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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
3. Obama Fish Shop
The US President clearly personally endorses this joint!
4. New Modern Hotel
This hotel is possibly where you should stay in Bartica – the only thing is, it looks neither new nor modern…
5. Bartica Majistrates Court
Due to the number of hookers in this town, perhaps the court is busy…
6. Bartica Police Station
Again Bartica and Guyana has high crime levels so a prominent police station is essential.
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.
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).
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: