The peaceful county of Essequibo is home to a variety of tranquil and relaxing destination getaways, perfect for your next visit to Guyana or weekend escape. One of the most popular locations is Lake Mainstay and its namesake resort, which offers travellers the perfect location to explore the serenity of the surrounding environs and experience the strip of white sand beaches that border the beautiful black lake.
The Mystical Healing Properties of Black water
Sister to Lake Capoey and Lake Ituribisci, the water that makes up Lake Mainstay is among the cleanest found in Guyana. The deep amber-clear colour with rolling waves lapping against the white sand, gradually deepening to that alluring and mysterious phenomenon that is black water and is well-known and loved by all who visit Guyana.
Black water is regarded as a healing elixir of sorts for believers. Locals and many travellers swear by its restorative and therapeutic properties. It is said that the water is sourced by the pristine, untouched rainforests in the headwaters of the lakes. The leaves of the trees that seasonally litter the forest floor help create a beneficial atmosphere as they diffuse their curative qualities directly into the water; this is the reputed source of the water’s healing properties.
It is easy to see how this lake can soothe and excite the senses. Varying degrees of temperature can be felt at different levels as you descend deeper into the black water which is perfect for relaxation and unwinding. This, according to the locals provides relief from arthritis, and other painful muscle and joint-related ailments. Further, travellers to the resort have been known to consume this magic elixir to prevent and treat fevers and colds. They have been known to bottle a little bit to take away from their trip.
Facilities, Activities, and Tours
Relax, unwind, and rejuvenate. Whether you’re a local thinking about making a quick weekend getaway or an international traveller exploring the best of Guyana, Lake Mainstay has a number of activities to suit your needs from, jet skiing, kayaking, and speedboat rides, to biking, birding, nature tours and of course, exciting cricket games.
The resort is housed on a quarter-mile stretch of white sandy beach on the natural freshwater lake and boasts a sprawling 16 acre compound of fruit trees and landscaped gardens with 34 self-contained cabins that accommodate up to 160 visitors. The Horoshi restaurant serves authentic Guyanese cuisine. Meaning ‘belly full’ in Arawak, this restaurant offers a variety of hearty dishes made from locally sourced organic foods from the Essequibo region. Expect freshly caught fish, fruits and vegetables and more served buffet style.
At the Wabure Deck Bar, conveniently named after the Wabure fish that are native to the lake, you are invited to enjoy Sugarloaf pineapples, Lake Mainstay’s signature pineapple. Wines made from local fruit are also featured on the bar menu. Here, you can cool off and soak your feet in the lake while sipping on your favourite beverage, watch the sunset or catch a game of dominoes or cards with friends.
Lake Mainstay Resort also offers several day tours of the Essequibo Region. The Upper Essequibo Tour requires eight persons who will depart Lake Mainstay and head to Charity. Once in Charity, participants of the tour will be treated to a brief Charity city tour then head up the Pomeroon River via speedboat. You will enjoy the pristine beauty of the beautiful; houses, schools and churches perched along the enchanting banks of the Pomeroon River as the canoes and speedboats make their way to their destinations. Further on the agenda is a tour of the Pomeroon Coffee Factory, the Boat Builders Farm and the Last 3 Missions – Kabakaburi, St. Monica and Karawab. After a full day of adventure, you will then head back to Lake Mainstay.
The Lower Essequibo Tour is a tad bit more concise as you will be taken along a tour to Henvil Farms, one of the most booming coconut farms on the Essequibo where you will have the opportunity to sample some of their delicious coconut water. Adel’s Resort and Rooster’s Coconut Farm are also on the agenda. To step things up a bit, the Great Lakes tour coordinated by Lake Mainstay is amazing. Experience the likes of Capoey Beach and even Capoey Mission! You will experience birding, wilding spotting, nature walks and tours of the nearby Indigenous communities.
Lake Mainstay is Just the Beginning
Further along the Essequibo Coast, several more tranquil freshwater lakes can be found. Lake Capoey, Tapakuma, and Lake Mashabo, the Hot and Cold Lake are all worthy of a visit. These lakes are every adventurer’s dream as you travel off-the-beaten-path and experience the sights, culture, and cuisine of the Indigenous peoples who have been inhabiting these lands for centuries.
So why not take advantage of all that Lake Mainstay has to offer? You’ll definitely want to stay a few days to take it all in.
By Land and River
The journey begins with a one hour drive from Georgetown, including crossing the Demerara Harbour Bridge – the fourth longest floating bridge in the world. From there, travellers will continue overland to the T&HD Parika Ferry Stelling, where the real journey begins once you board the ferry service to cross the majestic Essequibo River. This is usually a 90-minute ride, including waiting time. A faster option is to take the 30 minute speedboat across the river. Once over in Supenaam, travellers will make their way to Lake Mainstay via the Anna Regina road which takes about 1 hour. Contact Lake Mainstay Resort or the Guyana Tourism Authority if you’d like directions to the other lakes.
If you prefer to fly, a 25-minute flight from Eugene F. Correia International Airport just outside of Georgetown takes you to Anna Regina Airstrip, which is right by the resort. Another option is to charter a helicopter that takes you right to your cabin on the beach.
Lake Mainstay Resort recommends that you have them facilitate all your transportation needs. This allows for a far more seamless, hassle-free travel experience.
Travel Better with Guyana: Guyana is working hard to conserve its vibrant wildlife and ecosystems and protect its culture and heritage. We realise that it is often difficult to understand how you can support these aims and make a difference when you travel. That’s why we’ve set out to help you by creating Visitor Guidelines For Sustainable Travel. All passionate globetrotters, curious culture seekers and bold adventurers are encouraged to do all they can to leave a positive impact on the people and places you visit in Guyana.