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Lower Essequibo River - A view from our expert author
The Essequibo is a grand, beautifully moody river that transports the brown muddy waters from wide reaches of Guyana.
Grand resorts and house rentals flourish on Guyana’s largest river © Guyana Tourism Authority
From its humble source in the Acarai Mountains along Guyana’s southern border with Brazil, the Essequibo River flows north for more than 600 miles – winding, twisting and roaring through savannas and tropical forests along the way – until its mouth opens up some 20 miles (32km) in width and it spills into the Atlantic Ocean. During its journey, the Essequibo, which is Guyana’s largest river, and South America’s third-largest (behind the Amazon and Orinoco), flows aroundsome 365 different islands. The three largest – Wakenaam, Leguan and Hog – create a large tongue in the Essequibo’s mouth. Together their girth measures nearly 60 square miles; alone the islands are larger than some of the famed Caribbean countries to the north.
Many of Guyana’s other great rivers flow into the Essequibo, including the Cuyuni, Mazaruni, Potaro, Rupununi and the Siparuni. The Essequibo is a grand, beautifully moody river that transports the brown muddy waters from wide reaches of Guyana. It was the area that attracted Guyana’s first European settlers and its lower section (from its mouth to just past Bartica, some 80km to the south) continues to bustle with activity and is easily accessible for visitors.