A view across Tumon Bay, Guam, lined with hotels

Guam - in a Nutshell

Author: Sue Rogers
Date: 16th December 2017

Who Colonised Guam?

The island now known as Guam was first visited by the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan in 1521, while sailing for the King of Spain, and it was a Spanish colony from 1565, until it was captured by the Americans in 1898.

Is Guam Part of the United States of America?

  • Guam is officially an unincorporated and organised island territory of the United States in Micronesia.
  • Guam is of great strategic importance to the U.S.A. and is a key defence base.
  • The inhabitants of Guam are called Guamanians, and they are American citizens by birth. Indigenous Guamanians (pre Spanish origin) are known as Chamorros

Guam - Snippets of Information

  • The capital city of Guam is Hagåtña and the most populous city is Dededo.
  • Guam is a coral island, so the beaches are powdered coral, not sand. Paved roads in Guam are made by mixing coral and cement together.
  • When sailors from Spain came to Guam, the native Chamorro people would run out to their ships to sell fruit, calling “Guahan!”“Guahan” means “I have,” but it sounded like “Guam” to the Spanish sailors, who named the island after this greeting.
  • Guam is also known as the  Island of Warriors.
  • A Japanese soldier hid in Guam’s jungle for nearly three decades. He was discovered in 1972 - he hadn’t realised that the war had ended.

What to Do in Guam?

Visit to Guam are mainly about outdoor leisure - beaches, snorkelling and hiking. Read about mine here - I had other things on my mind!

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