Surrounded by complete wilderness, visiting Kaieteur Falls is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Here is everything you need to know to plan a trip to Kaieteur Falls in Guyana.
As the plane flew over Kaieteur Falls, I felt a sense of wonder that was difficult to put into words. The beauty of the falls came into view, and I was entranced by one of the most untouched natural wonders I had ever seen. The breathtaking sight of millions of litres of water plunging 250 meters into the jungle below left me in complete awe of the power of nature. This was my introduction to Kaieteur Falls, the highest single-drop waterfall in the world.
I visited Kaieteur Falls on a day trip from Georgetown, Guyana, and in this guide, I want to tell you everything about it, so you can plan it too.
Organizing your day trip to Kaieteur Falls:
Before packing your bags for Kaieteur, decide if you want to travel using a tour operator. Researching prices and options is key to finding the best option for your budget and interests. While planning a day trip independently can save you some costs, you will require more time planning and scheduling the correct route.
Tours can be also scheduled directly with the airlines and Trans Guyana Airways is the leading airline, charging 240 EUR per person and working with tour operator Evergreen Adventures. Air Services Limited (the one that collaborated with my tour operator) is another option, setting the same price but with departures only on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, with a minimum number of passengers required. Roraima Airways is the least known of all three offerings, with the same package for approximately 210 EUR, but without the option of online booking.
Here are the contact details for all three airlines and some information about booking with them:
Trans Guyana Airways:
- Phone: +592 222 2525
- Trans Guyana will redirect you to Evergreen Adventures, where you can book your tour through their agency.
Air Services Limited:
- Phone: +592 222-1234
- Phone: +592 225-9648
- Tours can’t be booked online, and you may have to drop by their office in Georgetown’s Ogle Airport and schedule your trip from there.
With all airline tours, you will get the same package:
- Water (some tours will include a packed lunch, so ask in advance)
- Kaieteur National Park Registration fee
- Tour guide
Additionally, all-day tours have only two hours to stay at Kaieteur Falls. This is enough time to explore the waterfalls independently and take enough photos, but it will still feel like you are rushing from spot to spot.
If you are only three or four passengers on the flight (depending on the tour operator), you can always ask the pilot to do a lower (or a second) flyover of the falls from a different angle. Also, take a front seat on the left side when travelling from Georgetown to Kaieteur and the right side when travelling from Kaieteur. You will get the best view of the falls from the air.
If you want to use a tour operator, expect to get basically the same tour and pay a higher price. The advantage of using a tour operator is the opportunity to have last-minute changes, have a company pick you up from the hotel, and be informed of any change in your tour itinerary. Tour companies are also ideal if you want to visit multiple destinations in Guyana and need someone to handle the logistics.
These are some of the most reputable tour operators in Guyana:
- Phone: +592 219 0570
- Kaieteur Falls tour: 175-250 EUR per person.
This is the most-known company in Guyana. They organized the National Geographic expeditions in this country and the trips from journalists and photographers that collaborate with the tourism authority.
- Phone: +592 223 5868
- Kaieteur Falls tour 200-300 EUR per person.
- Phone: +592 227 7698
- Kaieteur Falls tour 200-400 EUR per person.
- Phone: +592 225 5911
- Kaieteur Falls tour 150-250 EUR per person.
Guyana Sustainable Tourism Initiative
- Phone: +592 668 9298
- Kaieteur Falls tour 200-350 EUR per person.
Remember that prices may vary depending on the type of tour and group size. Contacting the tour operator directly for the most accurate and up-to-date information is always a good idea.
What to expect on tour?
Once you arrive at Kaieteur Falls National Park, a ranger will greet you and give you more or less 10 minutes you get ready for the short hike and take a look at their tourism office.
At this office, you can find more information about the falls and the local Amerindian communities and browse through a small souvenir shop with items made by members of the nearby village of Karamang.
NOTE: Beside the basic hiking outfit, it is recommended that you bring mosquito repellent and sunscreen.
Once your group is ready to go, you will take a 15-20 minute hike from the airstrip to the falls, during which you will learn about the region’s flora and fauna, as well as the local communities who still inhabit the area. There are three viewpoints in Kaieteur, each offering a unique photo opportunity. Since most tours are small, you will have plenty of space and time to explore independently and enjoy the natural wonder before you.
You might have seen photos of travellers from several spots closer to the falls on the internet. Unfortunately, they are no longer accessible due to safety concerns.
Want to spend the night at Kaieteur Falls? There is a guesthouse near the falls that offers basic accommodation. However, be aware that the facilities are rudimentary and you will need to arrange your own transportation to and from the falls. In addition, you will need to bring your own food and supplies. Tour operators may be able to assist you in arranging an overnight stay, but I do not have any information on this.
Can you fly a drone in Kaieteur Falls?
It is not possible to fly drones in Kaieteur Falls National Park without prior authorization from the relevant authorities (the drone won’t even take off). However, after seeing some videos of travellers doing it, I wanted to find out how complicated it is to get this permit. Since Kaieteur Falls is a national park, I was required to apply for special authorization from the government. This can be done through the Guyana Tourism Authority (or they will explain to you in detail how to do it).
Unfortunately, here comes the tricky part. Once in Kaieteur Falls, you must provide a code on the DJI app to start your drone. I didn’t think about this issue, and since I had no phone signal in Kaieteur, I could not get the code or fly my drone.
In case you apply for a drone permit and receive it, remember to activate the code for Kaieteur Falls National Park on your DJI app before arriving in this area.
Read more: Best things to do in Georgetown Guyana
Planning to visit Kaieteur Falls overland?
Yes! It is possible to get to Kaieteur Falls via land, but it will take five days. First, you’ll need to take a public bus to the town of Mahdia, and from there, plan a three-day hike to the base of Kaieteur Falls. This trip may be challenging to organize, but if you’re interested in a unique adventure that not many travellers have experienced, this could be a great option.
Some tour operators offer overland hike packages with prices starting at 800 – 900 EUR, including a return flight to Georgetown. Search for “Kaieteur Overland Hike” to learn more.