Who doesn’t know Tarzan, the legendary man-ape who is lord of the jungle? But what about Tarzan Falls in Guam? The legendary Tarzan may have nothing to do with the Guam waterfalls but both are equally engaging.
Guam is a small island-nation in the Pacific Ocean that is blessed with so many wonders of nature and cultural treasures. Throughout its 210-square-meter land area are mountains, jungles, beaches and waterfalls, all getting the attention of thousands of tourists coming in every month. Tourists from the United States, China, Malaysia, the Philippines and most especially Japan visit Guam for its many tourist spots, balmy weather throughout the year, exotic culture, arts and music, and hospitable people. Forty-three per cent of the island’s population is made up of the Chamorros, the native people of Guam who first settled in the island in 3000 BCE. The other inhabitants are Spanish settlers (Guam was under the Spanish Crown for 300 long years), US military personnel and their families (there are two American military bases in Guam), and Asian migrants and workers mostly from the Philippines, Korea and China.
There are a number of waterfalls and most of them are large and spectacular, one of which is Tarzan Falls. It is said to be one of the best. The Tarzan River in Tamuning cascades into 5 waterfalls. The last and main falls is a 40-feet plunge into a shallow picturesque pool. While the site and swim are themselves very inviting, what really draws tourists is the trek leading up to the falls. Visitors yearn for the adventure, and so they pack their bags, put on their hiking gear and begin the hike to this popular falls. Caution, though: this hike is not for the faint of heart.
Although it is well-worn path, making it easy to find the falls, the trek is mostly hilly, but near the falls itself is a downhill jaunt. The climb up takes about 20 to 30 minutes, while the downhill walk is about 10 minutes. It is very steep and sometimes muddy, which makes the walk back very challenging. It could take more than 35 minutes to hike back up. The whole area is within the Government of Guam Coastal Conservation Reserve, which means it is wild and un-manicured. Hikers should not expect any amenities along the way or at the falls, which is why they should come with enough drinking water and complete in equipments. The hike is definitely not for everyone, but once hikers get to plunge into the pool, the grueling walks become worth it. The pool is perfect for a relaxing swim.
Tarzan Falls is definitely a must-see while in Guam. To get there, take Marine Corps Drive (Route 1) south to Route 4. Then take Route 4 and drive for about 9 miles. Drive through the Pago Bay Bridge and the villages of Yona and Ylig just before making a right turn to Route 17. After passing a large cemetery on your left and getting on a flattened road, look for a small gate to your right that has a sign pointing to the trailhead. You may park and leave your car at the side of the flattened road.