When people think about South America they automatically think about countries like Argentina, Chile, Brazil, or Peru. Guyana is often left out. Guyana is a unique and diverse South American country few people choose to visit. Guyana is one of my favorite countries because of its various foods (roti, curry, rice & beans, carrots & rice, fried chicken, chick peas, stew, stir fry, homemade fresh juices, etc…yum!), lush natural environment, waterfalls, and the friendly and welcoming people. I have a thousand reasons why I love Guyana. Here are just a few details why you should visit Guyana based on my personal experiences traveling throughout the country for three weeks. Visiting Kaieteur Falls alone is well worth a journey to Guyana.
1. City life. Georgetown is the capital and the largest city in Guyana-the culture (and booming music) on every street corner is energizing
2. Souvenirs. Guyana is world renowned for its gold
3. Natural Environment. Guyana has one of the world’s highest one drop waterfalls at 741 feet high: Kaieteur Falls (among other grand waterfalls and mountain ranges)
4. Bang for your buck. The exchange rate is approximately $200 Guyanese dollars for every Canadian dollar (as of July 1st, 2013 it was 194.4529 GYD)
5. Affordable. It costs approximately $500 Guyanese dollars per person for the average taxi ride and a typical meal costs approximately $1000-$1500
6. Authentic. In places like Lethem (a remote inland village on the border of Brazil and Guyana), due to previous floods in the Rupannuni, red dirt flood-stains could still be seen in the reception area almost a meter up the wall at the guest house where I was staying. They used milk crates during the time of the flood to try to continue a sense of normality even during the chaos. People are living life to the fullest regardless of what has happened in the village. The people are eternally happy. I enjoyed watching the children running and playing outside of the guest house.
7. Real experiences. Sleeping under a mosquito net is common in Guyana for tourists to avoid the risk of potentially contracting malaria or dengue fever (although it is unlikely). Guyana was my first destination where I was encouraged to use a mosquito net. It made my experience more real.
8. Stories. Guyanese love to talk (they are known to use their hands while they are talking)! Their storytelling ability is a true gift!
9. Welcoming. The Guyanese people are the warmest and welcoming people I know. I felt right at home the moment I landed in Guyana.
10. Food. Need I say more?
When are you heading to Guyana?