Caribbean Beat Magazine

Potaro Gorge, Guyana | Wish you were here (Sept/Oct 2021)

Postcards from the Caribbean’s most extraordinary places

  • Potaro Gorge, Guyana. Photo by Pete Oxford/Nature Picture Library/Alamy Stock Photo
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Rising near the tepui Mt Ayanganna in the Pakaraima Mountains, the Potaro River flows eastwards for 140 miles before joining the Essequibo. For aeons, making its way across the vast Guiana Shield, the river has cut into the plateau of soft sandstone, creating a series of nine waterfalls, some small, some large, and one vast: world-famous Kaieteur, one of Guyana’s true natural wonders, and our planet’s largest single-drop waterfall. At Kaieteur, the Potaro plunges 741 feet from the edge of the plateau into its gorge, with a neverending roar and clouds of spray. From the top of the falls — which you can visit by air on a day-trip, or by trekking upriver — the view stretches across miles of rainforest broken only by glimpses of the river glinting in the sun.