Hafa Adai! Welcome to Merizo
Merizo, otherwise known to locals as Malesso, is the southern-most village on the island of Guam. This village skirts Guam’s scenic southern shoreline on a long strip of land between the mountains and the sea. Merizo is bordered by the Cocos Lagoon, which is a three square mile lagoon, enclosed by reef that forms a triangular shape.
Merizo is about a fifteen minute drive to the U.S. Naval Station in Santa Rita, and approximately thirty minutes to the Naval Hospital in Agana Heights. Although it is the southern-most village on Guam, the drive up north from the village is not disappointing when it comes to scenic routes. The roads from Merizo going north are truly spectacular. On one side you have Guam’s coastline and the beautiful Pacific Ocean while the other side showcases the island’s beautiful mountains and valleys.
Living in Merizo is a quiet and peaceful community. This southern gem is home to many local farmers and individuals seeking a relaxed tropical environment. Merizo is definitely comparable to a small town way of life. Residents of Merizo are known to be cautious of any prospects for development in the area.
The area remains primarily residential with much of the population living in rural valleys, which are mainly residential areas dotted with a few farms and ranches. There are several rivers flowing to the sea from nearby mountains that have cut lush valleys through dry savanna foothills.
Merizo is limited in the amount of commerce produced within its borders. The main source of commerce comes from the Cocos Island Resort and its ancillary vendors. Cocos Island draws day visitors to the small, densely vegetated, low-lying strip of land along the lagoon’s southern exposure. Aside from the Cocos Island Resort, there are also a few small village-based retail stores, a gas station, and a branch of the Bank of Guam.
A major attraction in Merizo and in Guam is Cocos Island Resort. Cocos Island is a small land mass about 2.2 miles off the coast of Merizo. The island is a popular tourist attraction and is home to Guam’s indigenous bird, the Koko bird, also known as the Guam Rail. The island resort is a 15 minute boat ride from the Merizo Pier. There, you will be greeted with many fun activities such as parasailing, snorkeling, jet skiing, diving, and more! The island resort is an area of the coral reef surrounding the Cocos Lagoon and has a variety of sea life and wildlife not commonly seen on Guam. It is truly both a relaxing and fun get-away.
If you are not up for the boat ride, the Merizo Pier is a launching platform for residents’ and visitors’ personal water crafts. It is also a popular swimming spot among the locals where you can jump off the pier and enjoy the beautiful view of Cocos Island and Cocos Lagoon.
Merizo’s history is rich in culture. You will see many remnants of the ancient Chamorros all around, such as latte stones. Merizo has many freshwater ponds and mountains that you will be able to hike up and explore. The village council also organizes an annual fiesta for the village, where many gather and celebrate the village’s patron saint. Merizo is a village with deep local roots that welcomes its visitors with a warm “hafa adai.”
Additionally, Merizo is the host of the annual Fiestan Tasi, which means Festival of the Sea. This celebration is held every November and celebrates the importance of the ocean to Guam’s past, present, and future. It often includes boat races and other water sports competitions and exhibitions. Fishing derbies, an ocean parade filled with decorative floats, Chamorro Cultural displays, arts and crafts, concession stand and southern hospitality can be expected at this fun-filled event. It is also the host of the annual Cocos Crossing, which is a 2.2 mile swim race across the Cocos Lagoon. This race, along with the annual Fiestan Tasi, attracts many island residents and visitors of Guam to Merizo.
We hope that you find Merizo just as awesome as we find it. The village really captures the island life wherever you may go. The things to do and see are endless. After a long day from work, it is nice to go home to a place that is quiet and relaxing. We hope to see you at the next village fiesta!
Distance to Popular Destinations:
- Andersen Air Force Base- 50 minutes
- Naval Base Guam- 17 minutes
- US Naval Hospital- 28 minutes
- Guam International Airport- 36 minutes
- Guam Premiere Outlet- 35 minutes
- Micronesian Mall- 39 minutes
- Agana Shopping Center- 30 minutes
- Tumon, Guam- 37 minutes