Interested in sustainable tourism but don’t know where to start? Well, we have your next destination in line for you. Guyana was recently crowned “Best in Sustainable Tourism” by the Latin American Travel Association as well as “Best in Ecotourism” by the ITB global travel trade fair in Germany. While countries like Guyana, French Guiana, and Suriname are often overlooked when travelers head to South America, they all have access to beautiful and lush rainforests and delicious cultural delicacies. However, Guyana’s focus on the preservation of local life makes it the absolute perfect place to practice sustainability whilst enjoying a new adventure.
According to the Guyana Chronicle, the LATA judging committee awarded Guyana the prize “for its sustainable tourism and community-led tourism framework which promotes job creation, helps preserve local traditions and customs, promotes low-carbon lifestyles and provides a livelihood for indigenous communities.”
In addition, the 83,000 square mile country contains an immense amount of biodiversity, with many different landscapes from mountains to coastline. Therefore, it is easy to appreciate nature while you are promoting low-carbon travel habits that preserve and promote the cultural and natural environment.
Now that you see all that Guyana has to offer in terms of sustainable tourism, you may be wondering, “But what should I actually do in Guyana?” Like always, we at Jubel have you covered with a list of fun and exciting adventures to have while visiting the top eco-tourism destination in the entire world.
Guyana is known for its many community-owned eco-lodges, including the Surama Eco-Lodge, Rewa Eco-Lodge, and Caiman House Field Station & Guest House. These lodges, all of which have buy-in from the surrounding community, are located around the country and offer many off-the-beaten path activities.
For example, at the Caiman House Field Station, you can go on hikes around the village, take a cooking class, go animal-watching around the area, or take a guided canoe tour.
Many eco-lodges will offer traditional benab housing (a style of building utilizing traditional materials, a thatched roof, and a cylindrical pyramid-shaped roof), cabin housing, or hammock lodging. So no matter your accommodation style, you can find a temporary home at an eco-lodge around Guyana!
Orinduik Falls, a stunning waterfall, lies in the Ireng Region on the border of Guyana and Brazil at the base of the Pakaraima Mountains.
While the Kaieteur Falls, also in Guyana, may be somewhat grander, you can go swimming at the base of Orinduik Falls, which is a fun activity for all ages, after working up a sweat walking through the rainforest.
Orinduik Falls is a great way to immerse yourself in nature’s bountiful glory, all while getting your gills a little wet.
No trip to Guyana is complete without visiting the capital, Georgetown. Full of colonial and postcolonial history, as well as a rich Guyanese culture, it is a must-see for all those interested in exploring the country.
When you are there, take a tour of the local Bourda Market, which offers fruit, fish, meat, and veggie vendors. Also visit Stabroek Market on a Saturday, and take a picture of the iconic clocktower after sampling lots of food (and perhaps buying some clothes and jewelry!).
In addition, learn about local flora by visiting the Guyana Botanical Gardens, a free site that offers a green oasis in the middle of the city.
Finally, there are many museums worth visiting to learn about Guyanese history and culture, including the Walter Roth Museum of Anthropology and the National Museum of Guyana. Plus, both are free!
Visit Iwokrama, a forest reserve and eco-lodge located 8 hours south of Georgetown which tasked itself with managing the environment in a “manner that will lead to lasting ecological, economic, and social benefits to the people of Guyana and the world in general.” Walk along their canopy walkway, a “series of suspension bridges and decks from heights up to 30 meters.” While you are there, you can see unbelievable birds, as well as sunsets, and trees you can find only in Guyana.
If you make it to Iwokrama, make sure to stay at the Atta Rainforest Lodge, which is totally enveloped by the rainforest. There is no better way to be one with nature.