Kaieteur Falls © Stefan Krasowski
Guyana is a fascinating, friendly, lush tropical destination that draws adventure travellers and nature lovers in increasing numbers.
One of South America's smallest countries, Guyana occupies a corner on the northeast coast of the continent. 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 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, with vibrant rainforests and sprawling savannas in the south. Visitors 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. The country's star attraction though has to be the incredible Kaieteur Falls - five times higher than Niagara and, thanks to its lush rainforest location, immeasurably more impressive. This is the world's highest free-flowing waterfall with a sheer drop of 741 feet (226m), and is 822 feet (251m) high.
Guyana is truly a fascinating destination that hasn't allowed its corrupt and chaotic politicians to get in the way of its many tourist offerings. For those who visit little Guyana, the experience lives long in memory.