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Visit to Kaieteur Falls, the highest waterfall in Guyana

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Watching the water fall, Kaieteur Falls, Guyana

 

 

The Kaieteur falls in Guyana are one of the world’s tallest single-drop waterfalls by volume of water.  At 226 metres they are almost 5 times higher than the Niagara falls and have an average flow rate of 663 cubic metres per second.

They are located in the Kaieteur National Park which is roughly 241 kms south-west of Georgetown within the Pakaraima Mountain Range.

They are also totally off the beaten path and unspoilt. This means that you may be one of only a handful of people visiting when you go – unlike the Iguassu or Niagara Falls.

 

Legend

The falls are of deep significance to the local Patamona community. According to legend,  their chief Kai sacrificed himself by paddling over the falls to appease the spirit Makonaima. In doing so he saved his tribe from the vengeful Caribs.  Kaietuer means the ‘falls of Kai’in local dialect and were only discovered in 1870.

kaieteur-fall-from-distance-guyana

Kaieteur Falls

 

Best time to go

Although the falls have a significant amount of volume all year round, after the main rains in May-July they are at the fullest and widest.

The width of the falls can vary from 21 to 122 metres.

However, they are spectacular all year round.

 

How to get there

You can take a flight there on a day-trip or stay overnight at the guesthouse and fly back the next day. There are several scheduled flights a week to Kaieteur plus tourist day flights at the weekend.

Flights are in small turbo prop aircraft, usually not seating more than 16 people. The flying time is around 45 minutes.

There is also a rugged and adventurous trekking overland route which can take 3-4 nights up the gorge with a final night at the guesthouse before flying back to Gerogetown the next day.

flying-over-kaieteur-falls-guyana

View of the falls from the plane

 

How long do you need to visit the falls?

Most people are only on the ground for a couple of hours on a day trip which is the bare minimum. To get the most from these spectacular falls there is the option of an overnight stay.

 

What to do once there

If you are there on a day-trip for just a couple of hours you will have the chance to explore some different vantage points of the falls with a National Park ranger.

The guide will lead the group on a circular tour of the upper plateau that provides stunning vistas of the falls. The biodiversity of the area will be explained and en route you may search for tiny golden frogs which live in giant bromeliads or be lucky enough to see the Guianan cock-of-the-rock.

Kaeiteur falls close up Guyana

Next to the Kaieteur Falls

 

For those that stay overnight and although the guesthouse is old and run-down, the experience is much more rewarding.

Staying overnight means you can experience the great sight and sound of thousands of swifts at dusk swooping down to roost behind the falls all to yourself and your travelling companions.

You can sit and listen to the mighty falls at sunset or during a moonlit evening, with possibly a  spectacular electrical storm lighting up the sky.

You can sip a mug of coffee at sunrise when the gorge leading up to the falls is swathed in mysterious clouds that gradually disperse to reveal stunning views.

If you stay overnight you can go on an early morning nature trail and visit the nearly lek (an area used for courtship displays)  where you may be lucky to see a couple if not more bright orange Guianan cock-of-the-rock birds against the vivid emerald green of the forest.

You are more likely to see them in the early morning or late afternoon than during the time when day-trippers visit in the heat of the day.

mist over Kaieteur falls Guyana

Mist over the falls

 

The guesthouse has two bedrooms and a large living area with a couple of bunks and the space to hang hammocks as well as a large verandah. You will be provided with bedding, hammocks and a guide who will take food and prepare food at the guesthouse. It is very simple but a priceless experience to overnight at Kaieteur.

 

What can you combine the falls with?  

Kaieteur Falls can be combined with the stepped Orinduik Falls on the border of Brazil on a day trip from Georgetown or with Baganara Resort in the Essequibo River if flying with TGA who can drop you off or pick you up there.

It can be included in any Guyana itinerary as an easy day-trip from Guyana.

A visit to the falls is included in the small group Guyana Nature Experience Tour.

View of Kaieteur Falls, Guyana

Kaieteur Falls

 

If travelling with a small group we can arrange charters that are not necessarily cost-prohibitive so that you can fly from Kaieteur onto other key locations in the interior and not have to backtrack to Georgetown.

 

Should you include a visit to the falls in a Guyana itinerary?

Absolutely. It is the jewel in Guyana’s scenic crown and one of the most mouth-droppingly beautiful waterfalls in the world but so little-known.

 

Plan your trip

Start planning your trip to Guyana and get in touch with us at Andean Trails.

 

 

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