously start at any point.
Breakfast: If not eating at your hotel, I recommend either Kracked Egg or tuRe for breakfast. TuRe is a little south of Tumon (so a little in the wrong direction) but the pancakes and view are worth it! They also open early so you can get a jump start on your day.
Head North (route 1) to Two Lovers Point. This is a quick stop but beautiful and has a lovely CHamorro ledged of lovers. This also has a pretty good gift shop.
Continue North (route 1 to route 3) to Ritidian beach. Ritidian is the most Northern Tip of the island and the least explored. It is also part of the Guam National Wildlife Refuge (closed on holiday’s and Mondays). This is especially great stop if here on a Saturday where you can take a 0900 tour of the caves and see the pictographs. (Reservations needed). Even if it is not a Saturday, you want to say you saw the entire island and Ritidian is beautiful with one of the top beaches on island. On a clear day, you can also see the nearby island of Rota in the distance.
Head South (there are multiple routes but your ultimate goal is to hit route 4). This is one of the most beautiful areas of the island. Maybe opt for an early lunch at Jeff’s Pirate Cove (if not I have a recommendation for a late lunch too). Stop at any of the many look outs along the way. If you think you have time and local culture is important to you, stop at Latte Stone Memorial park. If up for a short popular (busy) hike you can also check out Talofofo falls in this area. For another less busy short hike, try Tinago Falls or Priest Pools.
Continue South. If you weren’t able to stop at Rititian Caves, then make a quick side trip to Gadao’s cave to see the pictographs. Continue South (statue of of Gadao on your left) to Inarajan to see the beautiful village, the pools and the old ruins. Continue around the southern tip to Merizo. Don’t forget to stop at the many beach parks and look-out points.
As you head north consider stopping at Fort Nuestra Senora de la Soledad built by the Spanish in the early 19th century. It is the last of four forts built in the area during the 300 years of Spanish rule. It is very picturesque and only a quick stop for photos. You can also see Magellan point from here, so unless you want to take a photo of the monument, this can count for both.
Also stop at Cetti Bay overlook on your left for the views. While there, look across the street at the mountain. This is Mt. LamLam, the highest point in Guam and if you measure from the base of the mountain in the Marianas trench it is the tallest in the world. The hike starts right across the street and will take about 90 minutes round trip.
If you didn’t have an early lunch at Jeff’s Pirate Cove, consider a late lunch at the Agat Marina Grill or the Taco Shack just up the road.
After driving through Agat, you are now back on route 1, the main drag through the island.
Stop at Asan Beach Park also known as War in the Pacific National Historic Park. This can be a 15 minute stop or all day. Asan is where the Marines landed in 1944 to liberate Guam from the Japanese. In addition to the beautiful park and beach, there is a memorial to the landing. There is also a short easy hike (I have done it in a skirt and sandals) where you can have magnificent views and see a WW2 Japanese pill box. Also make sure to take the stairs down to the ocean where you can walk along the shore to Fish Eye and then back to your car. For the hike, I prefer to start just behind the war memorial. After about 5 minutes you will reach a plateau. Keep hiking up to the top. You will also pass some stairs to the beach which you can do on your return trip.
As you continue North, you have a couple of options and depending on time can do them both.
Turn right on route 6 and head towards Nimitz Hill and Asan Bay overlook which was the WW2 headquarters for both the Japanese and later the United States.
Return to route 1 and stop in downtown Hagatna where you can visit the Guam Museum (closes at 5), Plaza de Espana, the old Spanish bridge and CHamorro village.
It should now be sunset, and you are perfectly positioned along the western shore.
Head to dinner at any of the great places in Hagatna or Tumon. I love Mosa’s and there are dozens of places to choose along route 1 as you return to Tumon.
It was a long day. But in 12 hours you saw the entire island North to South, soaked in some of the most beautiful sites and got a taste of CHamorro, Spanish and WW2 history.