My name is Marty Tenorio, and I am a local resident of this beautiful island of Guam. I am a southern girl, born and raised in the village of Talofofo, where I still reside to this day. I absolutely love my island home, and nothing gives me greater joy than to share everything wonderful Guam has to offer with others, most especially with new visitors to the island.
I am an avid golfer, a high school English teacher, a weaver, and a self-proclaimed tour guide for family and friends who come to Guam for visits. Having lived on Guam all my life, I pretty much know the ins and outs of where to go, what to do, and where to eat.
I am so excited to share with you a few of my favorite places to eat, shop, and sightsee here on our beautiful island. Guam is a wonderful place to visit and to live on, and I know you’re going to have agreat time exploring and discovering all that our island has to offer! I limited my recommendations to the Tumon area in order to make it easier for you to get to, since most of the places mentioned are no more than a few minutes away via vehicle/bus, or even within walking distance.
I truly hope that you’ll find time after our conference hours to go and check out these places. I welcome you to Guam and I sincerely hope you have an awesome time here!
Guam has a pleasant tropical climate with cooling trade windscoming from across the Pacific Ocean. Temperatures range between approximately 70 and 90 °F (20 and 30 °C), and currently we’ve been averaging in the mid to high eighties. Although we are about to enter our wet season, which generally starts in May or June and lasts throughout November, it is still very hot and sunny outside with little to no chance of rain so far this June. I highly recommend using sunscreen, especially if you’re joining us on the afternoon excursions, or heading out to the beach.
I highly recommend wearing outfits made of cotton or other breathable fabric. Although the conference itself will take place in the air-conditioned comfort of the Hyatt Regency Guam Hotel, you will soon feel the warmth of the sun upon exiting the building. Island wear is casual and comfortable!
Guam’s currency is the U.S. dollar. There are several banks in Guam that may convert money, as well as at hotels, and shopping centers, such as The Plaza and T-Galleria. ATMs are plentiful in malls, the airport and all around the island. The machines usually dispense U.S. dollars in denominations of $20.00. Cirrus, Star & Plus branded cards are accepted.
Cultural and Historical Info
Guam is an unincorporated territory of the United States, and governed under the Organic Act of Guam, which was passed by the U.S. Congress and approved August 1, 1950. The Organic Act made all ChamorrosU.S. citizens. Although Guam residents do not have the right to vote in national elections, residents do have representation in the United States House of Representatives with a non-voting delegate.
Guam is culturally diverse. In addition to its indigenous population, the Chamorros, the island is home for Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Korean, and other Asian communities of significant size,as well as people from the mainland United States.
The northern region of Guam is comprised of large areas of land controlled by the U.S. Military (primarily Andersen Air Force Base).The northern most village is Yigo, which is just south of the military base. Dededo is by far largest village on Guam, with a population exceeding 50,000. The northern region also includes Ritidian Beach, one of the most isolated, beautiful beaches in Guam.
The central region of Guam holds the majority of its villages and the island’s international airport. A large number of shops, businesses, restaurants, and hotels are located in this area, primarily in the villages of Hagåtña, Tamuning and Tumon; with Tumon being the island’s most visited area by tourists. These villages are also the regions of the island most prone to heavy traffic congestion around rush hour.
Guam’s southern region is mostly rural and picturesque. It is one of the most untouched and undeveloped areas on the island and the Chamorro culture is most preserved here. Cocos Island and the black sand beaches at Talofofo bay are popular places to visit in this region. Traffic is usually slow and easy, with barely a traffic light to be seen, and only two lane roads circling the throughout the villages from Talofofo through Agat. These villages are mainly made up of residential houses with few scattering of Mom&Pop stores, and gas stations.
I love to eat out and Guam offers a wide variety of ethnic foods and restaurants to dine in. Here are some of my most visited restaurants.
Fuji #1: Acanta Mall in Tumon (11:00am – 03:30am Daily until further notice)
Fuji #2: Across Guam Reef Hotel in Tumon (Sunday – Thursday 11:00am – 12:00am/Friday and Saturday 11:00am – 2:00am)
(671) 646-4477 and (671) 647-4555.
I love this place! Firstly, because they open to the wee hours of the morning, which means I’m able to satisfy any late night food cravings, and also because they really do have the most delicious ramen on island, with generous portions at an affordable price. I love eating the Taiwan ramen because it’s spicy,talk about happiness in a bowl! You can’t go wrong ordering a side of their yummy karage chicken and the gyoza.
Calrose Building, 288 Pale San Vitores Rd
Yamon, serious food! I love eating bbq, and this place always hits the spot! Their Boston beach ribs are always my go-to order, but really, everything on their menu is delicious! They’re known for having the best jerk chicken on island. I recommend their juicy burgers, and try their refreshing splash drinks.
Pale San Vitores Rd across the Acanta Mall in Tumon (between FujiIchiban and Drop Nightclub)
This is my absolute favorite Thai restaurant and it’s also very popular with the locals, so you know it’s GOOD! If you’re looking for delicious Pad Thai (stir-fried rice noodle dish) and mouth-watering curries, this is the place to eat at. Be sure to try their Som Tum (spicy green papaya salad) and don’t forget to also try the amazing fried bananas for dessert!
Pale San Vitores Rd. across the Reef Hotel
If you’re a sushi lover, then you definitely need to check out this place. As it is another local favorite, don’t be surprised if you have to wait in line for seats to be available. I guarantee it’ll be worth the wait! I love the grilled salmon roll the best here, but to be honest, I love everything that makes its way around the little “food train track.” It’s easy to rack up a hefty dinner bill because those dishes roll by in front of you to grab and eat, and next thing you know your plate pile is a foot high! So be warned, you may end up paying a pretty penny for your meal! Your wallet may be upset with you, but your tummy will thank you.
Inside the T-Galleria by DFS
A local favorite place to enjoy gourmet coffee & tea, frappes, fruit & yogurt smoothies, specialty crepes, panini & freshly-baked pastries.My favorite thing to order is the Angelica, a crepe filled with ham& cheese and spinach; with their very refreshing calamansi cooler, it’s a match made in heaven.
Pale San Vitores Rd, first floor of the Grand Plaza Hotel
For delicious Chamorro fusion cuisine, come here! I recommend starting with some tinala kåtne (dried meat) for appetizer and their chicken kelaguen. The fried parrotfish is oh so yummy, and so are their bbq dishes. You cannot leave Guam without experiencing any of our delicious local dishes, and this place is definitely one of the best places to taste all the wonderful kinds of dishes our island has to offer! There’s also a second restaurant branch in the Tumon area called Meskla Dos; check out their juicy, mouthwatering burgers; I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!
Royal Orchid Hotel
When I’m in the mood for pasta, this is my go-to place! It has so many delicious pasta dishes to choose from, and generously served in bowls that can easily serve two to three individuals. I always order the spicy penne, but another one of my favorites is the lasagna (Capricciosa style) and the mushroom spaghetti. I’ve tried nearly every pasta dish there and I’ve never been disappointed. The appetizers are also delicious; try the escargot or the salmon rolls, both are super savory!
Terry’s Local Comfort Food
916 Pale San Vitores Road across Bank of Guam in Tumon
Chamorro food is the BEST food in the whole world! I may be a tad biased to say this, but trust me; once you try it you’ll love it as much as I do. Go to Terry’s and get authentically made traditional Chamorro dishes, just like something my mom would make. You must try the fiesta plate, and any of the varieties of kelaguen offered.
1370 Pale San Vitores in the Sun Plaza Building across the Reef Hotel
One of Guam’s newest and hottest restaurant, this place is super popular and known for their unique and creative take on pizza. I really like the Pika Pika pizza, as well as their Dirty Back Ribs and the brulee marrow bone. Another thing I like about Primo is that you can watch the chef meticulously create and garnish each of the specialty dishes! It has a very comfortable and cozy atmosphere, and the cuisine is superb. If you’re in the mood for some different and exciting flavors, check this place out.
Are you into the bar scene? Try these three fun places for happy hour or late evening relaxation.
The Beach Bar
The Beach is Guam’s largest beach bar with outdoor seating and ocean front restaurant. It’s located just past the Hotel Nikko Guam. Open daily from 11am until “Late”.
This is one of my favorite places to hang out, drink, and have some delicious wings. Located directly across the Hyatt, they offer daily specials on food and drinks. Whiskey and Wings Wednesday is my favorite…but they also have Taco Tuesday, Thirsty Thursday, and Fiesta Friday. So go check the out!
In the Outrigger Hotel
This is a popular place for locals to come and relax while enjoying the sounds of local musicians and yummy drinks. Two of my favorite local singers, Jessie & Ruby play here regularly. Don’t be shy if you feel like dancing when the music moves you!
ABC Stores are awesome! It really is your one-stop shopping place! They have everything you’re looking for, from Guam souvenirs, to clothing, jewelry, food/drinks, sundries and more! Their merchandise quality is great, and the prices are extremely affordable! Whenever I need to get gifts to send to my family and friends who are off island, this is where I go because I know I will find something there that will give them a little taste of home. Before you head off to the beach, go to ABC and pick up your beach essentials like sunscreen, towels, mats, and food&beverages. Forgot to pack your toiletries essentials? Go to ABC and pick up toothpaste, shampoo, soap, towels, etc. Can’t think of what to bring home as gifts and souvenirs from Guam? Go to ABC and I guarantee you’ll find something unique and perfect to give or to keep as a reminder of your stay here on Guam! Oh, and I almost forgot to mention, another thing I love about ABC Stores is that you can find you on practically every block! There are nine ABC Stores on Guam, you’re sure to find one nearby!
This is another one-stop shopping and open 24 hrs. for all your shopping needs. Conveniently located about five minutes drive from Hyatt, it has everything you need for a relaxing and comfortable visit to the island. You’re sure to find everything you’re looking for, from clothing, to sundries, snacks, and souvenirs.
Guam Premier Outlet
Check out their website at www.gpoguam.com to see the list of stores they have and restaurants. Some of my favorite shops to find here are: Best Seller Book Store, ABC Store, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein and Ross. There’s also a food court located on the bottom level with a wide variety of food choices. If you like, you may even watch a movie at the Regal Theater located near the food court.
Check out their website at www.micronesiamall.com to see the list of stores and restaurants they have to offer. Some of my favorite shops to find here are: Macy’s, Ross, ABC Store, Footlocker, Guess, and Gap. There’s a food court and movie theater to be found there, as well as a bank, beauty salon, and supermarket. The website also gives information about free bussing from specific hotels to and from the mall.
If you have extra time, be sure to visit these significant cultural and historic spots on Guam! Two of my recommendations are actually part of our conference excursions; I really hope you’ll decide to sign up and join us when we go there.
Two Lovers Point
According to an ancient Chamorro legend this is the site where the daughter of an esteemed Chamorro Chief and her forbidden lover, jumped to their deaths after being barred from being together. A choice was made to be together in eternity rather than spend a lifetime apart. Ever since, the spot where they jumped off from has been known as the most romantic spot on the island. The two-tiered lookout boasts a camera-worthy view from 400ft over crashing waves and Tumon Bay. The park is open to the public and has a souvenir and restaurant on site; there is a small fee to enter the observation deck, but you are still able to see magnificent views of the island and ocean without going into the observation area.
Ypao Beach Park
This is a great snorkeling beach, with a coral reef that prevents the waves from coming in, with an absolutely huge shallow sandy area that is miles wide. There can be a bit of tide pull, so be careful; the reef portion that is toward the beach is very interesting to explore. It’s a great place to go snorkeling, and explore the beautiful sea life! (ps- don’t forget to use your sunscreen or wear a rash guard!)
Chamorro Village/Wednesday Night Market
Come join the rest of the PCC crew to this cultural center of shopping and eating on Wednesday, July 10 (See conference booklet for details)! This is a must-do on Guam. The outdoor mall is open every day but the main event happens every Wednesday night when tourists and locals gather for the outdoor market and a multitude of cultural events.
It’s a great place to find inexpensive souvenirs and gifts for everyone on your list. The aroma of fresh local foods can be tempting, so be sure to bring your appetite. Vendors offer great food for even better prices, from $1 for a chicken or pork BBQ stick, $2 for banana lumpia (banana eggrolls drizzled in honey), and if you’re still hungry, plates of food vary from $10-$15.They also showcase cultural dances from various island dance groups, the center pavilion has live music entertaining for your dancing pleasure.
Bring cash, as with most markets, stalls only accept cash, however, most of the permanent stores do accept credit cards.(Bank of Guam usually provides an ATM machine in the parking lot.)
Jump on the PCC bus on July 11 (see conference booklet for details) to learn about the story about the CHamoru people. A division of the Department of Chamorro Affairs, the museum fosters an appreciation for Guam’s culture and natural heritage by promoting increased understanding of our island’s geology, biota, prehistory and contemporary culture. In commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Liberation of Guam, the museum has put up an exhibit entitled, “In Hahasso ha’: Nina’enPåsyanInagofli’e” (“We still remember: A Legacy of Peace & Friendship”)
Plaza de España
Located in central Hagåtña, this was the location of the Governor’s Palace during the island’s long period of Spanish occupation. Most of the palace was destroyed during the shelling of Hagåtña during the re-conquest of Guam in World War II. There are three structures still standing including the three-arch gate to Almacen (Arsenal), the azotea or back porch, and the Chocolate House. The plaza was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.
Several private companies on Guam operate special shopping and tour busses that make regularly scheduled runs between the Micronesia Mall, KMART, Guam Premier Outlets and other selected points. You can select one of the open-air single or double-decker Tumon “Guahan” Trolleys or one of the large enclosed shopping busses which stop at Guam shopping trolley most major hotels or numerous well marked bus stops located along the routes. In addition to the Micronesia Mall, KMART, and Guam Premium Outlets shopping shuttle routes, Gray Line Guam operates shuttles to the Fish Eye Marine Park, Hagåtña Shopping Center, Chamorro Village and Two Lovers Point.
Fare for a single ride is $2 or $4 for two rides (one round trip). However, the better values are the one-day and 7-day passes. A one-day pass ($5.00), permits you unlimited rides on any route for an entire day while a one-week Guam shopping bus pass ($8.00), provides unlimited rides on any route for 7 days. Note: Be aware that there are two separate companies that make virtually the same shopping runs. The rates are the same, but passes are not transferable, so make sure you know what service your pass is for and what busses to take. Check with your hotel desk if you are not sure.
Gray Line Guam operates a 4-hour island tour starting at the Micronesia Mall, circling the entire Southern end of the island and including all major landmarks and attractions. As of this writing, the fare for this trip is $25 per person. However, if you have a one-day or seven day Gray Line Guam pass, the cost of the pass will be deducted from this fare and passengers will pay the difference ($17 if you have a 7-day pass or $20 if you have a one day pass).
Taxicabs on Guam are generally readily available and reliable, but they are fairly expensive on Guam. You might use a taxi from the airport to your hotel or for short rides, but if you have a lot of travel or want to drive around the island on a sightseeing excursion, you will probably want a rental car or you might consider one of the sightseeing buses.
Authorized airport taxis are not always available and call taxis are not permitted make pick-ups at the airport, so you might want to make arrangements for transportation with your hotel. Elsewhere, the average wait for a call taxi is between 7 and 15 minutes. As of 2005, the standard flag rate is $2.40, $4.00 for the first mile, and $0.80 every 1/4 mile thereafter. Rates may vary, so you may want to check before you book a taxi for a long trip.
Guam is not a large island, 30 miles long, 4 to 9 miles wide, and many attractionsare located within walking distance of Tumon hotels. However, the majority of historical and cultural landmarks, remote beaches and many other items of interest are scattered across the island and a rental car is best way to get there. Some hotels have on premise rental agencies that will book a car for you at the time you make your hotel reservations and have it waiting for you when you check in. Some hotels may offer room and car packages. Other Guam rental agencies will pick customers up at their hotels or deliver cars to the hotel.
A number of major US car rental companies have service desks in the arrival terminal. Major international and local car firms operate from counters at the airport, in hotel lobbies, and other locations around the island. Rates are comparable to the U.S. and most companies accept major credit cards. Some of these major rental companies include: Avis, National, Dollar and Payless. If you are on a budget, some local rental car companies offer significantly lower rates if you don’t mind an older car.