If you’re the kind of person who loves to travel off the beaten path, then Guyana is the perfect destination for you – explore virgin rainforests and discover unknown cultures, new cuisines and thrilling adventures. Guyana is just the place to switch off from city life and return with stories and experiences to last a lifetime!
Is 2 weeks enough?
Two weeks covers the essentials of Guyana – adventures from the coast and mountains to the rainforest and savannas, a few hikes, a daylong cruise, an adrenalin pumping safari, the spectacular Kaieteur Falls, and staying at a working ranch or unwinding at a riverside resort. If you time it right, you can hit the Rupununi Rodeo as well.
Day 1 – Explore the Best of Georgetown
Fly into Georgetown and settle in at your hotel. You have options ranging from high-end modern hotels to heritage boutique establishments. Step out for a city tour and lunch with Chef Delvin Adams at his home-style, Backyard Café. Explore the Stabroek Market, the Seawall, Botanical Gardens, lighthouse and museums and soak in the city vibes. Reserve the night to check out the many hotspots of the city like the Bistro or the Duke, which is known for its lively Wednesday night karaoke sessions.
Day 2 – Boat the largest river in Guyana
Head early out of Georgetown to the village of Parika and take a boat ride among the 365 islands that dot the mighty Essequibo River. Even though you cover only a fraction of its 1,014 km journey, a day on the river provides ample time to see the islands, forests, beaches and villages that lie along its path. Stop at Leguan, Hogg Island, Fort Island and Bartica islands to get a glimpse of Dutch forts and buildings and life along the Essequibo.
Day 3 to 9 – 4X4 Safari in the Pakaraimas
Start a weeklong trip through the Pakaraima Mountains in a 4WD, a week before the Easter weekend. Since this is an annual event, you need to book ahead with Rainforest Tours. Make sure you carry ample food, water, a tent and your hammock, as this will be an ‘Outdoors 101’ experience! High mountains and deep valleys with lush rainforests push the adventure to new levels. At nights, the cavalcade of cars and bikes stops in different far-flung villages. You can hang your hammock on a tree, or camp by a waterfall. The safari ends in Lethem, just in time for the exciting Rupununi Rodeo.
Day 10 & 11 – Experience Ranch Life
The Rupununi region, where Lethem is located, is the perfect base to explore the many ranches in the region. Get a closer look by staying at an active ranch and participating in vaquero (cowboy) duties. You can learn your vaquero skills at southern ranches at Dadanawa, Manari or Sawarab Mountain. Hikes, giant anteater watching, and birding are other staples for your time here.
If you come at Easter, the highlight is the Rupununi Rodeo. Expect nothing less than an exciting two days of vaqueros showcasing their skills on bareback horse and bull riding, barrel races and lassoing techniques. At night, everyone lets their hair down for a party. Dress up in cowboy hats and boots, and blend right in. The Rupununi Rodeo has a fair-like atmosphere with lots of local cuisine, drinks, local artists and even rides for children.
Day 12 & 13 – Explore Nature Trails
Leave Lethem and visit the Karanambu Eco Lodge, one of the best eco lodges of the country. This was home to world-renowned conservationist, Diane McTurk, who made this the hub for river otter rehabilitation activities along with several other sustainability projects. Diane’s family celebrate her legacy offering the same experience and insight for wildlife lovers. The Rupununi River trip along the lodge is a must-do experience.
Guyana is famous as one of the few places on earth that is covered by virgin rainforests. Whether you’re an amateur or seasoned wildlifer, the country promises to leave you amazed. Wildlife spotting and birding opportunities near Karanambu are some of the best in the country. You will want to step out into the wilderness by day and night and come back with your own great stories of seeing Black Caiman, Giant River Otters, the Capybara, Giant Anteaters and if you’re lucky, perhaps even a Jaguar. Stay two full days at Karanambu, or you can hop to Atta Lodge for different experience. At Atta Lodge, the Canopy Walkway, built over 100 feet of trees, is a great pick for both birders and nature lovers. The outstanding colours of the birds visible from the canopy is sure to keep your fingers busy clicking your camera.
Day 14 – Visit Kaieteur Falls
Fly from Atta Lodge via Fairview airstrip to Georgetown and take opt for the perfect climax to your adventure. Kaieteur Falls is an absolute essential. From Georgetown you can reach the waterfall via a small Cessna plane that needs to be pre-booked and fly to the Kaieteur National Park. The 741 feet tall waterfall is sure to make it onto your list of ‘best sights ever seen’. This half day activity includes a two-hour nature walk and can be expanded to a full day which includes island time at Baganara Resort. Real thrill-seekers can extend their tour and take the 5 day overland trek to get to the falls, but you will have to make more time for that and book in advance.
For more ideas, visit www.guyana-tourism.com
When do I go and how do I get there?
The dry season is from September to April and is an exciting time to visit Guyana. The weather is generally great! And over the holidays like Christmas and Easter, people are in a relaxed mood and if you’re timing is right, you get to experience unique events and festivals – the best of Guyanese life. Find out more about the visa and flights here. (Link to Plan Your Trip section on the website).