Snorkel Books Or Info On Guam?

by Gary
(Glen Ellen, CA.)

Can anyone recommend a book with info on snorkeling Guam? Or has anyone snorkeled there and can tell us about some spots? We will be there June 2018.

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Jan 02, 2017
by: Joni

I snorkeled in front of the Marriott Hotel in the main town of Guam and found the snorkeling very good. Lots of fish, blue starfish, and eels. Easy entry from shore.

Jan 02, 2017
Snorkeling in Guam
by: Kathy

We had some decent but not great snorkeling in Guam. If you are going to be there it is worth a try but I would not make it a destination.

We heard some of the best spots were within the military base which we didn't have access to. There are lots of family owned beaches that might have great snorkeling. We were not brave enough to trespass on them though it is probably ok.

Jul 09, 2017
Snorkel Spots in Guam, Car Recommended
by: Peter M.

My partner and I visited Guam in December 2015 for a friend’s wedding, and did some snorkeling while we were there. We stayed at the Fiesta Resort, a hotel in Tumon Bay. There was a car rental office right in the hotel, and we were able to rent a car for an entire day so we could hit spots outside of the bay. I imagine most of the hotels will have a similar arrangement for car rentals. If you end up not being able to rent a car, don’t fret. Ypao was a fantastic from-the-beach snorkel spot. In fact, all of the snorkeling we did was from the beach, and we didn’t even explore taking a snorkel charter, so can’t comment on those.

If by chance you are in the military or related to someone stationed in Guam, you’ll have access to snorkel spots within the base. These are supposed to be some of the best spots in Guam, and are often on the top 10 lists for snorkel spots in Guam. (Making those lists frustrating, because most people will never be able to access them.)

Ypao Beach Park

This is a public park in Tumon Bay. A resort staffer recommended it as the best place in Tumon Bay to snorkel off the beach, and commented that she thought it was the best place to see Staghorn Coral. Most of Tumon Bay is incredibly shallow (less than 3-4 feet), save for the reef off Ypao Beach Park. Ypao Beach Park has public parking if you have a car. If you don’t and you’re staying in Tumon Bay, for reference it’s about a 15 minute walk down the beach from Fiesta Resort where we stayed. There is a large network of coral reef about 20 yards out. The bottom of the ocean is probably 8-10 feet down in the deepest part. Lots and lots of fish, and we were shocked by the beautiful colors of the coral. Little to no bleaching, and the coral was generally unbroken, except for the shallowest parts.

Because we were staying at a resort within walking distance of Ypao, we went to this spot multiple times. It’s kind of a maze, and you can go through it a different way each time. We really loved this spot and it is extremely easy to access. Great for beginners.

Gun Beach

This is a beach at the very northern end of Tumon Bay, but not technically part of the bay. There’s public parking, and if you are staying at a resort in Tumon Bay it may be walkable or a brief cab ride.

This snorkel spot is not for the faint of heart. It is really a dive spot that can be snorkeled. Good fins and/or being a strong swimmer is recommended, as this spot is near the underwater drop off into the deep blue. Also, the nature of the entry makes for single-file swimming to get in and out.

To find the path to the spot, there are 4 or 5 pipes leading straight out from the beach running along the bottom of the ocean. You can walk along or on top of them until they start going down into the deeper water where you can switch from walking to swimming. Once they do this, you’re essentially swimming in a trench, and will get a cool up close views of coral and fish in the trench as you swim farther out. Eventually, the pipes drop straight down and everything opens up and you can see down probably 20-25 feet and there are coral reefs and fish everywhere. Not sure where the tide was when we did it, but doing this during high tide may be easier.

We were using short travel fins at the time, so we turned back probably sooner than most, but what we saw was pretty cool. On our way back was when we really noticed the current, because the trench acts as a chute for the waves, and really pushes you back and forth up and down the trench. On our way back we did have a "thrilling" encounter with a 2 foot eel in the trench. Not sure who was surprised more, us or the eel. But he was only a few feet away from our face because of the shallowness of the trench!

We didn’t have them at the time, but I’d recommend having water shoes to get out to the trench.

Fish Eye Marine Park

Fish Eye is a tourist scuba and snuba destination for tour buses. There’s a long concrete boardwalk that goes out into the water with a tower at the end of it where people enter platforms for snuba. The scuba activities here are less than 20 feet so charters take people down here in a way they don’t have to get certification. Luckily for the snorkelers, the snuba and scuba-lite people are all stuck in certain spots, so the snorkelers have free reign.

This was a gorgeous and interesting place to swim around. The fish are plentiful enough to keep the snuba groups entertained, but move around so much that the snorkelers get the better look. It’s been awhile since I was here and I don’t remember the coral much so can’t report on that. What I do remember is numerous and gigantic schools of fish.

To get there, it’s about a 20-40 minute drive west/southwest from Tumon Bay, depending on where your hotel is. There’s a small public parking lot right by the water. You can’t walk the boardwalk and get in the water from the tower, which means you have to walk from shore to get to the drop off where you can swim. The walk along underneath the boardwalk takes probably 10-15 minutes and is in about 1-2 feet of water on very sharp rock. Water shoes are an absolute must. Once you get close to the tower the water gets deep very quickly, and you can snorkel probably 25-50 yards in any direction from the tower and see lots of cool fish. Water depth is anywhere from 7-25 feet deep, depending on the spots. It seemed like a series of underwater hills west and southwest of the tower.

Really great place. We probably spent an hour snorkeling at least, and if we’d had another day with a rental car I would have gone back.

Nimitz Beach Park

This was by far the most remote place we went. There were lots of good fish, but the coral we saw here was breathtaking. Whenever I think back to snorkeling in Guam, I remember the sight of this gorgeous 20 foot tall pillar of coral that we swam around off of Nimitz.

To get there, you’ll need a car. Taking a cab would be prohibitive cost-wise. It’s a solid 30 minutes to an hour drive from the resorts in Tumon Bay. The park itself has ample parking and picnic tables. There’s not really a beach per se. To get to where you want to go, walk to the southwest end of the park along the water. It’s a sandy bottom water entrance. Once you’re in the water, note that it will be around 3-4 feet deep with sea grass on the bottom. Swim out maybe 10-15 yards, and then swim south and slightly southwest. You’ll quickly reach a point where the water goes from 3-4 feet deep to 15-20 feet. What you’ve found is a "wall" of coral. You can swim along this wall straight out west from shore, following the wall as you swim.

If you look at Nimitz Beach Park on Google Maps and turn on Google Earth and zoom in, you’ll clearly see there’s a drop off from sand to deep water just southwest of Nimitz Beach Park. Swim along this drop off for as far out from shore as you want. Spectacular unbleached and unbroken coral, and great colorful fish. The water straight out from the wall may hold larger fish, though we didn’t see any when we were out. We were on a sunset cruise in this area a few nights previous and saw a pod of dolphins a few hundred yards from this area on that trip.

Note that there is a large marina just north of Nimitz Beach Park. There may be some boat traffic north of you, so just be aware.

There are lots of snorkel spots you can find for Guam by googling. None of them mention the route we followed from Nimitz Beach Park. Hope you get the chance to see it and enjoy it as much as we did.

Take aways:

Overall, what really separated Guam from all the snorkeling we’ve done in the Caribbean (specifically Belize, Mexico, Turks and Caicos, and Jamaica) is the vibrancy of *color.* The purples, reds, and yellows seemed to pop more here than elsewhere, and the coral is BIG. I think Guam is a pretty underrated snorkel spot, and I really don’t know why it’s not talked about more. I guess for most North Americans and Europeans, the Caribbean and Hawaii are all closer and easier to get to, with more flights.

The island is a major tourist destination for Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, so much that the breakfast at our hotel had miso soup and other asian cuisine as options (which was great for us, as we’re vegan and there were lots of asian vegan options!) Proximity is a big factor for these countries, as we had only a 4 hour flight from Taiwan when we visited. Our Taiwanese friends talk about Guam much like how many Americans talk about taking a trip to Mexico or the Bahamas.

Jul 13, 2017
Thank You For Info
by: Gary

Thank you all for info on Guam and snorkeling. We are going to Japan at the end of June into July. We want to fly first to Guam for 5 nights to snorkel.

The only thing causing us pause is the weather on Guam. Sometime in June begins the wet season. If we are there the first week of July and it is tropical rain on and off each day, would it still be good snorkeling i.e. on Guam would there be too much 'run-off' from creeks, etc.? Would there be too consistent all day overcast?

Also, we need to find a connection to get on those US bases. Working on that.

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