Hafa adai, and welcome to Guam!
Located approximately 3,300 miles West of Hawaii, 1,500 miles east of the Philippines and 1,550 miles South of Japan, the Island of Guam is the Western most territory of the United States and one of the leading tourist destinations in the Western Pacific. Guam is truly a tropical island paradise. Approximately 30 miles long and 4 to 9 miles wide, the Northern end of Guam is a plateau of rolling hills and cliffs rising to 600 feet above sea level. Waterfalls, rivers and bays abound throughout Guam ‘s southern areas. Luxury 5 star hotels line the Tumon Bay beachfront and Guam ‘s unique “duty free” status makes it a shoppers’ paradise. The beaches of Tumon Bay offer gleaming white sand and crystal clear, warm waters for swimming, snorkeling, or just relaxing and enjoying the fantastic sunsets over the Philippine Sea . With its year round warm and crystal clear waters, Guam is one of the most desirable scuba dive destinations in the World. Guam offers seven world class golf courses scuba diving on guamopen to the public and two military courses for authorized military personnel. Guam has a number water parks and beach clubs that offer jet skis, windsurfing, kayaking, paddleboats, pools and water slides and various other water sports. Other popular Guam outdoor leisure activities include hiking (boonie stomping), skydiving, parasailing, deep-sea sport fishing and more. The Island of Guam has an ancient history and rich cultural heritage.
The original inhabitants of Guam, the ancient Chamorro, are widely believed to have been of Indo-Malaya descent with linguistic and cultural similarities to Malaysia , Indonesia and the Philippines . The first known contact with the West occurred with the visit of Ferdinand Magellan in 1521. Guam was formally claimed by Span in 1565. Jesuit missionaries arrived in 1668 to establish their brand of European civilization, Christianity and trade. During the Spanish period, the Catholic Church became the focal point for village activities and Guam became a regular port-of-call for the Spanish treasure galleons that crisscrossed the Pacific Ocean Spanish Plaza in Agana Guamfrom Mexico to the Philippines. Evidence of Spanish influence can still be seen across the island today and sunken Spanish galleons still lie under Guam ‘s warm waters. Guam was ceded to the United States following the Spanish American War in 1898 and formally purchased from Spain in 1899. Placed under the administrative jurisdiction of the U.S. Navy, Guam experienced many improvements in the areas of Captured WWII Japanese Submarineagriculture, public health, sanitation, education, land management, taxes, and public works. The U.S. Navy continued to use Guam as a refueling and communication station until 1941, when it fell to invading Japanese forces shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor . Guam remained under Japanese control until reclaimed by American forces in July of 1944. In 1949, U.S. President Harry S. Truman signed the Organic Act, making Guam an unincorporated territory of the United States with limited self-governing authority, which it remains to this day.
Today, Guam is a truly cosmopolitan community with a unique culture, the core of which is Chamorro heavily influenced by the Spanish occupation and the Catholic Church. Strong American influence is evident in the celebration of many public holidays, the form of Guam Government and the pride in being U.S. that is displayed by the populace. Guam ‘s culture has also been influenced and enriched by the Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Chinese and Micronesian immigrants each group of whom have added their unique contributions. Many of the major hotels provide cultural shows and cuisine. The Chamorro Village in Hagatna offers ancient cultural dances, live reggae bands, and other cultural exhibits and you may also experience a wide variety of restaurants and food stands featuring Chamorro, Chinese, Japanese, Greek, Jamaican, Mexican, Filipino and other exotic delicacies.