Once called Longchamps by the French and Stabroek by the Dutch, Georgetown is the name settled upon by the British for the capital of its South American territory of Guyana in 1812.
Set on the east bank of the Demerara estuary, this charming colonial settlement has a population of about 200,000 and is Guyana’s most important city. Here you’lll find the seat of government, the chief port and the main commerical centers and markets.
Because of the Georgetown’s low altitude, it is in constant danger of being flooded by the Atlantic at high tide. A long dyke called the Seawall and a geometric system of streets divided by the canals and regulated by sluice gates – all built by the Dutch to control sea flooding – gives Georgetown its distinctive Dutch character. The seawall is now a favourite spot for Georgetown folk to unwind on an afternoon, just relaxing or jogging.
It is a city full of historial monuments, many of them gracious colonial buildings that are still used today for practical purposes such as the City Hall, the Magistrate’s Court and gothic St. George’s Cathedral, reputedly the tallest wooden structure in the world, to name a few.
With the profusion of flowering plants and trees that abound, plus several well-maintained gardens around the city such as the Botanic and Zoological gardens, Georgetown has attracted the moniker of “Garden City of the Caribbean”.
Shopping for locally made craft, including Amerinidan work, is the best you’ll find anywhere in the Caribbean. There’s even a tourist strip on Sheriff Street with a plethora of bars, nightclubs and restaurants if a little action is more your style. Georgetown is also your gateway to the fabulous interior of the country, with its vast stretches of pristine rainforests and wide savannahs.