Guam: Seaside fun at the military base

[Miscellaneous]

Pure idyll

No trace of military bases here. While a third of Guam is used by the United States for military purposes, the rest has plenty to offer: turquoise waters, coral reefs, hiking trails for nature lovers. It's no wonder that, after the military, tourism is the island's biggest source of income.

[Miscellaneous]

Swimming 365 days a year

The island advertises itself online by pointing out that it's swimming weather all year round on Guam. The temperatures are tropical, usually between 26 and 30 degrees. There are only two seasons: dry and wet. From June to November is the rainy season, and the rest of the year is dry.

[Miscellaneous]

Tourism is a growing market

The beaches aren't crowded, although more than a million holidaymakers visit Guam every year. The sea here is especially popular with divers because of the coral reefs. Tourism is becoming increasingly important: The industry has been developing since the 1980s, mainly thanks to investment from South Korea and Japan. Both countries are just a few hours away by plane.

[Miscellaneous]

Local recreation

Because of its airport, the island is easily accessible for holidaymakers from East Asia. They can get to Guam in just a few hours - it's much closer than the more popular Hawaii. Japanese visitors are especially keen; three-quarters of the tourists traveling to Guam come from Japan. The rest of the holidaymakers are usually from South Korea, China or Taiwan.

[Miscellaneous]

Tax-free shopping

Holiday is more than just lazing about on the beach. Guam is also a shopper's paradise: There's no VAT here. Visitors can also find out more about the history of the island in the Guam Museum [photo]. 130 locations on Guam are registered in the United States' National Register of Historic Places. That's quite a lot for an island only about the size of the US capital, Washington DC.

[Miscellaneous]

Long history

The island has been inhabited for around 4,000 years. World War Two was a particularly sad chapter in its history. Shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 Japanese troops also occupied Guam. There are a number of memorials relating to this period, like this torpedo in the Asan Memorial Park.

[Miscellaneous]

Indigenous culture

Most of the inhabitants of Guam belong to the Chamorro ethnic group. They are the descendants of the group that first settled Guam some 4,000 years ago. Statues, like this one of a Chamorro chief, commemorate their ancestors. The island advertises itself using its traditional Chamorro culture as a draw. Today, Guamanians are American citizens by birth.

The conflict between North Korea and the United States has made a small Pacific island the focus of a lot of attention. But Guam is more than just a US military base.