If you only have a day or two to get a taste of Guyana, here are some quick getaways from Georgetown that are just perfect for escaping the bustle of the city. The capital is close to some of the most serene locations, where adventures can be had, you can relax and unwind, or combine a bit of both.
Arrowpoint Nature Resort
Travel Time: 45 mins one-way (by boat) • Trip Duration: 1-3 days
Start your day early at the Roraima Marina on the bank of the Demerara River for a 45-minute speedboat ride into the Kamuni tributary and finally into a narrow stretch of Pokerero Creek, where you will find Arrowpoint Nature Resort. Be greeted by the staff with some freshly squeezed juice and snacks and become oriented to the riverside eco-resort. Nine characterful wooden cabins are camouflaged within an all-green topography.
Nature trails with majestic trees on all sides crisscross the resort and are perfect for birdwatching and wildlife spotting. Explore these on foot or a mountain bike along with your guide. Kayak down shallow creeks with overhanging trees on both sides. Looking for more leisurely activities? Find the perfect hammock to sink in, take a dip in the river, or join the locals for some diving. On your way back, stop at the Santa Mission village to meet the local community and pick up a souvenir to remember your trip.
For more information contact Roraima Tours.
Island Hopping on the Essequibo River
Travel Time: 1 hour one-way to Parika • Trip Duration: 1-3 days
Book a boat for a unique island-hopping trip on the Essequibo River and enjoy historical sights, glimpses into local life and stunning natural beauty. Start early at the Parika jetty for a day on the tan colored waters of the third largest river in South America where just one of the 365 islands is the size of Barbados! Depending on time and tide, you can visit Leguan Island, Fort Island, Fort Kyk-Over-Al, Hogg Island, Sloth Island and even make a short stop to Bartica. Day tours typically explore select beaches and resorts and the remaining vestiges of Dutch architecture in Fort Island, with the Court of Policy (now a museum) and Fort Zeelandia, an 18th-century brick fort. Another defensive fortification can be seen as you pass Fort Kyk-Over-Al and the famous windmill on Hogg Island. On Sloth Island, keep a sharp look out for one of the 25-plus sloths clinging to the treetops.
For more information contact Old Fort Tours or Dagron Tours.
Bartica and Fort Zeelandia
Travel Time: approx. 2 hours one-way (1 hour overland and 1 hour by boat) • Trip Duration: 1-2 days
Bartica lies at the confluence of the Essequibo, Cayuni and Mazaruni rivers, and is an important gateway to the gold and diamond mining regions of Guyana. No wonder its main market street is an entertainment hotspot, with several buzzing pubs and shops for the mining community. There are several restaurants and lodging options in town and transport to and from Parika is regularly available. On the way to Bartica, keep a lookout for musician Eddie Grant’s home in the middle of the Essequibo. Bartica is best known for its standout events during Easter. During the Regatta with its powerboat racing, street jams and beauty pageant, it is the place to be!
For more information contact Old Fort Tours, Dagron Tours or Wilderness Explorers.
Travel Time: 45 minutes one way • Trip Duration: 1/2 to 1 day
Birding enthusiasts don’t have to travel too far from Georgetown to set eyes upon some of the most dazzling display of plumage in the country. Half an hour’s drive will get you to the Unity Village at the mouth of the Mahaica River. On the way in stop at Victoria, the first village to be purchased by free slaves over 175 years ago. From Unity, board a fishing boat and gently glide for 3 hours on the mirror-flat waters. Keep your eyes peeled for monkeys and over 150 species of birds that live in the mangrove forests along the edges. The most sighted birds include the black-capped donacobius, rufous crab-hawk, gray-breasted cranes, wing-barred seedeater, pied water-tyrant, point-tailed palm creeper, Moriche oriole, black hawk-eagle, tropical kingbird, silver-backed antbird, boat-billed heron and green-rumped parrotlet among many others.
Contact Mahaica Birding Tours, the only operator that offers this wonderful experience.
Pandama Retreat & Winery
Travel Time: 90 mins • Trip Duration: 1/2 to 1 day
Being a tropical country, Guyana is blessed with a mouthwatering array of fruits. When the Douglas family moved back to their home country after years of living in the U.S, they set out to make fine wines from a wide variety of fruits. The Pandama Winery & Retreat was born, with an offering of pineapple, jamoon, Aunty Desmond, noni, cherry, malacca pear, duka, carambola and sorrel wines and tonics for city-weary souls. The comfy retreat that accompanies the winery is perfect for spending a relaxed day sipping some fine fruit wines. Wooden cabins tucked away in the jungle, camping facilities, nature trails, birding opportunities and of course engaging wine tasting sessions, will make you keep coming back for more.
Tags: Birding, Essequibo River, Getaways from Georgetown, Guyana, wildlife, Wineries