Sandwiched between Venezuela and Suriname, Guyana occupies a special spot in South America. Partly Caribbean in the north with Amerindian influences still strong in the south near the Amazon, this country presents an identity that strives to balance its native and foreign cultural heritage. One contradiction, though, is its use of English as the official language, even though the masses speak Guyanese Creole, a mix of English with Creole words with the rest of the words from Dutch, Arawakan, and Caribbean region.
Guyana, freed only in 1966 from British control, has been the scene of political and economic turmoil. This South American country also experienced interference from powerful states that manipulated some of the political events in their history. Despite this, the people of Guyana still face the future with hope and hard work as they advanced slowly from the country's decline in many years before.
What to see & do
Ecotourism is a popular way to spend a trip in Guyana. More than 80% of the country is covered by forests, which make it have a myriad number of categories in natural wonders. One must see the Kaieteur Falls, which is just as amazing as the Niagara and the Angel Falls. The allure of this destination will be made clear when one gazes at the drop of water that dump more than 30,000 gallons to the ground below. Other than this magnificent display, hikers will see swifts in the area flit in and out of the waters to the overhangs where they keep nests. The wildlife is also a marvel, especially when one sees the scarlet cock-of-rock birds or the seemingly unassuming golden frog that has quite the deadly poison.
The Iwokrama Rainforest also makes a wonderful destination as one of the last four pristine forests in the world. It makes a strategic location for hikers to visit, as Iwokrama borders the Pakaraima Mountains to the west and the highlands to the east. Savannahs in various parts between Guyana and Suriname are also intriguing to explore on a guided tour.
Those who go on guided tours will also have a more immersive experience of the countryside. Travellers should look for reliable tour companies that offer safe travel and a comprehensive look at various wonders. Some take on tourists to see the hatching of sea turtles by shore, experience interaction with Amerindian cultures, as well as see other important sites in Guyana.
Those who want to see the other side of the country can go on a cultural excursion in Georgetown, the capital of Guyana. There is St. George's Cathedral, the world's tallest wooden building, to see. Built using a native hardwood called greenheart, this structure features an Anglican Gothic-style church, which makes a most impressive sight. There is also Roy Geddes Steel Pan Museum to visit here, which shows how the steel pan was formed. One can hear recordings of its music, which can be relaxing to hear.
How to get around withing Guyana
Those getting around in Guyana can board minibuses taking commuters to different points of the city. Those going out to the countryside to other towns and cities can also take the minibus. One has to enquire about the pickup schedule, as the buses come and go without a specific timetable. Those in the provinces can also ride a ferry traversing the major rivers of Guyana. This can enable tourists going across the country.
Travellers thinking of hiring a car can do so in Guyana. One should have an international driving permit, however, before signing up at the government's transportation office.
How to get there
Tourists going to Guyana can make their way to Cheddi Jagan International Airport in Georgetown. Those coming from far-off countries can book connecting flights with the following airlines: Caribbean Airlines, Caricom Airways, Copa Airlines, Conviasa, Dynamic Airways, Fly Jamaica Airways, Insel Air, Surinam Airways, and Vision Airlines.
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