Kaieteur Falls © Stefan Krasowski
Guyana is a fascinating, friendly and lush tropical destination that draws adventure travellers and nature lovers in increasing numbers. It is one of South America's smallest countries, situated on its northeast coast, and bordered by Suriname to the southeast, Venezuela to the west, Brazil to the south and the Atlantic ocean to the west.
Its star attraction is the awesome Kaieteur Falls - five times higher than Niagara and, thanks to its lush rainforest location, immeasurably more impressive. The spectacular Kaieteur Falls is the world's highest free-flowing waterfall with a sheer drop of 741 feet (226m), and is 822 feet (251m) high. At the peak of rainy season the falls stretch 400 feet (122m) across.
Travellers to Guyana will find that it is quite unlike any other country on the continent. For one, it is the only English-speaking nation, a legacy of its time as a British colony when it was known as British Guiana. It is also has a distinctly Creole culture, and enjoys cricket as the national sport, making this a more Caribbean destination than its neighbours. The capital Georgetown is famous for its 19th-century wooden houses on stilts, and its gently decaying colonial architecture.
Inland, however, Guyana takes on the tropical jungle and Amazonian character of a true South American country. Here you will find ample trekking, biking and other eco-tourism activities in the hilly plains around the Pakaraima mountains and a multitude of rivers to raft on and fish in. This region is also home to some 120 Amerindian tribes that still live in relative isolation to the more developed settlements along the coastline.
Guyana is truly a fascinating destination that hasn't allowed its corrupt and chaotic politicians get in the way of its many tourist offerings. The roads are bad, crime is high and prices relatively steep, and yet for visitors who come here little Guyana lives large and long in the memory.
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