Guyana is found on the North Eastern shoulder of South America, and unlike its Caribbean neighbours does not have the same quality of pristine beaches and coastlines –so it has chosen to use the momentous landscapes of its interior to attract visitors.
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Guyana has a landmass of ~215,000 square kilometres and shares boarders with Suriname, Venezuela and Brazil. Guyanan is culturally connected to the carribbean region and has traditions of calypso music and cricket. As of 2015, Guyana had a population of 800,000 people.
Guyana’s population consists mainly of East Indians, Afro-Guyanese and the Amerindians who still live largely in or near their forests and have many forest skills. Their role in developing tourism is to act as guides and porters, however in most cases they are not the owners of the tours agencies or the eco-hotels. There are signs, that some communities are seeing an opportunity for tourism and are beginning to offer alternative tourism experiences.
Tourism is a recent development and trade is still small scale. In 2013, Guyana welcomed 200,000 international visitors, which was a 12% increase on 2012 figures. It is clear that tourism sector is starting to swell and this is the perfect time to visit Guyana, before the masses start rolling in. Away from the coast and its interesting, somewhat crumbling, capital, Georgetown, Guyana has lush forests, stunning waterfalls (Kaieteur is five times bigger than Niagara Falls), cascading rivers and rapids, and dramatic mountains and gorges that have exhausted those looking for El Dorado. Indeed, gold mining is part of the past romance and present reality of Guyana.
The remote Mount Roraima was the inspiration for Conan Doyle’s Lost World. It also has sprawling savannahs, an abundance of wildlife, and over 800 species of birds. Travelling by boat or fourwheel drive into the interior is a great adventure. You can also visit the Iwokrama Reserve – the International Centre for Rainforest Conservation – an imaginative project through which Guyana has offered to the world some 400,000ha of tropical rainforest for sustainable development.