Among the top things to keep in mind when planning a trip to Guyana are booking timelines, your packing list for the tropical weather, exchanging money and keeping safe. Here are some handy tips for your travel to Guyana.
We recommend that you plan your trip according to the activities that you’re most interested in and use a local operator to help book all aspects. Internet and phone connectivity in the rainforest areas can be a challenge, so it’s best to let someone on the ground handle these arrangements for you. Please click here for a list of local tour operators.
Travellers from 125 countries, including U.S.A, Canada, Brazil and many of the South American and Caribbean nations, do not require a visa to travel to Guyana. For other countries, the process is simple however we do encourage you allocate 3-4 weeks for this process. Learn more at www.minfor.gov.gy.
Private hospitals are available in Georgetown and emergency medical services are available elsewhere. Standard recommended immunisations include hepatitis A and B, rabies, typhoid, yellow fever, diphtheria and tetanus. For yellow fever, be sure to carry your vaccination certification.
Protect yourself against malaria and dengue fever in the interior by carrying a medicine kit with prescribed medication as the brand names and compositions might differ in Guyana.
Consume bottled or filtered water, which is available throughout the country. You can also use purifying tablets. Cooked food is perfectly okay to eat, but raw food should be thoroughly washed.
Your packing list must include full-length light clothing to keep mosquitoes and bugs away in the jungles. A strong repellent (in addition to the local crab tree oil) is recommended when you’re heading out on trails. Prescribed medication and hats and umbrellas to keep you cool from the sun are musts on the list. And don’t forget your comfortable sneakers or hiking boots for the interior regions.
As with travelling in any other country, it’s important to be cautious, especially while travelling at night. While the interior is one of the safest places in the world, when travelling in urban areas like Georgetown we recommend booking cabs from designated service providers, travelling in groups, avoiding wearing expensive jewellery, or travelling around with large amounts of cash, so you can stay safe and have fun. It’s also a good idea to have photocopies of your IDs and passports. Travelling in the interior is best done with the help of tour operators who offer guided trips and take care of all your bookings in the villages and eco-resorts.
While credit cards are accepted at many establishments in Georgetown, you will need to use cash in many places and when you head south into the interior. The banks in Georgetown allow limited withdrawal for international travellers and ATMs in other cities are limited. This is why many travellers opt to book with tour operators and pay for their trips in advance, so they only need to carry a little cash to get around while visiting.
Indigenous communities produce some of Guyana’s most popular gifts and souvenirs in the form of colourful woven 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 curious and old Dutch bottles are the perfect souvenirs to remind you of Guyana. Buy these at numerous shops in Georgetown, including Guyana Stores, the Craft Plaza found on Main Street, or better yet spend your money at the craft shops located in different villages.
Visitor Guidelines for Sustainable Travel
Honour our Indigenous People and 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 any recycling facilities. Help protect the natural resources you’ve come to visit and reduce your environmental impact. Reduce energy consumption by 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 utilise 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.
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 upon 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 organisations that are achieving demonstrable results.
Do read the detailed Guyana Travel Advisory here.