Endowed with massive pristine tracts of tropical rainforest, high species biodiversity, amazing wildlife, majestic rivers and waterfalls, mountain ranges, savannahs, wetlands, and indigenous communities with low carbon lifestyle, Guyana’s ecotourism potential is unsurpassed.
It is a paradise for nature lovers, adventure seekers, and the Eco-tourist alike. It boasts an irresistible combination of fascinating and breathtaking natural beauty; blended with a vibrant indigenous culture, rich heritage and the most hospitable and friendly people in the world.
In Guyana, ecotourism is viewed as an environmentally-friendly way of utilizing the natural environment, as opposed to traditional forms of tourism such as nature tourism and adventure tourism, which are not necessarily environmentally-friendly.
But eco-tourism is probably one of the most misused and misunderstood words in the tourism industry. Ecotourism unites conservation communities and sustainable travel. This means that those who implement and participate in ecotourism activities are often required to take the following principles into consideration: Minimize impact, build environmental and cultural awareness and respect, provide positive experiences for both visitors and hosts, provide direct financial benefits for conservation, provide financial benefits and empowerment for local people, raise sensitivity to host countries’ political, environmental, and social climate, and respect local culture and human rights.
Ecotourism, also known as ecological tourism, is commonly defined as “Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people.” It involves travel to fragile, pristine, and usually protected areas. It helps to educate the traveler; provides funds for conservation; directly benefits the economic development and political empowerment of local communities; and fosters respect for different cultures and for human rights.
With the impacts of Climate Change, the drive to preserve the environment and human health while deriving economic benefits from the natural environment is becoming the trend.
Over the years, the scope for ecotourism in Guyana has grown with experiences which make it stand out from the other ecotourism destinations.
As opposed to the sun and sand tourism product offered by many of its Caribbean neighbors, Guyana truly offers a distinct product with its vast open spaces, savannahs, virgin rainforests, mountains, enormous rivers and waterfalls, the most legendary of which is the majestic Kaieteur Falls, known to be the highest single drop waterfall in the world and five times taller than Niagara Falls.
Some of Guyana’s most fascinating mountains include; Mount Ayanganna, Monte Caburai and Mount Roraima which is said to be the country’s highest mountain. The mystifying beauty of these mountains has inspired many great novels published across the world.
The country’s four largest rivers; Essequibo, Corentyne, Berbice and Demerara are also enigmatic brown and black water beauties which invite anyone to explore their haunting wonders.
Guyana also possesses abundant wildlife, numerous species of flora, a unique variety of fauna and a spectacular array of over 850 species of birdlife making it home to some of the Caribbean’s most exotic natural resources.
Some of the country’s most exquisite birds include; Manakins, Saltators, Osprey, Plovers and not forgetting its national bird, the Hoatzin.
Its wildlife includes exotic species such as the Ocelot, Harpy Eagle, Arapaima (the world’s largest fresh water fish) and the Jaguar.
The sites to view Guyana’s magnificent flora and fauna are accessible by land, air and river and are served by high-quality eco-resorts in the interior.
Guyana’s tourism industry is experiencing a period of dynamic investment and growth. Visitor arrivals have grown from 57,400 in 1999 to over 116,000 in 2005. Tourism receipts (or exports) amounted to over US$35 million in 2005.
Guyana, with over 75 percent of pristine forest, has great potential for ecotourism. Its rich biodiversity, which encompasses a wide spectrum of unique plants and animals, makes Guyana’s ecotourism experience different from the typical Caribbean island experience.
There are also several eco-resorts which not only preserve the faultless flora around it but also promote so as to give that ideal nature-inspired feel. From the serene waters of the mighty Essequibo, to the unadulterated rainforest and natural beauty of the rugged Rupununi, eco-resorts can be found so that tourists can be in the comfort they always wanted when holidaying.
Adels Resort – Akawini Creek, Pomeroon River
Located in the pristine rainforest area of the Pomeroon River and surrounded by a 60 acre farm that provides all the food you can eat, this eco-resort is the perfect sanctuary to reconnect with nature.
This quiet resort was named after the late Adel Stoll (1882-1984) and pays tribute to a daughter of the soil who raised eighteen children, sold produce from Adel’s farm and home-made sweets to take care of her family. Her grandchildren and great grandchildren now honour the memory of this much loved matriarch.
It is within an hour’s boat ride to several Amerindian Reservations and the famous Shell Beach where you can witness the turtles comes to lay their eggs. You can awake to the beautiful sunrise and the variety of gorgeous and rare birds flying overhead. Howler monkeys are also generally on hand for your early morning wake up call. Bird watching is also a favourite pastime with the numerous indigenous birds that call the trees around Adel’s home.
Arrow Point Interior Nature Resort
Arrowpoint is an Eco tourism facility that offers guests an unforgettable experience. It is located in the Amerindian Reservation of Santa Mission which has a population of approximately four hundred (400) Arawak Indians. Established in 1993, Arrow Point takes its name from the profusion of arrow trees that grow in the area. Biking, bird-watching, and quiet, reflective strolls along its winding trails are just part of the “eco-adventure” product that it offers.
Flowing past the Resort, the serene waters of the Kamuni Creek gently kiss a small, inviting expanse of white sandy beach.
Baganara Island Resort
You dream of a place, within your reach, where you can be alone, with nature’s beauty surrounding you on all the shores. Your senses are indulged by the calming lilt of birdsong, the chirping of crickets and the croaking of frogs. The magnificence of the vastness of such a pristine natural world spells Baganara Island Resort. This is the place where you can leave the bustle of the city behind and enjoy a private executive lunch, the atmosphere is great for deal closings, mergers or just a place to get away for a quiet lunch when the options of a city restaurant becomes mundane. This is a place where one can surely escape to an exotic Island Paradise and experience one of Guyana’s true gems located five miles from Bartica in the Essequibo River.
Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation and Development
The Iwokrama Forest and the Rupununi Wetlands and savannahs offer visitors the opportunity for an exceptional natural and cultural experience set in a learning context.
Iwokrama is a place for all ages and all interests and you choose what you want to do. By staying at Iwokrama you are directly contributing to the communities in and surrounding the forest and to the conservation of what lies within.
You will also contribute towards the development of an eco-friendly sustainable tourism model which can be shared locally, nationally and with the international community.
Lake Mainstay Resort
A unique tropical paradise constructed on 15.3 acres of land, Lake Mainstay is located 15 minutes by car inland from Anna Regina on the Essequibo coast. With its own airstrip, the resort is a 20-minute flight from Georgetown. The Arawak Indians first inhabited the Mainstay area which was called ‘Quacabuka’, an Arawak word meaning ‘in–between’. Activities on-site include volleyball, fishing, walks along nature trails, lawn tennis, and dancing the night away at our beach bar. It was officially opened on December 4, 1999.
Splashmin’s Fun Park and Resort
Splashmin’s Fun Park and Resort, snuggled in the heart of Madewini Wetlands on the Linden/Soesdyke Highway, is a perpetual Paradise. The handmade masterpiece of this timeless creation offers family a place to be together, a place to construct unforgettable memories of a lifetime.
The theme park features shows, pristine plant life and beaches. The Park is built on one hundred and sixty four acres amidst numerous species of flora and a variety of fauna which include spectacular bird life. Splashmin’s Resort is also forty five (45) minutes from Georgetown and fifteen (15) minutes from the Cheddi Jagan International Airport.
Guests can indulge in nature and experience Guyanese lifestyle to the fullest. The lush flora invites you to pick succulent fruits, climb trees, or get bush cook started. At the end of the day it provides a real nature experience.
Splashmins Eco Adventure Park and Camping Grounds is located on the opposite side of its Fun Park which is just a mere two minutes boat ride away. It is accessible from the Linden Soesdyke highway; only about a minute drive, South from the Fun Park’s main entrance.