Transiting through Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport with 24 hours or less between flights? Be sure to make the most of your layover in Guam by visiting the villages of Tamuning, Tumon, and Harmon. You may not consider yourself lucky if your layover happens to be in Guam, but trust us, there are highlights that you don’t want to miss. This 24-hour suggested itinerary will lead you to the famous tourist attractions and will help you make the most of your layover. Depending on your traveling priorities, you can certainly fine tune this itinerary to suit your needs. Enjoy Guam!
Things to know before traveling to Guam:
Language – The official languages of Guam are English and Chamorro, which are spoken by the majority of population. Since Guam has turned into a multi-cultural society, which is now clearly visible almost everywhere, you’ll often hear people on the street, shops and restaurants speaking just about anything from Japanese to Chuukese to Filipino (Tagalog). Just like in other countries, speaking at least some Chamorro phrases or attempting to learn is greatly appreciated by locals.
Currency Exchange – Being a US Territory, Guam uses the US Dollar (USD) as its official currency. You may transact with foreign exchange bureaus at the Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport and some luxury hotels. It is also good to know that there are plentiful of ATMs available throughout the country so you will surely have easy access to cash. You may find some accommodation and restaurants that accept Japanese Yen, but it is still best to carry USD.
Etiquette – For first time visitors, it is important to remember some do’s and dont’s to enjoy a faux pas free journey in Guam. Most foreign tourists are pleasantly surprised to know that Guamanians respect cultural differences and easily give regards to foreign visitors. They are generally hospitable and respectful people. Locals are eager to meet foreign visitors and thus you will be welcomed with the greeting “Hafa Adai” (local pronunciation of “HALF A DAY”) anywhere you go. If you are visiting an indigenous Chamorro village, dress modestly as a sign of respect to elders.
Getting there – Located in Western Pacific, visitors can travel to Guam in just 3-4 hours through major international airports in Japan, China, South Korea and the Philippines. Being a popular layover country for people travelling to Asia or Palau, there are plenty of international connections from the United States.
Getting around – Getting around Guam, where public transportation is infrequent, can be a bit daunting and time consuming so it is best to rent a car and explore on your own. From the airport, arrange a transfer from your hotel to avoid the hassle of finding a taxi. You may also sign up and download the Stroll Guam app, a ride sharing app like Uber. For more information, you may visit their official website (http://strollguam.com).
Where to stay – Guam has some of the best villas and luxury hotels, hostels and guest houses ideally nestled in the heart of the city. The most frequently asked question from first time travelers is, “What’s the best area to stay in when visiting Guam?” If you are going to follow our suggested itinerary, we recommend hotel options in Tamuning, Tumon, and Harmon, since all of the main sights are so close to each other and can be easily reached on foot. If you don’t plan to stay overnight and go straight to the airport after your layover tour, then you may stay for a few hours at one of the airport lounges like Sagan Bisita and United Club.
Hotels to consider in Guam:
Day by day itinerary: Discover Guam in 24 hours – make the most of your layover in Guam
After your arrival at Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport, check into your preferred accommodation. The airport is about 10 minutes away from Tumon and there are various ways to get to downtown. Then, set out this morning to see some of the most beautiful attractions in the city. Head to your fist destination and learn about the WWII in the Pacific with a focus on the U.S. Marines Corps, which is the Pacific War Museum located in Hagåtña.
If you are in the mood for something more relaxed, head to Tumon Beach, one of the most famous beaches in Guam. Large hotel chains, shopping mall, bars and restaurants are near so this beach if the perfect place for layover tourists. Enjoy the lovely beachfront and calm waters while sipping piña colada. You may also discover the rich marine life by snorkeling in Ypao Beach Park, which is located in downtown Tumon adjacent to the public park.
One of the best ways to open the door to Guam’s secrets is through the Chamorro’s food and drink. After your tour, satisfy your hunger pangs with an afternoon visit to Chamorro Village Market, an open-air market in the capital of Hagåtña which sells everything from food to household items. There are plenty of local sellers in these markets selling fresh produce and hot meals ready to eat. If you want to learn more about Guam as a leader in Pacific Rim cuisine, then join one of the food walks offered in the city which will introduce you to traditional and contemporary Chamorro cuisine. The Fiesta Plate Tour is one of the best for walks in Guam based on TripAdvisor reviews.
In the evening, you may watch the world class magical performance called the Encore! Where the Magic Happens at the Fiesta Resort Guam. Led by the world-renowned Master Magician Anthony Reed, prepare for an evening of magic, illusions and comedy in a state-of-the-art theater.
Today is your international flight out of Guam. If you still have time, fit in an amazing breakfast or lunch in the city. You could even squeeze in some souvenir shopping before you travel to the airport. Head to the airport in time to check in for your international flight, opt to continue traveling independently, or extend your stay in Guam. The decision is all yours!
Have you been to Guam? Do you have any tips or suggestions to share? If so, you can leave your comments below.
Featured image: Guam marked on map with red pin (JoaoCachapa / Shutterstock)