Are you curious about the best places in Guyana? After traveling to the only English-speaking country in South America for 12 days, I got you covered! From the golden Rupununi Savannah where the vaquero (cowboy) culture is still alive, to the wild rainforest region with its indigenous lodges – this country is like no other!
This guide will cover 24 of the best places in Guyana you have to see. I’ll share with you everything you need to know from Guyana’s best attractions, and conservation efforts, to what makes it special and to the best indigenous community lodges you have to stay at.
Whether you’re an adventure lover keen to explore hikes and rivers, or you’re into wildlife excited to see Giant Anteaters and River Otters – Guyana will tick all your boxes!
Why is Guyana so Special?
Positioned as the only English-speaking country in South America, Guyana offers a fascinating mix of Caribbean and South American influences. The vibrant capital of Guyana, Georgetown, essentially serves as the gateway to this enchanting destination.
Where is Guyana?
This hidden gem sits on the northeastern shoulder of South America. Bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the north, Suriname to the east, Brazil to the south, and Venezuela to the west, Guyana boasts a captivating fusion of diverse landscapes, rich culture, and untouched natural beauty.
What is the Best Time to Visit Guyana?
I’d suggest you plan your visit during the dry season from September to November. This ensures more favorable conditions to delve into Guyana’s lush rainforests, encounter abundant wildlife and immerse yourself in all its cultural glory.
How to Get to Guyana
Your journey to Guyana typically begins with flights into one of its major airports. Cheddi Jagan International Airport (GEO) in Timehri, just outside Georgetown, is the primary international gateway. Another option is Eugene F. Correia International Airport (OGL), situated closer to Georgetown, offering domestic and regional flights.
For travelers from London, there are now direct flights with British Airways available, which provide a convenient and comfortable journey.
For the best flight connections, check here.
I flew from Manchester to Barbados and continued with Caribbean Airlines from Bridgetown Barbados, to Georgetown in Guyana.
How to Get Around Guyana
Exploring the lush landscapes and waterways of Guyana presents unique challenges in terms of transportation. The country’s abundance of forests of which 80% is virgin rainforest and water routes can make travel both tricky and costly.
However, getting around Guyana is possible in a few ways. The main way that locals use is a convenient minibus system that connects Georgetown with other parts of Guyana such as Lethem.
For travelers coming to Guyana, chartering mini planes is the preferred way to do it. After all, it not only saves time but it also allows you to see as many places in Guyana as possible.
Given the challenges of traveling in Guyana due to limited accessible roads, guided tours and excursions emerge as the most convenient methods of transport.
Book Your Guyana Tour
Given the challenging landscape of Guyana and the high cost of transport, I’d suggest you book a tour in Guyana to see all the amazing places the country has to offer. Reputable tour companies play a crucial role in planning and facilitating trips.
I’ve had the chance to travel with Wilderness Explorers who were absolutely amazing in organizing the whole trip, including various surprises (think BBQ dinner on a riverbed and breakfasts up on the treetops of the rainforest). Besides their 30 years of experience in leading trips around the country, the team is constantly discovering new routes to visit.
The newest adventure is a hiking trip to the Highlands of Uchi Falls in the north of Guyana.
Guyana Things You To Know Before You Go
Despite its remote locations, Guyana offers internet access, albeit with limited bandwidth. In Georgetown, power is predominantly 110 volts, while the interior relies on generators or solar, available until late evening.
Prepare yourself for the delicious Guyanese cuisine! It is a fusion of Indian, African, Chinese, Creole, and others that totally surprised me. Dishes like Pepperpot or salted fish for breakfast were incredibly tasty.
Also, indulge in local favorites like El Dorado Rum and Banks Beer. The country’s markets showcase gold, diamonds, and unique handicrafts, perfect souvenirs to remember your journey.
The official currency is the Guyanese Dollar, and the exchange rate is USD 1 to approximately GYD 208. A meal in a roadside restaurant usually costs around 1200 GYD (USD 5), while meals in restaurants can start from double that.
Need a Travel Money Card? Get a Wise Card to make your travel life easier!
Above all, community tourism plays a significant role when visiting the best places in Guyana. Consider bringing gifts like pencils, pens, or stickers for schools you may visit or any remote villages.
Guyana Timezone: Guyana is four hours behind GMT; five hours during Daylight Savings.
Best Places to See in Guyana
Guyana despite its size boasts some incredible places and experiences in a short amount of time. This guide is based on starting in Georgetown, continuing to the South Rupununi and making your way north, ending at the mighty Kaieteur Falls.
Whether you’re in for the unique wildlife, the cowboy culture, indigenous community lodges in the rainforest or conservation efforts you can support – there’s something for everyone!
24 Things to See & Do When in Guyana
Experience Cowboy Culture & Ranch Life
Wichabai Ranch in Guyana offers a unique experience in the south savannahs. Run by a family that makes you feel so at home, it blends cowboy culture, Amerindian lifestyle, and modern ranch living.
As the home of the South Rupununi Conservation Society, Wichabai Ranch especially integrates eco-tourism and conservation. It’s one of the best places in Guyana to support when it comes to sustainable efforts. The team specifically researches the Giant Anteaters, Red Siskin but also the Yellow Spotted River Turtle.
Besides sunset picnics with a 360-degree view of the Savannah, and family-style dinners with the most deliciously prepared food, you have an array of activities to do. When you stay at Wichabai Ranch, you can enjoy not only horseback riding but also kayaking, leisure time by the river, or engaging in cowboy activities like lassoing.
Red Siskin Birdwatching
Wichabai Ranch includes an excursion to the nearby area in which they spotted a Red Siskin population a while ago. It’s one of the best places in Guyana to observe the Red Siskin, listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List. It is a remarkable bird found in the Southern Rupununi region of Guyana.
Discovered in 2000 by the South Rupununi Conservation Society (SRCS), this species is legally protected. However, it faces threats from habitat destruction and trapping for the pet trade. For this reason, the SRCS is implementing a project that involves training community members as researchers, rangers, and tour guides to protect it.
This initiative not only aims to protect the bird but also seeks to gather crucial data on its range, potentially proposing a new Important Bird and Biodiversity Area.
Given these points, it’s incredibly important to engage local communities and promote sustainable tourism as an alternative to wildlife trade.
Bushwalk & Reviewing Camera Traps
Each day we’d be going on different adventures. Both the bush walk to the nearby forest island and the research trip to review the camera traps were great.
Forest islands within the Savannah in general have been there for a whooping 20.000 years! Consequently, this is making it an important area of the local environment. Subsequently, it’s of great importance to the local animals, particularly Jaguars, Giant Anteaters, Deers, Capybaras, Agoutis and more.
After reviewing our camera footage, Erin our host compared the animal’s pattern to the Jaguar ones she knows of. To our surprise, she found out, it was a new Jaguar that’s now in the area!
Community Weaving Class
Wichabai Ranch is located near several indigenous villages. Firstly, you have the unique opportunity to visit these villages and learn about the local culture. Additionally, they can actively participate in traditional activities, such as basket weaving and cassava bread making.
During our exploration, we visited the village of Adolf, where we had a remarkable weaving lesson. After that enriching experience, we ventured into the forest, a site blessed by Adolf with offerings. The village of Adolf was one of the best places in Guyana that provides not only insights into local life but also unforgettable cultural exchanges.
In conclusion, visiting indigenous villages near Wichabai Ranch is an enriching experience. Whether learning traditional crafts or traditions, you are sure to leave with a deeper understanding of the culture.
Have you been on horseback before? At Wichabai Ranch you have the chance to try! Embark on a charming horseback riding adventure where the vast South Rupununi savannah becomes your playground. One of the skilled vaqueros leads you through the golden landscape, providing a unique perspective of the region’s cowboy culture.
Whether you’re a novice rider or an experienced equestrian, it’s a wonderful activity to end the day.
Where to Stay: Wichabai Ranch
Accommodations at Wichabai Ranch are gorgeous wooden stilt rooms, that provide comfort and lovely views of the savannah. You can stay in twin or double rooms with private bathrooms, equipped with mosquito nets and fans. The ranch’s culinary offerings feature excellent meals prepared using fresh, local produce.
Central Rupununi – Waikin
Once at Waikin Ranch, you’ll encounter a delightful swimming hole, offering a perfect refuge from the heat. Alternatively, you can immerse yourself in the ranch lifestyle by joining the vaqueros on a horseback adventure.
Nestled in the heart of the Rupununi, Termite City is one of Guyana’s most unique places. It unveils a mesmerizing landscape adorned with thousands of termite mounds each towering over 10 feet tall.
Here, the sense prevails that you’re part of a select group fortunate enough to explore these untouched marvels. Termite City in my opinion made it to one of the best places in Guyana as yet again, you’re free from the typical tourist hustle and bustle.
Where to Stay in Guyana: Waikin Ranch
Nestled in the tropical wetlands, near Lethem and the Brazilian border, Waikin Ranch offers a unique experience. Discover four expansive cabins strategically positioned to overlook lush gardens.
These cabins boast glass doors that gracefully fold back, inviting you to a wrap-around veranda. It made an ideal spot for unwinding in your hammock. The bathrooms provide a refreshing touch with open-to-the-sky showers, and solar power ensures a comfortably fan-cooled bedroom.
Rupununi Savannah Karanambu
Situated at the meeting point of grasslands, swamps, and flood forests along the Rupununi River, Karanambu is a timeless destination in Guyana. It started as a cattle ranch in 1927 and became a lodge. Have you ever stayed at a place that hosted famous guests like David Attenborough and Mick Jagger? Here you have the chance!
River Cruise to Spot Giant Otter
Once you reached Karanambu Lodge in the Rupununi Savannah you made it to one of the best places in Guyana to see the Giant River Otter! It’s here that you can embark on a memorable river cruise along the Rupununi River, where you might encounter the fascinating Giant Otters. These unique creatures, known for their social behavior, are among the largest otter species globally. Observing them from a distance is a highlight of every trip to Karanambu and Rupununi.
Morning Safari Giant Anteater
Join a morning safari in the lodge’s van or 4×4 Jeep to go wildlife spotting through the savannahs of Guyana. As you traverse the landscape, keep your eyes peeled for the elusive Giant Anteater. Known for its long snout and distinctive fur, the Giant Anteater is a captivating sight in its natural habitat. The vaqueros’ expertise typically ensures a successful encounter. We were lucky enough to spot a female with her baby on the back! To experience this iconic species that morning really made our stay truly special.
Along this fun morning safari, you also have the chance the spot the stunning Karibou Storck, hawks, birdlife and more.
Discover the exquisite beauty of the Amazonica flower at Karanambu Lodge, a botanical wonder. The Victoria Amazonica, is a stunning aquatic plant with enormous floating leaves that can span up to ten feet in diameter.
What makes this flower truly special is its remarkable adaptation. In its essence, the large leaves provide shade, while the intricate flowers bloom in the evening, creating a breathtaking display. Yet again, Karanambu Lodge is one of the ideal places in Guyana to see something unique.
Witness the unfolding spectacle as the Amazonica flower opens its petals during the enchanting sunset.
Where to Stay in Guyana: Karanambu Lodge
Karanambu Lodge, resembling an Amerindian village, serves family-style meals in the main ranch building. Stay in cozy cabins with ensuite bathrooms and a hammock-covered verandah, offering a tranquil retreat amid nature.
At Karanambu, you’re not just a guest; you’re part of a journey into conservation and biodiversity.
Cashew Processing & Roasting
Embark on a unique activity at Rock View Lodge, where you can immerse yourself in the process of cashew roasting. Here the women of the lodge lead you through the process of skillfully handling the nuts. The air fills with the rich, toasty aromas of cashews slowly roasted over an open fire. It’s a cultural journey, allowing you to witness a traditional method passed down through generations.
If you have ever tasted a warm, freshly roasted Cashew nut you won’t enjoy them any other way ever again.
Where to Stay: Rock View Lodge
Rock View Lodge welcomes you to comfortable, roomy spaces with hammock-strung verandas overlooking the garden. Picture yourself enjoying tasty, home-cooked meals served family-style while swapping stories with your friendly host about local life.
But the real gem? The fantastic natural-form pool is surrounded by lush gardens – the perfect spot to chill. And for a touch of culture, explore the family ranch house with its cool mix of art and a library.
Guianan cock-of-the-rock Spotting
Leaving Rock View Lodge to Atta Rainforest Lodge you will stop at one of the most special places in Guyana. Just a 20-minute walk into a forest area, you’re at the home of the Guianan cock-of-the-rock birds.
This vibrant bird, adorned with striking orange and black feathers, graces the rainforests of Guyana with its unique presence. Therefore this captivating species stands as a symbol of Guyana’s biodiversity. It’s offering birdwatching enthusiasts and nature lovers an unforgettable glimpse into the unique avian wonders of the region.
Elevate your birdwatching experience at the Iwokrama Rainforest. This particular region in Guyana is one of the few places where many of Guyana’s impressive +840 bird species live.
Moreover, picture seeing King Vultures, Crane Hawks, Black Caracara, Marail Guyans and Black Currassow strolling across the lodge. It’s like a captivating place where Guyana’s rich biodiversity unfolds before your eyes.
Additionally, for the early riser, you can join morning birdwatching expeditions on the open road. Closed until 7 a.m., it’s an ideal setting to spot Scarlet Macaws, Channel-billed and White-Throated Toucans, and various bird species. Our excursions even led to a delightful encounter with a tapir, adding unexpected wildlife magic to our adventure.
Iwokrama Canopy Walk
Nestled within the lush Iwokrama Rainforest, Atta Rainforest Lodge and its tree-top canopy walkway offer an immersive rainforest experience.
A short 15-minute walk through a forest trail leads to the Iwokrama Canopy Walkway—a network of suspension bridges. The adventurous walkway and its decks are up to 30 meters high and 154 meters long. This elevated path offers intimate views of the mid and upper canopy, providing a non-intrusive space for wildlife observation. It’s a birdwatcher’s paradise and a unique chance to see Toucans and birds of prey!
Where to Stay in Guyana: Atta Rainforest Lodge
The lodge’s simple yet comfy rooms feature ensuite bathrooms with open-to-the-sky showers. In its essence, it is extending your birdwatching right into your personal space! Atta Rainforest Lodge is renowned for its indigenous-inspired home-cooked meals and warm, friendly hospitality and makes it the ideal place for wildlife watching.
Stay at Indigenous Community Rainforest Lodge
Nestled at the heart of Rewa village, the Rewa Eco-Lodge stands as a testament to the harmonious coexistence of the Macushi, Patamona, Wapashana, and Waiwai tribes. Home to approximately 361 villagers, this Amerindian community thrives at the confluence of the Rewa and Rupununi Rivers.
In 2005, Rewa shifted to conservation, creating the Rewa Eco-Lodge with support from Conservation International. Rooted in a “self-help” ethos, the community united to build projects for collective good, showcasing Rewa’s commitment to sustainability.
Amerindian Village Walk
Embrace a minimalist lifestyle as you immerse yourself in the village’s rhythm. It’s a wonderful experience, to see how farming and living in harmony with nature shapes the community’s ethos. The untouched beauty of Rewa reflects a life unspoiled by human interference. Therefore, it’s offering you a genuine encounter with traditional Amerindian culture.
Observe the Arapaima in Oxbow Lake
Embark on a short boat ride, following a short five-minute stroll from the boat and you’ll reach a hidden gem – a charming Oxbow Lake!
It is one of the few places in which you can observe the famous Arapaima.
What makes this place so charming is a wooden deck extending over the pond, offering intimate views of the Victoria Amazonica, Guyana’s largest waterlily. Witness the blossoming of white flowers on the first night, gradually transitioning to pink and adopting a male flower form by the third night.
This overnight spot is renowned as the ideal location for observing the Arapaima, the world’s largest-scaled freshwater fish. The Arapaima can reach lengths of over 15 feet (4.5 meters) and weigh several hundred pounds.
Hike Awarmie Mountain
Awarmie Mountain is one of the best places in Guyana you can possibly visit.
Gear up for a hike up Awarmie Mountain following a short boat ride. The hike up starts easy but steep, leading past a viewpoint ridge that already gives fantastic views. Thankfully the team at Rewa Lodge installed new handrails that make the next part of the hike a bit more of a breeze.
Get ready for a wildlife show—spot Black Spider Monkeys, hear White Bellbirds, and catch a glimpse of Ornate Hawk-Eagles, Black Curassow, and colorful Macaws. Once at the top, you’ll be blessed with one of the most epic views of your whole Guyana trip.
As far as the eye reaches, you’ll see nothing but rainforest, the Rupununi River, and the far-off Kanuku Mountains. It was there at the top that I understood what it meant to be in a country with 80% virgin rainforest.
The view goes all out with a crazy 200m drop, showing off untouched forests toward Iwokrama Mountain and Makarapan Mountain. Makarapan is the oldest mountain in South America if not the world clocking in at an amazing two thousand million years old!
Pro Tip: Pack your binoculars to spot birds and maybe trees surrounded by hundreds of butterflies!
Bird Eating Spider
Now, for a different kind of thrill! Rewa Lodge arranges another thrill of an adventure, starting with a boat trip up the river. On the boat ride you’ll likely pass Black Caimans and encounter Amazon Kingfishers as part of the scenery. Once at the particular place of the rainforest, you’ll start a casual 20-minute walk. It’s in that part of the rainforest where you’re in for an up-close encounter with the Goliath bird-eating spider, the heavyweight champ of arachnids.
Despite its name, these giants usually snack on rodents, frogs, and other critters, rather than birds. The guide points out the whole of where the spider sits, nudging it to leave it. It’s a surreal sight—the world’s largest spider by mass and size, just hanging out in its natural habitat. No need to worry, though; these spiders are more into munching on snacks that won’t bite back.
Trust me, it’s not your average walk in the park—it’s a forest encounter you’ll remember.
Where to Stay: Rewa Lodge
Rewa Eco-Lodge is a remote haven in the Guyanese rainforest crafted with dedication by the Makushi village. Their simple yet comfortable accommodations include traditional benabs—shared spaces with solar-powered amenities—and self-contained cabins for added privacy. It’s the ideal place to immerse yourself in nature and community.
Bonus, you’ll be having a fantastic breakfast right by the riverbank!
Kaieteur Falls is the highlight of the trip and one of the best places in Guyana, if not in South America, to visit!
Embark on a thrilling adventure from Apoteri airstrip as you board a chartered aircraft for a flight to the awe-inspiring Kaieteur Falls. Plunging 224 meters, Kaieteur stands as the world’s longest single-drop waterfall, captivating visitors with its majestic cascade of water. If you’re lucky, you’ll see an enchanting rainbow across the gorge.
Beyond its stunning beauty, Kaieteur hosts a unique microenvironment, home to Tank Bromeliads—the world’s largest. Furthermore, you can discover the elusive Golden frog and the rarely-seen Guianan Cock-of-the-rock nesting in this remarkable setting.
The team from Wilderness Explorers leads you to various vantage points, perfect for capturing excellent photo opportunities. Kaieteur Falls promises an immersive journey into Guyana’s remarkable biodiversity and breathtaking landscapes.
Georgetown, the capital of Guyana, holds a unique charm and several distinctive features that make it special.
Sunset Cruise & Roosting Scarlet Ibis
A visit to Georgetown should end with a sunset cruise on the Demerara River. You’ll traverse the bustling market Stabroek Market, a vibrant hub where locals gather for fresh produce, crafts, and a lively atmosphere. It provides a glimpse into the daily life and commerce of Georgetown.
While on the cruise, you’ll slowly go towards one of the longest floating bridges globally, the Demerara Harbour Bridge, it’s an engineering gem.
Navigating beneath the Demerara Harbour Bridge, your boat docks by a mangrove, a favored nightly spot for diverse bird species. With the sun dipping beyond the river’s horizon, you can indulge in cold drinks and local snacks (fondly called “cutters” in Guyana).
Amidst this tranquil scene, vibrant Scarlet Ibis, graceful Snail Kites, majestic Herons, and three distinct Egret varieties grace the sky, finding refuge in the mangroves as night descends.
The Scarlet Ibis, particularly, captivates with its striking scarlet plumage, symbolizing beauty and nature’s wonders in the heart of Guyana.
Georgetown City Tour
When in Georgetown you have to go on a city tour, unraveling Georgetown’s history, landmarks, and vibrant culture. Visit the National Museum and Walter Roth Museum of Anthropology to delve into Guyana’s rich heritage.
If you have time, I’d suggest you explore the iconic Stabroek Market and St. George’s Cathedral – one of the world’s tallest free-standing wooden buildings. Other places to see in Georgetown are the Public Library and City Hall.
When you’re in Georgetown for more than a day, I recommend you take a stroll through the Botanical Gardens. It’s a lovely place and you can discover tropical flora.
The highlight of Georgetown had to be the National Park and its pond, home to a group of endangered West Indian Manatees. Pluck some grass, and go ahead and feed these beautiful animals. You can even touch them!
St. Georges Cathedral
St. George’s Cathedral in Georgetown is a remarkable wooden structure, standing tall as one of the world’s tallest free-standing wooden buildings.
Built in 1899, it showcases stunning Gothic architecture with intricate details like stained glass windows and a soaring spire. This Anglican cathedral holds historical significance, witnessing key moments in Guyana’s past. Here you can appreciate its craftsmanship, explore the serene interior, and experience the cultural and spiritual ambiance.
Georgetown Foodie Walk
Your full-day Georgetown tour starts early in the morning. You’ll embark on a culinary adventure with Chef Delven Adams, exploring Bourda Market, Georgetown’s largest market. Essentially you’re following the ‘Gordon Ramsey Food Trail’, discovering all the secret eateries, and food stalls. The best part? You can sample some of Guyana’s best delicacies!
Following the city tour, relish lunch at the exclusive Backyard Café. Included as one of Lonely Planets’ 1000 Best Places To Eat in Every Country, Chef transforms this hidden gem into a culinary haven. He’s preparing a delightful meal using morning market finds.
Sit back, sip unique juices and dive into this culinary experience as you end your time in Guyana.
The tour begins at the Guyana Shop, which makes a great spot to purchase local products. Afterward, you’ll delve into Bourda Market with its fish and meat section. The bustling market offers a sensory experience with diverse goods, including rice, demerara sugar, fabrics, and bush (or witchcraft) medicine stalls.
Exploring the unique fruits and vegetables while Chef makes purchases based on your preferences is quite the experience.
Strolling over Bourda Market is a paradise for photographers, revealing some of the most authentic moments.
Where to Stay in Guyana, The Grand Coastal Hotel Georgetown
Need a place to stay? Grand Coastal Hotel provides a range of spacious, comfortable, and budget-friendly accommodation options just on the outskirts of Georgetown. Whether you opt for the air-conditioned Standard or Luxury rooms, each comes complete with an ensuite bathroom, cable TV, and WiFi.
The Caribbean Soul Restaurant, renowned for its local and international cuisine, offers a lovely indoor and outdoor dining experience. It’s a great place to unwind with an evening drink by the pool.
Our journey through the 24 best places in Guyana comes to an end. I think it’s clear that this South American gem is a haven for nature enthusiasts, adventure seekers, and cultural explorers alike.
From the awe-inspiring Kaieteur Falls to the rich biodiversity of Rewa Eco-Lodge and the historic charm of Georgetown, Guyana unfolds as a multifaceted destination. The unique ranch life, diverse wildlife, and warm hospitality of its indigenous communities create a web of experiences that leave an indelible mark on every traveler.
This trip came together with the Guyana Tourism Authority and Wilderness Explorers.
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Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links. If you purchase using these links, I earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only recommend services and tools I know and trust myself. The trip was arranged by the Guyana Tourism Authority, all opinions are my own!
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