Kaieteur Falls Guyana
With 5 minutes left to go on the flight, the pilots had made the descent and we were nearing the Falls. Having done this a time or 2, they came in at a great angle to view the Falls over the left wing then circled to give the right side some love. It’s a pretty awesome vantage point–I mean, I was super tempted to go on the grueling 5-day hike over land but this view really solidified my decision to take the lazy way out.
We circle around and the plane entered the traffic pattern as we set our sites on the runway (which, to my surprise, was paved).
Looks like the 1st flight made it safely:
Our plane was a little dated, but she still flew without any trouble. Nevermind the gate agent– pop that door open and just jump off:
Arriving at the bustling KEI International “Airport” (no joke, that’s what they call it–guess they have flights from neighboring Suriname from time to time), we were greeted by a Kaieteur National Park guide.
We pulled up to a very nice-looking log cabin lodge which provided shelter from the elements, clean restrooms and running water–they might have been selling drinking water, but make sure you take plenty of your own to be safe.
The first plane was already there and they are pretty good about staggering the hikes to the Falls to give everyone a little breathing room. After a quick break, we set off with our guide to the first of 4 viewing points. We were warned that, because of less rain than expected for the season, the output from the river was only around 20% of its capacity.
Hiking to the View Points
In all, the hike was 1.86 miles and took 1 hour 25 mins with all the picture stops.
Viewing Point 1
Viewing Point 2
The guide explained that Guyana is the exclusive home to the Golden Frog, which has a large population at Kaieteur Falls:
Viewing Point 3
We really appreciated that, apart from a few signs, the tourism industry had not put its mark on Kaieteur Falls yet. In the States, there would have been guardrails, legal jargon and waivers being signed. Not in Guyana–just rustic, undisturbed nature.
Another common animal to spot near Kaietuer Falls is the Cock-of-the-Rock bird:
Viewing Point 4
As we hiked back towards the airstrip, we passed the Kaieteur Guesthouse. The exotic sounding story (that I didn’t fact check because I don’t want to be disappointed) is that Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau visited the Falls in the 1970s and asked that he have a house built when he returns.
What a power move, score one for Canada. Although, I will say that a shack of a house in the middle of the jungle looks so Canadian when compared to stuff Americans had built on a whim…like say, the PANAMA CANAL:
After a quick stop at the lodge for water and bathrooms, we thanked our guide with a tip and made our way back onto the plane for our return trip: