Guyana is fairly new on peoples’ destination radar, which means it can be a little trickier to plan a trip. But don’t worry, after exploring the country for a couple of days, I have thrown together a few ‘must dos’ to ensure that you don’t miss out during your stay!
Visit Kaieteur Falls
Visiting this iconic attraction is a must while in Guyana. In Kaieteur falls, the water snakes its way through the Amazon jungle before plunging 226m (741ft) over the edge to it’s first break. If you included the following drops it would bring the total height to 251m (822ft).
It’s height and water volume make it one of the most powerful waterfalls in the entire world. It’s x4 higher than Niagara, twice the height of Victoria and boasts an average flow of 663 cubic meters per second (23,400 cubic ft per second).
Just the numbers should be enough to get you excited about visiting Kaieteur, but if you want more – it comes right out of the freaking Amazon Jungle! Did I mention that? Also to get here from Georgetown, you have to fly on a 13-person aircraft for just over an hour with the most spectacular views of endless greenery. Just imagining what lies beneath is a thought to spend hours on.
The small runway and lack of overland connections means that there really are no crowds. The place is still raw and authentic, with knowledgeable staff on hand to answer any questions you may have.
Go on a Food Market Tour
The way to the soul of a country is through the stomach, so what better way than with a local food market tour! You can sample and taste all the interesting fruits and veg of the tropics. We went along with Backyard Café, where the team, lead by Delven Adams; showed us all the best spots and things to try.
Whilst we were navigating our way around the market, Delven was collecting all the ingredients he’d need to prepare our lunch at his restaurant, and yes, it is actually in his backyard! Delven has worked hard to change what used to be a neighborhood with high crime rates, to one of hope and opportunity, giving local kids new ideas of where their lives can take them. As well as being an all-around top bloke – he is a fantastic chef serving 5* food!
Become a Modern Day Cowboy
Ranch life is a large part of Guyanese culture, particularly as you get outside of the city and head into more rural areas. It is also the closest thing you can get to living out your cowboy dreams! Lassoing, horse riding in the savannah and getting stuck in with the day-to-day workings of an active cattle ranch.
We visited Saddle Mountain Ranch, South Rupununi. You can make your stay as busy or as chilled as you want. Horse riding before breakfast and during sunset, as well as helping the ranchers with their cattle if you so choose!
Once you feel like your skills are honed and ready to put into practice, it’s time to step into the corral for real. Don’t worry, this part is optional. It’s important to remember that because it is an active working ranch, lassoing is very much a part of their culture and not just done for fun.
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Experience Off-Roading in the Savannah
So you think you’re ready for a real adventure? Ziplines and scuba diving aren’t quite cutting it anymore? Alright. I know what you need. How does an incredible adventure tour involving 4×4 and ATVs sound?
If that’s a bit more like your cup of tea, then keep on reading on! We went on the ultimate adrenaline junkie excursion with Bushmasters, driving these vehicles all over the savannah and getting absolutely covered in dirt and completely filthy. We then headed to wash off in the river and spend the night hammocking under the stars.
The best part is that all the necessary gear is provided from the good folks at Bushmasters – so don’t worry about checking your tent on to the plane!
Bushmasters do all they can to make sure you are comfortable yet pushing yourself into the unknown. Their tailor-made programs can take you on whatever style of trip you desire – mixing off-road driving, kayaking, and Amazon jungle trekking!
Go Wildlife Spotting
A large part of Guyana is taken up by the Amazon jungle, so it really goes without saying that this is an excellent country for some wildlife spotting! It is actually somewhat of a by-product of all the previously mentioned activities. When visiting Kaieteur Falls, there can be a large array of birds, Cock on a Rock being a popular one, can’t think why?
Howler monkeys, sloths, jaguars, stingrays and anteaters just to name a few. These animals can be found in many parts of the country, but of course the closer to the jungle you get, the higher the likelihood of seeing them becomes.
But if you really aren’t looking to venture too far from Georgetown, you can see sloths and monkeys on the next tour on the list.
Essequibo River Tour
If you would prefer to learn more about the history of Guyana, then a riverboat tour along Essequibo River could be just what you are looking for. It’s a short drive from Georgetown and there are a number of cool spots to check out along the way, including old forts, towns, and waterfalls.
Below is from Fort Island, once a key strategic point for the outside nations who colonized the area. There is a lot of history here and the dark past is important in learning what makes Guyana what it is today.
There are rumors that this area is haunted; crying has apparently been heard from the church and the ghost of a Dutchman walks the streets at night. I didn’t experience any of that, but there have been some great atrocities to the human race here and it is important to learn of it.
This river boasts some stunning beach spots where you can spend a few hours just chilling out, or even rent a jet ski from one of the resorts in the area. If you would rather stay a little longer but don’t want to fork out for a fancy resort, you can ask for permission from the local village chief to camp out next to the beach below!
There is also plenty of wildlife around. It’s not greatly advertised; due to the animals being wild there is of course, no guarantee on what you will see. During my time there, I saw lizards, monkeys, and A SLOTH!
Why You Need to Visit Guyana Now
Hopefully, if you’re reading this, that’s enough to keep you busy during your stay in Guyana, however, do remember that the biggest attraction is the simple fact that it is still undiscovered. There is so much out there not on the list, or on anyone’s list in fact- so go explore!
Guyana is in an extremely unique position in that tourism is still fairly new. Due to its geographical positioning between jungle and sea, the only real way to get there is to fly. Now flights are becoming more and more accessible (check out Carribean Airlines), which will soon open up Guyana which is why there is no better time to visit than right now!
Note: This article was written in partnership with Guyana Undiscovered, however, as usual, all words and opinions are ours.
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