San Carlos Swim Hole

Along our journey to Guam, our group decided to hit up some natural swimming. Our friends had already done the popular Tarzan Pools, so we headed for something off the beaten path: San Carlos Swim Hole.

At the beginning, it was unclear whether we would do it. After Google Maps took us on diverted paths and drivearounds, and our referred sites submerged us into a great misunderstanding, it was out last effort to find the trail. While it took some time, it was definitely worth it after the fact! We all had a great time, and would recommend it for the outdoors adventurer. Below we'll share our experience, as well as shedding light on how to get there.

First things first: your map. Below is the location of the swim hole, and where you'll be going. For the record, San Carlos Swim Hole and San Carlos Falls are basically the same thing, just different points along the same trail. Pro tip: Avoid taking the directions from Google maps, as it will take you to the wrong location. Use it as a reference when on foot!

 

The trail begins at a "parking lot." It's a plot of land off the side of the road, near a bunch of overgrowth surrounding a government restricted area. Don't enter into the bushes, as it's not there! You'll follow the road uphill for a few meters and you'll have a dirt path into the clearing. Take it, and don't go further up the road; you'll walk forever.

Following the clearing, you'll be greeted with a row of tall posts as far as you can see. Again, don't go uphill. It's all mostly downhill from here. However don't forget about the sun. You'll feel the heat right about now, as you're under no cover.

Following the clearing, you'll be greeted with a row of tall posts as far as you can see. Again, don't go uphill. It's all mostly downhill from here. However don't forget about the sun. You'll feel the heat right about now, as you're under no cover.

The path will end up looking like the image above. If you don't see the pipes, you're going the wrong way. The whole path is aligned with them until your next turn.

The path will end up looking like the image above. If you don't see the pipes, you're going the wrong way. The whole path is aligned with them until your next turn.

This is your next turn. In the image we're leaving, so you'll want to do the opposite. Approaching the turn you'll be going right instead of coming out. This is the last road you'll be on until it's dirt under your feet, so now you're in it for good. Be sure to look out for the squared fence, as there are many paths split between here and the trails entry.

This is your next turn. In the image we're leaving, so you'll want to do the opposite. Approaching the turn you'll be going right instead of coming out. This is the last road you'll be on until it's dirt under your feet, so now you're in it for good. Be sure to look out for the squared fence, as there are many paths split between here and the trails entry.

Continue along, following the towers as your guide along this path. It'll start to take you into the brush, where signs of humanity vanish into a landscape of wild grass.

Continue along, following the towers as your guide along this path. It'll start to take you into the brush, where signs of humanity vanish into a landscape of wild grass.

This marks the largest transition. You go from a grassy wilderness on the top of the mountain, to a steep decline into a densely mixture of trees and water streams. Before entering, you'll have to use assistance of ropes dispersed throughout. It's not difficult by any measure, but you will tumble without them.

Continue to follow the river  downstream . It's a bit muddy and depending on how high the water runs, you'll have to follow the sides. While no clear path, the bottom is mostly solid rock and can be easily walked across.

Continue to follow the river downstream. It's a bit muddy and depending on how high the water runs, you'll have to follow the sides. While no clear path, the bottom is mostly solid rock and can be easily walked across.

There it is! You've made it to the hole, but you're right above the whole thing. Looking down, it's far too high of a jump for the water. So look to your left...

There it is! You've made it to the hole, but you're right above the whole thing. Looking down, it's far too high of a jump for the water. So look to your left...

...and there's an uphill incline with intermittent lines to grasp hold of. Now climb!

...and there's an uphill incline with intermittent lines to grasp hold of. Now climb!

It'll take you up and over until eventually coming down the other side. The whole path is tucked away in the trees, separating yourself into another world where it's just you and your breath. After reaching the bottom, you'll be at your final destination. The rest is self explanatory.