Guyana is South America's only English speaking country, the size of the England with only 750,000 inhabitants most of which live in and around the capital Georgetown on the coast.
Guyana is a unique and diverse South American country with lush natural environment, waterfalls, friendly and welcoming people. Guyana with its several natural wonders is now fast emerging as a premier destination for eco-tourism. So whenever you are looking for something different, then consider making Guyana your holiday destination next time. Here are just a few details why you should visit Guyana:
1. Visit Georgetown – the Garden City
Georgetown is a charming and exciting city in the world. Though a modern city and the capital of Guyana, it is devoid of skyscrapers usually found in other capital cities around the world. You will mostly find wooden buildings here. Georgetown, also popularly called the Garden City, is home to St. George Cathedral, which is the largest wooden structure in the world. The capital city is Guyana’s prime attraction. It’s an absolutely thrilling experience visiting the city. As you stroll down the streets here you will find horses pulling carts, parrots flying overhead, and people buying their essentials from small markets. There are some good restaurants and cafes in the city as well.
2. Explore the Amazon Rainforest
Nearly 80 percent of tropical virgin rainforest exist in Guyana. In fact, the tract of Amazon Rainforest in the country is truly one of the last unspoiled stretches here. In recent years, the Amazon Rainforest in Guyana has started opening up to eco-tourism. Why not visit the rainforest and enjoy the thrills of hiking through the jungle, see majestic waterfalls, and go on excursions at the Asa Wright Nature Center situated nearby Trinidad to spot more than 800 bird species. You can also enjoy your stay at the three eco-lodges here – Rock View Lodge, Atta Rainforest Lodge and Iwokrama River Lodge.
3. Visit Amerindian communities and see their cultures
Guyana is home to many Amerindian communities such as Wapisiana, Waiwai, Macushi, Warao, Arawak and Caribe just to name a few. All these communities have their customs, languages and cultures. These communities can be found mostly living in the mangrove coast and wild interiors such as rainforest and savannahs in the country. Your visit will remain incomplete if you don’t visit these fascinating and intriguing Amerindian communities.
4. See earth’s largest reptile at Shell Beach
A visit to the Shell Beach is a thrilling and exciting experience. Here you will get opportunity to see the leather-back turtle, one of the largest reptiles on the earth. These huge turtles are awesome to look and can weigh up to 750 kg. While strolling on the beach you can also see the frequently-visiting green and Hawksbill turtle as well. Swimming at the Shell Beach, which is among the last wild beaches in South America, is though not recommended. You will also discover few small Amerindian settlements amid rainforest and mangrove. Jaguars have been spotted prowling the beaches during the night.
5. Amazing vast wilderness of Rupununi Savannah
The vast wilderness of the Savannahs of the Rupununi is simply amazing. Exploring the Rupununi Savannah is a great experience. You will discover Amerindian cowboys, also called Vaqueros, roaming the plains. The world’s largest ranch was once situated here. It’s an excellent place for bird watching, fishing, wildlife spotting and enjoying horse riding holidays.
6. Participate in the annual Rupununi Rodeo Festival
The 3-day annual Rupununi Rodeo Festival is simply fascinating. It’s a joy to watch cattle and wild horses rounded up out of the huge wilderness of the Rupununi Savannah and performing various acts and tricks. You will undoubtedly find the festival quite exciting.
7. Take a fascinating look at Kaieteur Falls
If you are disappointed to see Niagara Falls in the middle of the city or irritated by huge deluge of tourists at the Victoria Falls or totally unimpressed by Angels Falls and little drip of water from here, then just take a look at the Kaieteur Falls in Guyana, which you will love seeing again and again. This world’s largest single drop waterfall in volume and height is marvelous to see. It is located in the midst of a vast wilderness and drops from over 800 feet.
Guyana is world renowned for its gold
In places like Lethem (a remote inland village on the border of Brazil and Guyana), due to previous floods in the Rupannuni, red dirt flood-stains could still be seen in the reception area almost a meter up the wall at the guest house where I was staying. They used milk crates during the time of the flood to try to continue a sense of normality even during the chaos. People are living life to the fullest regardless of what has happened in the village. The people are eternally happy. I enjoyed watching the children running and playing outside of the guest house.
These are some of the important reasons why you should think of visiting Guyana and its capital city Georgetown. It will make your vacation to this South American nation quite memorable.
Most of the few tourist visiting Guyana are either birders or fishermen. Guyana has great opportunities for both. The rivers of Guyana are some of the richest in the world with many different species fish including the above Pairama and its cousin the Black Piranha. If you do decide to go on a fishing trip to Guyana, we would ask you to think about the environment and to release the fish you catch.
Guyanese love to talk (they are known to use their hands while they are talking)! Their storytelling ability is a true gift!