Georgetown, Guyana

Georgetown has an unto flattering reputation for being beyond slightly rough around the edges.  In fact, I heard from other travellers on the way stories about how Georgetown might actually be the most dangerous city in South America.  However, I didn’t get that vibe at all, although I can see where people can feel uncomfortable in this city.  Although not a particularly “pretty” city, the vibe that I got for Georgetown was a city that thrived on multiple beating hearts.  The markets raced with enthusiastic shoppers and excited salesmen and women.  The streets too bustled with activity as taxis and buses fight for business among the crowds. The food of Georgetown is also a treat as the blending of Creole, Indian, and South American dishes combines in a mosaic of taste sure to ripple your taste buds.  At night Georgetown comes alive in music and dance.  Walk into just about any bar in town and your likely to witness groups of people pressed onto the dance floor to whine with the rhythms of the most popular reggae hits.  Georgetown will jump out and grab you if you’re not careful, but if your looking for a true experience you’ll let it take hold of you.

The Stabroek Market

Time Needed: 2-4 Days
Budget: 35-50USD a day

Things to do in Georgetown

Georgetown itself isn’t stocked with great travel sites, however there are a couple places well worth a wander.  Also, this is your base for a trip to the famous Kaieteur Falls.

Georgetown Church

  • Stabroek Market: Get your elbows up and wander through the wild Stabroek Market and you’ll surely feel the rush of excitement in Georgetown.
  • Museum of Guyana: A good museum for those hoping to get a better understanding of the history and culture of Guyana.
  • Botanical Gardens and Zoo: The botanical gardens are more of a park than a garden, but it is a nice place to escape the race of the city.  There is also an adjoining zoo with dreadfully small animal enclosures.  It is, however, worth a look since there is a manatee habitat in place which can give you a very close look at these amazing animals.
  • Town Hall: The city’s town hall is maybe the most picturesque building in town as it looks like a cross between a castle and a classic colonial building.
  • St. George’s Cathedral: An impressive, albeit fading, wooden church gives light to the British influence here in Georgetown
  • Kaieteur Falls: If there is one thing you need to do in Guyana it is a visit to the incredible Kaieteur Falls. These falls are the highest single drop in the world and are remotely located in the jungle.  Flights are really the only viable way into the falls and a tour usually also includes a stop at Orinduik Falls.  The going rate for this day tour is about 250USD.

Where to Eat in Georgetown

The food in Georgetown makes the capital worth sticking around for.  There are a number of places to get great food in town from simple buffets all the way to more extravagant meals.  I’m sure you’ll enjoy your Georgetown eating experience, and I hope you like a little kick to your meal.

Georgetown, Guayana

Georgetown, Guayana

  • Francine’s Fish and Chips: If you’re craving more British type food with a Creole twist Francine’s is great.  I had the fish and chips with a beer for dinner and my meal came to 6USD. Located on Sheriff St.
  • Hack’s Halaal: This is the place in town to get your fix of Indian food.  The prices are slightly higher but still very reasonable as I spent 9USD on dinner and a beer.  Located on Commerce Street near the market.
  • Lady Fingers: If you’re looking for a cheap yet delicious place to grab lunch look no further than this cafeteria style eatery.  I had a huge lunch here which came to 4.50$.  Located on Middle Street.
  • Church’s Chicken: A fast food chicken joint that is global, but the locals here kill for Church’s.  If you want a quick meal and feel like a local, this is the place to go. On Middle Street just up the street from Rima’s Guesthouse.

Where to Stay in Georgetown

There are not a whole lot of budget options in Georgetown.  However, the ones that are available, and trusted, are very nice.

  • Rima’s Guesthouse: This is where I stay when I’m in town.  The location is slightly away from downtown, but much quieter.  I paid 27 USD for a private single room that had a fan, mosquito net, desk, and WiFi included.  Forget about the fact that there’s a small jail next door, this is a great place to stay and the ladies that run Eena’s are helpful and friendly.
  • Hotel Ariantze: If you’re looking to stay at a little higher end joint you might want to check out the more upscale Hotel Ariantze which has nice rooms, great service ad wifi in the rooms.  Prices range from 60USD for a private single to about 80USD for a double.  Located on Middle Street.

Getting out of Town

Buses towards Brazil leave from a restaurant across from the football field near Rima’s Guesthouse now, in contrast to what is said in Lonely Planet, as they have moved.  The bus to Annai or Lethem can take anywhere between 8 or 16 hours depending on road conditions.  If you are looking to get to Suriname check with your hotel because they can arrange for transport.  Generally there is a mini-van that leaves every morning that shoots between the two capitals (about 8 hours).

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