Things to see in Guyana

  • Guyana
    Guyana
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Amy Adejokun
Amy Adejokun Expert destination Guyana

Landscapes

Although it might be on the same plateau as Suriname, Guyana shoudn't be confused with its neighbour. A still relatively unknown destination, Guyana's unspoilt jungle makes it an authentic green paradise full of exceptional fauna and flora. At 2,810m, the highest point in the country is Mount Roirama, in the Pakaraima Mountains.

Guyana is the American Indian word for 'land of many waters'. The country is indeed traversed by four large rivers: the Essequibo, the Demerara, the Corantyne and the Berbice. The Essequibo river is the source of the Potaro and also gives way to the Kaieteur Falls in the middle of the country. Guyana's many rivers flow into the Atlantic Ocean, creating a sort of narrow strip of marshland on the coast.

You won't find any heavenly beaches here, but rather big hostile mangroves. These line the rainforests, which are still largely unexplored because of how difficult it is to reach them. The hot and humid climate can be explained by the country being 76% covered by the equatorial forest. In the south, though, you will find savannahs.

Coasts

In Guyana, do not expect your holidays to be white sand and coconut trees. There are very few beaches

Arts and culture

Guyana is rich with different cultures represented by their artists and artisans. Ceramics, basket-weaving, textiles and woodworking are all the result of traditional know-how, which is sometimes quite complex and represents the particularities of each community.

Although they are important and play a large role in the daily life here, the traditions are not fixed or unchanging. On the contrary, they serve as the basis for new and original creations.

The artisanry and the visual arts are part of the material, aesthetic and ritual culture of Guyana's communities. They are currently very popular and the aim of some of the visits organised all around the country. On a smaller and more ritualistic scale, body art and art with feathers and finery linked to dance and cermonies play an integral role in Guyana's culture.

The fauna

Thanks to its lush forests, Guyana can pride itself on having exceptional fauna. In the jungle you will either be full of curiosity and wonder or trembling with fear, but in any case, you won't be indifferent.

The coast is a refuge for several species of turtles who come to lay their eggs on the beach as spring approaches. The large mangrove nearby is home to macaques, armadillos, parrots, toucans and iguanas, which are very active on sunny days.

Some of the animals here are not exactly favourites of the locals: snakes, spiders and batrachians all have a negative reputation, as is the case all around the world, but their natural shyness means that you don't come across them often. As for mammals like the jaguar, the ocelot and the tapir, only a long stakeout or a bit of luck will provide the opportunity to catch a furtive glimpse.

Finally, swimming in the rivers is strongly prohibited, as the waters are infested with caymans.

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