Top Snorkeling and Scuba Diving in Guam
Piti "Bombholes"/The Aquarium
At the end of the pier is a round, hollow building, with windows UNDER WATER. Entry into this building is not free, but is the ideal chance for non-swimmers to watch & photograph you while you're diving. Entry is via the beach, and a long walk in shallow water alongside the pier. Around 3/4 of the way out, the bottom becomes sandy and filled with pleasant finger corals. Light is abundant, and depths reach no more than 30'. You are more than welcome to "buzz" the windows of the manmade underwater building, and look at the displays set up on "windowsills" there. Excellent for non-divers, snorkelers, night diving...anything. Aside from the long walk through shallow water, this is a nearly perfect, utterly tame and safe, relaxing dive. Drive South-East from Tumon Bay. Pass Hagatna (the capitol city) and continue until you pass MDA, a large red barn like dive shop on the left side of the road. You'll see a looooong manmade pier on the right, and a large SCUBA/restaurant/wedding resort across the street from the pier. Along the beach adjacent to this pier is a ribbon like parking lot, adequate for 60 cars. There're pavilions with benches, and a stinky bathroom.
Gear up at your car, then walk 30' to knee-deep water, and follow a cable/pipe channel straight out. Returning, expect to clutch this cable/pipe to resist the rip tide in this cut. Once outside, head LEFT toward the hotels. Rightward is boring, and devastated by crown-of-thorns starfish who've killed the reef. Leftward is a paradise of candlestick corals, gradually sloping from 15' to 100' deep before becoming a sandy plain. Lots of spider-shells, large animals, & reef fish. Very pleasant dive. Far better than anything in Hawaii, but not as good as Saipan, and unworthy to be mentioned in the same sentence as Palau. Re-entry through a riptide, and the lack of a bathroom or shower, keep this from being perfect... but it's nearly perfect. Avoid snorkeling here if there are waves. Use thick-soled felt booties on this and all Micronesian shore dives, because spiny urchins and sharp rocks abound in the corals which you walk across in the shallows. Visibility is typically 60 feet/18 meters. This is one of the easiest shore dives on Guam. Located at the far-right side of the tourist strip, Tumon Bay. Go as far right as possible on the paved road, past the Nikko Hotel, then follow a fairly good dirt road down to a small beach alongside the Nikko Hotel. There are no facilities (no phone, bathroom, or anything else) at this beach, but in case of emergency, the hotel's nearby & willing to help out.
Gab Gab is probably one of the best dive sites on Guam (from shore or boat). There are amazing corals here, turtles, sharks, anemones and clownfish, all of which are located in Apra Harbor, which is more than 100 feet deep! For those with access to the U.S. Navy Base in Guam. Enter the main base, then proceed several miles (past the chapel) and follow the signs to Gab Gab beach. There are showers, restrooms, covered picnic tables, steps leading into the water, and a swimming area demarked by floats. Easy entry, safe parking.
It's always, always, always flat and currentless because it's in a sheltered part of a large natural harbor. There are nearby phones, other dive-vans, and bathrooms. Visibility is low-ish for the area. Sea life (corals, animals, and plants) are at a real minimum for the island. This is an extremely popular spot for dive shops to conduct Open Water SCUBA dives, perhaps because it's completely predictable, safe and lacks distractions. On the other hand, you'd be bored silly here once you're certified and looking for an exciting fun dive. Preferable places for fun-dives are Finger Reef, Piti Bombhole, Gun Beach and nearby Family Beach. Drive 30 minutes along the island's ring-road from Tumon Bay (the tourist area) past the big city (Hagatnya) to the largest bay on the island, where the US navy base and major shipping warehouses are. Do NOT speed on this road, because it's a favorite site for speed traps. Take the road leading to the warehouses and shipping docks, and go PAST them to almost-the-end-of-the-road. If you go to the end of the road you'll be at a nice sandy white beach (with no dive-vans) called "Family Beach". This ain't that. This is a gravelly grey beach on the left, crowded with dive-vans. You'll know you're in the right place if you're surrounded by dive shops' vans with Open Water SCUBA students and dive-floats.
Advanced dive (or higher cert.), due to very rough conditions on entry/exit. Dive itself is pleasant, as you can see a variety of sea life to include sharks, rays, lion fish, and stone fish to name a few. Visibility is average ranging from 20-60 ft most days. Recommend that you wear rash guard/gloves (especially for exiting the site) due to heavy surge/currents. It is also recommended not to dive this site until you have an instructor/guide to take you there first. Drive down Marine Drive heading south until you enter Asan. There will be a tee-shirt store on the right (just before memorial park). Dive site is right behind the store.
Amtrak and Cemetery Wall
Drive to the back of the cemetery to the beach and enter the water left of the pipeline. You will see some coral rocks above water, jutting out from the pipeline. Drop down there and then, until you get familiar with the area, I suggest you hug the reef line to the right. To the left will be a sandy channel with many coral pillars and formations that you can check out. At about 45 to 50 feet, start looking for a large shadow in this sandy channel, which will be the Amtrak. This personnel carrier sunk in WWII was part of the U.S. invasion force that stormed the island in 1944. Even if you don't find the Amtrak, the reef is quite beautiful and worth exploring. On the way back, you can ascend and dive the edge of the reef flats to your left. This dive site is located down south in Agat on the back side of the cemetery.
At the end of the road is a small white sand beach called "Family Beach". There are no phones or showers or indeed any other facilities, but there are plenty of nearby people should you have an emergency. Suit up at your car, and walk 30' over fine tan sand into the waist-high clear water. You can snorkel the 2o yards to a small, 30' deep valley that runs parallel to the beach. Turn North-West (the way you drove), and enjoy this little valley. It's brightly lit, with few divers, lots of animals and corals, no currents, and only a tiny problem with easily-stirred-up silt on the bottom. It's the perfect dive or snorkel, if you want something tame but exquisitely beautiful for beginners. No currents, no big animals. Always safe. DO NOT be tempted to dive at the nearby "Outhouse Beach". Outhouse is popular with dive shops, but I cannot imagine why. It's got horrible viz, and little life of any kind. Drive South-East from Tumon Bay. Pass Hagatna (the capitol city) and look for the road leading Northwest along the thin peninsular north edge of Apra harbor. Drive slowly, because there are many large container trucks and police on this road. The road is wide and well paved. On the way out, you'll pass "Outhouse Beach" on your left, marked by the presence of a stony beach and many divers' vehicles. Don't pause. Keep going to the end of this road.
When you enter the water set your compass to the buoy and there will be a ledge with a 6 foot drop off. Just hop in here and descend and head toward the buoy. Along the way the clarity will not be great (due to the water treatment plant). Just keep swimming and eventually it will clear up and you will run right into a reef, do not go around this reef instead swim over it. On the other side of this reef is where you want to end up. Some of the features you will see here include a number of swim throughs (which are really cool). Some of them are extremely large while other you are going to have to squeeze through. The aquatic life is very abundant (we have seen spinner dolphins at this site) as well as lion fish and a huge assortment of reef fish. This is a very easy and very fun dive and the reef is in great shape (due to lack of visitation).<br><br>Please read this article from 2010: http://www.kuam.com/Global/story.asp?S=12261271 Heading south down marine drive (route 1) all the way to the navy base. Take a left at the light. Follow this road for approx 30-40 minutes (you will pass the Spanish bridge) You will head up a large hill and on the way back down there will be a cement sail boat on the right hand side of the road (its about 7 feet tall on its stand). On the other side of the road there is a water treatment plant. There is a sign posted at the site that warns people to not go swimming (disregard this sign) just DO NOT drink any water. There is a little path heading towards the water. You will see the buoy towards the left (this is the site).