Guyana is located in the tropics so that the climate is like summer all year round. It has an area of 83,000 square miles or about the size of the state of Utah. On a world map, it is located on the northeast coast of South America. North of Guyana is the Atlantic Ocean and south is Brazil. Venezuela is on the western boundary and Suriname is to the east. Over 70% of Guyana is made up of forests and savannahs. The country is situated on the northern edge of the Amazon rainforest which is referred to as the lungs of the world.
The majority of the inhabitants live along the Atlantic Coast where Georgetown, the capital city, is located. This region is several feet below sea level as is New Orleans in Louisiana. Similar to the New Orleans levees, a wall nearly 200 miles long serves to protect this area from the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. A special drainage system helps to avoid flooding in the rainy season. Because Georgetown and much of Guyana’s coastland lies below sea level, this area faces constant danger of flooding from the Atlantic Ocean. The long sea wall and a system of streets divided by drainage canals, a legacy of Dutch Colonization of Guyana, helps give Georgetown its unique character. The breezy sea wall area is a favorite place to relax, socialize and exercise.
Georgetown also houses the seat of government, the chief port and the main commercial centers. The city contains many historical monuments including gracious wooden colonial buildings. Among them is St. George’s Cathedral, which was once the tallest wooden building in the world. Georgetown is called the “Garden City of the Caribbean” due to its many plants, trees and gardens.
The largest river, the Essequibo, is almost 600 miles long. It is the third largest river in South America after the Amazon and Orinoco. Guyana has 275 waterfalls. The most spectacular one is Kaieteur Falls, the highest single-drop waterfall in the world. It has a single drop of 741 feet and a total height of 822 feet or about 5 times as high as the Niagara Falls and 140 feet wide. Kaieteur Falls is Guyana’s main tourist attraction.