Top 11 Sights to See in Guyana

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Top 11 Sights to See in Guyana

If you’re considering travel to South America, step outside the box of typical Brazil beach vacations or Colombian coffee tours. Here, we introduce you to the beautiful country of Guyana, which will feel like an authentic slice of the “real” South America, from its pristine rainforest to its welcoming villages. Nature and wildlife lovers are at home here, where first-hand exploration of the untrammeled countryside is encouraged. There’s an unmistakable pride in Guyana’s people, as they open their doors and hearts to curious travelers seeking eco-friendly vacations, cultural immersion and a Lost World vibe. Get to Guyana now, before the crowds arrive.
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1. Kaieteur Falls
Twice as tall as Victoria Falls and four times as tall as Niagara Falls, Guyana’s Kaieteur Falls is the world’s largest single-drop waterfall. The waterfall is at its fullest during the rainy season, May through July, but it’s awesome any time of year. The falls are tucked into a huge rainforest in the Guyanese interior, so you’ll have to access them via a one-hour flight from Georgetown (or a two-day hike for the avid trekker). Beyond this biggie, visit the other jaw-dropping waterfalls along the Demerara, Essequibo and Berbice rivers.
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2. Kaieteur National Park & Orinduik Falls
Go beyond the mesmerizing Kaieteur Falls to explore the rest of Kaieteur National Park. Draped in thick rainforests, this is the crown jewel of the Potaro-Siparuni region and the top ecotourism destination in Guyana. The Orinduik Falls that cascade from the Pakaraima Mountains are a favorite destination within the park – while not as grand as Kaieteur Falls, visitors have the opportunity for swimming in the plunge pools and hiking along the ridgelines.
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3. Iwokrama Centre for Rainforest Conservation and Development
In a country that is 80 percent covered with virgin tropical rainforest, it makes sense that one of its top tourist attractions is a center focused on its conservation. Feel as one with the jungle as you tackle the canopy walk in the middle of the reserve – the birdwatching at this vantage point is unbelievable. The jaguar lives here – South America’s largest cat – and while we can’t promise you a glimpse of this elusive feline, we can almost guarantee that you’ll meet ocelots, river turtles, otters, anteaters, caimans and more. You may even see a Goliath bird-eating spider as large as your fist!
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4. Iwokrama Forest
Surrounding the Iwokrama Centre for Rainforest Conservation and Development, the Iwokrama Forest is one of the last untouched primeval rainforests in the world. There are cliff-lined table-top mountains and tropical lowlands, waterfalls, alpine streams and lush canopies, in which endangered bats, harpy eagles and multi-colored frogs make their home. During your forest explorations, across rope bridges and along mud tracks, keep an eye out for giant armadillos and howler monkeys.
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5. Georgetown
The capital city of Georgetown is vibrant and fun, with its plethora of museums, markets, cathedrals, gardens and colonial architecture. Check out the 19th-century St. George’s – the chandelier you’ll marvel at was actually a gift from the Queen of England. Follow Georgetown’s Museum Trail, learning about the lives of the country’s Amerindians at the Walter Roth Museum, and learning about Guyana’s rich biodiversity at the National Museum. Lose yourself in the local crowds at the bustling Stabroek and Bourda markets.
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6. See the World’s Largest Lily
Speaking of biodiversity, green thumbs will particularly appreciate the world’s largest water lily, the Victoria amazonica, found in Guyana’s placid lakes. Look for them on the ponds and oxbow lakes of the Rupununi and around Rewa’s Grass Pond. The leaves grow up to six feet in diameter and can hold the weight of a baby!
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7. Linden & Gluck Island
Guayana’s primary mining center for almost a century, Linden is an interesting stop along the Demerara River if you are also visiting Gluck Island. In Linden, learn about the history and development of mining at the Linden Museum of Socio-Cultural Heritage. Then, make your way to Gluck Island on the Essequibo River to see some of those giant water lilies, red howler monkeys and an array of tropical birds.
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8. Parika
If you’re visiting another of the Essequibo River’s tantalizing islands, Baganara Island, definitely stop by the riverside village of Parika. The town comes to life on Sundays with the bustling market, where you can haggle for bananas and coconuts. It’s a super place to feel the heartbeat and character of the Guyana coast.
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9. Port Mourant
Spend some time in this authentic and welcoming little village on the Atlantic coastline. You’ll likely see a cricket match or two as this area is famous for the number of cricketers who emerge. This is also the birthplace of Dr. Cheddi Jagan, the “Father of the Nation.” Shop the colorful farmers’ markets for fresh fruit and enjoy the youthful atmosphere, thanks to the resident students.
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10. Shell Beach
The most famous beach in Guyana, Shell Beach is the place to go to see sea turtles. From late March to late summer, leatherbacks, hawksbills, olive ridleys and greens all return to the sand to lay their eggs. Poke around the undeveloped coastline in this area to explore rustic villages and bamboo huts interspersed throughout the wild jungle.
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11. Mount Roraima
Tabletop mountains, or tepuis, are common in this region of South America and none is more breathtaking than Mount Roraima. Where Guyana meets Venezuela and Brazil, this petrified, chiselled monolith is considered to be one of the most ancient geological formations on Earth, with roots in the Precambrian period more than two billion years ago. Tackle the challenging hike to the top and come face to face with rare pitcher plants and reptiles and amphibians unbothered by the predators living more than 1,300 feet below.

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