The attractions you will find in Guyana range from natural to historic, and cultural sites that showcase the lifestyle contribute to the overall appeal of the country as an eco-tourism destination, with their friendly and smiling locals. Be sure to spend a day or two in the capital, Georgetown, before venturing out into the wild.
The main highlights of Georgetown are the stilted wooden houses. They date back to the 19th century and line the boulevards along the historic Dutch canals, adding to the colonial charm of the capital. Other impressive architectural attractions include the State House, the Law Courts, St. George’s Cathedral, and City Hall. The 120-acre Botanical Gardens is a natural sanctuary in the bustling city with its vast collection of lotus lilies, orchids and palms. From here, you can head to the Cultural Center to discover one of the best theaters in the Caribbean. Be sure to visit the Natural History Museum as well as the Walter Roth Anthropological Museum to learn more about the Guyanese culture and lifestyle.
Address: Demerara-Mahaica Region, Guyana
Phone: +592-219-0094-6 (Guyana Tourism Authority)
Estimated to be at least 1,700 million years old, this ancient mountain forms the tripartite border of Brazil, Venezuela and Guyana. The flat top and mysterious lunar-like surface has spawned rumors and tales about its origins. Guyana’s highest point, Mount Roraima stands at 2,700 meters and has influenced pioneers in western thought and literature, including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Charles Darwin.
Address: Guiana Shield, Guyana.
Conservation International recognizes this mountain range as one of the few remaining untamed Amazon habitats in the world. Located in Guyana’s southwest region, the sculptured crowns peak beneath the clouds as a great backdrop to the savannah of Rupununi. There is a unique diversity of animal and bird species along the Rupununi River, which divides the range. Follow the river to get a glimpse of the tapir, the puma, giant river otters, and the black caiman. Forest trails lead to the natural habitats of exotic animals like the cotingas, the harpy eagle and the three-toe sloth.
Address: Upper Takutu-Upper Eseequibo region, Guyana
Mountainous terrains and flat grasslands characterize the Rupununi Savanna, which is situated between the Brazilian border and Rupununi River. It is home to thousands of plant species, 400 types of fish, 500 species of birds, and 120 kinds of reptiles, including lizards and snakes. Several mammals also live here, including the jaguar and the harpy eagle. Amerindian villages in this area serve as homes to the Macushi, the Wai Wai and the Wapishana. Cowboys or vaqueros descended from 19th century settlers from Scotland are permanent residents.
Address: Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo region, Guyana
One of the world’s tallest free-leaping waterfalls, Cuquenan is situated on the tributary of the Arabopo River, which runs through the Cuquenan Plateau. Its isolated location makes the surrounding environment as pristine as can be.
Address: Arapobo River, Western Guyana.
Guyana National Museum
Housed in a building complex dating back to 1951, the Guyana National Museum boasts a collection of precious stones, flora and fauna and archaeological finds. It is home to some of the finest examples of Amerindian crafts and artwork, and is the largest establishment ever to exhibit Guyana’s general artifacts.
Address: North Road, Georgetown, Guyana
Cesar Castellani designed this large wooden building, which houses the National Gallery of Art. In 1888, the historic edifice served as the residence of the Director of Agriculture and in 1965, the Prime Minister of British Guiana, Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham, turned it into his official residence. More than 700 pieces by renowned artists like Bernadette Persaud, Stanley Greaves, Aubrey Williams, George Simon, and Frank Bowling are part of the collection.
Address: Corner Vlissengen Road and Homsetretch Avenue, Georgetown, Demerara-Mahaica, Guyana
Situated on the former site of the Demerara Golf Club, the National Park has been around since 1923. It is sometimes referred to as Queen Elizabeth II National Park to honor the queen’s visit to Guyana in 1965. Nowadays, the greenery is used for recreational, educational and cultural activities. The Ministry of Agriculture’s National Parks Commission is responsible for maintaining it.
Address: Thomas Road, Georgetown, Guyana
Phone: +592-226-7974 or +592-226-2323 (via the National Parks Commission)
Shell Beach is on the northeastern Atlantic coast, in the region of Barima Waini, and features a 90-mile uninhabited coastline where you might witness endangered marine turtles laying their eggs if you're lucky. Bartica Beach in the Essequibo region has water ideal for swimming. Saxacalli Beach is a great daytrip spot where you can swim in the Essequibo River. Number 63 Beach on the Corentyne in No.63 village is frequented by thousands of visitors each year. The coastline here spans 10 miles and over 12 villages and is well equipped with washroom facilities and changing rooms. You can also play softball, cricket and beach volleyball.