Perfectly positioned, just off radar of many tourists, Guyana is an authentic, quiet achiever. With the relaxed feel of the Caribbean, the tallest waterfall in the world (the Kaieteur Falls) and the raw, untouched beauty that the Amazon Rainforest delivers, this intriguing country offers so much to so many.
And the best thing? You’ll practically have this country to yourself until the masses cotton on!
Though we ran out of time to visit on our recent six-month South American sojourn, we’re excited to bring you top tips on Guyana’s biggest and brightest natural tourist destination – the Kaieteur Falls.
Planning the Perfect Getaway to Guyana
Looking for an experience that will simply take your breath away? Steer your travel ship towards Guyana to find incredible adventure and outdoor experiences. Visiting outstanding natural sights in a matter of hours will leave you feeling like you’re in the middle of paradise.
And you wouldn’t be wrong!
One such magical place is Kaieteur National Park – a real treat for both the eyes and ears. The Kaieteur Waterfall has been a firm favourite on travellers’ Guyanan bucket lists since the 1870’s, when it was first discovered by the British geologist Barrington Browne.
Why the Kaieteur National Park is a Must-See
Kaieteur’s reputation precedes it by a long distance. It is, afterall, one of the highest and most powerful waterfalls in the world! It is said to be the tallest single drop, standalone waterfall, beating even the mighty Niagara.
The sheer enormity of this wonder and its wilderness location will leave you in awe. The Potaro River wends its way peacefully through the dense rainforest of Kaieteur National Park before suddenly plummeting 741 feet down to the rocks below, creating a massive misty spray.
A perpetual rainbow during the day adds a magical element to the scene, making it one you won’t want to miss whilst in Guyana.
Photo Opportunities Galore at the Kaieteur Falls!
Waterfalls are a delight to see if you can get a clear view and plenty of photo-ops. Luckily for visitors to Kaieteur, there are four fantastic ways to take photographs of this thundering curtain of water. The first of which arrives when you’re still in a small Cessna plane – possibly an 8-12 seater, and your feet haven’t even touched the ground!
There are regular flights from Georgetown’s, Eugene F. Correia (Ogle) Airport that take about an hour to Kaieteur National Park. Taking off, you’ll fly over the Lego-like city below, sugarcane fields and then the over Essequibo and Demerara Rivers winding their way through the rainforests. As you approach the falls, the pilot will skillfully swerve in front of the waterfall several times to make sure that passengers on both sides get a good look and will have plenty of picture-taking opportunities.
Once you’ve landed, guided walks take you to three viewing points, each revealing a better and closer view than before – Rainbow, Boy Scout and Johnson. There, you’ll notice there are no rails at the edges, just raw brown escarpments that are perfect for experiencing nature as it should be.
Make sure you have enough space on your card and charged batteries. This is a photo-op you won’t want to miss!
Since the falls lie in the middle of a National Park, you can rest assured that there is plenty of flora and fauna to spot.
As the guides take you through nature trails, you can spot the bright orange cock-of-the-rock and the minute golden frog, which is often mistakenly assumed to be poisonous. Also keep your eyes peeled for Kaieteur swifts (Makonaima birds), which nest in the rocks behind the waterfall.
A visit to Kaieteur can be extended by staying in the simple lodge near the Falls instead of heading back to Georgetown. This means that you’ll potentially have the place entirely to yourself (when the 1-2 small groups that visit each day have gone back), leaving you alone in the midst of mother nature.
There are several nature trails that can be explored around Kaieteur. In fact, if you love hiking, you can even reach this spot on foot, following a 5-day trek – perfect for those looking for the ultimate adventure.
Want to take it a step further again? Those who want to get their hearts racing should sign up to go abseiling down Kaieteur. Guided by professionals, you can rappel down the side of the waterfall, completely exposed! It’s certainly a high-octane activity – the memories of which will stay long after you returned to civilization.
Getting to the Kaieteur Falls
Several local airlines fly from Georgetown’s Ogle airport to Kaieteur and back on the same day. The flight takes an hour to reach. Most of these include the 2 hour-national park guided tour.
We suggest you get in touch with local tour operators to organise your tour. Give them a call to make a reservation and let the adventure begin!
Best Time to Visit the Kaieteur Falls
The waterfall is at its magnificent best after the rains, so September-November is high water season but December through April is also an excellent time to visit. You may want to avoid the rains between May and August, which are hit or miss, since flights may be choppy or be cancelled.
Tip: Do note that there are a minimum number of people needed for the flight to take off. If you’ve booked in advance and the flight doesn’t fill up, your tour operator will contact you at least 24 hours in advance to let you know of the status to adjust your tours and plans accordingly.
Travel Better in Guyana: Guyana is working hard to conserve its vibrant wildlife and ecosystems and protect its culture and heritage. We realize 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 you can to leave a positive impact on the people and places you visit in Guyana
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