Graceful Georgetown Guyana

Some of the finest traditional architecture in the Caribbean-cool, simple, practical, well-crafted- can be found in the Guyanese capital

  • Georgetown's Town Hall. Photograph by Peter Williams - South American Pictures
  • Georgetown's skyline, seen from the rooftop of the Pegasus Hotel. Photograph by Carol Lee
  • The Public Buildings, seat of Parliament. Photograph by Carol Lee
  • Inside St George's Cathedral. Photograph by Carol Lee
  • The balconies of Georgetown's Town Hall. Photograph by Peter Williams- South American Pictures
  • Cool balconies and Demerara shutters. Photograph by Carol Lee
  • This graceful house has been an insurance company's office. Photograph by Peter Williams- South American Pictures
  • St George's Cathedral. Photograph by Peter Williams - South American Pictures
  • Delicate wrought iron work on a Georgetown office building. Photograph by Carol Lee

Guyana is slowly but surely opening up for tourism. Small in South American terms, it is big in Caribbean terms-Britain would fit into it comfortably, and Guyana has only 1 per cent of Britain’s population. It is a land of vast rivers and savannahs’, thick rain forest and dramatic mountains, with one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the world, the 741-foot Kaieteur Falls.

For most visitors, Georgetown, the capital, is the first (sometimes, sadly, the only) stop. It lies at the mouth of the Demerara River, a city of wide avenues laid out beside canals dating from Dutch times, protected from the Atlantic by a long sea-wall (for much of the city lies below the high-tide mark). Despite the difficult times that Guyana has gone through, man” of Georgetown’s famous wooden public buildings and its 19th century homes on stilts are as rewarding as ever. Look especially for the Gothic-style City Hall on Avenue of the Republic (1887), St George’s Cathedral (1892, at 142 feet one of the world’s tallest wooden buildings), the Law Courts (1878) with their imitation Tudor frames, the majestic Parliament building on Avenue of the Republic, and the President’s residence on Main Street (1852).