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Spots on The Rock

Cruise the coast

Catch a blast of unspoiled beauty at scenic Sella and Cetti Bays

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If you like long walks on the beach, then coast down to the island's southwest Sella and Cetti Bays for a scenic coastal cruise like no other!

These two remote bays offer screensaver-worthy views of an isolated island life, preserving centuries of CHamoru and Spanish civilization.

Vibrantly encompassing the vast Territorial Seashore Park, a reserve protecting the natural landmarks, Sella and Cetti Bays are also listed on the Guam and National Registers of Historic Places.

A little lengthier than our usual hikes, this weekend we adventure through sloping southern foothills and miles of baking beaches to reach a 300-year-old Spanish bridge, roaring reefs and ancient, cultural artifacts.

Slope after slope en route to Sella Bay

From the lookout, look for the beaten path beside the nearby staircase for the trailhead.

Note that for the entire hike, you will be traveling down toward the bay, which is visible for most of the way as your mark.

There are also sweeping views of the rugged southwestern coastline, one of the few, vastly undeveloped areas of the island.

Much of the first half of the hike is self-explanatory, with a single path leading the way to the bay. Pay attention to a variety of colorful markers attached to trees to keep on track.

After descending slope after slope for the first half-hour, you will soon cross the first of two shallow streams followed by – you guessed it – more sloping hills!

At this point, the narrow trail widens and opens to a meandering path. Continue to follow the colorful tree tags and remember to head in the direction of the bay at all times.

The second stream, which is wider and a little deeper than the last, will soon come up. Channel your inner child and hop decisively over the few rocks bobbing out of the shallow stream.

After scrambling safely across the stream, you will soon enter thick jungle, where the hiking path virtually disappears.

Rest assured, the Sella Bay shoreline and Spanish bridge are just a few feet away. Without a definitive trail, you'll have to rely on finding and following the colored markers to guide your way to the shore. In any case, head in the direction of the bay.

In the jungle, you'll have to rely on finding and following the colored markers among the trees. You should also be able to hear the Sella River, which leads to the bridge and bay.

Tread carefully and respectfully through the jungle, the site of CHamoru and Spanish settlements. In a matter of minutes, you should stumble onto the rocky and remote shores of Sella Bay.

A piece of history

Settle down near the old Spanish bridge, which was constructed by the island's Spanish settlers in the 19th century.

At 96-feet-long on the inland side and 36-feet-long on the seaward side, according to Guampedia, and the structure's arches are just over 12 feet wide.

Built more than 300 years ago, the beautifully preserved bridge was part of the Spanish coastal highway known as the "El Camino Real" or "King's Highway," which attempted to connect the port village of Umatac with the seat of Spanish government in Hagåtna during the 1800s.

Although weathered, the old bridge has withstood the worst of typhoons and the brunt of time, and still stands undisturbed – a wholly original and intact remnant of Guam's past.

Sea comes to life at scenic Cetti Bay

After basking in the beautiful bridge and soaking in some sun along the Sella Bay shore, consider taking a long walk on the beach to supreme snorkeling sites in nearby Cetti Bay.

An optional extension, you're considerably weary from the sloping trek down to the first bay – but if you're here, you might as well!

To reach Cetti Bay, cruise south of Sella Bay along the rocky shoreline with sights of the southern mountain range and Cocos Island in the distance and untouched, unspoiled beauty all around.

Cruise the coast

MONKEYING AROUND: Muneka Taisipic, left, and Michaela Sablan monkey around one of the uniquely shaped coconut trees found along the coastal trek from Sella Bay to Cetti Bay. Post file photo

The extension adds another half-hour to your outdoor excursion, but keep an eye out for uniquely shaped coconut trees, stunning seashells, formidable rock formations and tons of tropical treasures along the way.

Cetti Bay, wide and welcoming, will be visible after a sharp curve along the coastal trek. You may set up camp here along the side of the bay or continue farther to the center if you want to get a different vantage point of the picturesque marvel.

Cannonball into the blissful bay, enjoying the best of open-ocean waters within just a few feet of the shore. Don't forget to suit up, or put on your snorkel, mask and fins for sights of amazing reef life, to include colorful corals and fascinating fish.

To return to your car, retrace your steps back to Sella Bay, through the jungle and up the sloping foothills to end the day's adventure.

Happy hiking!


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