What do you get when you mix the chilled out vibe of the Caribbean and the untouched natural beauty of the Amazon jungles? The answer is easy – one of the most stunning, but untreaded countries of the world, Guyana. It fits perfectly for a diverse set of travellers – adventure lovers, those crazy about nature and the wilderness, history enthusiasts, serious birders, volunteers, researchers and those that want to stay with local communities in the rainforest or out on the vast savannahs.. We’ve picked the top things in the country, which must make it to your list when you travel here.
This experience involves a 12-seater Cessna and a 741 feet tall waterfall! Enough to get adventure seekers excited! Fly from Georgetown in a small aircraft (Tip: Ask to sit in the front with the pilot) and land at the Kaieteur National Park airstrip. But before that, the pilot offers a big reveal by swerving the plane in front of the tallest single drop waterfall in the world. Yes, it’s higher than the Niagara. Take a guided walk from the information centre to the three viewing points of the falls - Rainbow, Boy Scout and Johnson – each offers an unique viewpoint. The sight of the falls is going to leave your awestruck for a long time. If you are looking for some more adventure, the Kaieteur Falls can be reached by an adventure filled overland trek as well.
Is ‘swashbuckling’ still a thing? Cos it should be used to describe the vaqueros (cowboys), whose amazing skills are on display during the annual Rupununi Rodeo during the Easter weekend. The Rupununi region has historically been a ranching area; every child here, grows up with a profound love and knowledge of horses, bulls and ranches. Naturally, the annual rodeo competition is a must visit. Run by Rupununi’s pioneering women, the rodeo gets participation from various ranches and even Brazil, on the other side of the border, and the occasional tourist. Bareback bronco, saddle bronco, bull riding, whipping, barrel races and lassoing the horses are some of the competitions during the 2-day event. Lethem, where the event is held, transforms into one big party for two whole days!
Mark the Pakaraima Mountains on the western edge of Guyana. This is one of the places where you must definitely head to. Throw caution to the wind and get behind the wheel of a 4 X 4 Land Rover and join one of the most exciting 8-day safaris in the world. You will traverse steep forested mountains and valleys, cross gushing rivers and meet friendly native people in the villages along the way. Don’t forget to pack your hammock, so that you can fall asleep under the stars!
Wildlife trails of the Iwokrama Forest
Guyana’s tall and dense tract of rainforest is its most beautiful asset. Visit the Iwokrama Protected Area in the heart of the country, for a quick lesson in tropical wildlife, birding and flora. These jungles are home of the Giants and a visit never disappoints. Tapirs, Caimans, Anacondas, Otters, Capybaras and if you’re lucky, the elusive Jaguar can be spotted here. Experience the forest on foot or by river, to experience the best that Guyana has to offer. Hop between the various jungle eco-lodges, Karanambu, Atta Lodge, Surama and Iwokrama to get a taste of Guyanese true community hospitality.
Fishing in the Burro Burro River
If the words ‘line’, ‘lures’ and ‘terminal tackle’ get you excited, then Guyana is the place you should be headed. Fishing is a large part of Guyanese culture. The country is crisscrossed by a maze of rivers and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean. But of all the spots, Burro Burro spells ‘adventure and fun’. Spend a day fishing for piranhas with your local guide. The river wends alongside the Surama Eco Lodge, Guyana’s first community run lodge, which makes it the perfect base for your fishing expeditions. More intrepid travellers can camp along the river and wait for the catch of their life – the giant arapaima! There’s always wildlife and birds around to keep you company.
Guyana is untamed and undiscovered! A visit to this small but surprising English speaking country on the edge of South America is truly immersive and a whole lot of learning! Start planning soon.