Georgetown, the capital city is worth exploring for its many religious, cultural and historical landmarks, its unique wooden buildings, tree-lined streets and bustling market place. However, unless you are visiting friends and family, the capital will only keep you occupied for a few days. Guyana’s true beauty lies in its hinterland areas where its principal attractions include pristine rainforests, magnificent waterfalls, powerful rivers and opportunities to commune with the country’s indigenous population, the Amerindians.
Georgetown’s main shopping areas run along the bottom of Main Street and along Water, Regent and Rob Streets, with City Mall located on Regent Street. It’s not Paris, but you may surprise yourself and find some good stuff.
Visit Hibiscus Plaza (Robb St) for local craft, sculptures, art, souvenirs and gifts. Contact talented Guyanese artists Angold Thompson (Tel. +592 225 7113 / 627 8676) and Carl F. Anderson (Tel: +592 694 6194), www.inter-visions.com/CAnderson.asp for watercolour, acrylic and oil artwork.
Purchase beautifully crafted rings, bracelets, necklaces and other goods made from Guyana’s world-famous gold, diamonds and precious stones from leading city jewellery shops such as Topaz (Crown and Oronoque Streets) www.theonlyjewellers.com, King’s Jewellery World (two locations: King’s Plaza and Middle Street) www.kingsjewelleryworld.com, and Steve’s Jewellery (Church Street).
GALLERIES, MUSEUMS AND BOTANICAL GARDEN VISITS
- The National Art Gallery located at Castellani House near the Zoo, which now houses the National Art Collection showcasing the works of native artists including Philip Moore, George Simon, Ronald Savory, Stanley Greaves and Aubrey Williams.
- The National Museum on North Road with its eclectic array exhibits including one of the world’s rarest postage stamps.
- Walter Roth Museum of Anthropology on Main Street offer indigenous, excavated and general artefacts.
- Guyana Botanical Gardens: Feed the manatees, steal a kiss on the Kissing Bridge, watch bridal parties taking pictures in the beautiful gardens or visit the Zoo, Vlissengen Road. www.guyanabotanicgardens.gov.gy
- The Promenade Gardens on Middle Street is small but quite pretty and another popular wedding photos venue.
HALF – FULL DAY TOUR SUGGESTIONS
- Georgetown Afternoon Tour (4-hour guided bus tour of the main parts of the city and historically important buildings). Contact Wilderness Explorers; Evergreen Adventures; Dagron Tours or Roraima Airways.
- Mangrove Restoration Project (Coven John, East Coast). www.mangrovesgy.org
- Learn how rum is made and sample award-winning premium rums on the DDL Tour (Diamond Estate, East Bank, about 20 minutes from Georgetown). www.demeraradistillers.com
- Splashmins Resort (off the Linden Highway, about 45 minutes from Georgetown). www.splashmins.com
- Marudi Creek Resort(near Splashmins Resort, off the Linden Highway).
- Arrow Point Resort (short boat ride across the Demerara River, down the Kamuni River, past Santa Mission, sited on the left bank of the Kamuni Creek). www.roraimaairways.com
- Kaieteur and Orinduik Falls (flight from Ogle Airport. Can be combined with lunch stops for lunch at Baganara Island Resort or Arrowpoint Nature Resort).
OVERNIGHT AND LONGER TOUR SUGGESTIONS
- Splashmins Resort www.splashmins.com
- Arrowpoint Nature Resort www.roraimaairways.com
- The East Coast, Corentyne and Orealla Village (Corentyne River) E: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Bartica (Essequibo – particularly for its Easter Regatta celebrations)
- Baganara Island Resort (Essequibo) www.evergreenadventuresgy.com/baganara.htm
- Hurakabra Resort (Essequibo) www.hurakabragy.com
- Lake Mainstay (Essequibo Coast, near Anna Regina) www.lakemainstayresort.biz
- Adel’s Rainforest Resort (Pomeroon) www.adelresort.com
- Shell Beach (nesting place for endangered marine turtle) www.gmtcs.org
THE RUPUNUNI AND RUPUNUNI SAVANNAHS:
- Iwokrama River Lodge www.iwokrama.org
- Canopy Walkway www.iwokramacanopywalkway.com
- Surama Village Eco-Lodge www.suramaecolodge.com
- Rock View Lodge www.rockviewlodge.com
- Lethem (border with Brazil and end of the Georgetown-Lethem Road) Hosts Easter Rodeo
- Karanambu Lodge (former cattle ranch and home of Diane McTurk, world-renowned for her work with orphaned and injured giant otters) www.karanambutrustandlodge.org
- Dadanawa Ranch (largest working ranch in Guyana, 3 hours from Lethem) www.dadanawaranchguyana.com
- Click here to read Ruth-Anne’s article on travelling around the Rupununi, published in Explore Guyana 2012.
Travel agents and tour operators in Guyana usually specialise in nature and adventure tours into the country’s hinterland areas. While it makes sense to use them for complicated travel arrangements, it may be less expensive to book directly with an establishment so do check their websites for more information. Tour Operators and Agents include:
Bushmasters Web: www.bushmasters.co.uk
Cortours Email: email@example.com
Dagron Tours Web: www.dagron-tours.com
Evergreen Adventures Web: www.evergreenadventuresgy.com
Frandec Travel Service Web: www.facebook.com/FrandecTravel
Roraima Airways Web: www.roraimaairways.com
Wilderness Explorers Web: www.wilderness-explorers.com