Off the Beaten Track – Guyana

Guyana – Not to be confused with French Guiana (its neighbour) is the least visited country in Latin America!  Neighbouring Suriname to the East and Venezuela to the West, it is most famous (at least to me) for the Jim Jones commune in Jonestown where 990 Americans died from cyanide poisoning.  It is also unusual as being the only South American Nation with English as an official language.  There aren’t many things to do, so don’t plan on spending a long time in country, but while you are there you can…

Wander around Georgetown

It takes no more than an hour to walk around the whole town, even with the oppressive heat that makes you want to melt into the pavement.   I really enjoyed the central market, but I suspect this was less about the quality of the retail outlets and more about the heady reggae beats and the retro smell of weed!  I also find it incredibly amusing when every man you walk by tries to pick you up, not in an offensive way but in a friendly, ‘why the hell not give it a try’ way.  I am pretty sure this is not because I am anything to look at, but more because there are very few tourists in this town!

Civic Building Georgetown
Civic Building Georgetown

While avoiding getting a contact high from the ganja, take a look at the lovely wooden architecture.  The civic buildings were nice, and the wooden cathedral is apparently the largest wooden structure in the world.

Georgetown Cathedral
Georgetown Cathedral
take a tour to the Kaieteur Falls

Full confession, I didn’t get to go!!!! There weren’t enough people in town to fill the plane and so the trip was cancelled!!!!.  It looks lovely, so I would give it a shot if you are in town

Kaietur Falls

ride a boat up the river to santa mission

Another confession, this was actually pretty boring and I wouldn’t have done it if I didn’t have a free day.  It was nice and relaxing to go up the river, but there was really nada to see at the ‘indigenous’ village.   Have low expectations and you will have a fine day

River boat ride
River boat ride
Santa Mission Village
Additional tips
  • I stayed at Cara Lodge which was one of the nicer places in George town and an easy walk to everywhere
  • I tried and failed to sort a few tours out remotely and as such didn’t make it to Kaieteur falls.  But I did find the guys at Wonderland tours helpful when I got there and they sort out my trip up the river
  • Don’t wander around town at night, as quite a few of the streets are dodgy, and the canals/open sewers would be easy to fall into as there isn’t much in the way of street lighting