Top 10 Islands In Guyana

islands in guyana
| 6 min read

Known for its dense rainforests, Guyana is a country in South America, located in the North Atlantic Coast. To this date, 80% of its forests have been left untouched, making them home to different species of flora and fauna. And the best way to enjoy Guyana’s beauty is to travel down Essequibo, the longest river in Guyana, and explore the many islands of the country. Each of these islands has something unique to show, whether it be their beautiful waterfalls or beaches. Then, people have the chance to see rare animals wandering about with no fear, such as Tapirs, Black Caiman and more. Keep reading to learn more about the top islands in Guyana.

1. Hogg Island

Hogg Island is the largest of the islands in Guyana. It is said to be larger than some of the islands in the Caribbean as well. Initially found by the Dutch, the island was also named by them after the many wild hogs living there. However, in the present, none of the hogs remain. Despite being the largest island, there are barely any people living here, most having moved out for better opportunities. Untouched by humans, the better part of the island has returned to nature and the parts where people do live have been converted into agricultural land. Other than that, Hogg island is a place with a long history, first ruled by the Dutch and then colonized by the British. Remnants of that time still abound, the most famous one being the brick windmill constructed by the Dutch.

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2. Ankoko Island

Isla de Anacoco Puesto Militar
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ricardo Salvador ... used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Located at the confluence of two rivers, Cuyuni and Wenamu, Ankoko Island lies on the border between Guyana and Venezuela. After the British colonization, as Guyana gained its independence from the crown, Venezuelan troops began their occupation of Ankoko island. Since then, there has been a lot of political tension regarding the fate of the island as both Guyana and Venezuela claim it to be their land. Being located on the border of the two countries, Ankoko not only holds pieces of Guyana but also Venezuela, making it a unique place for those who choose to visit.

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3. Fort Island

20191123_Guyana_0228 Kyk Over Al Island sRGB
Source: Photo by Flickr user Dan Lundberg used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Fort Island was once known as Flag island because of the giant flag that was flown there to act as a guide for ships during the rule of the Dutch. Later, however, the island became a center for the government as planters began to migrate to Guyana. In 1744, because of these reasons, Fort Zeelandia was built. To this day, the fort stands and gives the island its name. Along with the Court of, Policy, Fort Zeelandia, now a Dutch Heritage Museum is one of the historical sites the island is remembered for. When in Guyana, this island is one of the places to visit because of the way it still holds history in its heart.

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4. Wakenaam

Riding tru Wakenaam - panoramio (1)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Marco Farouk Basir used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Wakenaam is famous for many things, the first being the rice mills. Tourists have a chance to visit them and learn as well as watch the whole process before the grain is packed for sale. They can also see how coconuts are processed on the island. After that, there is the pottery. While there is only one family on the island that still works with clay, their products are unique as they still use the manual wheel. Each item is created by hand and given an equal amount of attention to detail. Finally, depending on the period of visit, you can catch the sight that is Wakenaam night. This is the time of the year when the people of the island celebrate their culture and heritage. There are exhibition booths and concerts that people make sure to dress up for.

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5. Baganara Island

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Located in the Cuyuni - Mazaruni region, Baganara island is famous for its rainforest resort. Built on the beachside with its 15 spacious rooms and myriad of activities, Baganara Island Resort is a favorite, not just among tourists, but locals as well. The perfect place for those looking to unwind, guests have the opportunity to spend their time visiting the beach and being pampered in their rooms. For those seeking adventure, the resort offers activities like kayaking, beach volleyball or visiting destinations like Marshal Falls. With its scenic location, blue skies and greenery all around, this island is a must-visit for those who love nature.

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6. Leguan Island

Named by the Dutch after the many iguanas found on the island, Leguan is a small island located in the delta of Essequibo River. Those who visit come to see the religious structures that are the pride of the island. St. Peter’s Church and the bell tower accompanying are known to have the finest brick structure constructed in Guyana. Another sight to behold is the statue of Hanuman, which is 52 feet (15.8 m) tall. The statue is located next to another visited site, the Rama Krishna Mandir that was consecrated in 2016. There was a time when Leguan had beautiful beaches but now, most of them have disappeared naturally, leaving behind only four: The High Sand Beach, Dauntless Beach and two more near Waterloo and Phoenix that only appear when there is a low tide.

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7. Sloth Island

20191123_Guyana_0206 Sloth Island sRGB
Source: Photo by Flickr user Dan Lundberg used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Another island in the Essequibo River, Sloth island was named because of the large number of pale-throated sloths. However, despite their presence on the island, these sloths today are on the brink of being endangered. The island, as of now, is privately owned for the protection of the rainforests, the sloths, and to increase tourism on the island with a unique eco-lodge. The Macushi tribe that lives on the island is said to be its caretakers and experts at finding sloths. When visiting the island, if you look close enough, you will find not just sloths, but also other animals wandering about, such as spider monkeys, howler monkeys and even piranhas. If you feel like staying for a while, make sure to hit up the eco-lodge, Sloth Island Resort, for a relaxing experience that offers an array of activities like bird watching, wildlife viewing, swimming, canoeing, and fishing.

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8. Crab Island

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user madmack66 used under CC BY 2.0

Unlike the rest, Crab Island is a small place located on the Berbice River. Just like its name suggests, it is a place where a large number of crabs can be found, making their presence a tourist attraction. Despite being a small island, during the Dutch rule over Guyana, a fort was built on this island. It was known as St Andries, the remains of which can be found even today. Mostly left untouched, Crab Island brims with natural beauty. The water is blue and the vegetation green. So, if you’re on your way to Guyana, make sure to visit this island and experience its uniqueness.

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9. Tiger Island

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Also known as Hamburg Island, Tiger Island is located between Wakenaam and the Essequibo Coast. Today, the island is privately owned by two Guyanese. It is well known for its long beach that faces the Atlantic Ocean. Every year, on the first Monday of August, Guyanese travel down to Tiger Island to engage in a small celebration of sorts, where they dance, play games, swim or relax under the shade of the trees. Depending on the time of travel, tourists can be part of this celebration and experience Guyanese relaxation first-hand.

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10. Gluck Island

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

An uninhabited island, Gluck island is located near Rockstone in the Essequibo River. It is most well known for the Victoria Regia Water Lilies that blossom there with a meter (3.2-foot) diameter, surrounded by a lush green environment. Depending on the time of viewing, people can either see big caiman lazing around at night or giant otters early in the morning. Apart from that, the island itself is home to several species of birds, animals and flora. Macaws and various species of parrots can be found here.

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Make unforgettable memories

With its beautiful rainforests untouched by humans, Guyana is the premier destination for eco-tourism. With more than 100 islands dotted down the Essequibo River, island hopping is the best way to experience Guyana at its best. From seeing sloths on Sloth Island, historical remains on Fort Island and dipping into Guyanese culture at Wakenaam, every island in Guyana has something unique to offer. Head down the river and make unforgettable memories.

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Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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Aparajita, an aspiring writer, began her writing journey at a young age. She completed her BA in Psychology, English, and Journalism and is currently pursuing her Masters in Creative Writing at...Read more

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