Guyana
Guyana

Curious what backpackers do in Guyana? Discover travel destinations all over the world of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

5 travelers at this place:

  • Day366

    Georgetown, Guyana

    May 7, 2018 in Guyana ⋅ ⛅ 79 °F

    This is the least touristy country either of us has ever visited. In our entire time here, we’ve not met another tourist (we have met or seen NGO workers, Mormons, and people here on business). We haven’t seen any souvenir shops and only a few tourist agencies.
    Because it’s so expensive to travel here and the infrastructure is very poor, it’s going to be hard to attract tourists in the short-term. The main issue is that backpackers likely can’t afford to visit and they are often the first to help develop tourism that eventually creates infrastructure to then attract mid-range and high-end travelers. Birders may persevere as it’s teeming with wonderful birds.
    We have a feeling that, like many other places in the world with significant natural resources, including huge tourist potential, progress is slowed by corruption at all levels – corruption does not appreciate progress.

    The people here have been great and engaging in a very polite and reserved way. One question we’ve had several times is ‘why did you come to Guyana?’ While there’s significant pride in the country expressed by the locals we’ve spoken to, it’s been tinged with a sense of disappointment that they are not doing better and seeing more tourists, foreign or local.

    As we sip rum on our verandah listening to the frogs and watching the tropical rain, we tried to decide how to sum up our short trip to Guyana. All we could come up with was ‘manatees rule!’ Too much rum!
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  • Day362

    Iwokrama River Lodge

    May 3, 2018 in Guyana ⋅ ⛅ 81 °F

    After an afternoon tour of Georgetown, we jumped into a crowded mini-van for the 12 hour overnight drive to the Iwokrama Rainforest Reserve. The road quickly transitioned from well-maintained tarmac near the capital, to potholed tarmac, to potholed red mud with more-than-occasional deep, water-filled craters that the driver seemed to instinctively know whether it was safe to drive through. It was impossible to sleep during the trip, so we arrived exhausted to our accommodation situated on the banks of the Essequibo River.
    The lodge was very rustic. A simple wooden building with small rooms and a shared toilet block in the middle. No hot water (gulp).
    We had a few activities planned while here. First, we were to canoe up river then drift back to the lodge. Sounds simple. Long story short, we had an event with some small rapids and a semi-submerged mangrove…capsized and ended up in the water, but managed to make it to shore. Fortunately, our dry bag with passports etc. was clipped securely to the canoe and remained dry, but our camera could not be resuscitated. The rest of the trip will rely on iphone photos. We were bruised (especially our pride), but luckily we didn’t die on the river. Phew!
    In the evening we went out on the river (in a motor boat) looking for nocturnal creatures. We’re pretty sure the boat driver was drunk and he drove without a light (there was a spotlight our guide was using to find wildlife, but sometimes the boat driver was racing down the river without any lights). The stars were amazing and we saw lots of critters: frogs, caiman, a snake with a very full belly, tons of birds and we rescued a cute possum that was, for some reason, trying to swim across the river (he probably fell in the river or was fleeing a predator).
    On our second night we went on a night drive trying to find more critters. We didn’t see much, but it was interesting to be out at night, surrounded by the unique sounds and smells of the jungle. Luckily we’d seen toucans, macaws, a woodpecker and agouti (a small mammal that looks like a cross between a guinea pig and deer) earlier in the day.
    For our return trip we were up at 5:30am to catch the minibus back to Georgetown – an 11 hour trip (an hour shorter in daylight). We broke down a few times, but the drivers were able to fix the van within a couple of minutes and get us going again. This included changing brake pads and repairing leaking brake fluid in record time. We asked how long these vans last doing this drive up and down the jungle road and suggested ‘4-5 years maybe?’ They laughed and said ‘maybe 4-5 trips!’ One of our drivers was a fan of the Fast and Furious movies and drove like he was in a chase scene. He turned on the GPS (which you totally don’t need given Guyana has very few roads) just so everyone could see his speed (110 km in what was likely a 60 or 80 km zone – not that we ever saw a posted speed limit…). All of the passengers were asking him to slow down, but he smiled and went faster at some point saying ‘I live for this shit!’. We made it back OK (we had some doubts during the drive), but exhausted again.
    Oh…we almost forgot to mention, to accompany our journey there was a CD being blasted on the stereo. It was a 1 hour selection of the worst 80’s hits (apart from one Meatloaf song – what is it I won’t do for love?) that looped the entire trip and is now burned into our subconscious.
    We both agreed that we felt we were experiencing a frontier-type environment complete with odd truck stops to serve the many logging truck drivers and minivans traveling between Georgetown and the Brazil border.
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  • Day361

    Georgetown, Guyana

    May 2, 2018 in Guyana ⋅ ⛅ 81 °F

    Just in case you thought we were getting soft with a luxury cruise in Antarctica, winery lunches in Chile and hanging out in Buenos Aires just because we can - here we are in Guyana to toughen up a little.
    We didn’t know much about Guyana before arriving so we’ll share a bit of what we’ve learned so far:
    • It’s a small country with fewer than 1 million people
    • The majority of the population descends from African slaves and indentured East Indian laborers - Amerindians (indigenous people) make up less than 10%
    • Before Independence it was a Spanish, French, Dutch and then British colony – you can see the Dutch influence in the many canals and the British in the buildings and English language (it’s odd to be in an English speaking country in South America, though Creole is the unofficial language here)
    • Despite plentiful natural resources (mining, forestry and oil), it’s the 2nd poorest country in South America after Bolivia (damn corruption!)
    • It’s very expensive to travel here – a simple meal from a local restaurant with a drink costs ~$10 and transportation is also very expensive (a guide told us he has to spend almost his entire monthly earnings to visit home – a 2 day bus trip away)
    • Infrastructure is pretty limited with only ~7% of the country’s few roads being paved and many buildings look as if they haven’t been maintained since well before independence in 1966.
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  • Day5

    Unterwegs in Georgetown

    April 22 in Guyana ⋅ 🌬 30 °C

    Nach einer kurzen Nacht und Frühstück im Hotel bringt uns das Taxi zur Seawall. Wir sind etwas verunsichert, uns frei und auf eigene Faust durch die Stadt zu bewegen, denn man rät uns dringend davon ab, besonders am heutigen Feiertag wenn nur wenige Menschen unterwegs sind.
    Also mit dem Taxi bis zum Marriott-Hotel und von dort die Strandpromenade / den Seawall entlang. Hier befinden sich etliche Stände im Aufbau, es gibt auch Kirmes mit Fahrgeschäften die aus dem Museum stammen könnten. Die Sonne brennt ganz schön und es gibt keinen Schatten hier. Aber wir sehen etliche Reiher und andere Vögel.
    Nächste Station ist der Nationalpark, wo sich viele Menschen am Feiertag tummeln und picknicken. Es werden unzählige Drachen steigen gelassen, aber uns zieht es zum Teich. Hier leben etwa 20 Dugong, die sich füttern und streicheln lassen. Ein ganz besonderes Erlebnis.
    Wir laufen zurück zum Marriott und suchen uns ein schattiges Plätzchen an der Poolbar. Wir genießen Cocktails, Sandwich und Livemusik und gönnen uns eine Pause. Gegen 15 Uhr verlassen wir das Hotel, laufen noch kurz zum Leuchtturm von 1830 und dann bringt uns ein Taxi zur größten Mall der Stadt. Der Weg dorthin ist eigentlich am schönsten. Wir sehen etwas von der Stadt, auch Lotusblumen. Die Parks und Straßen sind dagegen immer voller. Nachdem wir Getränke und Abendessen gekauft haben, geht es wieder mit Taxi zurück ins Hotel, wo wir uns ausruhen. Laufen und die Wärme sind doch anstrengend...
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  • Day6

    Stabroek Market

    April 23 in Guyana ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    Wir lassen das Gepäck im Hotel und erkunden zuerst die Kirche in der Nachbarstraße. Es sind von dort nur ein paar hundert Meter weiter bis zum Stabroek Market. Hier herrscht reges Treiben und wir schauen kurz in die alte Markthalle. Viel interessanter sind aber die Stände außen rum. Es gibt viel frisches Obst und Gemüse, aber auch alle Dinge des täglichen Bedarfs. Die Leute bestaunen uns und sind allesamt sehr freundlich.Read more

  • Day6

    Old Town in Georgetown

    April 23 in Guyana ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    Nach dem Besuch des Marktes geht es weiter, vorbei an den Kolonialbauten der 1880er Jahre. Viele Gebäude sind leider sanierungsbedürftig, lassen aber den ehemaligen Glanz noch erahnen.
    Die St. George Kirche, die komplett aus Holz besteht und der höchste Holzbau der Welt ist, wird gerade saniert, aber wir können den Innenraum trotzdem bestaunen. Danach brauchen wir erstmal eine Abkühlung und ziehen uns ins Café „Coffee Bean“ zurück. Nach der Pause schlendern wir zum Promenades Garden und freuen uns, dass wir uns heute auf eigene Faust und selbständig in der Stadt bewegen können. Für ein kleines Mittagessen kehren wir im Oasis Café ein.Read more

  • Day6

    Guyana National Museum

    April 23 in Guyana ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    Nach der Mittagspause mit Sandwich und Panini gehen wir wieder zurück zum Zentrum und besuchen das National Museum. Der Eintritt ist frei und das ist auch gut so. Im Obergeschoss erwartet uns eine kleine Sammlung ausgestopfter und teilweise sehr schlecht präparierter Tiere, dazu Ausführungen zu Flora und Fauna des Landes. Im Erdgeschoss erkennen wir das Konzept nicht, am interessantesten sind noch die Briefmarken und Druckpressen. Leider gar nichts zur Geschichte des Landes.Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Co-operative Republic of Guyana, Guyana, Gayana, ጉያና, غوايانا, Quyana, Гаяна, Гвиана, Gwiyana, গিয়ানা, གྷུ་ཡཱ་ན།, Gvajana, Guyanadu, Γουιάνα, Gujano, گویان, Giyaan, Gujana, An Ghuáin, Güiana, ગયાના, גיאנה, गुयाना, Giyàn, Գայանա, Gvæjana, ガイアナ, გაიანა, ហ្គីយ៉ាណា, ಗಯಾನಾ, 가이아나, گویانا, Gwayana, Guiana, Giyane, ກູຢານາ, Gajana, Ngiyane, Gajāna, Гвајана, ഗയാന, गयाना, ଗୁଇନା, ګيانا, Wayana, Guyane, Гайана, Gayâna, Guajana, கயானா, గయానా, Giana, กายอานา, Kuiana, گۋىئانا, Ґайана, گیانا, Guy-a-na, Gvayän, גויאנע, Orílẹ́ède Guyana, 圭亚那, i-Guyana

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