Guam’s big resort hotels and shopping malls stand in sharp contrast to its isolated sandy beaches, small villages and lush mountainous rain forests. So, whatever your passion, you can find something to interest you on this island. It is the southernmost of the Mariana Islands but forms a separate unit from the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas. Guam’s close relations with the USA and its role as a crossroads and distribution centre for the rest of Micronesia because of its air links, makes it rather different from the rest of the Pacific.
Visitors will find Guam a contrasting atmosphere to the one they may have experienced in other islands. Guam is the largest of the Mariana Islands, in fact the largest island in Micronesia, located at 13.5°N 144.5°E. Filled with brilliantly colored flowers, birds and beaches, this vibrant island is also a historic location with six “War in the Pacific” parks to commemorate the past. Its capital is Hagåtña, formerly Agana. Guam’s economy is mainly supported by tourism (particularly from Japan, Korea and Taiwan) and United States armed forces bases.
The island experiences occasional earthquakes due to being on the edge of the Pacific Plate. In recent years, quakes with epicenters near Guam have had magnitudes ranging from 5.0 to 8.7 but Guam itself is not volcanically active. However, due to wind direction and proximity, volcanic ash activity does occasionally affect Guam. A coral reef surrounds most of the island except in areas where bays exist that provide access to small rivers and streams that run down from the hills into the Pacific Ocean and Philippine Sea.
Interesting places to visit include:
Two Lovers Point – legend has it that a Chamorro maiden and her lover leapt to their death from this 400-foot limestone cliff, and Chamorro Cultural Village where native Chamorro practice traditional island crafts.