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Guyana - Top Tips

Super Seven


Georgetown


The capital certainly wasn't the best I've seen on the continent, but there were still some worthwhile stops. Some of the sights are quite spread, so I found the use of a driver (see "Good Guide" section) to be the most logical way. The spots I would definitely check out are St George's Cathedral, Parliament Building, Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, The 1763 Monument, The Georgetown Lighthouse, and the "I Love Guyana" sign. Worth noting that there are manatees in the pond within Guyana National Park, which are often fed by members of the public.


Kaieteur Falls


Whilst in Guyana, you have the opportunity to visit the world's largest single drop waterfall. Kaieteur Falls is located on the Potaro River in Kaieteur National Park, which is part of the Amazon Rainforest. The simplest way to visit this stunning spot is via a full day scenic flight excursion. I booked with Dagron Tours based on recommendations. The flight itself is spectacular, as the pilot flies directly adjacent to the falls and circles back 2-3 times, so you have plenty of photo opps. Once you land in the National Park, you'll be greeted by a park ranger who will take you on a short hike to three different viewing points. My top tip would be to ask the ranger if you can include "Johnson's View" which is not one of the three typical spots, but was far superior. The whole setting of the falls is very picturesque and not to be missed.


Orinduik Falls


Whilst on the Kaieteur excursion, you do have the ability to include a second waterfall in the form of Orinduik Falls. This is a completely different experience and location, as it's along the Ireng River, which is the border between Guyana and Brazil. The key difference is that this is a sequence of waterfalls over red rock platforms, which also have natural pools to swim. They're nowhere near as impressive if you're coming from Kaieteur, but were still a worthwhile stop in my opinion, plus the cost with Dagron to include this second stop was minimal. There's also a couple of local vendors for drinks and snacks.


Iwokrama To get a true feel of Guyana, I wanted to take a trip into the the interior of the country. To make this happen, I booked a two night stay at Iwokrama River Lodge. The lodge is nestled in a beautiful natural reserve of tropical rainforest, as well as being surrounded by birds and wildlife. I contact the lodge directly via their website and included scheduled flights as part of the package. There were also plenty of activities to choose from including a Canopy Walkway, Amerindian Petroglyphs, Kurupukari Rapids, and evening caiman spotting. I certainly wouldn't say the visit was a "must do" but it did give the opportunity to see a part of the country that many don't visit.


Turtle Mountain


Whilst in the Iwokrama region, I decided to participate in a hike to Turtle Mountain. This involved a 30 minute boat ride down the Essequibo River and then a 90 minute hike along the 2 mile trail to reach the summit. At 300 metres high, the views are totally worth it for the stunning panoramic views across the jungle cannopy. There's an eerie but calming silence when you're seeing nothing but the roof of the rainforest across the horizon. I'd put this hike at the top of your activity list whilst in the region.


Wildlife In Guyana as a whole, there's some very unique wildlife on offer. Specifically in the Iwokrama region, you can see spectacled caiman and the reclusive Cock of the Rock bird, which is unlike any other I've seen. You can also see spider monkeys and the unusual looking Black Curassow that migrate from nearby Colombia. In the Kaieteur region, your park ranger will help you spot a golden frog. Wildlife is always hit and miss, but I was happy with the sightings.


Village Visit With Guyana having such a high population of Amerindians, it was fascinating to visit a local village and get an insight into everyday life. Whilst at Iwokrama, I took a walk around Fairview Village after visiting the Kurupukari Rapids. Even at the rapids, you could see the locals making use of the river to wash themselves and do their laundry. The wooden houses on stilts were also very interesting to see, along with the community centre and church. There are similar villages closer to Georgetown if you're not heading to the interior.


Accommodation Advice


I chose to stay at El Dorado Inn whilst in Georgetown and would happily recommend them. A nice hotel that's centrally located and has all of the facilities required, such as high-speed WiFi, air conditioning, and hot running water. Bang for buck, it far exceeded what I was expecting. The breakfast buffet was included and of a good standard. If you're travelling for an extensive period, worth noting that the laundry service was cheaper here, compared to elsewhere in The Guianas.


Food Factor


Just across from El Dorado Inn, is the Cara Lodge Hotel, which has The Bottle Restaurant. This was a great choice as the extensive menu offered local Guyana dishes, as well as international cuisine. The prices were reasonable, portions were a good size, and the drinks selection on offer was above average. I'd highly recommend the garlic pork dish from the local menu section. Note - For coffee snobs, I'd recommend Coffee Bean. It's opposite St George's Cathedral and the best I found.

Good Guide


Although a guide in Guyana is by no means essential, I would recommend the services of Sam whilst in Georgetown. He's a former police officer who now operates a transport business. Myself and travel buddies paid $50 USD total for a 4 hour tour of all the sights the city had to offer. In addition, he provided us with an airport transfer service for $50 USD each way (1 hour drive). You can reach Sam via Whatsapp on +592 683 4831. For the Kaieteur excursion, I used Dagron Tours. Their communication was average and they often needed a nudge, but I chose to book with them specifically because they have a small 5-seater plane, which is ideal for small groups, rather than relying on them filling every seat on their larger planes in order for the excursion to commence.


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