Guyana, officially known as the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, lies in far northeast South America. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the north, Brazil to the south and southwest, Suriname to the east, and Venezuela to the west.
It is included as part of the Caribbean Region because of its strong cultural, historical, and political ties with other Anglo-Caribbean countries and Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
Guyana is the fourth-smallest country in mainland South America after Uruguay, Suriname, and French Guiana and is the only South American country where English is the official language.
Although not well-known for its tourism product offerings, Guyana can certainly hold its own against other Caribbean territories where the tourism service sector is highly developed.
So, looking for a new and different place to go this summer, why not visit Guyana?
Here are five of the many things one can do in Guyana, a country that boasts a coastal belt that stretches 270 miles along the ocean and features a pristine beach and ecosystem, along with huge rivers which flow from inland points to the Atlantic, thus providing several beach options.
1. A visit to the Kaieteur Falls is a must on any visit to this country. The Kaieteur Falls is one of the tallest and most powerful waterfalls and the largest single-drop waterfall by volume in the world. The falls is located in Kaieteur National Park and is in the center of Guyana’s rainforest. There are frequent flights between the falls airstrip and Ogle Airport and Cheddi Jagan International Airport in Georgetown.
2. Looking for something to do that’s new, different, and adventurous? Well, the Iwokrama Forest is a place that one may want to go. It is a vast wilderness of nearly one million acres and is one of the four last pristine tropical forests in the world. It is a protected area and homeland of the Makushi people who have used the forest for generations. In the forest one can participate in a wide range of activities such as getting to interact with the Makushi people — the inhabitant of the forest, take an early morning boat trip around Indian House Island, see the diversity of birds that includes the Capuchinbird, Purple Crimson Topaz (largest hummingbird), Guianan Red-Cotinga, Cock of the Rock, and the rare Rufous-winged Ground Cuckoo, visit the falls between Michelle’s Island, and the village of Fair View and travel along the extensive trail system and see the rich and lush flora, fauna, and the vegetation of the area.
3. Go to Georgetown, the capital city of Guyana, and step back in time. Georgetown is known for its British colonial architecture, including 19th-century stilted wooden houses line the streets, old Dutch canals line the roads, and the tall painted-timber St. George’s Anglican Cathedral — the world’s tallest wooden church. The city is the center of commerce, finance, entertainment, and political administrative activities. The city also boasts trendy and fashionable name brand shops, exquisite restaurants, museums, and lively nightlife. Additionally, the charm of the city rests in its historic and old-fashioned monuments as well as places such as the Parliament Building, the City Hall, the Light House, Demerara harbor Bridge (the longest floating bridge in the world), and the famous Stabroek Market.
4. The Shell Beach, which is located on the Atlantic coast of Guyana in the Barima-Waini Region, near the Venezuelan border, is a place to visit if one wants to see the nesting site of four of the eight sea turtle species – the Green, Hawksbill turtle, Leatherback, and the Olive Ridley. The area features mangroves interspersed with sandy beaches. The natural ecosystem also supports manatees, jaguars, and monkeys. Small villages also provide reasonable accommodations. True to its name, the beach is covered with tiny shells.
5. The North Rupununi Wetland is a place for nature lovers. This wetland covers 54,000 acres and is home to 400 species of fish. It consists of a mixture of forest, savannah, and wetlands ecosystems. It is considered one of the most diverse areas in South America. Its untouched savannas support a wide variety of wildlife, including jaguars.
Yvad Billings, Readers Bureau, Fellow
Edited by Jesus Chan
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