Kaieteur Falls is the crown jewel, the hidden gem, the off the beaten path, the undiscovered wonder of Guyana and any other travel writing cliché you could think of. I liken it to the Angkor Wat of the country as like the Angkor Wat Temples in Cambodia, the Guyanese are extremely proud of their majestic waterfall.
You would think that obtaining a tour to Kaieteur would be easy. It is simple to book a tour, but it can be actually tricky to go on the tour. Tours routinely get cancelled if not enough tourists sign up. If you wait until the last day in Guyana to book a tour and it gets canceled, too bad so sad, and you will miss the second most amazing waterfall in the world as named by the World Waterfall database.
I lucked out getting hooked up with a tour, and if it was not for leaving the interior of Guyana a day early, I would have been SOL. I arrived in Guyana on a Saturday, and I inquired about Kaieteur tours on Sunday. I had already booked a flight into Annai for Monday. The lady at my hotel said no tours on Sunday, but there would be a tour on Friday when I returned.
I returned from Annai a day early on Wednesday, and I was told the Friday tour was canceled but there was a tour on Thursday. I booked this tour and this was the day I went. Fortunately, I was in thanks to my change in plans.
Here are some tips to touring Kaieteur:
- Book a tour to Kaieteur Falls on your first day in Guyana. If it cancels then book for your second day. Do not wait until the end of your stay or you could miss out. I booked my tour with Wonderland Tours and was very happy with the arrangements and the guides.
- Combine the Kaieteur Falls with another tour. Tours often combine Kaieteur with Orinduik Falls or Baganara Resort. A tour add on will cost another $40.00 to an already pricy $220 tour to Kaieteur, but the add ons are worth it. It would cost another couple of hundred dollars to do a separate tour of these places. You are on vacation, so why not see as much as possible. That extra $40.00 will seem like nothing after you get home.
- Stay at Kaieteur Falls for more than one night. There is a national park and guesthouse next to the falls. How awesome would it be to walk up to the falls and see it in the moonlight. The falls are in the middle of the jungle with jaguars, giant river otters, and tons of birds. You can book the rangers at the national park to take you out for a reasonable fee each day.
This option takes a little planning ahead because there is no food at the guesthouse. You have to buy your food in Georgetown. You will also need to book your lodging at the park ahead of time and coordinate a return flight back. If this option interests you, contact the Kaieteur National Park directly.
- If you do take the two hour tour only, ask to see the cock-of-the-rock. This is a beautiful orange bird that lives in the jungle near the falls. You will most likely not see it on the regular tour, but you can pay a few dollars extra to have a ranger lead you to these beautiful birds. Don’t worry, you will still get a chance to see the falls.
- Consider coming during the rainy season. The pictures of Kaieteur Falls at the top of this post were taken at the very peak of the dry season in early December. The force of the falls was still awesome, but the volume of water in the rainy season is even more intense. Our guide says the falls stretch over the full lip of the drop during the rainy season. There are two rainy seasons in Guyana, but the main one inland is between April and September.
- For the real adventurous, consider the Kaieteur Overland Tour. You can either book a tour with a tour agency or you can do this yourself. You fly into Kaieteur, stay a couple of days at the guesthouse and then make your way inland back to Georgetown. This trip would take about 5-7 days. The rangers at the national park can assist you in getting back to Georgetown. This would be the ultimate way to see the interior of this beautiful country.
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