Guam is the biggest island in the Mariana Islands chain of Micronesia in the Pacific Ocean. It shares a cultural history with its neighbors Polynesia and Melanesia and, to some extent, also with the Austronesian people. A former Spanish colony, Guam has many secluded beaches and beautiful hiking trails. Today, it is an unincorporated territory of the United States.
Limited flights connect to Guam, a reason for the relatively few tourists from Europe and the United States. However, many Japanese tourists choose to visit this beautiful destination. These limited flights that connect to Guam have stops at Seoul, Tokyo, and Hawaii.
Guam has a tropical marine climate, with March being the driest month. It is best to avoid this island during typhoon season, which usually runs from August through November.
If you’re planning to visit Guam, there’s plenty to see and do. But be sure to buy
travel insurance or
to protect yourself from any unexpected mishaps, illnesses, injuries, or accidents.
Things to Do in Guam
The journey might be arduous, but it is well worth it. The pristine beaches offer much to explore and experience during your visit here. The island exhibits a cultural blend of Asian and South Pacific influences. The population is largely made up of local U.S. citizens and the Chamorro people, whose matriarchal structure helped them brave the storm of extinction.
Inarajan Pools: Inarajan is a town situated in southeast Guam. It's known for its well-preserved Spanish-period communities and rich history. The best part of this town is its natural salt pools. The Inarajan Pools are a natural saltwater reef area. Ocean waves reach at least 6 feet high before collapsing into the pristine and quiet waters of the reef.
Snorkeling in Ypao Beach: Located in the village of Tumon, Ypao Beach is the most prominent public beach on the island. It's a hotspot for tourist activity and has many facilities dedicated to that industry. The colorful marine life and well-preserved corals make it a delight for snorkeling.
Latte of Freedom: Overlooking the Agana and Asan Bays, the Latte of Freedom is the embodiment of the Chamorro culture. It is an 80-foot-tall latte rock (about 25 meters tall) that stands as the cornerstone representing strength and endurance in the Mariana Islands.
Scuba Diving at Apra Harbor: Apra Harbor has Guam’s most well-known reef ecosystem. You can rent a boat to explore shipwrecks dating back to World Wars I and II; there are two sunken warships, one from each war, nestled close together.
Pagat Cave: It's a steep hiking trail stretching about a mile (1.6 km) to this freshwater cave. The trail can be steep in some parts, but it is easy to follow. Do take some sort of illumination with you, as the freshwater pool is in complete darkness. The village of Pagat traces its history back to the early 1800s. If you’re in Pagat, it's worth checking out the site at least once.
Travel Risks for International Travelers in Guam
International travel always comes with its own set of potential problems, which you can easily mitigate through awareness. Petty crimes occur in Guam, so adopt the usual precautions you would take when traveling to a remote place with cautious natives. Here are some of the common problems facing travelers to Guam:
The Weather: Guam lies in the path of typhoons. The best time to visit Guam is between January and May, during its driest seasons.
Mosquitoes: The CDC regularly updates its website in case there are any major concerns that might affect visitors. Guam has a seasonal mosquito infestation, as do most other places with a tropical climate.
Common Vaccines: The U.S. cautions all travelers to be up-to-date with their vaccines before traveling. Hepatitis A and typhoid are common diseases contracted by tourists visiting Guam. Hepatitis B transmits largely through body fluids. Consult your doctor before flying out to Guam.
The Cuisine: Practice safe food habits by opting to eat freshly cooked food, served hot. Avoid unhygienic sources of food, unwashed fruits or vegetables, and avoid "bushmeat". Also, be careful of the drinks you consume in Guam. Stick to bottled water as much as possible.
Bug Bites: Aside from mosquito infestations, the island has many exotic bugs. A bite or an allergic reaction could easily trigger a hospital visit. Carry insect repellant with you at all times.
Guam Travel Medical Insurance for International Travelers - FAQs
Guam falls under U.S. jurisdiction, so there is no public healthcare system in place. Added to that, Guam is a remote island accessible through limited flights and cruises. Not having health insurance will result in massive medical expenses if you were to contract an illness or get injured. Save yourself the ordeal of dealing with mounting medical bills from a private hospital, and get yourself insured.
Do I need travel medical insurance for Guam?
No, it's not legally required, but your tour operator will likely advise you to purchase a good visitors insurance plan. It's best to have valid medical insurance before setting out to travel.
Why buy travel medical insurance for Guam?
Diving into the ocean, jumping into a dark cave to enjoy its pool, and hiking for long hours all come with their fair share of risks. You could face an unexpected injury and require medical assistance. Or, your food could disagree with you and make you feel sick. Rather than staring at the treatment costs incurred without medical insurance, it's best to take precautions beforehand.
The right choice is to buy visitors insurance and enjoy your vacation with one less thing to worry about. Some insurance companies consider Guam as part of the U.S., while others don’t. Therefore, make sure that you purchase an appropriate plan for Guam.
Guam Trip Cancellation Insurance for International Travelers - FAQs
International travelers should also consider buying travel insurance. No two travel insurance plans are the same, so make sure to go through all the terms and conditions before purchase.
Why buy trip cancellation insurance for Guam?
Travel insurance covers the basic troubles that might arise while traveling. A substantial part of the trip is pre-booked, including prepaid and nonrefundable expenses for airfare and lodging, and having to cancel could devastate you financially. The trip cancellation benefit of travel insurance could save you a lot of money that would otherwise be gone forever.
What all is covered under trip cancellation insurance for Guam?
Trip cancellation insurance is valid if you have to cancel for a reason explicitly listed in your policy’s certificate wording. Be sure to check that fine print to see if you’re covered. However, the following are some standard reasons that usually qualify for trip cancellation insurance:
Sickness, death, and injury of yourself or an immediate relative
Major weather disturbances resulting in cancellation of your flight
Urgent work-related issues
Terrorist incident at your travel destination
Again, the list is tentative and varies by insurance provider. It's best to buy travel insurance and free yourself from the weight of a possible cancellation.
Before You Travel to Guam…
We wish you a safe and healthy trip to Guam. Double-check to make sure you have all your important documents with you, including your passport, visa, and a forex card or currency. Keep them either on your person or in a secure location.
It's best to be conscious of the risks of traveling to another country and take advantage of
visitors insurance or
Enter some basic information, compare a wide variety of options, and make sure to pick the plan that meets your needs and provides adequate coverage.