September 25, 2007

Guyana: Top 10 places to see

1 Kaieteur Falls It is a waterfall on the Potaro River . Kaieteur Falls at over 700 feet is five times taller than Niagara . Kaieteur National Park is situated on the Guiana Shield, a plateau that is one of the world's oldest and remotest geological formations. Kaieteur is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the world. It is one of the few places in the world where endangered species are easily observed.

2. Orinduik Falls Orinduik falls is another one of Guyana 's 300 waterfalls. The Falls lie on the Ireng River a highland river that thunders over steps and terraces of jasper on the border with Brazil before merging with the Takutu River and into Brazil to join the Amazon River . It lies amid the rolling, grass-covered hills of the Pakaraima Mountains .These falls are ideal for swimming.

3. Iwokrama Rainforest reserve and Canopy Walkway The Iwokrama Forest is nearly one million acres (371,000 hectares) of central Guyana in northeastern South America . It is located in the heart of the Guiana Shield. At 1000 metres (3,281 ft.) high, the Iwokrama Mountains form the geographic focal point of the Forest ; they once provided a "place of refuge" for the Makushi people. The Forest has a Field Station, a canopy walkway, several satellite camps and a nascent trail system. The Field Station is equipped with visitor cabins, dining facilities and transport vehicles. Opened in November 2003, the 154 metre (505 ft.) state-of-the-art Canopy Walkway envelopes you in the jungle's mid-level canopy from heights of up to 30 metres (98 ft.). If you visit at dusk or dawn, you'll have the best chance to see birds like the Green Aracari, Scarlet Macaw, Guiana Toucanette or Channel-bill Toucan. Red Howler Monkeys may also be observed

4. Shell Beach Shell Beach extends for about 90 miles along Guyana 's northwestern shore, in the area between the Pomeroon and Waini Rivers . True to its name, this remarkable strand consists of uncounted numbers of tiny shells, a composition that makes it an ideal nesting site for sea turtles. Four of the world's eight sea turtle species come here each year between March and July, struggling ashore at night to dig nests among the shells, lay as many as ten dozen eggs, and returns again to the water.

5. Essequibo River Guyana 's main waterway, it runs from the Atlantic to the Amazon dividing Guyana in half. The Essequibo offers wildlife watching trips through some of the most pristine parts of the Amazon. Numerous wonderful lodges and resorts can be found along the river where the service is second to none and activities for the entire family are plentiful. Take a dawn boat ride on one of the river's many small tributaries when you visit.

6 . Rupununi Savannahs The Rupununi Savannahs is situated in the south of Guyana , 300 miles inland from Georgetown its capital and extends into Brazil . Stunning and unique, the Rupununi Savannahs of Guyana is considered the largest open range of savannah lands in the world. The savannah is divided into the North and South Rupununi by the Kanuku Mountains ; This vast open savannah is scattered with mountains, fresh water river systems, Amerindian reservations/villages and fields of majestic anthills, which can be over 6ft tall. Standing like a solitary mountain in the mists of the South Savannahs is the famous SHEA ROCK. On this scenic frontier you will find rustic cattle ranches with all the trappings of open plains, from horse back riding, working the range and exploring the wild life to humble, but comfortable home styled guest houses that offer a once in a life time opportunity to experience firsthand a rugged and vanishing lifestyle.

7. The Kanuku Mountains in Southwestern Guyana rise out of the grasslands to form a stunning backdrop to the Rupununi savannah. With wind-sculpted crowns rising to just below cloud level, the range is notable for its exceptionally diverse bird and mammal species--approximately 80% of the known species of mammals in Guyana are found here. The Kanukus are bisected by the Rupununi River , one of the primary tributaries of the Essequibo .

8. Demerara Harbor Bridge Opened on July 2, 1978, the Demerara Habor Bridge at 1 1/4 miles is the longest floating bridge in the world. This 2 lane bridge spans the Demerara River from Peter's Hall on the east bank to Schoonord on the west bank. It is made of steel, and pontoons are used as floatation devices. The middle sections of the bridge retract to allow large vessels to pass.

9. Georgetown The vibrant character and graceful beauty of Georgetown reflects much of the city's exceptional cultural history and diversity. Designed by the Dutch (and first known as Stabroek), Guyana's capital has wide, tree-lined avenues, lily-covered canals, and many fine examples of 18th and 19th century colonial buildings. Georgetown 's tropical botanical gardens and zoological park, as one might expect in a country of such incredible natural beauty, are considered to be among the very best in the world. Throughout the city are colourful markets, historical monuments and wonderful museums packed with items of yesteryear. Because Georgetown lies below sea level at high tide, it is protected by an amazing masonry wall, referred to as the “seawall” which is alive with activity in the evenings. While in Georgetown check out the beautiful St. Georges Cathedral and the Umana Yana, a 55-foot high cone-shaped benab constructed by Amerindians of the Wai Wai tribe.

10. Mount Roraima is the highest point in Guyana , the plateau standing at 2700 m with the peak at 2810 m in Venezuela . Roraima is the tripartite border of Guyana , Venezuela and Brazil , and at the moment can only be approached from the Venezuelan side. Roraima has developed unique flora which huddles for shelter in pockets on the exposed, windswept plateau. Amazing rock formations have been carved by wind and water, and the ground is uneven and rocky with frequent crystal clear pools of excruciatingly cold water (good for the circulation apparently!) There are crystal beds that contain large, individual crystals in interesting shapes.

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