Georgetown Guyana is a really interesting city, and I spent my first couple of days in the country modestly exploring the capital. I was immediately struck at the similarity between it and Port of Spain in Trinidad & Tobago. A friend from Guyana had told me that Georgetown was a lot like Trinidad & Tobago, but a little more rustic. This definition was spot on.
Despite being firmly on the ground in South America, Georgetown seems more influenced by the Caribbean. This is not too much of a surprise since it lies on the Caribbean Sea, but it is not an island and there are no Caribbean beaches to speak of. Most of the Guyana shoreline is muddy.
The mix of culture is also very similar to Trinidad & Tobago. There is a large East Indian population with descendents from the African slave trade and colonial descendants mixed with a small portion of Amerindians, which are indigenous people. This mix of people makes for an interesting blend of cultures and fantastic cuisine.
I immediately enjoyed this melting pot of cuisines by eating an awesome pumpkin roti at Shanta’s, which is a place I would be returning to soon. Instead of having a strong pumpkin flavor, it was spiced with Indian herbs and spices, which cut the sweetness, but gave it an incredible flavorful taste.
Later that night, I stopped by the Latino Club at the Pegasus Hotel. A Caribbean band was playing covers from Otis Redding, Bob Marley, and others. This band also had an Indian singer who performed some traditional Indian fare. Once again, the blend of cultures was in effect. The band was playing to their audience and appealed to the crowd by implementing sound aspects from the major ethnic groups found in the country.
The one alarming aspect of Georgetown is the trash. Trash was everywhere and in heaps and piles in places sometimes right in the middle and next to downtown. The bright spot was the newspaper was full of editorials and articles upset about the garbage situation, so I hope this soon is fixed. Signs have been put up trying to educate the public to keep their city clean, but the campaign has yet to yield any positive results.
I was thinking of taking some pictures of the trash and juxtaposing it with the nice part of Georgetown, but I would rather focus visually on the nice parts of the city and hope the city moves forward and picks itself up. You can see from the above picture how green and beautiful Georgetown could be without the liter eyesore.
Despite the trash situation, I recommend spending some time in Georgetown and walking around to see some of the sites listed below, eat the interesting mix of cuisines, and finding places to have a cool refreshing cocktail after spending time walking in the heat and humidity. Many people who come to Georgetown are just here as a stop over on their way to see the amazing rainforests in the interior, but I recommend staying at least a couple of days here.
Some of the must sees on any city tour or city walk and included in this photo essay are the following:
- St. George’s Cathedral
- Stabroek Market
- Georgetown Botanical Gardens and Zoo
- City Hall Building
- The Seawall
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What a shame about the trash, otherwise the capitol looks GORGEOUS!!!
Andi of My Beautiful Adventures recently posted..The My Beautiful Adventures Earrings
These pictures are of course the highlights of the city, but it does have some great spots and has potential.
Ted, I just wanted to say thank you. I recently saw an article by Lee Abbamonte where he put Georgetown, Guyana as one of the worst places he has ever visited.
which I thought was a bit unfair,
I really like your representation of our capital – because it can be beautiful, but it needs work.
And the interior of our country is breath taking. I find it a relief that people can still see the beauty. There is alot of work to do in Georgetown and it is not my favourite place, but I want to say again thanks for the fair representation-not the focus on the negative.
Mr. Abbamonte seems to be in search of beaches and nightlife because in all the places he visits that is what he is judging on. He writes as “the man who has bee everywhere” perhaps the man who has been to every pre-packages cookie cutter resort, nightclub and beach, lacking any originality and spirit.
I was offended by him putting Guyana on that list.
Anyway-again your representation is more fair as shows negative na dpositive. But come into the interior. To the savannahs, the jungles, mountains and the people here!
That is the problem with travelers who try to hit every country. They see a lot, but really they only see a little. I found Georgetown very interesting although it would be nice if they cleaned it up a bit. I spent some time at Rupunini and Kaiteur Falls, but I hope to go back and do some more exploring. Guyana is a gorgeous country.
I live in the rupununi. Actually grew up in South Rupununi-at Dadanawa Ranch. My dad runs Rupununi Trails – our own tourism company.
If you ever come back – contact me.
Thanks KMD. I will be sure to return soon, and I will definitely contact you.
Very nice city. Unfortunate about the trash. Clean it up a little and this place could be a great tourist town.
Jeremy Branham recently posted..Me, Michael Phelps, and your chance to win a pair of SOL REPUBLIC headphones
Hope they are able to change the mindset and get the city into shape.
Some really awesome pics of Georgetown, though it’s looks like some of the buildings are in need of repairs and I would have been all OCD on that litter, it looks like a great place to visit. Thanks, Ted.
Robb714 recently posted..Snakes
Besides the trash, the city could use some fixing up. A lot of the buildings, even the marquee tourist attractions are crumbling.
Love seeing all of the pictures!
Looks like a very interesting part of the world – almost like a throw back to another era. And the food sounds delicious.
Leigh recently posted..11 National Parks in Canada You Probably Haven’t Heard Of
That is a good way of describing it Leigh. I sometimes felt like I stepped into a time warp.
Georgetown looks familiar, yet exotic. I really enjoyed your photos which have captured the essence of the locale.
Is there anything left of Jonestown? It would be interesting to know if there is a memorial there to the 918 who perished in the 1978 massacre and forced suicides, or if the jungle was reclaimed the land and obliterated that awful legacy.
Thanks for the descriptions and photos.
Joel Siegfried recently posted..Solar powered plane plans to fly around the world (Video)
I would have liked to visit, but it is difficult to get around in Guyana. I did not make it to Jonestown. I am sure there is something there, but maybe not. I think Guyana would want no part of the memory of that tragic event. They have been stigmatized for being the location of this event and have suffered to no fault of their own.
Any readers who were intrigued by Joel’s interesting question should read this excellent article by the BBC:
What an interesting place – I think I would love it! That roti also looks amazing!!
@mrsoaroundworld recently posted..Sweets for my sweet – Photos of the Week
The roti was delicious. I went back to this restaurant and had an amazing fish meal with a spicy green sauce. Unbelievable!
Very interesting about the mix of cultures, those particular ones. I also think the architecture is quite appealing. I look forward to more of your Guyana coverage.
Pola (@jettingaround) recently posted..Photo of the Week: Boats in the San Diego Harbor
The architecture is remnants from the colonial times. These remnants are crumbling, which gives it a out of time archaic look, which is actually kind of cool.
How sad that they let the trash pile up in their country. I hope they resolve this soon, it’ll probably help tourism if they do.
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This post is two years old, so I hope it is better now too, but I doubt that it is.
When I visited Georgetown, 20 years ago, the biggest issue was insecurity. Has this improved? I did find the city interesting, but also anxiety-inducing.
Probably not much has changed WBB, but insecurity is a problem in many big cities including ones in the U.S. Check this post out on this subject – https://travelingted.com/2013/03/12/guyana-travel-warning-you-may-fall-in-love-with-the-people/
Also this post on security in general in any country – https://travelingted.com/2016/03/29/colombia-safe-anywhere-safe/