About Talofofo Falls
Talofofo Falls may be perhaps the most impressive waterfall on Guam, but it evokes a bit of a love-hate relationship among its visitors due to what goes on in the Talofofo Falls Resort Park.
But first, let’s focus on the waterfall aspect as we’re looking at a pair of wide limestone waterfalls each dropping perhaps 5-10m in height on the Ugum River (and strangely enough, they’re not on the Talofofo River despite the name).While the main pair of waterfalls can be experienced from up close in the park itself, there is a somewhat hidden cascade further upstream that we only managed to witness from the cable car (more on that later).
It’s also worth noting that even further upstream was the Bubulao Falls on the tributary Bubulao River though that one requires a bit of an off-trail stream scramble outside of the boundaries of the Talofofo Falls Resort Park.
Nevertheless, as you can see from the photos on this page, this waterfall definitely holds its own in terms of its size and reliability.
Moreover, it’s definitely one of the more accessible waterfalls on Guam thanks to the developed walkways to experience them once you’ve paid to get into the Talofofo Falls Resort Park (see directions below).In fact, it only took us about an hour at a very leisurely pace to do the cable car and the loop walk encompassing the waterfalls.
Speaking of the park, this is where there’s a bit of controversy.
Other Attractions in the Talofofo Falls Resort Park
You see, surrounding Talofofo Falls is a series of amusement park-like attractions like rides as well as an interesting Knott’s Scary Farm-like Ghost House attached to the upper cable car station (I suspect the Ugum River powers the station and the house).
The park also once featured caged animals, which really disturbed past visitors due to the animals’ apparent malnourished state, but we didn’t see this on our November 2022 visit so they might have done away with it.Then, there’s the adults only (19 years of age or older) “Love Land”, which was basically like an erotic outdoor museum of statues in a sort of kamasutra configuration to perhaps inspire adults.
I really thought that this seemed every bit as out-of-place as the other aforementioned attractions considering the main attraction here should be the waterfall.
Now the flip side to these kitschy attractions was that there was a cable car and developed loop walk allowing you to get close to both of the main sections of the Talofofo Falls.
The variety of attractions also might be appealing to visitors who aren’t that into Nature so you could argue that there was something for everyone (which might have been what the developers and owners were aiming for in the first place).Anyways, the cable car also afforded us the ability to witness a hidden cascade further upstream as well as top down views of the first Talofofo Falls itself.
Opposite the lower cable car station from the Ugum River was the Guam History Museum, which featured model displays (mostly without text) in an inviting air-conditioned building.
The displays depicted scenes like Chamorro life, Spanish occupation, Japanese occupation, World War II, and American occupation.
About a 300m walk from the Guam History Museum was the Yokoi Cave, which was said to be where a Japanese soldier hid in isolation until a Chamorro hunter found him 28 years after the end of World War II.Although the Yokoi soldier was revered as a hero in Japan, there is a contrarian account that he (and many others scattered in the Mariana Island Chain) may have disobeyed the emperor’s orders of commiting suicide and dying with honor rather than surrendering.
The location of the Yokoi Cave in the park was also suspiciously close to the Ugum River, which would inevitably flash flood and inundate the cave, especially during typhoons or severe tropical storms.
Nevertheless, it was interesting to see how the soldier resourcefully used bamboo to maintain the structure of the cave, and how his will to survive kept him alive for 3 decades despite the mental toll of isolation.
Indeed, overall, we spent about 2 hours in the park, which was enough time for us to be pretty satisfied with our visit.
Talofofo Falls resides in the Talofofo Falls Resort Park in the village of Inarajan in Guam. At the time of our visit, it was owned and administered by the Talofofo Falls Resort Park (a private entity). For information or inquiries about the area, current conditions, open/close status, and hours of operation, you can try visiting their Instagram page.
The Talofofo Falls Resort Park resides inland from the main road near the village of Inarajan at the southeast of Guam.
Since we self-drove from Tumon Bay, I’ll describe the route that we took to get there.
Leaving Tumon Bay, we would follow the Pale San Vittores Road for about 1km north then east towards the Marine Corps Drive (Route 1), where we’d turn left to continue going north for another 1km.
Then, we’d turn right onto Army Drive (Route 16) and follow this road for about 7km before turning left onto Route 10.
Next, we’d follow Route 10 for nearly the next 6km before turning left onto Hwy 4.
Once on Hwy 4, we’d then drive nearly another 18km before turning right onto Dandan Road in the village of Malojloj (note that the Talofofo Falls signs are on the left side of the road even though you’re turning right!).
Once on Dandan Road, we then followed it for the final 4km (keeping right at a road junction where the fork on the left went to the NASA Guam MSFN station), and ultimately reaching the parking lot for Talofofo Falls Resort Park.
Overall, this drive took us roughly an hour given all the traffic lights and speed limits.
For geographical context, Inarajan was about 37km (about 45 minutes drive) south of Tamuning, and 38km (about 45 minutes drive) south of Tumon Bay.
Keep in mind that GoogleMaps drive times tend to be more aggressive than the actual time given the local road and traffic conditions (which explains the discrepancy between the above drive durations versus the time we ended up taking).
Finally, as far as the hours of operation and cost for the Talofofo Falls Resort Park, we wound up paying $26 for the three of us (2 adults and a kid), and they were only open on weekends and holidays from 9am to 5pm during our November 2022 visit.
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