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.

Essequibo River Guyana by Guyana Tourism AuthorityGrand 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.

Back to the top

Guyana articles

View all

Community lodges in Guyana

The most memorable stays in Guyana are at community-run lodges that support local people and the environment – here are seven to add to your list. 


Guyana’s top natural attractions

There are few places that remain as untouched and pristine as Guyana – discover the top natural attractions not to miss. 


Amerindian craft

Author Kirk Smock writes about traditional and non-traditional handicrafts produced by Amerindian communities in Guyana.


Related guides and other books

View all