Potaro River

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View of Potaro River at Pamela Landing (facing south).

The Potaro River is a river in Guyana in northern South America.

The source of the Potaro River is in the Mount Ayanganna area of the Pakaraima Mountains in the North Rupununi Savannahs. The river runs for approximately 225 km (140 mi) before flowing into the Essequibo River, Guyana's largest river.

Nine waterfalls are found on the Potaro River, most notable being Kaieteur Falls and Tumatumari Falls. Below Kaieteur Falls lie Amatuk Falls and Waratuk Falls.

A 1930 Suspension bridge, the Garraway Stream Bridge crosses the river. As well, 'Two Islands' is found on the Potaro River.

Chenapau is a small Amerindian village located in forested terrain along the Potaro River south of Kaieteur Falls. Menzies Landing, a small settlement that is a 20-minute walk upriver from Kaieteur Falls, is the main staging area for up river travel. Up river from the falls, the Potaro Plateau stretches out to the distant escarpment of the Pakaraima Mountains.

A gold dredger (known locally as a "missile") on the Potaro River.

Placer gold and diamonds are extracted from the river in this mineral-rich area. Individuals who pan for gold are referred to as Porkknockers.

In the first half of the 20th century miners, employing primitive methods, recovered significant quantities of gem-quality diamonds from the area's rivers and streams. In fact the two largest gem-quality diamonds recovered in Guyana to date - 56.75 carats (11.35 g) from Little Uewang River and 25.67 carats (5.134 g) from Maple Creek - were recovered in the Potaro area.

Many thousands of ounces of placer gold have been recovered from the area's stream gravels, residual placers and saprolites.

The mineral Potarite is named for the river where it was first discovered.

Kaieteur Falls September 2007

See also[edit]

Coordinates: 5°21′48″N 58°54′24″W / 5.36333°N 58.90667°W / 5.36333; -58.90667