Diwali celebration in Georgetown, Guyana
Diwali celebration in Georgetown, Guyana

Georgetown

Diwali celebration in Georgetown
Photo by Joshua Gobin

GUYANA

South America

Guyana Travel Information

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Key facts

Capital:

Georgetown

Location:

Northern South America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Suriname and Venezuela

Currency:

Guyanese dollars (GYD)

Area:

214,969 sq km

Population:

787,971 (July 2021 est.)

Languages:

English (official), Guyanese Creole, Amerindian languages (including Caribbean and Arawak languages), Indian languages (including Caribbean Hindustani, a dialect of Hindi), Chinese (2014 est.)

Religion:

Protestant 34.8% (Pentecostal 22.8%, Seventh Day Adventist 5.4%, Anglican 5.2%, Methodist 1.4%), Hindu 24.8%, Roman Catholic 7.1%, Muslim 6.8%, Jehovah's Witness 1.3%, Rastafarian 0.5%, other Christian 20.8%, other 0.9%, none 3.1% (2012 est.)

TimeZone:

UTC-4

Tel Code:

+592

Weather

Climate

Guyana has a tropical climate, with temperatures averaging around 27-32 degrees Celsius (81-90 degrees Fahrenheit) throughout the year. The country experiences two rainy seasons, one from April to June and another from September to December. The northern coast is also affected by the trade winds, which can bring cooler temperatures and more windy conditions.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Guyana depends on your travel plans and preferences. The dry season from January to April is the best time to visit the country, as it is less likely to be affected by heavy rainfall. This is also the time when the weather is more pleasant and it is easier to move around the country. However, it's important to note that the country is currently facing economic and social challenges and some areas may be less developed and less accessible. Additionally, the rainy season which starts from May to December can make some areas inaccessible, and it can be more difficult to move around the country.

Transportation

Public Transportation

Public transportation options in Guyana include buses and minivans, which are the most affordable option for getting around. These are widely available in major cities and towns, but may not be as reliable or comfortable as other forms of transportation. Taxis are also available and can be hailed on the street or called by phone. However, it's important to note that the country is currently facing economic and social challenges and some areas may be less developed and less accessible.

Rental Cars

Rental cars are also an option in Guyana, but it is important to keep in mind that driving conditions can be challenging. The road infrastructure is well-developed in some areas, but less in others, and driving can be dangerous in rural areas, especially during the rainy season. Additionally, it is a good idea to check with the rental agency and make sure that you have a valid driver's license and that your insurance covers you while driving in Guyana.

Private Transportation

Another option is to hire a private driver or tour company, which can be a convenient and safe way to get around the country, particularly if you plan to visit multiple destinations. This option can be relatively expensive but can also be more comfortable and reliable.

Air Travel

Air travel is also an option for traveling between different regions of the country, but the options are limited and prices can be relatively high. However, it can save a lot of time, especially if you plan to travel to remote places that are not easily accessible by land.

Accommodation

Hotels

Guyana offers a variety of hotels to choose from, including budget-friendly options and luxury resorts. In major cities such as Georgetown and Linden, you'll find a variety of international hotel chains as well as locally-owned properties. In more rural areas, you may find smaller, more basic hotels or guesthouses. However, it's important to note that the country is currently facing economic and social challenges and some areas may be less developed and less accessible.

Hostels

Guyana also has a small number of hostels, which are a budget-friendly accommodation option. They often have shared dorm rooms as well as private rooms and offer a more social atmosphere than traditional hotels. Hostels are popular among backpackers and other budget-conscious travelers.

Vacation Rentals

Another option for accommodation in Guyana is vacation rentals, such as apartments or villas. This can be a good option for groups or families traveling together, as it allows for more space and privacy than a hotel room. Vacation rentals can also be a more budget-friendly option, as the cost can be split among multiple people.

Eco-Lodges and Camping

For those who want to be closer to nature, eco-lodges and camping are also options. These can be found in national parks and other protected areas, and offer a unique way to experience Guyana's natural beauty. Some of them offer sustainable tourism initiatives and opportunities to engage with local communities. However, it's important to note that the country is currently facing economic and social challenges and some areas may be less developed and less accessible.

Money

Money Tips for Travel

  • Research the currency and exchange rates of your destination before you depart.
  • Notify your bank and credit card companies of your travel plans to avoid any potential issues with international transactions.
  • Bring a mix of cash, credit, and debit cards--and possibly a travel money card.
  • Be aware of the fees associated with withdrawing money from ATMs and using credit cards abroad.
  • Make sure to have a backup option for accessing money in case your primary method doesn't work.
  • Consider using a card with no foreign transaction fees.
  • Be aware of the local customs and etiquette when it comes to paying.
  • Keep an eye on the exchange rate throughout your trip and try to make large purchases or withdraw large sums of money when the rate is favorable.
  • NEVER accept currency conversion at ATMs! Always get your home bank to convert at much better rates.
  • Think about getting a Wise or other travel debit card; these can provide much better rates and some free ATM withdrawals.

ATM and Credit Cards

  • Research the availability of ATMs and credit card acceptance at your destination before you depart.
  • Keep your ATM card in a safe place and be mindful of your surroundings when using it.
  • Try to stick to using ATMs that are affiliated with major banks.
  • Keep your credit card information safe and secure, and be aware of potential scams.
  • Make sure your cards have the necessary security features, such as chip and pin.
  • Be aware of the fees associated with withdrawing money from ATMs and using credit cards abroad.

Exchange Rates

  • Research the currency and exchange rates of your destination before you depart.
  • Consider using a card with no foreign transaction fees.
  • Be aware of the local customs and etiquette when it comes to paying.
  • Keep an eye on the exchange rate throughout your trip and try to make large purchases or withdraw large sums of money when the rate is favorable.
  • Be careful of places that may offer to exchange money at rates that seem too good to be true.

Mobile

When traveling, getting mobile access is very important these days. If you are working remotely, wanting to update social media, or need to access your banks SMS authentication messages having a reliable service is a must. At WhereNext we recommend:

eSIM

Services such as those offered by our partner, Airalo, allow you to easily order and install an eSIM for different countries or regions that you are traveling in.

Dual SIM phone

If you have a phone that supports dual SIM's then you can get a SIM on arrival for each country, this is probably better done at a telco store rather than at the airport.

Extend your home plan

Depending on where you live and your mobile service provider you may be able to extend your plan to cover mobile roaming at reasonable rates.

Keep your primary SIM

With the amount of accounts we all have that require two factor authentication via SMS, keeping a constant number for these accounts is a must.

Community

There are several online communities and platforms that you can use to meet people while traveling, both for making new friends or for networking professionally. Some popular options include:

Facebook groups

There are many Facebook groups dedicated to connecting people while traveling, from expat groups and travel communities to groups specific to certain cities or regions of the country. You can search for groups based on your interests or location and connect with others who share similar interests.

Meetup

Meetup is a platform that allows you to find groups of people that share your interests in your local area. There are Meetup groups all around the world, and they cover a wide range of topics, such as language exchange, sports, and cultural activities.

Internations

Internations is a social network for people who live or work abroad. It has a large community of expats and organizes regular events, activities and gatherings that allow members to connect and socialize.

Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing is a platform that connects travelers with local hosts, who offer free accommodation and a chance to experience the local culture. It's a great way to meet locals and make friends!

Reddit

Reddit has a large community, and there are several subreddits dedicated to connecting expats and travelers. You can use it to ask questions, get advice, and connect with others who are also living or traveling in the country.

Linkedin

LinkedIn is primarily a professional network, but you can also use it to connect with people who work in the same industry or have similar backgrounds. It can be useful to connect with people before you arrive and establish a few professional contacts to help you get started.

At WhereNext, we use Nomad List as a global community and then research more local ones for our destination. These are just a few examples of online communities you can use to meet people; please suggest any others that you think are appropriate for this destination.

Insurance

Travel insurance can provide financial protection and peace of mind for travellers in the event of unexpected situations or emergencies. It covers a wide range of needs--even some you might not expect!

Medical Coverage

Travel insurance can provide coverage for medical expenses if you become ill or injured while traveling. This can include coverage for doctor visits, hospital stays, and emergency medical transportation. It's also a good idea to ensure that your travel insurance covers COVID-19 related illness and delays!

Trip Cancellation and Interruption

Travel insurance can provide coverage if you need to cancel or interrupt your trip due to unexpected events such as illness, weather, or travel bans. It can also provide coverage if your trip is delayed or if your travel provider goes out of business.

Lost or Stolen Luggage

Travel insurance can provide coverage for lost or stolen luggage, as well as personal items such as passports and electronic devices.

Emergency Assistance and Evacuation

Many travel insurance plans offer emergency assistance services, such as providing information on local hospitals and doctors, assistance with replacing lost or stolen documents, and help with arranging transportation in the event of an emergency. At WhereNext we have partnered with Global Rescue for evacuation services, which are highly recommended if you are undertaking dangerous activities or are travelling to dangerous parts of the world.

Liability coverage

Travel insurance can also provide liability coverage in case you cause an accident or harm someone while you are traveling.

Travel insurance can provide financial protection and peace of mind for travellers in the event of unexpected situations or emergencies. It can help cover the costs of medical expenses, trip cancellations, lost or stolen luggage, and more. It's always a good idea to review the coverage and compare the different options available before making a decision. At WhereNext we both use and have partnered with Safety Wing for general travel insurance.

Entry Requirements

Here are some general travel tips regarding entry requirements that apply across all countries:

Passport

Make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months from the date of your arrival in the country you are visiting. Some countries will not allow you to enter if your passport is set to expire within a certain period of time.

Visa

Check with the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting to see if you need a visa. Some countries require a visa for entry, while others do not. Make sure to apply for a visa well in advance of your trip as the process can take several weeks. Check the latest Visa requirements and if necessary get an online Visa with our partner iVisa.

Health Requirements and COVID-19 Rules

Check with the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting to see if there are any health requirements for entry. Some countries require vaccinations or proof of medical insurance. Check the latest health requirements and if necessary get an online Visa with our partner iVisa.

Travel Insurance

Consider purchasing travel insurance, especially if you are traveling internationally. Travel insurance can cover you in the event of trip cancellation, medical emergencies, and other unexpected events. Our travel insurance partner is SafetyWing. For dangerous activities and/or countries consider a rescue service like those offered by our partner, Global Rescue.

Customs

Be familiar with the customs and laws of the country you are visiting. Some countries have strict laws regarding drug possession, alcohol consumption, and dress codes.

Currency

Check the currency exchange rate and make sure you have enough local currency for your trip. Some countries may not accept credit cards or travelers cheques, so it is always good to have some cash on hand. At WhereNext we recommend use a Wise debit card, which provides low cost currency conversions and ATM withdrawals.

Research the country

Research about the culture, customs and laws of the country you are visiting. It will help you to understand the place more and also prepare you better for the trip.

Contact Information

Make a copy of your passport and keep it in a separate place from your passport. Also, leave a copy of your itinerary and contact information with a friend or family member at home.

COVID Status

I am vaccinated 
Guyana Open
Test
Not required
Quarantine
Not required

Check Visa Requirements

      Things to Do

      Guyana is a small country located in South America, known for its diverse culture, rich history, and natural beauty. It is home to a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors, from exploring the rainforests and the coast, to learning about the country's heritage and culture. However, it's important to note that the country is currently facing economic and social challenges and some areas may be less developed and less accessible. Here are the top 10 things to do in Guyana:

      1. Visit the Kaieteur Falls

      The Kaieteur Falls is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the world, located in the Kaieteur National Park. Visitors can take a guided tour and see the falls from a distance or take a flight over the falls for a close-up view.

      2. Explore the city of Georgetown

      Georgetown is the capital and largest city of Guyana, known for its rich culture, history, and architecture. Visitors can explore the city's museums, markets, and plazas, and take a walk along the streets to discover the colonial architecture.

      3. Visit the Iwokrama Forest Reserve

      The Iwokrama Forest Reserve is a protected area located in the central Guyana, known for its biodiversity and natural beauty. Visitors can take a guided tour and explore the forest, see a variety of wildlife, including monkeys, birds, and jaguars.

      4. Visit the Rupununi Savannah

      The Rupununi Savannah is a vast grassland located in the southern Guyana, known for its wildlife and natural beauty. Visitors can take a guided tour and explore the savannah, see a variety of wildlife such as monkeys, capybaras, and anacondas.

      5. Visit the Shell Beach

      The Shell Beach is a stretch of coastline located in the northwest of the country, known for its wildlife and natural beauty. Visitors can take a guided tour and explore the beach, go snorkeling or diving to see the coral reefs and marine life.

      6. Visit the Stabroek Market

      The Stabroek Market is a historic market located in the heart of Georgetown, known for its vibrant culture, and colorful stalls. Visitors can explore the market, shop for souvenirs and try local foods.

      7. Visit the Guyana National Museum

      The Guyana National Museum is located in Georgetown, it is the oldest and largest museum in Guyana and it offers a glimpse into the country's rich history, culture, and natural environment.

      8. Visit the Botanical Gardens

      The Botanical Gardens is a public park located in the center of Georgetown, known for its lush vegetation and diverse flora. Visitors can take a walk through the gardens, see a variety of plants and flowers and enjoy the natural beauty.

      9. Visit the ORITA or Orealla Community

      The ORITA or Orealla Community is a small village located in the southeast of Guyana, known for its indigenous culture and traditional way of life. Visitors can take a guided tour and learn about the local culture, see traditional houses and meet with the local people.

      10. Visit the Surama village

      The Surama village is located in the Rupununi Savannah, it is known for its eco-tourism and community-based tourism initiatives, visitors can take a guided tour and learn about the local culture and way of life, go on a hike in the surrounding savannah and experience the natural beauty.

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