This is Guyana
A land of many waters and that is not said with any reservations. This place is filled with rivers and waterways, waterfalls and 459km of coastal waters. Guyana is the only English-speaking country in South America covered in 80% + of rainforests. There are tons to do and see in this amazing country. This country is a great addition to the backpacker going through South America because the culture is unique to what you will see in other countries in the continent.
Best time to travel to Guyana is between its rainy seasons, this is during November to January and May through July. The rainy season is typical of a tropical area where some days will have heavy downpour and others nice dry days However, if you are travelling just to visit the waterfall this is the best season to travel as the fall is full.
Places to Stay
Disclosure, we tend to stay private residence when travelling to Guyana. It works wonders for the budget but for someone who may be looking to spend a couple of nights in the main town there is no shortage of options. Some well-known franchise names such as Marriott, Ramada are an option. Guyana also has a few local hotels that are worth checking out. Pegasus Hotel is one that we frequently visit for lunch and dinners and to enjoy the pool on super-hot days. The accommodations are very welcoming with Wi-Fi (may not always be the best performing but it’s nice to have).
Food and More Food
Guyanese cuisine is something to experience in its own way, from the hot sauces to the fruits, vegetables and freshly prepared meats/fish. It is no surprise that we really enjoy the food when travelling and the food in Guyana will keep you always satisfied. There are your typical fast-food chains such as pizza hut, a sandwiches and burger spot (OMG), and KFC. But where the food really shines is in the local areas, offerings of crisply cooked local fish and chips (uniquely fried green plantains with sauce) is a mouthwatering combination that will satisfy the hunger. Other dishes we recommend you trying is the pepperpot, the national dish of Guyana, made with slow cooked meat (usually beef but other meats can be used), spices and cassareep (sauce made from the cassava root). There are tons of other delicious meals and snacks to try, and we can list them all but for more top dishes in Guyana check out Chefs Pencil for 25 top dishes from Guyana
The Land of Many Waters.
A country that provides an unexpected treasures. After all it was considered where El Dorado was located but to this date no one really know where that is but this is truly El Dorado.
Welcome to the first of the travel series! Thank you for taking the time to read this series, we hope to provide you with some valuable information on things to do and what best attractions to focus on and cautionary things while visiting. So, let’s get into it…
Things to do
While there are many touristy things to do, one could indulge in some of the things that the locals do on a regular. You may decide to visit the Seawall and hang out with family on a Saturday evening or Sunday with the family. Visit the botanical gardens for a picnic and explore the diverse species of plants and wildlife. Whatever is chosen, guarantee it’s going to be a relaxing time.
Guyana is not very big on its beaches but has few very well-known beaches for anyone looking for a relaxing day. One of the best beaches in Guyana is the shell beach. This beach is a laying ground to the famous leather back turtles. Every year the leather back along with 3 other species find their way back to the beach to lay eggs. The area is not human populated, and it can be quite a trip to get to this beach is it’s in the northern region. However, it is worth the trip to see.
There are also other beaches as well, 63 beach in Berbice is also popular for swimming and weekend trips. There you find locals enjoying their weekends swimming, fishing and spending time with their families. The best experiences are during the horse race weekend as there is a racetrack around the beach and during the easter weekend when a kite flying festival takes place. It really is a spectacular attraction that anyone will enjoy and even love part-taking in. This is beach is a bit of a drive down the coastline of Guyana
The Botanical Garden of Guyana is the main recreational park of the country. It is filled with many species of tropical plants and flowers, variety of palm trees and vast collection of the Victoria Regina Lily, the country’s national flower. One cannot consider their trip to Guyana complete if they haven’t visited the Botanical Gardens. This is a great place to have picnics with friends or just go for a run.
The gardens are also home to Guyana’s zoo and showcases many of the country’s indigenous species. The closest that one can get other than being in the rainforest exploring the flora and fauna with dedicated guides. We do recommend taking the chance to do the rainforest over the zoo but of course that comes with its own risk.
Even if someone like yourself is not a fan of the sport, it is worth taking the time to spectate a match. It is the national sport that is often played by family and friends for fun. Cricket is bat and ball sport with two teams of 11 players. You can find more details on this sport linked below but for the interest of traveling, Guyana has a Cricket stadium that frequents matches and holds other sports and exhibitions.
The seawall, made to protect Guyana’s coastline from everlasting battle with the Atlantic is now an amazing attraction. Did we mention that Guyana’s coastline is 7ft below sea level? That is insane. It was built in the 1800’s by the Dutch and now favors as a major hangout spot. Families hang out after work or schools during the weekdays. but the weekends are when it really comes alive. It is a relaxing retreat to take a walk by the ocean.
No trip to Guyana is complete without the main attraction. Kaieteur falls is the tallest free-falling waterfall in the world and it's truly spectacular. At 274m (741ft.), the cascading rainforest below the falls flows into an endless beauty of blue and these words still do not do the scenery justice. It must be witnessed in person; the waterfall is breathtaking. The tour requires a domestic flight to a local airport close to the falls and from there a tour guide will lead you through the jungle showcasing the flora until the walk reveals the waterfall. This is all at the top of the falls as the national park and conservatory of Guyana has protected the lands and not many are granted access to the bottom. Also warrant that since it’s in a valley it would take a while to get from the top to the bottom and back up.
Submerse yourself in the jungle on the Iwokrama Canopy Walkway. The walkway is a 154m suspension bridge path that takes you through a breathtaking view of the rainforest. There is no comparable feeling to being surrounded by the vast wildlife (monkeys, sloths, jaguars) and birds in the area. Getting there is best and fastest by air travel, but you can also do this by land though it will take a lot longer since it is about 300km (190 mi) south of the capital Georgetown and the road conditions may vary depending on the time of year. It is highly recommended to spend a few nights by the lodge and get the full experience if it fits your itinerary. For more details visit: Iwokrama River Lodge for packages and accommodations.
Remember the movie UP? Where the house took off with balloons and landed at the top of this strange yet captivating mounting with sheer Cliff drops. Well, that was Mt. Roraima, and it falls on the border of Brazil, Guyana and Venezuela. It can be accessed from any of the countries. It is dubbed the “lost world” and it is unlike any other formation in the world. Getting there can be accomplished through a tour, it takes 8 days to experience one of the most memorable views. Visit Adventure Guianas for more details on the trip and bookings
There it is, plenty of things to do in Guyana when visiting and never really a moment of boredom. These are suggestions of what you can do and subject to individual itinerary, budget and time available. Feel welcomed to explore the link at the end that provides more details to each attraction and things to do in Guyana.
Is it Safe?
Guyana overall is a safe country, but you must travel with precautions as with all countries and travels. We advise to always travel with a group and to have a tour guide on most of the trips even within the capital to prevent anyone from causing problems. Also encourage that items of greater value always be secure as there can be some theft. As travelers, we have noticed that people are more welcoming to sharing their experience and opening to showing you their country but always exercise caution. We recommend being vigilant when travelling at night in the city. We do encourage and travelers to always stay up to date with their local travel guidelines and destination warnings as the stability and safety of these countries can change.
What to Pack
Guyana is very tropical, and packing is light and loose clothing is best. It doesn’t really get cold, but the temperatures can drop in the low 20’s during the nights. Here is a list of times you may want to pack for the trip:
Sunscreen, Hats and Sunglasses are a must as it can get very hot some days
Mosquito & Bug Spray, Anti-itch creams especially for the rainy seasons and incase of bites
Active wear and comfortable clothing for any type of day
Comfortable and breathable footwear. Recommend taking light hiking shoes, a runner shoes preferably waterproof and sandals/slides
Beach day accessories; swimsuits, quick dry towels, wet shoes
Vaccination cards and immunization (yellow fever, covid)
Enjoy your Trip!
All in all, Guyana is a great country and has tons to explore. Hope you benefit from this travel series. Any more questions on Guyana feel free to shoot us an email and we will try our best to help you get the best experience.
Links and resources