Bartica is a mining town with a reputation for being rough. Located at the conjunction of three rivers—the Essequibo, Cuyuni and Mazaruni—it's the gateway to the interior and to the gold mines where porkknockers (men who search the rivers for gold) make their fortune. There are a growing number of resorts along the rivers around Bartica, such as Baracara and Baganara resorts, and there's even a Catholic monastery. If flights from Georgetown to Kaieteur Falls are full, you can hike to the falls from Bartica. It takes two days, and you'll need a guide. However, there are numerous waterfalls that are closer. The scenic Marshall Falls and Whitewater Falls are just a boat ride away up the Mazaruni, and if you don't feel like swimming, stop at Kyk-Over-Al island where you can view remains of a 17th-century Dutch fort. Across the way on the Essequibo River is Parrot Island, where thousands of parrots fly to roost at dusk. 50 mi/80 km southwest of Georgetown.

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