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Student Life: Hiking and Backpacking on Guam

How to explore Guam’s wilderness.

Guam

Guam is the ultimate destination for beach lovers, nature explorers, divers, adventurers, and backpackers. This little oasis located amidst the immense waters of the Pacific is a perfect place to unwind and enjoy the scenic surroundings. It has everything to cater to the needs of any traveler: majestic waterfalls, powdery white sand shores, hidden caves, secluded jungle locations, and volcanic mountains. It is also home to rich Chamorro culture and some enticing historical sites that date back to the times of Ferdinand Magellan.

If you decided to roam around the globe during your gap year or just looking for a new vacation destination with your coursemates for an ultimate spring break experience, make sure to put Guam on your list. Before you set off to admire this tropical paradise, take care of your grades, and make sure you finished all of your assignments. In case you need to write several papers during your vacation, you can order an essay paper online so that none of the school-related issues would overshadow your sublime holiday experience and you and your classmates can create some amazing memories about your student years.

Here are some activities you should try on Guam.

Frisk at the Waterfall

Tarzan Falls is accessible year-round, and the trail leading to it is moderately easy to follow. As you enter the trailhead, you’ll find yourself under the canopy of dense tropical foliage hiding you from the blazing sun. The first part of this 1.4-mile track is quite flat, but be cautious as it can get extremely muddy after the rain. As you proceed, the path will take you down a series of fairly steep slopes until you reach your final destination.

You know you are there once you can detect a new tune being weaved in nature’s harmony — the sound of the crashing water. Follow that soothing melody until it brings you to the swift creek running through the large boulders. That is the top of Tarzan Falls. Climb down the rocky bank to get to the waterfall’s base and enjoy the marvelous view of this jungle stunner.

If you are adventurous enough, you can try to visit all of Guam’s top waterfalls. Yona area is home not only to Tarzan Falls but majestic Sigua Falls as well. Down to the south in Inarajan, you’ll find some more picturesque spots — Waterfall Valley, Inarajan Falls, Fintasa, and Laolao Falls. If you keep on moving around the island, you can add Cetti Falls (Utamac), Tony’s, Asan, and San Carlos waterfalls (Asan) to your collection.

Soak Up Sun Rays

Guam’s luring coastline caressed by the warm waves of the Pacific Ocean is what makes the island real heaven on Earth. There are so many options to choose from that one can truly experience the embarrassment of riches.

If you feel like taking a short and relaxed walk, the Gun Beach trail is exactly what you need. This 0.6 mile-long cliff trail starts at the northern end of the beach and leads to World War II Japanese artillery cannon. The path then goes around the big rock to the little cove called Fai Fai Beach. Thus, the trail offers a double dose of beach fun.

Gun Beach is a perfect escape from the Tumon’s hustle and bustle. Just 5 minutes by car and you are in a place of total peace and tranquility. The outlying reef is a great spot to enjoy the underwater views. Here you can see plenty of blue starfish, sea cucumbers, and some vibrant fish colonies, including monocle bream, surgeonfish, butterflyfish, and several species of triggerfish.

Explore the Wilderness

Guam National Wildlife Refuge is a place where you can be one with Mother Nature. Its pathways winding through the lavish jungle and sun-beamed coconut grove lead to pristine Ritidian beach with its white sand embraced by azure waters. Along the way, you can explore a Spanish stone well, the site of ancient Chamorro village, and latte sets. You might also take a guided cave tour to see the drawings done by some crafty local artists centuries before Spanish colonizers first set foot on the island.

If you choose to tread the paths of the Refuge on your own, you’ll still find some company by your side. The lush tropical forest is home for geckos, quick skinks, dark-furred Mariana fruit bats, and monitor lizards dotted with golden-yellow spots. You can also meet more than 20 different bird species, including endemic Micronesian kingfisher and Mariana crow. As you get closer to the beach, swarms of blue-banded king crow butterflies will join you on the way. If you are particularly lucky, you might meet a very rare and shy creature — Mariana eight-spot butterfly that can only be found on Guam.

Get on the Top of the World

The island’s highest peak, Mount Lamlam, rises 1,332 ft above sea level. It’s boasted to be “the world’s tallest mountain.” It is 100% true… but only if measured from the bottom of the nearby Mariana Trench. So if you are up for a real hiking challenge, it’s not the heights that will pose the adversity. The majority of Guam’s tracks are undeveloped, which might be a bit of distress for those who are used to modern amenities like pavement or hand railings.

Of course, you might be accustomed to wandering through nature as it is, but there are still some precautions to be taken:

  • notify someone where you are going and when you plan to be back;
  • put on full-length pants, and long-sleeved outwear to protect your skin from sword grass cuts;
  • wear sturdy shoes with the soles that have good traction;
  • bring along plenty of water to avoid dehydration;
  • apply the sunscreen before you set off;
  • carry a flashlight in case your return is delayed.

If you really want to discover all Guam has to offer, the best advice for you would be “when in Rome do as the Romans do.” You can join one of the tours organized by a local hiking community called Guam Boonie Stompers. For the past five decades, this organization has been uniting generations of enthusiasts who are keen to help newbies to unveil the island’s overlooked treasures. So get ready to discover some of Guam’s top-secret places on your “Boonie stomp.”

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