Travel Essentials

Plan Your Trip

Travel Essentials

Best-Time-to-Visit

Best Time to Visit

Being a tropical country that sits just above the equator, Guyana has only two seasons – dry season and green season. It is best to select a time period for the region that you want to visit based on your interests and chosen activities.

Peak (Dry) Season
Coast mid-January to May; and mid-July to mid-November
Interior January to early May; and September to December
The dry season is the peak season. It is the most convenient to get around and explore the country since
there is not too much rainfall. This makes the roads much easier to navigate, and it’s easier to see Guyana’s
wildlife. No matter your location, the coast or the interior of the country, it will feel like summertime most all
of the time. Fortunately, it cools down a bit a night, and in the day time, light scattered showers and cool
swimming holes offer intermittent relief.

Green (Wet) Season
Coast May to mid-July; and mid-November to mid-January
Interior Mid-May to August
The green (or rainy) season in Guyana gets its name from the rain showers that roll through during this time. Expect no rain or light showers on some days, heavy rains at times, and extended periods of sunshine on some of the rainiest of days.  The days are usually somewhat cooler, but it is more humid. Getting around the rainforest and savannah in the wet season is challenging by road, yet it is the best time to travel by boat and see Guyana’s waterfalls in full. As an added bonus, the raised rivers get you closer to the trees for great birdwatching experiences

Visitor-Guidelines-or-Sustainable-Travel

Visa Details

Travellers from about 125 countries, including the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Brazil and many other South American, Caribbean and European nations do not require a visa to travel to Guyana. For those with citizenship from the other countries, you can visit a nearby embassy or consulate to have your visa processed or work with your tour operator to process a visa on arrival. Learn more at www.minfor.gov.gy or review the requirements below.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs issues for business, tourist/visitor, student and courtesy visas. All requests, with supporting documents, should be addressed to:

Head

Immigration Support Services Department of Citizenship and Immigration

Ministry of the Presidency

164 Waterloo Street

Georgetown, Guyana

Expect 2-4 weeks for processing. Please have your local tour operator or travel agency follow-up on the request. Once they secure your visa, ask for a scanned copy, print it out and present it to an immigration officer on arrival.

A great deal of information is required to process a Visa on Arrival or otherwise. Supporting documents include:

1. A letter requesting a Visa on Arrival (usually from your tour operator, company or yourself) indicating the reason(s) for the request, your expected date of arrival, and the duration of your stay in Guyana
2. A coloured copy of your or the applicant’s passport bio-data page, marriage certificate (if applicable), and birth certificate
3. A copy of the sponsor’s passport bio-data page
4. A bank statement or pay slip from the sponsor
5. A job letter for the sponsor and/or applicant
6. One passport-size photograph for the applicant
7. Copies of the Business Registration, income tax receipts, and NIS receipts
8. Police Clearance
9. Medical Report for the applicant
10. Credentials for the applicant

Immunisations

Immunisations

Be sure to check your immunisation status before you travel and seek current advice on the best antimalarials to take based on the parts of Guyana you will be visiting. It is also recommended that you stay up to date on tetanus, diphtheria and hepatitis A. Immunisations against hepatitis B may be needed for longer trips and for rabies if you are travelling in remote areas and working with animals. Proof of yellow fever is required for entry into Guyana if you are travelling from a yellow fever endemic area or if you are continuing onto Suriname.  

Health-Matters

Health Matters

A personal med kit is a good idea if you do not react very well to climates you are not accustomed to. Motion sickness medication, sunburn salve, antibiotics, antihistamine tablets and cream (for travellers’ diarrhoea), ibuprofen or another anti-inflammatory,  aspirin, band-aids, and of course good old Pepto-Bismol should be among any travellers’ go-to kit. Antibacterial soap, and hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol should also be kept handy to clean out cuts and bruises.  Bring appropriately packaged and labelled prescription medications, as they may be hard to find abroad. Same for your preferred over-the-counter brands. While you may be able to access them in the city and some of the lodges maintain a small supply, it is best to be safe and bring your own.

Handling-Money

Handling Money

Guyana has a cash-based economy, and the Guyanese Dollar (G$, GY$, GYD) is the official currency. While there are an increasing number of establishments in Georgetown that will take payments via credit card, you will need to have cash on hand, especially when you head into the rainforest and savannahs of the country. The banks in Georgetown allow limited daily withdrawals for international travellers (usually G$100,000 or US$475). ATMs in other towns are limited. It is best to make payments in advance to local accommodations and tour operators. This will allow you to limit the amount of cash you have to carry around while visiting.

US$1 = approximately G$210

€1 = approximately G$235

£1 = approximately G$265

Shopping

Shopping

The most classic holiday purchase from Guyana would be a woven souvenir by the Indigenous communities – baskets, plates, jewellery and such, but widen your horizon to include the traditional balata curios made from the latex of the bulletwood tree. Colourful cotton hammocks, local paintings, wooden curios and old Dutch bottles are the perfect takeaways to remind you of Guyana. Buy these at numerous shops in Georgetown or better still, spend your money at the craft shops located in different villages. Here is a list of main places that you can head to for souvenirs.

Georgetown: Regent Street, North Road, and Giftland Mall 
Lethem: Rupununi Weaver Society and Don & Shirley’s Airport Bar
Bartica: First Avenue and Regional Craft Shop
Corriverton: Port Mourant Market
Linden: Mackenzie & Wismar Market and Irene’s Creative Handicraft Workshop
New Amsterdam: Bristol Mall, Pitt Street, The Church View Gift & Flower Shop and The New Amsterdam Market

Packing-List

Packing List

Packing for tropical travels takes some thought, especially if you have never travelled into the rainforest. Here is a handy packing list that includes clothing, accessories and more.

  • Bring versatile activewear that covers you from head to toe. Layers, breathable fabrics, and light-coloured clothing are recommended. This includes a few pairs of pants, long-sleeved shirts, and t-shirts.
  • Pack a lightweight, compact rain jacket that can easily be added to any outfit. This will protect you from the elements and pesky insects.
  • Comfortable footwear for relaxing and hiking shoes are preferred, as are extra socks to keep your feet warm during the cool nights or to change out during the day if your feet happen to get soaked.
  • Sun protection is key. Don’t forget a sun hat, a towel or bandana to protect your neck, and your favourite pair of sunglasses with polarized lenses will protect your eyes. Pack a lightweight reusable water bottle to stay hydrated.
  • A bathing suit and a pair of waterproof sandals should also be a part of your list. Waterproof sandals are great for swimming in blackwater creeks and for outdoor showers too.
  • Insect repellent is a must and local brands and the local crab tree oil are recommended. If you do get bitten, anti-itch cream and treatments such as calamine lotion should provide fast relief.
  • A good pair of binoculars is indispensable as well, making it much less likely that you will miss out on the perfect view.
  • A flashlight or headlamp is absolutely indispensable as well, especially if you have to get up out of your tent/hammock during the night or if you’re taking part in night time wildlife spotting.
  • Reusable plastic bags are also recommended to protect your phone, camera and other belongings from damp or wet conditions.
  • If you rely on your phone for photos, be sure to pack a battery back-up. Many lodges are run on solar and generators, which means you can’t always charge your electronics overnight.
  • Determine what size luggage you need based on your itinerary and the number of days you’ll be travelling. There is usually a 20-pound weight limit when flying to remote areas in small planes. A day pack is nice for outings.
Visitor-Guidelines-or-Sustainable-Travel

Visitor Guidelines For Sustainable Travel

We know that you want to positively impact the people you meet and the places you visit in Guyana. This is why we developed Visitor Guidelines for Sustainable Travel to help guide you.  

Honor Our Indigenous Peoples & Protected Areas

You will encounter a brilliant array of cultural differences in Guyana. Research local customs, social norms, and environmental issues before you arrive, especially when planning to visit our indigenous communities. Follow advisories and regulations when visiting protected areas and respect the rights of community and private landowners. Remember the usage fees you pay to visit communities and protected areas support indigenous people’s livelihoods and conservation efforts necessary to protect and maintain these areas. 

Protecting Our Environment

Guyana does not currently have recycling infrastructure. Help protect the natural resources you’ve come to visit and reduce your environmental impact. Reduce energy consumption but turning off the lights and AC, and unplugging electronics like cell phone chargers when not in use. Avoid the use of single-use plastics and utilize water filtration bottles.  Support tour operators, accommodations, and other tourism service providers that incorporate sustainable tourism practices in their operations. 

Keep Guyana Wild

Help protect Guyana’s abundant wildlife, birdlife, and marine life. Maintain a respectful distance, use binoculars and telephoto lenses, and refrain from feeding wild animals of any kind. Wildlife and “bush fish” may be served in select restaurants and available in some markets. Reduce demand by not contributing to the problem. 

Buy Local

Support the local culture and regional character you’ve come to experience by consciously spending your money at local businesses and your time in local communities that offer locally produced meals, products, and handicrafts. Your expenditures will benefit the people you meet. They also encourage communities to preserve their cultural heritage.    

Plan for the Unexpected

Learn about local conditions and regulations before venturing out or off-the-beaten-path.  Determine the weather forecast and the condition of the roads in which you wish to travel. Remember that many roads in Guyana are not paved. Dress to keep cool and dry. Always consider hiring a local guide for adventurous activities. 

Leave a Positive Impact

Enhance the value and meaning of your visit by actively seeking out ways to make a positive impact on the people and places you visit during your time in Guyana. Consider volunteering or making financial donations to reputable non-profit organizations that are achieving demonstrable results.

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Guyana-Travel-Advisory

Guyana Travel Advisory

As with any other country, be cautious especially while travelling at night in the city.  Foreigners are oftentimes very visible in public and should take precautions

when visiting downtown areas. 

While the interior is one of the safest places in the world, there is a need for travelers visiting Guyana’s capital city of Georgetown and other major urban areas to exercise caution due to crime. The general crime rate in Guyana is above the U.S. national average and below neighboring countries like Brazil and Columbia.

Whenever deciding to travel abroad, we all take responsibility for our own personal safety. If you decide to travel to Guyana, please:

  • Be extra vigilant when visiting banks or ATMs. Visitors are advised to change currency only at legitimate exchanges at hotels or airports and are discouraged from exchanging currency on the street.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. It’s important to be cautious, especially while travelling at night.
  • Travel in groups and in general, avoid walking at night and opt to book cabs from designated service providers
  • Travelling in the interior is best done with the help of tour operators who can make all of the necessary travel arrangements.
  • Avoid travelling around with large amounts of cash, do not display signs of wealth, such as wearing expensive watches or jewelry, and do not physically resist any robbery attempt.
  • Travelers are encouraged to make photocopies of IDs and passports.
  • Always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Purchasing travel insurance is recommended.
  • Consume filtered water, which is available throughout the country. You can also use purifying tablets.
  • Cooked food is perfectly okay to eat. Raw food should be thoroughly washed.
  • Review our Travel Tips for a smooth journey to Guyana.
  • Keep a copy of your passport and visa, travel insurance, itinerary and important phone numbers handy for checking in at hotels and lodges or in the case of an emergency. 

Guyana Health Advisory

On August 13, 2018, the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) concluded that the risk to residents and visitors to the region of acquiring Zika is low. This follows a review by CARPHA of the data of the last 30 months pertinent to the situation prior to August 2018.

The Government of Guyana requires proof of yellow fever vaccination if you are traveling from a country with risk of yellow fever. This does not include the United States, Canada or any European countries.  Check the CDC website for up-to-date information on other vaccines and medicines you should consider prior to your visit to Guyana and be sure to visit your doctor at least 4-6 weeks before your trip to get the vaccines or medicines you may need.

Contact us About Safety and Security in Guyana

Safety and security are vital to providing a quality visitor experience in any destination.  We at the Guyana Tourism Authority are highly cognizant of the fact that more than any other economic activity, the success or failure of a tourism destination depends on being able to provide a safe and secure environment for visitors.

For updated information on travel safety and security, email info@guyanatourism.com or call +592-219-0094.

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