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Most Popular Places to Visit in Guyana, Top Attractions
Guyana is one of the most adventurous, raw, and serene countries in South America. There are so many awesome things to do in Guyana for both tourists and locals alike and you’ll have the time of your life traveling here! I spent 10 days in Guyana and it was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had! But what exactly is there to do, and what are the best places to visit in Guyana? This guide will cover 15 incredible Guyana tourist attractions, from simple day trips to more adventurous excursions in the savannah and rainforests. Whether you’re a nature lover, a history buff, or just looking for a new place to explore, I guarantee you’ll find something on this list of amazing things to do in Guyana. Guyana is located in the northeastern part of South America, bordering the Atlantic Ocean, between Venezuela, Suriname, and Brazil. The country is about the size of Idaho, and its capital city is Georgetown. Other than being the only English-speaking country in South America, it’s covered by 80% of tropical rainforest which means it’s a stunning place to visit. It’s a place brimming with nature. While the Amazon jungle further south might be scientifically more biodiverse, around 80% of Guyana is covered in tropical rainforest, meaning that the opportunities for spotting elusive and, in some cases, giant wildlife are abundant. It’s also a country committed to sustainable tourism, meaning that you can visit safe in the knowledge that your trip is doing a little bit of good towards protecting a critical slice of global biodiversity. But, with visitor numbers only reaching some 280,000 annually, Guyana is also a country that you can also expect to share with few others. When I visited, I saw just two other groups of tourists in a two-week trip. It’s a place brimming with nature. While the Amazon jungle further south might be scientifically more biodiverse, around 80% of Guyana is covered in tropical rainforest, meaning that the opportunities for spotting elusive and, in some cases, giant wildlife are abundant. It’s also a country committed to sustainable tourism, meaning that you can visit safe in the knowledge that your trip is doing a little bit of good towards protecting a critical slice of global biodiversity. But, with visitor numbers only reaching some 280,000 annually, Guyana is also a country that you can also expect to share with few others. When I visited, I saw just two other groups of tourists in a two-week trip.
#1- National Museum
An old-fashioned institution documenting the nation's cultural, social and political history via some odd artifacts and very old stuffed critters.
#2- City Hall
The distinctive neo-Gothic City Hall, inaugurated in 1889, has a 23m tower where colonial-period wives apparently watched for their husbands' ships to come into port. It's one of Georgetown's more striking buildings, and despite its name is no longer used as the mayor's office. Instead, the now thoroughly dilapidated building is closed to the public while it's slowly renovated.
#3- Botanical Gardens Zoo
Georgetown's zoo, inside the Botanical Gardens, desperately needs some investment, but it has a decent collection of creatures nonetheless. You'll see tropical birds, cougars, jaguars, monkeys and caimans. There are also several manatees, but you'll be highly unlikely to see them as they rarely surface. The cage size won't thrill you, but in general the animals are well looked after.
#4- Promenade Garden
During daylight hours, the Promenade Garden in Cummingsburg is a quiet place to relax, read and enjoy the flowers and tropical birdlife. Its tranquility is in stark contrast to its role in the 19th century as a public execution site during the Demerara Revolt, a slave uprising that took place in 1823. A statue of Gandhi can be found here today, as well as a very Victorian-looking bandstand.
#5- Botanical Gardens
Georgetown's Botanical Garden is a pleasant open space with a huge range of tropical plants, trees and flowers in it, including the Victoria Regia Lily, Guyana's national flower. The entire place is charmingly laid out, with ponds, bandstands, walkways and gazebos. You'll also find Georgetown's small zoo here, as well as the mausoleum of Guyana's longtime president, Forbes Burnham.
#6- Shell Beach
This is one of the least developed areas of the entire South American coastline; the only human additions are in the form of temporary fishing huts and small Amerindian settlements. The beach here has sadly been all but washed away in recent years as coastal erosion is a huge problem. It's still a wonderful spot for turtle-spotting and bird-watching, however.
#7- Orinduik Falls
Often added as a second stop on a day trip to Kaieteur Falls, Orinduik is a collection of far smaller waterfalls cascading over several levels where you can bathe and swim. A nearby airstrip allows for easy access from Kaieteur before returning to Georgetown.
#8- Marshall Falls
These lovely fast-flowing cascades, deep in the jungle, are wonderfully interactive; you can clamber under them, swim in various pools, take massage-showers as the golden-brown water thumps your back or just chill in a natural 'Jacuzzi'. The falls are a 1½ hour boat trip from Bartica, followed by a 30-minute jungle hike, for which you need a local guide.
#9- Canopy Walkway
Iwokrama's Canopy Walkway, 60km east of the river crossing and the Iwokrama River Lodge, is a series of walkways 30m above the forest floor, connecting several platforms that offer bird's-eye views of native greenheart trees, high-dwelling red howler monkeys and lots of birds. Dawn and late afternoon are the best times to see birds and other wildlife.
#10- St George's Cathedral
The most impressive building in town is the white-painted, Gothic-style St George's Cathedral, said to be the world's tallest wooden building. It was completed in 1892 and was built with a native hardwood called greenheart. It was enjoying a renovation at the time of writing – though remains open – and will look wonderful when it's finished.
#11- Kaieteur Falls
Watching 1140 metric tons of water shooting over a 250m cliff (the world's highest single-drop falls) in the middle of an ancient jungle with few tourists in sight is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Depending on the season, the falls are from 76m to 122m wide. The trail approaching the falls is home to scarlet Guianan cock-of-the-rock birds, and miniscule golden frogs (best seen in the rainy season and/or in the morning), which produce a potentially fatal poison.
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