This article contains information on Guyana – South America’s Best-Kept Secret: 2019 Travels
Cold water pounds my naked shoulders into the smooth wall of stone. After a sweaty two-day hike through the South American jungle, the impromptu waterfall bath feels sublime. I crane my neck upward but I still can’t see the top of the mountain — only the gush of water dumping down on me, blasting away all the sweat and dirt and tree bark that cling to my skin. Then I drop back into the natural pool below Maguituk (“Devil Falls”) and float on my back, gazing up at the rainforest canopy, listening to the calls of tropical birds that zip by in flashes of iridescent red and green.
Forget about the well-trod tourist trail through Costa Rica, Peru, and Brazil — Guyana’s untouched interior offers the ultimate nature fix.
Guyana may be the least visited corner of South America, if only because as an English-speaking Afro-Indo-Caribbean nation, the country simply does not fit the usual backpacker circuit.
Sandwiched on the upper part of the continent between Venezuela, Brazil and Suriname, this emerald-green nation is close enough to reach from New York City’s JFK airport in five hours, but far enough to find yourself surrounded by a few million acres of primary growth rainforest. Colonized by the Brits, English-speaking Guyana is pristine and actively protected by the indigenous nations that were here long before — for the curious traveler who does not mind taking a step into the unknown, the country offers a much more genuine and unconventional experience with a lot less crowds and pollution than Brazil. For animal lovers, avid hikers, and the culturally-curious, Guyana is worthy of deep exploration.