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Travel to Guyana, South America: Ecotourism, Adventure and Unspoiled Land

Updated on January 23, 2016
Catherine Stolfi profile image

Catherine is an independent research consultant at NASA Langley with degrees in English, Biology, and Environmental Science (M.S.).

Kaieteur Falls, Guyana
Kaieteur Falls, Guyana | Source

Being at the Border of the Caribbean and South America, Guyana is known for its unspoiled land of high mountains, deep rainforests and the beauty they retain. Guyana, formerly known as British Guiana, achieved independence from the U.K. in 1966 and became a Republic in 1970. In 1989, Guyana launched an Economic Recovery Program, which marked a dramatic reversal from a state-controlled, socialist economy towards a more open, free market system. This country may be small but it is culturally rich and environmentally well preserved.

About Guyana

Guyana is the only English speaking country in South America. It’s rich and diverse with a Caribbean lifestyle. It’s homely, as the population is less than that of the state of New York. Guyana is the size of Idaho and is situated on the northern coast of South America, east of Venezuela, west of Suriname, and north of Brazil. A tropical forest covers more than 80% of the country.

Traveling to Guyana

Guyana’s natural attractions are spectacular, unspoiled with vast waterfalls, vast tropical rainforests and diverse wildlife. And though many parts are considered dangerous for the average traveler, see for specifics on U.S. Travel warnings for this country, as issued by the Bureau of Consular Affairs, Guyana still continues to be a place of unexplored wonders both archeologically and environmentally. Guyana, though filled with an unpredictable political and demographic climate, has a new focus on ecotourism aimed toward tourists and those seeking adventure travel.

Guyana Burro Burro River Trip
Guyana Burro Burro River Trip | Source


Ecotourism is an ever increasing popular form of travel and it works best for destinations such as Guyana, which is still an untouched natural country that hasn't been over run with tourist resorts (yet). Your accommodations won't reflect those of larger mega-resorts that are usually all-inclusive and cater to those that don't plan on leaving the resort during their stay. Rather, this type of destination vacation encourages getting out of the resort and exploring all their is to see.

Guyana is for those seeking adventure and the environment with plenty to do for the true nature lover in this untouched beauty. Birdwatchers have plenty to see with a rich, diverse species of 815 types of birds. A popular destination for viewing is Kaieteur National Park. For those interested in hiking can trek the lush rainforest of the Amazon with a few developed trails frequented by Indigenous peoples that journey to farms in the forest. Mountain climbing is possible in the largely uninhabited southwestern corner of Guyana’s Amazon Tepui region. You can climb the 2000-foot high Mt. Roraima, one of South America’s landmarks, which form the border of Guyana, Venezuela and Brazil. Cultural tourism explores the Indigenous cultures of the Macushis and Patamonas of Surma and Wowetta in the Rupununi and the Arawaks of Santa Mission. The more adventurous can go canoeing, fishing or swimming on the Amazon River.

Guyana is host to the World's highest Waterfalls such as Kaieteur, the world's largest single-drop waterfall, which is 5x the size of Niagara Falls. You can also make your way to the coast for some of the worlds most unspoiled beaches such as Shell Beach, which is a popular nesting area for migrating sea turtles, and Hamburg Beach on Tiger Island, a private island beach. The terrain is also made up of wetlands and the Rupununi Savannah, one of the World’s largest untouched open ranges of savannah lands. Guyana, a word that translates to 'Land of Many Waters' has abundant rivers, three of the largest being Essequibo, Demerara and Berbice. The Essequibo River is South America's third largest and all three spill into the Atlantic.

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