Getting To And Around
NATURE RESORTS & VILLAGES
Arrowpoint Nature Resort & Santa Aratak
The turn off into Kamuni Creek from Demerara River opens up into a dramatic black water waterway flanked by intense green foliage. Wend into the narrow Pokerero Creek after cruising upstream for 30 minutes to reach Arrowpoint. Here, solitude, relaxation and the company of dense rainforest are guaranteed. The eco-resort has eight cottages to accommodate nature lovers. Best of all guests can go canoeing, mountain biking or hike miles of trails or visit Santa Aratak . This is an Indigenous village populated by Arawaks and Caribs and is best known for its expansive craft centre. Santa Aratak’s other claim to fame is that Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip once attended a church service here.
Pandama Retreat and Winery & Other Villages
Craft wine is a whole new genre that is sure to excite wine connoisseurs. At Pandama Retreat and Winery, you can choose from the tropical flavours of Guyana and a host of other tonics, herbal wines and natural vinegars. Unique flavours include Pineapple, Jamoon, Aunty Desmond, Noni, Cherry, Malacca Pear, Duka, Carambola and Sorrel. Pandama was founded by Warren and Tracy Douglas who wanted to bring the flavours of exotic Guyanese fruits to the bottle. For those who want to ‘get away and get in touch with themselves’ the retreat is an excellent option to unwind as a day or overnight trip in the midst of nature.
Some of the other villages that one can explore are:
- Moraikobai Village
Found along the upper banks of the Mahaicony River, the Indigenous Village of Moraikobai is home to 500+ Arawaks. The origin of the name comes from two words, ‘Mora’ meaning tree and ‘Coba’ meaning stump. One of the newer communities embarking on launching an eco-lodge that is owned and managed by the community like those on the North Rupununi, Moraikobai offers rustic lodging and great cultural activities, birding, and recreational fishing experiences close to Georgetown.
- Black Water Creeks
If you’re looking for a uniquely Guyanese experience, the refreshing black water creeks along the Soesdyke/Linden Highway are not to be missed. From very basic to fully equipped with benabs, washroom facilities, shops, and play areas for children, Hauraruni creek, Umbrella Resort, Splashmin’s Resort and Eco Park and Yarrowkabra creek are hotspots for recreation and are packed most every weekend and holiday with families picnicking, barbecuing and swimming.
- Pakuri Village (formerly St. Cuthbert’s Mission)
Guyana’s Indigenous population is spread all over the country. For a close look at the life in a typical Arawak village, head south of Georgetown to Pakuri Village. Located at the edge of the Mahaica River, the 200-home village is blessed with the best of nature and offers a few different rustic lodging options. The Arawaks live a mindful life in sync with nature, which makes a visit a truly rewarding experience.
MONUMENTS & MUSEUMS
Guyanese Heritage Museum
A window into Guyana’s history, Garry Serrao’s private museum is a passionate collection of utensils, stamps, Dutch and British glassware, books, objects of daily use and other artefacts. The two floor museum offers a step back in time. Being located in a private home, makes it all the more fun as you saunter around.
Timings: 09:00hrs – 17:00hrs Entry Free: Please contact your tour operator for more information
Other sights that you can see in the region are:
- Enmore Martyrs Monument
Built in honour of five sugar plantation workers – Rambarran, Pooran, Lallabagee, Surajballi and Harry – the Enmore Martyrs’ Monument stands as a poignant reminder of their sacrifice. Standing in the middle of Plantation Enmore in East Coast of Demerara, it is a commemoration to their bravery, which ignited protests from the plantation workers in 1948.
- Emancipation Monument
The memorial is an ode to the 62 freed Africans who established a free- holders village after winning Emancipation in 1838. It lies in Beterverwagting in East Demerara. Emancipation observed the ending of chattel (personal property) slavery from servitude and marked a new era in the history of Guyana.
- Hermanus Post Tomb
Not all colonial presence in Guyana was bitter. The Dutch plantation owner, Hermanus Hibertus Post was well regarded amongst the community as someone who opposed slavery. He took it upon himself to educate them and also provide basic amenities to the villages. The base of a large mango tree became his grave, where the tomb is now built.
- James Douglas Monument
The monument commemorates Sir James Douglas, the ‘Father of British Colombia.’ Though Douglas was a Guyanese from this region, he landed a job in Canada and became part of the region’s sovereignty, after making several contributions towards the British Colony.
- Plaisance Monument
Plaisance village was purchased by former slaves in 1842 from the Water body family. With their independent status, a monument was unveiled listing the original proprietors of the village. Even though the structure looks ordinary, it signifies an integral moment in the history of Guyana.
- Wilberforce Congregational Church
The Wilberforce Congregational Church has an unforgettable location. It lies in Victoria, which was the first village in the country to be bought by former slaves in 1839. The church is one of the oldest religious establishments, and it is named after William Wilberforce, the abolitionist.
Mahaica River Tour
You do not have to venture deep into the rainforest to see the exquisite birdlife of Guyana. Just travel 45 minutes from the capital of Georgetown to the Mahaica River, from where you can take a boat into nature. The main draw lies in gazing at the national bird, the Hoatzin, which is found near the banks of the river. Even if you are not a passionate birder, the green canopy and fresh air never disappoints.
Demerara Harbour Bridge
As the main thoroughfare between the east and west banks of the Demerara River, this pontoon bridge is a staple on the itinerary during a trip to Georgetown. The most exciting part of cruising over the mile and a half long bridge is to get on one side and see small and large vessels cross under it. Retractor spans in the centre of the bridge open up and allow vessels to sail through. If you want to experience the bridge at its most atmospheric, try to visit it at dusk and see the Stabroek Market light up in the distance.
Linden & Around
Historically a bauxite-mining town, Linden’s attractions stem from its vantage location. The town is the gateway to the central rainforest region. As the second largest town in Guyana, it houses several interesting museums and heritage sites. The Linden Museum of Socio-Cultural Heritage is particularly good at throwing a spotlight on the Indigenous life and the bauxite history of the region. Linden’s industrial heritage comes alive in the Christianburg Waterwheel. This was part of a hydro-powered sawmill to increase logging efficiency. Stroll through the town to gaze at the remnants of the colonial architecture in St. Matthew’s Church, Watooka House and St. Aidan’s Anglican Church. Linden is also home to the Blue Lakes which are very popular with the locals.
Just out of Linden, Rockstone Village offers a staggering number of nature-based activities. The rustic ambience adds to the ‘back to nature’ experience. Birdwatching, canoeing, swimming in the river and the lure of great sport fishing (especially during the Rockstone Fish Festival) are just a handful of reasons to visit. Birds chirping and sounds of the rainforest are a constant background score here.