This blog post was updated on October 1, 2018.
Perched at the mouth of the Demerara River, Georgetown acts as the capital of Guyana, the South American country bordering Venezuela, Suriname and Brazil. As its looks out on the Atlantic Ocean, the city appreciates a rather unusual appearance in the midst of an interior heavy on rainforests and jungle. Clouded in Dutch colonial and Victorian architecture, Georgetown previously served as a British colony. Today, those English roots still show with the official language being English. And while tropical rainforest covers over 80 percent of the rest of Guyana, the city packs in the punch with landmarks, monuments and other odds and ends. If you need a few reasons to visit, here are a several quirks to visiting Georgetown.
The World’s Tallest Wooden Building: Georgetown is reportedly home to the world’s tallest wooden building, St. George’s Cathedral. The church reigns as the city’s most impressive building. Constructed from 1889 to 1894, the structure is built entirely from native hardwood called greenheart. Aside being comprised of timber, St. George’s Cathedral is notable for its height, rising 143 feet above the city. The structure takes one a Gothic style, covered in flying buttresses and pointed arches.
The Color and Chaos of Stabroek Market: Georgetown spices up itineraries with visits to its Stabroek Market. A landmark in town, the market sells up a wide variety of goods, lending visitors the chance to pick up anything and everything. Dating back to the late 1700s in Georgetown, the current edifice hails from 1880. Chaotic and colorful, the market’s structure is also known for its cast iron construction and looming clock tower.
“Kissing Bridges” at the Botanic Gardens: One of Georgetown’s stunners is its Botanic Gardens. The gardens claim one of the most extensive collections of tropical flora in the Caribbean. Visitors can wander past ponds, canals and cross over “kissing bridges”, romantic looking bridges inside the gardens. In addition to the Victorian bridges, pavilions and palms, the Botanic Gardens are also home a large collection of creatures such as jaguars, West Indian manatees and harpy eagles. Visitors can also expect to see another Georgetown quirk, the Victoria Regia Lily, a giant lily pad that also happens to be Guyana’s national flower.
Guyana’s Great Waterfall: If you are tired of the city in Georgetown, you can arrange to head on a tour to Guyana’s waterworks, Kaieteur Falls. While a ways into the interior of the country from Georgetown, travelers don’t go unrewarded for their journey. Five times the height of Niagara Falls, Kaieteur Falls shoots out 30,000 gallons of water per second off of an 820-foot cliff. Depending on the season, the waterfall’s size will range from 250 feet wide to 400 feet wide. Kaieteur Falls is believed to be the largest single drop waterfall by volume in the world. Travelers can largely enjoy the falls in solitude, as they are often not overrun with crowds.