The Spirit of Guyana: South America’s Best Kept Secret


While Aunt Erin has seen many changes in her community, Guyana is a step back in time for me.

Roughly 80% of the country is rainforest, which combined with the long boat trips, abundant wildlife and lack of commercialism, lends a real sense of exploration and adventure.

Apart from my fellow traveler, I only met two other visitors in 10 days. But Guyana has one of the greatest natural wonders of the world, and I’m going there next, and this is my last stop. Will this be where all tourists go?

Located within the huge ancient plateau of the Guyana Shield, Kaieteur Falls is one of the most powerful waterfalls in the world.

A legendary Kaieteur whose name comes from Old Kai, a chieftain who dedicated himself to the great soul Maiko in order to save his people by canoeing over a waterfall Maikonaima.

It’s a 55-minute flight from Georgetown, weather permitting, so a popular day trip. Clouds obscured my view of the waterfall I was flying into, and the pilot headed straight for the airstrip.

There, dozens of tourists either just arrived or hang out nearby, waiting to fly back. We waited until most people had left, then set off to explore.

Within about 100 meters, we entered a dreamlike lost world, with a mist hanging over the atmosphere.

Kaieteur National Park has its own microenvironment, and some species are still being discovered here and nearby that are new to science. We travel through a mysterious forest and into an area of ​​otherworldly giant bromeliads.

On their leaves we look for tiny golden rocket frogs that live in the leaf axils. We can hear the call of one of the country’s most iconic birds and follow it to a woodland where a patch of orange wings catches our eye.

Sure enough there was a Guyanese rooster, and then another. Eventually we could see five males spread out around the tree, their dazzling colors and feathery tendrils giving them a very dashing look. This is a well known rock cock and they are all showing off, competing for the female’s attention.


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