Things to do in Guam with Kids – Water Adventures
Guam is a small island in the Pacific, an American territory, and where I grew up. I spent part of my childhood until my high school graduation on this 30-mile long island. It’s not on many travelers’ radar or travel bucket lists, but Guam is popular with the Japanese and Koreans. Located about four hours by plane from Japan, it is touted as “Where America’s Day Begins” due to its location.
Our family visited this past summer, which was a first for my husband and kids. It was very special to share my childhood home and memories with them. I didn’t realize how much of Guam’s natural beauty I took for granted. It was wonderful to see more diverse activities for all ages and interests.
Guam may be small but there are plenty of world-class golf courses, nightlife, unique experiences, and tax-free shopping for parents and various activities to keep kids occupied. Here is Part One of Things to do in Guam with Kids – Water Adventures.
Tourists flock to Guam’s warm and clear waters. There is no shortage of water-related activities including kayaking, snorkeling, wind surfing, parasailing or jet skiing. This is one of the cheapest places to get scuba diving certificates. Dolphin boat tours or sunset cruises are also plentiful. My kids were content with just spending the day in the water or playing on the beaches. The most popular beaches are along the tourist district in Tumon.
While there are numerous and pristine beaches, some of the hotels also have water parks. These parks have a variety of pools including some especially for kids, water slides, swim through aquariums, windsurfing pools, and kayaking canals with waterfalls. My kids could have stayed in these parks for days.
Guam has an extensive marine life and diverse coral reef system. They’re showcased in three viewing facilities without anyone getting wet. Atlantis Submarine allows guests to ride a 15-minute boat ride and then board a 65′ submarine for a 35-minute tour of the coral reefs to see some of the best variety of colorful fish.
Fish Eye Marine Park is an underwater observatory set in the middle of a collapsed reef area on a marine preserve. Visitors can enjoy the 360° upper deck for ocean views. The lower deck is 31 feet below sea level and has 24 windows to view the diverse and colorful marine life and coral gardens. They also offer kayaking and snorkeling trips around the area. I wish we had time to do the unique Sea Walker tour that allowed people to walk on the ocean floor. Visitors wear diving helmets for automatic air supply, but faces remain dry.
Underwater World is an aquarium complex that allows visitors to go through a large observation tunnel to see and learn about the various local marine life through exhibits and an audio tour. Kids will enjoy activities such as shark feeding and the touch pool. Families can also go on Sea Trek for an underwater helmet dive experience (eight years-old and up) inside the huge aquarium and interact with the creatures.
Adventure River Cruise
One of our memorable tours was an Adventure River Cruise along two rivers surrounded by a lush jungle. It was a peaceful and lovely ride as we learned about local wildlife and history. We stopped at an ancient river village replica and watched coconut leaf crafts demonstrations. My husband even learned how to make fire using traditional methods. Kayak tours along the rivers are also available for the more adventurous types.
The uninhabited 100-acre Cocos Island, located two miles from Guam’s Southern tip, is a popular place for day trips. Visitors can try a variety of water activities or simply relax at the beach or pools. It’s less crowded and an ideal place for families.
There were some kiddie rides here but the star attraction at Talofofo Falls is Guam’s biggest waterfall. The runoff wasn’t as impressive as it often is because we visited during the dry season. We rode a short cable car to the bottom of the cascading waterfalls. There were trails for kids to enjoy that got close enough to the falls, but swimming was not allowed. We even spotted some wild piglets roaming the area.
We stayed at Hilton Guam Resort & Spa, which was conveniently located at the end of the tourist district with its own beachfront setting and plenty of amenities.
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Mary lives in San Diego, California with her husband, 13 year-old daughter and 10 year-old son. She was born in the Philippines, grew up in the U.S. territory…