Here a tourist map of Guyana lifted from the ‘Explore Guyana’ magazine. Don’t let the icons fool you – Guyana is a country of <1 Million people, with 200-300K living in Georgetown where all the major infrastructure is focused. It may not have the golden beaches of the rest of the Caribbean but it does have growing mineral wealth and oil. However, it was also one of the first countries to sign up to the global carbons credit scheme. It treasures both its ethnic people as well as its pristine ecosystems. Here is the front-line for the debate between economic development and ecosystem preservation.
The trip to Lethem was an easy, if not exhilarating 1 hour plan ride, you could alternatively take the bus….However, there is one bus a day, it leaves early in the morning stopping off to over-night just before the river crossing and you have to be up early to cross the Kurupukari ferry crossing at 7am. Then to Lethem by midday. The return journey is the same in return – starting just after midday and stopping 2 hours up the road from the river crossing and awaking at 4 am to make the 6 am ferry and then up to Georgetown by the end of the day.
Currency – credit cards are mainly useless, they only work in bank machines belonging to Solasha bank. You can’t buy Guyana dollars outside the country and Guyana banks only operate to 2.30 pm. You can change America dollars but they must be perfect with no damage or they will not change them. Try and pay by bank transfer before you arrive and/or make the first thing you do a trip to the bank.