South America

Guyana

written by | Posted on July 24th, 2012

This article originally appeared in the Central & South America Guide. It has been extracted from its original format. To read the full guide, visit the digital edition.

This is a destination tailor-made for adventure- and nature-loving travelers, who find a warm welcome at rainforest resorts, ranches, and remote Amerindian villages. Note that, while culturally Caribbean, Guyana is the only English-speaking country in South America where English is the first language, and cricket the first sport. The capital,Georgetown, is a quaint mix of Victorian elegance and tin-roof mining town. Fly southwest from the capital to two grand water spectacles: Kaieteur Falls, nearly five times as high as Niagara, spilling down into the birding wonderland called Kaieteur National Park, and Orinduik Falls, located in the grassy savannahs of the Pakaraima Mountain foothills. Fly directly south from Georgetown to the Iwokrama Forest, a vast rainforest of one million acres whose inventory of flora and fauna is mind-boggling—birdlife alone includes five eagle species that perch above giant anteaters and river otters, capybara and black caiman. North are the Rupununi Savannahs, with Amerindian villages and cattle ranches. And the Karanambu Ranch is famous for owner Diane McTurk’s work with orphaned otters. (guyana-tourism.com)

What’s New in Guyana

✘ Top honors for accommodations in Georgetown go to the Cara Lodge (carahotels.com), whose guest list includes HRH Prince Charles and Mick Jagger.

✘ As the first international hotel chain to break ground in Guyana, Marriott expects to open its new 197-room property in Georgetown in 2014. Facilities will include a restaurant, casino and large ballroom, along with a conference center.

✘ In the heart of the Iwokrama Forest, a stay at the Atta Rainforest Lodge now puts nature lovers just a short walk from the 500-ft.-long Iwokrama Canopy Walkway, with four platforms, the highest of which is 100 ft. above ground. (wilderness-explorers.com)

Up next: Paraguay