Gun Beach, a secluded cove at the far end of Tumon Bay, is considered by many locals to be one of the best shore snorkeling on Guam. It includes shallow areas protected by a coral quarry and reefs open onto the ocean, and you can explore a range of environments and varied marine life: a whole medley of fish, blue sea star, giant clams and, if you’re lucky, an encounter with a black tip shark, which pay regular visits to the site.

View on Gun Beach reef, Guam snorkeling

How to get there?

Gun Beach is a sandy beach at located the north end of Guam’s main tourist town, Tumon. From Tumon Bay and the main resorts, it takes 5 minutes by car to reach the beach. Drive north on Pale San Vitores Road and, at the top of the hill, go straight along the narrow road (named Gun Beach Road) serving the cove. The site is very well signposted.

Water entrance

You can enter the water anywhere along the beach, but in order to get easy access to the outer part of the reef, you should enter the water approximately in front of the channel (see map below).

Gun Beach snorkeling map, Guam

Exploration

The area to explore covers the outer part of the reef, located around 60 yards away from the beach at this point. In the lagoon, the sea bed is relatively poor, and there is little interest in exploring it. Make your way between the rocks and corals (or use the narrow channel dug by fishermen -see map below) and go out on the other side of the reef.

The first dozen meters or so from the barrier (where the waves are breaking) are shallow (↕4-8ft/1-2m) and covered by relatively damaged coral. In places, new colonies are taking root. Move away from the barrier to reach deeper areas (↕8-15ft/2-5m). Here you will find the best seabed in Gun Beach: the diversity of coral is striking and the underwater life impressive in density. Shoals of striped monocle bream (scolopsis lineatus) rest above the coral beds, while surgeonfish and butterflyfish (more than 5 species) with spectacular colors come and go along the reef.

Gun Beach snorkeling, Guam

Several species of triggerfish inhabit this spot, including reef triggerfish, lagoon triggerfish, orange-lined triggerfish, and the elegant pinktail triggerfish. Look for the rare and charming lemonpeel angelfish, a bright yellow fish with sky-blue highlights encircling the eyes, always seen in couples. And if you are lucky, you may be surprised by a black tip reef shark darting between the coral beds.

Be careful and postpone your swim (or stay in the inner part of the reef) if sea conditions (waves or currents) are bad.

Reef triggerfish in Gun Beach, Guam

Restaurants and accommodation

There is a beach bar (The Beach Bar & Grill) right in front of the spot. A wide range of restaurants and accommodation can be found in Tumon Bay (along Pale San Vitores Road), about 1 mile/1,6km from here.



Species you may spot while snorkeling Gun Beach
COMMON NAME SCIENTIFIC NAME ABUNDANCE FISHBASE WIKIPEDIA
Mailed butterflyfish Chaetodon reticulatus  
Ornate butterflyfish Chaetodon ornatissimus  
Double-saddle butterflyfish Chaetodon ulietensis  
Moorish idol Zanclus cornutus  
Yellow longnose butterflyfish Forcipiger flavissimus  
Lined surgeonfish Acanthurus lineatus  
Lagoon triggerfish Rhinecanthus aculeatus  
Reef triggerfish Rhinecanthus rectangulus  
Orange-lined triggerfish Balistapus undulatus  
Pinktail triggerfish Melichthys vidua  

 

  • Level required Beginner
  • Maximum depth3ft/1m in the lagoon, 20ft/6.5m on the drop-off
  • Water entranceEasy, from a sandy beach
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersMedium
  • Access costsFree
  • Restaurants nearbyYes
  • Public toilets & showersNo

MAP Spot

These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.

This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.