Guam, Australasia - Stein Travel
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Guam

A popular travel hub in the South Pacific, Guam offers lush tropical jungles that bump up against sandy white beaches that are largely undiscovered by Western tourists. Although it is Micronesia's largest and most populous island, Guam is still small enough to explore in a day or two, and its resorts and attractions are becoming more popular as a Pacific holiday destination.

The island is an unincorporated US territory, and although American accents abound, traditional Guam culture is a unique blend of Spanish, Micronesian, Asian and western influences. The original inhabitants, the Chamorros, have inhabited the island for over 4,000 years, through occupation by Spain and the United States.

Many tourists in Guam base themselves in the city of Tumon Bay, which offers a number of resorts and a wealth of duty-free shopping. However, the real attractions of Guam lie in the less densely inhabited areas of the island. Southern Guam is home to many traditional Chamorros villages, and here you'll have a better chance of experiencing local culture than in the more cosmopolitan cities. The village of Talofofo is a worthwhile stop, as much for the spectacular two-tier waterfall as the village culture. Northern Guam is largely occupied by the US military's Andersen Base, but if you venture that way you'll discover the pristine beaches of Ritidian Point. Popular activities in Guam centre on the ocean, and include scuba diving, reef fishing, surfing and wind surfing, jet skiing, kayaking, boat trips and even submarine rides.

Central Guam is more developed, and contains the capital city of Hagatna (formerly called Agana), which has reminders of the island's colonial history in the pretty Spanish architecture alongside less cultural attractions like the world's largest K-mart. Both Hagatna and Tumon Bay offer an array of nightclubs, shops and restaurants. Nearby, the War in the Pacific National Historical Park is a must-visit for World War II history buffs.

Information & Facts

Climate

Guam has a tropical marine climate, and remains hot and humid year-round with an average temperature between 86°F (30°C) and 76°F (24°C). The rainy season occurs between July and November, and there is a greater risk of typhoons in October and November. Guam is located in the area of the Pacific known as Typhoon alley, and is hit by a storm roughly once every eight years. The dry season in Guam is from December to June.

Customs

The urban population if Guam is diverse and generally accepting, however modest clothing is always good etiquette. The native Chamorro people are predominantly Catholic, and respect for the elderly and authority figures is crucial.

Electricity

Electricity in Guam is 110 volts, 60Hz. Two-prong, flat-blade plugs are standard.

Language

English and Chamorro are the official languages of Guam.

Passport Visa

As an unincorporated US territory, entry requirements for Guam tend to follow US guidelines. All visitors to Guam must hold return or onward tickets, documents required for their next destination, and sufficient funds to cover their stay. Passports must be valid for the intended period of stay. It is recommended to have six months' validity remaining on your passport whenever travelling. Immigration officials may apply different standards than the official policy.

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