Guyana, The World’s Number One Eco Tourism Destination!


Guyana has been named the #1 “Best of Ecotourism” destination in the world. The award was presented to Guyana at the ITB Berlin, the world’s leading travel and trade show, which was held March 2019. The newly created “Best of Ecotourism” category was added in 2019 and placed Guyana ahead of very well-known and experienced ecotourism destinations like the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador and Sierra Gorda in Mexico.  

Largely unknown to the world, Guyana is a small South American country that represents six ethnicities and a rich Amerindian culture. Bordered by Brazil, Suriname and Venezuela, Guyana is part of the revered Guiana Shield, one of the world’s most biodiverse regions that include many endemic species and South America’s ‘Land of the Giants.’ Guyana possesses Atlantic beaches to the north, staggering mountain ranges to the west, never-ending savannahs to the south and 18% of the world’s tropical rainforests. It’s an untapped playground for explorers and adventure seekers.

Kaietur Falls
Kaietur Falls

This emerging Latin America destination is full of surprises and boasts an impressive repertoire of unique sights, experiences, and culture. This is one place that will be added to your friend’s bucket lists once they see your social media feed full of Insta worthy moments. Guyana is one of the world’s best kept ecotourism destination secrets, come with us as we explore what makes this destination so special…

Guyana was awarded the ‘Number One Eco-tourism Destination of the World’ because of its holistic approach to sustainable destination management and development from their now world-renowned tourism enterprise.  The awards jury was particularly impressed by the success story of the Surama Eco Lodge, which Crooked Compass supports by staying for two nights as part of our Lost World of 3 Guyanas small group tour.  Cited as having “ambitious and admirable goals,” this community-led and owned social enterprise’s aim is to preserve Guyana’s ecosystems and indigenous traditions. 

Surama Eco Lodge || Photo Credit: Surama Eco Lodge

Guyana also took the 1st place award for its nature destination video in a worldwide media competition that has been running for 19 years at ITB Berlin. Guyana’s winning entry was presented at the 19th Multimedia Award “The Golden City Gate” with the first star in the “Destinations” category. Check out the award-winning video for yourself…

Community-based tourism initiatives offer the best of grass-roots experiences in Guyana. Villages like Santa Mission, Yupukari, Surama and Rewa amongst others have pooled their resources and come together to invest in tourism as one of their main sources of income. This has made Guyana a pioneer in community driven, owned and led tourism globally but particularly in the Caribbean and South American regions. They offer village eco-lodges and meaningful interactions during hikes and river trips with trained naturalists. This has a direct impact on the lives of all community members in many cases. Your travel has a direct and positive impact on these regions – what’s not to love about that!

Crimson Crested Woodpecker || Photo Credit: Guyana Tourism Authority

Untamed wildlife and pristine wilderness are the hallmarks of the protected areas of Guyana. This includes Kaieteur National Park, Iwokrama Forest, Kanuku Mountains, Shell Beach, and Konashen. Millions of acres of Guyana are covered in continuous woodland area and are home to the best of nature – animals, birds, amphibians and plant life. A prolific amount of wildlife exists in the form of 900 plus birds, 225 species of mammals, 880 species of reptiles and more than 6500 plants.

Responsible Traveller Tips:

  • Respect the environment and don’t destroy it. 
  • Do not pick up ‘souvenirs’ from national parks, reserves or archaeological sites.
  • Don’t abandon your garbage: Keep it with you until you find a trash can.
  • Recycle where possible.
  • Respect the customs and local traditions. Expect ‘the real deal’ – you are in for a rustic and unique experience, be respectful of the local indigenous peoples.
  • Contribute to the country’s economy by buying some gifts for friends and family by choosing handmade goods made by local artisans.
  • During your travels you will want to capture a moment or a smile with your camera. Do it, but always remember that locals aren’t an attraction or a landmark – before snapping the picture ask for permission.

Few places offer such raw and authentic adventure as the three Guyanas. An eclectic mix of colourful cultures that any adventure traveller will relish in the delight of experiencing a region so untouched. The three Guyana’s are well worth the mud, sweat and minor discomforts of uncovering a lesser explored gem. If you would like to make this experience yours then contact us today!