For those who want to have a travel experience that combines the charm of South America and the breeze of the Caribbean, Guyana is the guy. This tiny nation is one of the most heavily forested on the continent, thanks to the Amazon Rainforest and the Orinoco delta.
Guyana is one of the least densely populated countries, and most of its interior is uninhabited. That makes the landscape of this South American nation diverse and vibrant. From its coastal plain and hilly sand to the rainforests and savannahs, there’s something for everyone in Guyana. A tropical paradise is always within reach in this inspiring destination.
The coastal city of Georgetown is the perfect place to start a Guyana adventure, not only because it's the capital but because it’s a sightseer’s paradise. There are two attractions that are on the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites: St. George's Cathedral and the city hall, both in Gothic style. Art buffs should visit the Castellani House, home to the National Art Gallery, while bookworms can peek at the National Library. Those who want some Guyanese souvenirs should not miss the bustling Stabroek Market. There’s much to see and experience in the vibrant Georgetown.
9 Amazon Rainforest
In other countries like Brazil, the Amazon Rainforest is facing threats from human activities. However, it seems like Guyana is doing it right when protecting the planet’s largest rainforest. Since 90 percent of the country is still covered by trees, Guyana probably has the best of Amazon. From meeting indigenous people to observing a lush forest home to many wildlife species, a journey into the Amazon Rainforest of Guyana is an experience not matched by any other place in the world.
8 Kaieteur Falls
Kaieteur Falls is four times higher than Niagara and one of Guyana’s top attractions. Standing 741 feet, this majestic waterway seems like it popped off from a postcard. It can be reached via aircraft, a road, or the river, but however, tourists plan to go to the waterfall, they’ll be greeted by a stunning aura. As they hear the roar of the cascades, they’ll be lulled by it, focusing their gaze on the strong waters and the mist they create. They see a masterpiece, and they’ll go home at peace.
7 Iwokrama Canopy Walkway
Thrill-seekers are in for a treat because Guyana has the Iwokrama Canopy Walkway, a canopy adventure within a rainforest reserve. Beyond the forest trail lies a series of 30-meter suspension bridges that are 154 meters long. This platform is the perfect spot to enjoy the views of the upper canopy, where tourists might spot birds as curious as them. This Guyana experience will let visitors appreciate the country’s lush forest, all the while filling their adrenaline cups. A nature adventure is always possible in Iwokrama.
6 Shell Beach
Shorebirds and turtles are the stars of Shell Beach, one of the continent’s least developed coastlines. This 90-mile-long attraction, though challenged by erosion, is a nesting spot for sea turtles. Those visiting in time for the release of hatchlings will have a worthwhile vacation with cute critters. To conserve the area, it is tentatively listed as a World Heritage Site. Aside from turtles, birdwatchers will also have a field day observing feathered friends wading through the waters or idling by the shore. Shell Beach is a refuge for animals and travelers.
5 Demerara Distillers
Aside from its superb nature spots, Guyana is proud of its other treasure: El Dorado Rum. It is a product of Demerara Distillers, an institution dating back to 1670. The distillery by the Demerara River has a museum where tourists can learn more about the local distilling industry and the process of creating the world-famous rum. Of course, when visiting an establishment like this, tourists should not miss the chance to taste its rum. Historical tours have never been this good.
Tourists who want to travel back in time and learn about Guyanese history can visit the country’s many museums. The National Museum is a great introduction for Guyana, while the Walter Roth Museum of Anthropology is the first of its kind in the Caribbean. Aside from the previously mentioned Castellani House, art lovers should check out masterpieces in the Museum of African Heritage and the Guyana Heritage Museum. Three other museums, meanwhile, feature items about the police, weavers, and stamps. Stepping back in time is an exciting experience in Guyana.
3 Colonial Houses
After museum-hopping, history lovers can also drop by colonial houses, mostly wooden buildings made the traditional way. These historic structures stood the test of time and are now awaiting visitors who want to check their beauty. There's the 1930-1940 era residence of the Brazilian ambassador and the 1840s Woodbine House, now a lodge. Dargan House, meanwhile, was built in 1880, with its white facade exuding beauty in its simplest sense. The Austin House looks chic, while Sharples House (now a lodge) feels homey. Not to be overlooked is GO-INVEST Office, standing proud and a calming presence in town.
2 Birding Spots
The Atlantic Ocean and the Amazon Rainforest work together to make Guyana a birder’s paradise. Once nature lovers step on the birdwatching spots of this lush nation, they’ll be greeted by the twitters and singsongs of their feathered friends. Along the coast, they can spot harpy eagles, shorebirds, and macaws, while the rivers are home to seedeaters, flycatchers, kingbirds, and woodpeckers, among others. Even the gardens of Georgetown have more than 100 species of birds. In Guyana, birds will suddenly appear every time tourists are near.
1 Other Potential World Heritage Sites
Aside from St. George's Cathedral and the city hall, there are two more areas in Guyana tentatively listed as World Heritage Sites. The first one is Fort Zeelandia, a brick structure built in 1743 and one of the oldest buildings in the country. Alongside the Court of Policy Building, the landmark is an impressive look at the past. Other potential World Heritage Sites are Georgetown’s plantation and historic buildings, a stunning set of 19th-century colonial architecture. In Guyana, the past can always be felt.