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.
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.
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!
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:
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!
This category of tours involves light trekking, walking, cycling, rafting or kayaking for a few hours each day with a small amount of inclines and declines. You will require a reasonable level of fitness and good health to participate. It is important to note that due to the nature of some of our trips, they may take place in remote areas (with basic facilities) and can involve long travelling days on various modes of transport.
Suggested preparation : At least 3 months prior to departure, it is recommended that you undertake aerobic exercise (this may include jogging, cycling or fast walking) for 30 minutes, three times a week. It is also advised to walk on variable terrain and in variable weather conditions. For a cycling adventure, road cycling twice a week is recommended and for adventures which involve paddling and kayaking, it is important to gain confidence and rhythm rather than speed prior to departure.
This category of tours involve trekking, kayaking and cycling for period of 6 to 8 hours a day at a fairly consistent pace. Ideal for people looking to slightly increase the heart rate. For our moderately rated tours, you must have a good level of fitness and also be in good health. It is also important to be prepared for variable weather conditions. Altitude may also come into play. This category of tours may involve visiting remote areas where facilities can be quite basic. Accommodation may also involve camping, homestays or basic accommodation where facilities may not be considered of western standards. To enjoy this style of travel, it is suggested for travellers to have a reasonable level of fitness and health, a positive attitude, as well as a fairly active lifestyle. An open mind is also required.
Suggested preparation: At least 3 months prior to departure, it is recommended that you undertake 45mins – 1 hour of aerobic exercise, three to four times a week. Some potential exercises that could be beneficial include hill walking with a backpack on over variable terrain and weather conditions, as well as running and cycling dependent on the activity you plan on undertaking.
This category of tours involves trekking, kayaking, cycling or other adventure activities in remote areas for up to 8 to 10 hours a day. It is important to note that with the remoteness of some regions comes a variety of other challenges such as variable weather conditions, accommodation as well as facilities. You must have an excellent level of fitness and good health to be able to partake in this category of tour. You must have confidence in your own ability and be in good physical condition. Includes extended periods of endurance.
Suggested preparation: At least 3 to 4 months of strenuous exercise, four times a week. When preparing for treks it would be beneficial to participate in hill walks with a weighted day pack (approximately 5-8 kg) once a week for aerobic fitness and strengthening of leg muscles. It is also important to do this on variable terrain to prepare for challenging adventures. When preparing for cycling adventures, regular bike riding (at least 4 to 5 times a week for 1-4 hours is essential). It is also important to cycle on uneven surfaces or even participate in other aerobic exercises such as running or swimming to build up strength and stamina. Altitude may also be a factor in these tours.
This category of tour often involves extreme trekking, cycling or other extreme adventure activities. It is important to expect remote and poorly defined tracks and to be prepared for variable weather conditions for 10 to 12 hours per day (may sometimes be more depending on weather and altitude). These adventures are suitable for travellers who have prior experience in strenuous travel and activities, are extremely fit and have excellent health. It is also important to note that some of the terrain on these adventures will involve trekking in snow, at high attitude levels and may require technical equipment.
Suggested preparation: It is important to note that physical fitness should be an ongoing activity, commencing around 5-6 months prior to departure, or even before if you have no prior fitness. Exercise should focus on building maximum endurance and stamina. Four to five hard sessions of 40-60 mins per week should be completed and can include exercises such as going to the gym, running, swimming or cycling to focus on building aerobic stamina. It could also be beneficial to prepare by hiking on rough terrain, in extreme weather conditions or partake in altitude training.