In a little visited area on the border of Brazil and Guyana, near Roraima Plateau, are located several impressive waterfalls. One of the most impressive is Kurutuwu Mehru what could be translated from Carib language as Great Snail Falls.

This waterfall has formed on Ireng River (Maú River), in pristine rainforest some 90 km west from Roraima plateau.

Waterfall has two major cascades. The upper cascade falls over an overhang, but the lower one has multiple smaller steps. It falls over pink sandstone, which has formed more than 1 billion years ago, in the Stenian period. Waterfall, of course, is much younger.

Ireng River is the northernmost large river of the Amazonian basin and on this river have formed several beautiful waterfalls, including the Orinduik Falls – approximately 25 m tall falls over pure jasper.

On Socobi (Sukabi) River in the same distance from the confluence with Ireng have formed somewhat less tall waterfalls (Ando Falls?).

This area is sparsely inhabited by Patamona people. The nearest village – Kaibarupai – is located 6 km downstream and is rather isolated from any other society.

There is another, much better known waterfall in Brazil with similar Portuguese name – the beautiful Cascata do Caracol.

Kurutuik Falls are included in the following lists:

Map of 10 major waterfalls in Guyana
Waterfalls of Guyana, map
Waterfalls of Guyana


  1. Reinaldo Imbrozio Barbosa, Sebastião Pereira do Nascimento, Ari Alfredo Weiduschat, Fábio Bonatto, Notes on an Expedition to the Headwaters of the Maú (Ireng) River, Roraima, Brazil, Accessed on 1 April 2012


Images of this remote area are rare.

  1. Living Sculpture by Bruce J. Morgan, General view, Accessed on 1 April 2012
  2. Terry Henkel Expedition, Lower cascade, Accessed on 1 April 2012
  3. Terry Henkel Expedition, Sight from the upper rim, Accessed on 1 April 2012

Kurutuik Falls on the map

Travelers' Map is loading...
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Location, GPS coordinates:5.0833 N 59.9867 W
Values:Geology, Visual
Rating:3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)
Where is located?South America, Guyana, Potaro-Siparuni and Brazil, Roraima, on Ireng River, some 2 km before the confluence with Socobi (Sukabi) River, 6 km upstreams from Kaibarupai
Alternate names:Cachoeira do Grande Caracol, Cachoeira Curutique (Portuguese), Great Snail Falls (English)
Height:approximately 100 m
Width:very roughly: 20 – 30 m

Landmarks of Guyana

Georgetown Cathedral in Guyana, interior
Georgetown Cathedral, interior / Ian Mackenzie, / CC BY 2.0
In future Guyana may bring many positive surprises – this country is little explored and may hide unique natural monuments unknown to the people. For most part Guyana consists of unspoilt nature – wast expanses of tropical forests, savannah, mountains.

Waterfalls and rapids

Virginia Falls, Canada
Virginia Falls / Paul Gierszewski, / public domain
Some of the most fascinating and awe inspiring natural monuments are waterfalls, or locations where a river abruptly changes its elevation.

Recommended books

Navigators Travel to Guyana

Navigators Travel to Guyana is the follow up to Navigators Travel to Barbados written by Howard Liverpool. This time our intrepid explorers travel to Guyana and learn about the history and geography of the country. They also sample some of the local cuisine and have a scary encounter with a ram sheep.

Natural Wonders of the World

From the Rocky Mountains to the Great barrier Reef and everything in between, Natural Wonders of the World combines breathtaking landscape photography and illustrations with 3-D terrain models and other explanatory artworks to reveal what lies beneath the surface and explain the geological processes to show how the features were formed. Plants and animals that inhabit each environment are also included, making Natural Wonders of the World a complete celebration of our world.

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