Located in the north part of South America, Guyana is a country that isn’t the easiest place to plan. There isn’t a lot of current information online, things change on the ground rapidly, and tourism is barely an industry here. You might be interested in visiting the rain forest, 85% of Guyana is blessed by it, wanting to travel to unique destinations, or coming on a business trip as part of the ongoing oil boom.
No matter what your objectives, here is your introduction to Guyana.
Lodging in Guyana is relatively expensive, especially in the capital city of Georgetown. Rates hover around $100, often regardless of the quality, though there are good places to stay if you book early. In general, the few big chains in Guyana, like Marriott, overcharge obscenely. Your better off looking at local accommodation like the El Dorado, which has large rooms, classic design, and is centrally located. Also in Georgetown is Fireside Suites, more of an apartment style rental, with some of the best staff and service you’ll find anywhere.
Outside of Georgetown, accommodation in the jungle is less prevalent but there are good options at reasonable rates with more being built in expectation of more tourists.
Starting In Georgetown
Small but bustling Georgetown is a city you can efficiently get a feel for in a couple of days. Start by eating at Shanta’s Puri Shop for the classic any-time-of-the-day snack, roti. That flattened and fried lentil patty filled with curried chickpeas and optional meats is a Guyanese classic and Shanta’s is considered one of the best places to enjoy local dishes. You can then head to the Bourda Market (a guide is recommended) to catch a flavor of daily life, then grab a meal at Bettencourt. Known for its creole home foods, Bettencourt is an excellent spot for a large lunch of cookup – flavored rice with meat or fish, washed down with a coconut water.
Additionally you can head to the National Park and hand feed wild manatees (free) and visit Aagman for some of the best Indian food in the Americas. Oasis is an option for breakfast as well if you’re in the mood for a more European vibe but if you’re heading to Guyana, don’t get stuck in the cities.
A short 45 minute small plane ride from Georgetown, Kaieteur Falls are the world’s single largest waterfall drop. The journey will take you over the rain forest, where the pilot will take a few strategic turns to get you aerial views before you land. Once on the ground you’ll be taken by a guide to hike through the jungle (about 2 hours total) and learn about the plants, medicines, and nature of the area. Along the way you’ll stop at several lookout points and get amazing views of Kaieteur Falls as you hear about the local legends that give them their name.
Guyana is a country full of things to eat, see, and do but not the most porous when it comes to travel information. This guide is just a start to your trip that can take you to many places, often unplanned.