Guyana is one of the most adventurous, raw, and serene countries in South America. And it goes without saying that there are so many fun things to do in Guyana!
I spent 10 days in Guyana and it was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had! But what exactly is there to do, and what are the best places to visit in Guyana?
This guide will cover 15 incredible Guyana tourist attractions, from simple day trips to more adventurous excursions in the savannah and rainforests.
Whether you’re a nature lover, a history buff, or just looking for a new place to explore, I guarantee you’ll find something on this list of top things to do in Guyana.
THINGS TO DO IN GUYANA – OVERVIEW
Let’s start this what to do in Guyana guide with all the essentials you should know about the country, like the country’s location, the best time to visit, and more.
WHERE IS GUYANA?
Guyana is located in the northeastern part of South America, bordering the Atlantic Ocean, between Venezuela, Suriname, and Brazil. The country is about the size of Idaho, and its capital city is Georgetown.
Other than being the only English-speaking country in South America, it’s covered by 80% of tropical rainforest which means it’s a stunning place to visit.
HOW TO GET AROUND GUYANA?
Guyana has a lot of forests and several waterways, making it difficult (and expensive) to get around.
Transfers between locations are infrequent, and you’ll have to use charter planes (typically departing from Georgetown’s Eugene F. Correia International Airport), 4X4 vehicles, and boat excursions.
In addition, in Georgetown, there is a minibus system that covers routes between the capital to Lethem as well as other destinations.
That being said, and because traveling in Guyana is so difficult, guided tours and excursions are the most convenient method of transport.
A reputable tour company can assist with the planning of a trip and I’ll go into more detail about this below.
WHAT IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT GUYANA?
The best time to visit Guyana is between late August and late September or in February and March.
The reason for this is that the rainy season has already ended, everything is lush and green, and most Guyana tourist attractions will be open.
There are two rainy seasons in Guyana to be aware of and they are mid-April to the end of July and mid-November to January.
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BOOK A TOUR OF GUYANA
Basically, to discover all of the best places to visit in Guyana, it’s recommended to book a multi-day excursion with a tour company.
I personally traveled with Wilderness Explorers, one of the most reputable adventure tour companies in the country.
They have many different tour packages to choose from with the option to customize your itinerary the way you like it.
Wilderness Explorers offers different tours from the “Rewa, Rainforest, and Kaieteur Explorer” to the “Guyana Nature Experience” which covers the most impressive Guyana highlights.
Click here to view all tour packages, which include all the best Guyana attractions.
Guyana is the only English-speaking country in South America that receives approximately 4,000 visitors each year, which is the same amount Machu Picchu receives in one day!
It’s safe to say that you won’t experience any crowds or over-tourism here.
Another one of the interesting Guyana facts is that it’s a country with diverse ethnicity and cultures.
It has a rich architecture that reflects its British colonial past and cuisine with various influences from other parts of the world such as East India, Portugal, and China.
A famous dish in the country is “Seven Curry” which is cooked with mashed pumpkin, curry powder, and brown sugar, among other ingredients, and served with rice or roti.
Guyana is home to the longest single-drop waterfall in the world, Kaieteur Falls, which is a whopping 226 meters tall.
Apart from that, cricket is the most popular sport in Guyana. The Guyanese enjoy playing softball cricket, beach cricket, as well as football.
THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
The currency is the Guyanese Dollar and $1 USD is the equivalent of $207 GYD.
I recommend withdrawing cash from an ATM when arriving at the airport or exchanging currency before leaving your home country as you won’t find many ATMs outside of the cities.
Guyana is a beautiful country with friendly locals everywhere you go and you’ll enjoy a tropical climate.
While there is limited WiFi and internet service, the country is an up-and-coming eco-tourism destination.
With plenty of bugs and insects, spiders, mosquitos, and flies, Guyana is not for the faint-hearted.
But, those who venture to Guyana South America, and can deal with the bugs, will be rewarded with an unforgettable life experience.
In regards to the visa on arrival, it’s free for tourists coming from North America, Australia, and Europe and you’ll be able to stay up to 90 days.
15 FUN THINGS TO DO IN GUYANA
Guyana is filled with an abundance of natural beauty and it has a lot to offer when it comes to travel destinations.
Whether you want some time in nature or want to explore the bustling capital city, there is something for everyone.
Here is your complete guide on 15 unmissable things to do in Guyana!
Georgetown is full of life and I recommend wandering around and visiting the markets in town, especially Bourda Market and Stabroek Market, 2 of the best things to do in Georgetown Guyana.
Of course, don’t miss out on delicious food like Pepperpot, Metemgee, and the Seven Curry.
After the market, make sure to visit St. George’s Cathedral, another one of the top Guyana places to visit that is worthy of including in your itinerary.
Apart from that, you should know that Guyana was originally colonized by the Dutch in the 1600s and later became a British colony, and you can visit several museums here to learn about its history such as The Guyana National Museum and The Museum of African Heritage.
Below are some of the must-do things in Georgetown:
- Singing Chef Adventures experience – Book here: facebook.com/singingchefadventures
- Buy a fresh coconut from Buddy – located next to the Bourda Market, Buddy has been selling coconuts here for 50 years
- Try the puri at Tony’s Puri Shop
- Visit the Manatees in the National Park
- Sunset river cruise on the Demerara River
The BEST Hotel in Georgetown Guyana
NAPPI CREEK & KANAKU MOUNTAINS
Nappi Creek and Kanaku Mountains are located in the very southwest corner of the country, boasting some of the most unique Guyana tourist attractions.
To get here, you’ll first have to fly to Lethem just a short 1-hour flight from Georgetown with Trans Guyana Airways.
From Lethem Airport it’s a 1.5-hour drive and you’ll take a 4×4 transfer across the savannah to reach the Nappi Creek trailhead which leads deep into the rainforest in the Kanaku Mountains.
It’s an easy to moderate 2-hour hike along the creek to where you’ll reach the campsite at the Aquarium Pool which is a scenic natural pool that is formed at the bottom of a small waterfall with rock jumping spots.
Spend the afternoon swimming in the natural pools, trying your luck at catching some fish, enjoy a BBQ dinner cooked on an open fire, and then sleep in a hammock under a tarp-covered campsite.
The following morning, enjoy a hearty breakfast before hiking for 2-hours to a panoramic viewpoint that overlooks the savannah and the Kanaku Mountains.
VISIT CAIMAN HOUSE FIELD STATION & LODGE
The Caiman House Field Station is a research and conservation center that focuses on projects along the Rupununi River. The Field Station is home to several projects like building classroom libraries in all three villages.
It’s one of the best things to do in Guyana since you’ll have the opportunity to meet local craftspeople like the Wabbini builders, who create village jobs and bring income to the village.
Apart from that, you can also participate in a field study of the Black Caiman, which is the largest of the alligator family and an endangered species.
You will observe the capture from a boat and even get the opportunity to assist in data collection.
The Caiman House is definitely worth the trip and it’s a unique way to improve Guyana’s future among locals.
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BOAT TRIP ON THE RUPUNUNI RIVER
Another of the unmissable tourist attractions in Guyana is taking a boat trip on the Rupununi River.
It’s such a beautiful experience as you’ll be able to spot wildlife in abundance such as Giant Otters, Jabirus, Bat Falcons, King Vulture, Howler Monkeys, and White-necked Jacobins.
Just like me, you may not have heard of these species before, right?
Apart from that, the boat will cruise up along the riverbanks so that you’ll get a chance to bird-watch and see some monkeys jumping and swinging around the treetops.
It’s hard to find more unique Guyana places to visit when visiting!
STAY AT PAKARAIMA MOUNTAIN INN & ENJOY SOME ACTIVITIES
Pakaraima Mountain Inn is situated in the stunning Aranaputa Valley, one of the places to go in Guyana. Experience authentic hospitality and interesting stories from the host Charles, his lovely wife, and his son Sebastian.
The Pakaraima Mountain Inn is a family-owned business nestled right in the Pakaraima mountains.
It’s a great place to take a deep breath and relax from the fast pace of life as well as experience the authentic hospitality Guyana has to offer.
You’ll be far away from civilization and surrounded by large savannah and green hills, and that alone is worth coming for.
The food is fantastic, of course, just like anywhere else in the country, and the hosts couldn’t be any more friendly.
Some fun-fuelled activities when staying at Pakaraima Mountain Inn include:
- Travel upstream on the Jolly Otter Pontoon
- Enjoy some cold beers and a swim in the river
- Wildlife watching along the river banks
- Cruise through the valley in a Unimog ex-army truck
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IWOKRAMA CANOPY WALKWAY & RAINFOREST
The Iwokrama Canopy Walkway is located near the southern border of the Iwokrama Reserve in Guyana’s southwestern interior.
There are four suspension bridges that lead to three different platforms, with the highest reaching point of more than 30 meters above ground level.
After exploring the Iwokrama Rainforest and Canopy Walkway, enjoy a comfortable stay at Atta Rainforest Lodge.
One of Guyana’s must-see birds, the Crimson Fruitcrow may be viewed from the area around the lodge and it’s also home to a large and growing family of Black Curassow that frequently passes through.
SPOT THE COCK-OF-THE-ROCK
Within the Iwokrama Rainforest, take a short trail to a nesting site to see the amazing Guianan bird, the Cock-of-the-rock.
Cock-of-the-rocks are found in the highlands of South America and are one of the most strikingly beautiful birds in the world.
Males have a bright orange crest and are very territorial, making them one of the most interesting birds to observe. They are also known for their loud calls, which can be heard for miles around.
If you’re lucky enough to spot a Cock-of-the-rock in the wild, you’ll be treated to one of nature’s most incredible sights.
These birds are truly magnificent creatures and are well worth seeking out on your trip to Guyana.
EXPLORE THE INDIGENOUS COMMUNITY OF SURAMA
Surama is located in the center of Guyana, and the village is encircled by the forest-covered Pakaraima Mountains.
The locals in Surama are predominantly Macushi indigenous people and the Surama Eco Lodge, where I stayed and where you should stay, is managed and maintained by the whole community.
Needless to say, you’ll be transported into a new, totally different world.
Wander around the village, go for a short hike across the savannah, and take a boat ride on the Burro Burro River to discover the astonishing wildlife in the region.
VISIT REWA VILLAGE & REWA ECO LODGE
Rewa Village is located on the border between North Rupununi and South Rupununi, where the Rewa River enters the Rupununi River.
Rainforests and mountains surround the area and it plays home to a variety of animals.
Rewa Eco-Lodge was a community-founded project built in 2005 and since then they have established a sustainable eco-tourism business.
The lodge is located on the river bank overlooking the Rewa River, with tables and chairs available for relaxing while sitting near the water, and a restaurant serving up some very delicious Guyanese cuisine.
I really liked my spacious bungalow as it was clean and airy, and it came with bed netting, a hammock on the deck, a work desk and wardrobe, and a private outdoor bathroom.
OBSERVE THE ARAPAIMA IN OXBOW LAKES
After a beautiful night in nature at Rewa Eco-Lodge, get on a boat and go for a short ride to the opposite bank of the Rupununi River.
Following a fifteen-minute walk from the boat, you’ll arrive at the incredible Lily Pond, one of the many Oxbow Lakes.
The beautiful environment is enhanced with a wooden deck that extends over the pond, allowing excellent views of the Victoria Amazonica, the world’s biggest waterlily, and Guyana’s national flower.
Also in the Lily Pond lives the Arapaima, the world’s largest-scaled freshwater fish which are abundant in many of the lakes. They can grow up to 10 feet long and weigh up to 440 pounds!
You can also spot other wildlife such as the Black Caiman, and various species of birds.
Besides the wildlife, the Lily Pond is a great location for sunset overlooking the pond from the wooden deck.
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HIKE TO THE SUMMIT OF AWARMIE MOUNTAIN
The Awarmie Mountain range is located in the Rupununi area, just a short boat ride away from Rewa Eco-Lodge where most people begin their journey.
You’ll start the trip with a 40-minute boat journey to the foot of the mountain, and if you’re lucky enough, you’ll get the chance to meet the local Makushi people in the village on the way to the trailhead.
The hike to the summit of Awarmie Mountain takes about 1.5 hours. It’s not a technical hike, but the trail is steep and the humidity can be very evident.
On the way, you’ll be able to see several different species of birds, some of which are only native to Guyana.
When you reach the top you’ll be rewarded with extensive panoramic views across the rainforest, savannah, and the Rupununi River.
SEE THE GOLIATH BIRD-EATING SPIDER
When you’re in the Rewa region, another one of the most adventurous (or scary) things to do in Guyana is observe the Goliath bird-eating spider, the biggest spider in the world.
The term “bird-eating” came from an early 17th-century copper engraving that shows one of them eating a hummingbird.
That being said, it’s unusual for the Goliath Bird-eating Spider to capture birds, despite its name. They mostly feed on rodents, frogs, toads, lizards, and even snakes in the wild.
VISIT KAIETEUR FALLS
Kaieteur Falls is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world and you can easily understand why it’s one of the best places to visit in Guyana.
Kaieteur Falls is the longest single-drop waterfall in the whole world, 226 meters to be exact!
This waterfall is located within the Kaieteur National Park, and not only is it a stunning sight to see but it’s also home to many different animals.
In fact, the high humidity levels and the continuous spray from the falls make it the perfect environment for bladderwort, bromeliad, and yellow-eyed grass birds, among others.
Apart from that, you’ll have the opportunity to see golden frogs, Cock-of-the-rock, and even a jaguar if you’re lucky! Simply put, it’s a paradise for tourists and locals alike!
Make sure to have your camera at the ready and bring your best lenses for landscape photography because Kaieteur Falls is one of the most outstanding sights you’ll see in your lifetime!
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TRY THE WORLD-FAMOUS EL DORADO RUM
Over 300 years ago, El Dorado Rum was first distilled in Guyana.
This rum quickly became one of the most prestigious rums in the world due to its unique flavor profile, and the locals are VERY proud of it.
In fact, El Dorado won 8 consecutive awards for the world’s best rum, and you can find it pretty much everywhere in the country.
I recommend visiting a distillery to sample all the different versions like the 5-year, 12-year, 15-year, and 21-year bottles.
Apart from that, some limited editions exist, such as the El Dorado 50 Years Grand Special Reserve Rum, which is worth over $3,000.
Today, El Dorado Rum is still produced in Guyana and is enjoyed by rum lovers all over the world.
Thanks to its unique flavor profile, El Dorado Rum is truly a one-of-a-kind spirit and you’ll definitely want to try it when you visit.
BECOME A RANCHER AT WICHABAI RANCH
Last but not least on this list of awesome things to do in Guyana is visiting the Wichabai Ranch and learning how to become a rancher.
Wichabai Ranch offers a full 4-day program full of activities that you have certainly never done before.
First things first, settle in with Justin and Erin, two lovely hosts at the ranch, and learn new skills on your very first day.
Here, you can live out your wildest cowboy dreams; become a South American Vaquero by cracking a bullwhip, lassoing a cow, collecting the cattle, tracking a jaguar, practicing leathercraft, grating cassava, and maybe riding a wild bull!
You will also go to a nearby village to work with Cassava and place a camera trap to capture footage of wild animals in their natural habitats like jaguars, monkeys, caiman, and even anteaters.
WHAT TO PACK FOR GUYANA
When visiting Guyana, here is a list of items I highly recommend bringing with you:
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MORE CENTRAL & SOUTH AMERICA TRAVEL GUIDES
- Mexico: 4 Week Mexico Itinerary
- Guatemala: 2 Week Guatemala Itinerary
- Cuba: 10 Day Cuba Itinerary
- Peru: Backpacking Peru – 3 Week Itinerary
- Bolivia: Things To Do In Bolivia
- Brazil: 2 Day Rio De Janeiro Itinerary
- Argentina: Things To Do In Argentina
- Chile: Things To Do In Chile
FINAL THOUGHTS – PLACES TO VISIT IN GUYANA
So there you have it – 15 awesome activities and Guyana things to do that are not to be missed on your trip!
I hope you find this guide helpful and will enjoy these great experiences as much as I have.
From visiting the Oxbow Lakes to eating delicious food in Georgetown to spotting incredible flora and fauna in Kaieteur Falls, there is something here for everyone.
If you have any questions, please comment below and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.
For a quicker response, be sure to join Jonny Melon’s Travel Tribe on Facebook and post your questions or recommendations about the things to do Guyana offers to our awesome community.
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THANKS FOR READING
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