Backpacking in Guyana: The Town of Bartica

bartica guyana

Welcome to Bartica, Guyana

Guyana threw a few new towns at us, some of which we had never heard of. Bartica was one of these. Having already written up some cool stuff on Kaieteur Falls, the remote Sloth Island, the riverside town of Parika and indeed the flambuoyant capital city, Georgetown it’s time to check out Bartica.

Backpacking in Guyana: the town of Bartica.

Backpacking in Guyana: the town of Bartica.

Getting to Bartica
As it’s a port and a riverside town, it’s best to get there by boat. It’s a bit remote and a boat from Parika costs around $12 US, which admittedly is expensive for a one way, but once you know you’re on a day tour of Parika, Bartica and indeed Sloth Island, you know it will be worth it.

Arrival in Bartica, Guyana.

Arrival in Bartica, Guyana.

This is why we travel. The boat is a speedboat and they leave from the main harbour in Parika. They only leave when they are full. It took about 40 minutes for our boat to fill up. If you want to save cash big time, you can take the three times weekly (I think) ferry which are only $3 US.

In Parika boarding the boat to Bartica

In Parika boarding the boat to Bartica

View from the boat

View from the boat

A bigger ferry which takes cars and goods

A bigger ferry which takes cars and goods

The speedboat ride can be fast and furious but savour the views – you’ll also be the only tourists on the boat. This is completely off the beaten track. Completely.

Our boat

Our boat

Panny and I the only two tourists, of course.

Panny and I the only two tourists, of course.

A few Sights and Random Things I Witnessed in Bartica
We had just over an hour in Bartica on route to Sloth Island but we made sure we hung around and saw what we could. I originally thought that Bartica was touristy but our guide Eugene informed us that it was quite the opposite and of course – Panny and I were the only tourists there! We find out that the Essequibo River 1,010 kilometres long – the river we have crossed to get here and the one we spent a full day touring along.

Touring the Essequibo River - it's 1,010 kilometres long!

Touring the Essequibo River – it’s 1,010 kilometres long!

Here are some of the odd and unusual things in town. It had an odd feel to it, a bit funky and weird – not quite South America, not quite an ex British colony and not quite the Caribbean!

Panny in Bartica, Guyana

Panny in Bartica, Guyana

1. Hong Kong Restaurant
Being a Hong Kong Girl, Panny was well up for visiting the Hong Kong restaurant – it was me that spotted it first though. Panny then asked to speak to the owner. It turns out he was a cool guy and came from Guangzhou in China!

Hong Kong restaurant in Bartica, Guyana

Hong Kong restaurant in Bartica, Guyana

Not only did he chat away to us and was surprised to see two tourists, but he also gave us a free drink each. I had a Banks beer. All thanks to Panny’s Chinese!

Free Banks beer and a juice in Hong Kong Restaurant

Free Banks beer and a juice in Hong Kong Restaurant

2. Hookers
The main street is rife with hookers, apparently. At least that’s what we were told by Eugene our guide. The men who are working out here on plantations and agriculture are a bit remote and excluded so they needed some night time action. Brazilian and Guyanese ladies provided the excitement.

Hooker Street

Hooker Street

3. Obama Fish Shop
The US President clearly personally endorses this joint!

The Obama Fish Shop...

The Obama Fish Shop…

4. New Modern Hotel
This hotel is possibly where you should stay in Bartica – the only thing is, it looks neither new nor modern…

The New Modern Hotel in Bartica

The New Modern Hotel in Bartica

5. Bartica Majistrates Court
Due to the number of hookers in this town, perhaps the court is busy…

Majistrates Court in Bartica

Majistrates Court in Bartica

6. Bartica Police Station
Again Bartica and Guyana has high crime levels so a prominent police station is essential.

touring bartica guyana

The Police Station in Bartica, Guyana

7. The Monument
Yes there is a monument here. I called it “the monument”. It’s just a white piece of concrete in the middle of the main street. Crazy.

The monument in Bartica!! It's just a white block of concrete!

The monument in Bartica!! It’s just a white block of concrete!

8. The Local Harbour
Having arrived by boat at the main harbour from Parika, we then left Bartica from “the local harbour”. Here they have smaller boats to tour the more remote islands and we were off to Sloth Island next (a truly magical place).

The local harbour in Bartica, Guyana.

The local harbour in Bartica, Guyana.

And that was that – it was a quick visit to Bartica and this was all we saw of it. Definitely an off the wall experience and once which we enjoyed as Guyana has some unusual treats up its sleeve (not just Georgetown and Kaieteur Falls but of course Sloth Island).

Here are my videos from Bartica:

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About Jonny Blair

I'm Jonny Blair, a travelling Northern Irishman. Since leaving my hometown a decade ago I have managed to visit over 100 countries and over 600 towns or cities across all 7 continents. Along the way I have worked in countless jobs! Join my journey on Don't Stop Living - a lifestyle of travel as I provide you with tips and inspiration to live your travel dreams! Safe travels! Follow me on Jonny Blair Google Plus
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4 Responses to Backpacking in Guyana: The Town of Bartica

  1. Ray says:

    Love how the old adage “no matter wherever you are in the world, you are always bound to find a Chinese restaurant/Chinatown!” Okay, I probably made that line up, but it is so very true! And of all things, it is called “Hong Kong Restaurant.”

    Did the owner explain why he moved to this remote part of the world of all places? I am sure it has to be quite the interesting story. I always love asking ex-pats when they first come “X” place and why they moved here.
    Ray recently posted…Ciudad del Este – The City of ChaosMy Profile

  2. Jonny Blair says:

    Hi Ray – he spoke in Chinese to Panny mostly and had limited English, even though Guyana’s primary language is English. I just asked Panny and she doesn’t remember the reason why he moved there but it does seem like an odd move as he was from Guangzhou, a thriving city in China. But then again, I also left my hometown, so I’m sure he has a reason for it and a good one. By all accounts it seems to be a successful restaurant in a really small town here in Guyana. Worth a trip to pass through Bartica Ray but I wouldn’t stay the night – Sloth Island is the paradise where it’s at and is a short 20-25 minute boat ride away! Safe travels. Jonny

  3. Cg says:

    Hi Johnny,
    Nice to read, i ,ve been also to Guyana ,
    It,s cool country i like it.
    I want to go to Brazilië via Guyana , to see bush,
    Have Nice day,
    Nmste, Cg

  4. Jonny Blair says:

    Hi CG, thanks for the comment. Yes it is a great country. Safe travels. Jonny

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