All visitors require a valid passport. Those arriving by plane are required to have an onward plane ticket. Visas are necessary for all visitors except nationals of the following countries: Commonwealth Countries, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, USA. Visitors are advised to check with the nearest Guyana Embassy or Consulate or their travel agent.
A valid passport is sufficient for all citizens of the Commonwealth countries. Citizens of other countries should check with the Guyana Tourism Authority for more information.
Visitors can stay in Guyana for a period of three months. Should you wish to stay longer, you must apply for an extension at the Immigration office in Bartica or Georgetown.
Should you have any queries upon reaching Guyana, about anything at all, feel free to contact the visitor information booth which is located in the Immigration area of the Cheddi Jagan International Airport. There, you will also find information on accommodation, attractions and lots more.
All persons departing from the Cheddi Jagan International Airport must pay departure tax of Guyana $4000 or US $20. This money is payable when checking out.
Under the customs regulation of Guyana, personal effects are passengers’ baggage containing apparel and articles for personal use, which a traveler may reasonably require during his vacation, for example clothing, cosmetics and accessories.
Personal items need not be declared, but if you have a firearm or any other weapon, it must be declared to the Customs Officer. If you have pets, please seek advice from the Guyana Tourism Authority.
Guyana is close from North America. It takes about 3 hours from Miami and only 5 hours from New York. The fastest flight from Toronto in Canada to the capital city of Guyana, with only one stop is 8 hours. London to Georgetown is a 10 hours plus flight whereas flights from Germany are about 9 hours.
Major airlines that fly into Guyana include Virgin Atlantic, Delta Air Lines, British Airways, Air India, Air Canada and Air France. Copa and Caribbean Airlines include the low cost services that fly into the country.
The name Guyana comes from the Arawak Dialect [Indigenous Tribe] meaning Land of Many Waters.
Guyana’s climate is equatorial: hot but pleasant for most of the year, with a mean shade temperature of 27°C (81°F) and an average temperature range of 24°C to 31°C (75°F to 87°F). The heat is tempered by the sea breezes on the coast. An umbrella is useful during the two wet seasons, extending roughly from May through July, and from December to the end of January. Rainfall is 2,300mm a year in Georgetown.
Lightweight, casual clothing can be worn throughout the year. Recommended to wear full sleeves and full lengthed clothes to protect yourself from mosquitoes and other insects.
110v in Georgetown, 220v in most other places, including parts of suburban Georgetown.
In-land destinations and eco-lodges may not always have uninterrupted electricity. It is recommended to carry extra batteries and portable chargers.
The official language of Guyana is English (Creolese English, the only English speaking country of South America. Local Amerindian dialects, Mandarin and Hindi are also spoken but the main language to get around is English.
There is an interesting mix of hotels, homestays, eco-lodges, ranches and camping options available in different parts of the country. Visit our accommodations page to know more.
Heritage hotels like Cara Lodge and Herdmanstan Lodge in the capital city offer rooms for double occupancy starting at about USD120 plus, whereas the eco-lodges in the interiors can be double the cost (approx USD 250). The same goes for resorts located by the rivers. Ranches ad family run accommodations might be slightly cheaper. It is best to get an all-inclusive package from the travel agents that include food, travel and activities as well.
A basic lunch or dinner in the city, including a drink can cost you about USD10. The cost may differ in the interiors, depending on availability of restaurants.
Safety & Medical Details
You should be immunized for yellow fever. Malaria is not a problem in the cruising areas near the water, but it is advisable to bring some antimalarial drugs, especially if you plan to travel to the interior.
Georgetown, Lethem, Bartica and some of the major towns and cities have well-equipped hospitals, but the interiors can be tricky in getting immediate medical help. Always carry your special and SOS medication with you.
Some of the major hospitals in Georgetown are:
- Joseph’s Mercy Hospital, 130-132 Parade Street, tel # (592) 227-2071-5
- Medical Arts Center, 256 Thomas Street, tel # (592) 225-7402
- Georgetown Medical Center, 258-259 Thomas and Middle Streets, tel # (592) 226-7210, 7214, 7216, 7217
- Balwant Singh’s Hospital Inc, 314 East Street, tel # (592) 226-5783, 4279
Use bottled water for drinking purposes. The river water is fine to use for all other purposes.
Avoid travelling at night to be cautious. Book a radio taxi to get from one place to another in the cities and towns. Staying low key is helpful so as to not attract any attention to yourself.
Travelling Around Guyana
Local buses, taxis, 4WD vehicles, river cruises and small Cessna planes are the modes to get around the country depending where you are going. Most of the tourist interest places of Guyana are well connected by air. You should book in advance to secure a seat, though the flights are weather dependant.
Trans Guyana Airways and Roraima are the most popular airlines and have a robust service.
(Nicola to give accurate answer to this one, as most people come with the help of all inclusive packages with travel agents)
The Guyana Dollar has a fluctuating exchange rate of G$200 to US$1; G$360 to £1 pounds sterling; G$260 to €1 euro; and G$120 to $1 Canadian. Foreign currency can be exchanged with Citizens Bank located at 16 First Avenue or with Scotiabank located in 2nd Avenue in Georgetown. Some local businesses may accept US dollars at a rate of GYD $200 – USD 1 but it is advisable to use local Guyana dollars. Cambios are licensed currency exchange houses. Most Cambios are open weekdays from 8 am to 5 pm and on Saturdays from 8 am to 2 pm. It is important that you keep your Cambio receipts, as you will need to produce them to change Guyanese dollars on departure.
Most hotels, major restaurants, car rental agencies and tour operators accept major credit cards and travelers cheques. Foreign credit cards can now be used at ATM machines in Guyana at the Scotia Bank. The interior is largely a cash economy.
If the phone has been activated for roaming it can work since service signals available from Bartica that can cover the radius in which the yachts are located. It is however advisable to purchase SIM cards from the local cell service provider in Bartica since this option may be more economical and reliable. The local GSM network caters for 900/1800/1900 MHz and the average mobile instrument can work within this coverage.
Major towns will have a Laundromat, but you can also opt to pay the hotel to handle laundry for you.
Yes, you will find a range of well equipped to basic convenience stores to get things of daily needs (toilet paper roll, water bottle, tooth paste, biscuits, snacks etc.).
Activities and Culture
Depending on the length of stay, visitors can engage in a number of activities.Participate in river tours on the Essequibo River and visit Old Dutch Forts or relax and picnic at Baracara or Marshall Falls.
- Visit one of Guyana’s premier attractions, Kaieteur Falls located in our lush rainforest.
- Explore the Rupununi and enjoy the hospitality of our local Amerindians.
- Dine around in the city or enjoy nightlife entertainment along Sheriff or Main Streets.
- Depending on the time of year, you can attend regattas, motor racing events, rodeo or be part of the cultural events like Phagwah and Diwali.
Guyana is considered a safe haven for yachters. We are located outside of the hurricane belt and usually have light to moderate trade winds. Hazards in the river include floating logs and debris but can be avoided with a good lookout.
There are very simple entry requirements to enter Bartica, Immigration requires a manifest, valid international insurance, a document that indicates the last port of departure, the boat registration and valid passports of all individuals. Customs Department requires a completed C14B form, which will be provided. Any travel agent or outfit can help you acquire this.
Individuals can use the local speedboat service and journey up the Essequibo River for approximately ninety minutes. When they arrive at Parika, they can use a minibus or hire car, depending on their comfort level and travel to Georgetown. This journey takes approximately ninety minutes. Alternatively, you can travel by air with Bartica Air Services to Ogle International Airport. This takes approximately twenty-five minutes and the journey by road from Ogle to Georgetown approximately twenty minutes.
In Guyana we celebrate many festivals throughout the year. These festivals include the Rockstone Fish Festival, Phagwa – Spring Festival, Diwali – Festival of Lights, Mashramani – Cultural Festival, Wild Life Festival and Christmas Celebrations. Please see calendar of events for more details.
There are more than 900 species of birds in Guyana, and spread over low coastal plains, rainforests, hill & sandy clay areas as well as the savannahs. Close to Georgetown, areas near the Mahaica River are important as a birding junction. The city itself has nearly 300 species if you don’t want to step away. The national parks like Iwokrama and Kaieteur also offer a large landscape to explore. In the south, Karasabai and the Rupununi grasslands offer a peek into different species. The whole country is practically great for birding.
The rainforests and parts of the savannahs in the south are your best bet for wildlife spotting. The rainforest areas around Iwokrama offer a brilliant region to discover. The best way to do this is by hopping on a eco-lodge trail so you get ample opportunity to see different natural environments and meet knowledgeable guides. In the Rupununi, ranch stays offer a closer tryst with animals that live near the grasslands. The anteaters are the biggest charm here.
Kaieteur can ideally be done in just a day – take a flight, a two hour nature walk and return by the same flight. There is an overland trek that takes about 5 days. You can also stay the night at Kaieteur Falls.
There is no special permission needed to visit the Kaieteur Falls.
Apart from Kaieteur, there are several other waterfalls that make for a great visit. Some of these are Kamarang, King Edward VIII, Kumerau, Orinduik, Amaila and Aruwai Falls.
There are four safaris that are organised in the year, of which the Pakaraima to Rupununi safari is the most popular. Keep about 10 days for this. The safari starts in Georgetown and traverses over 15 villages, to finally land in Lethem for the Rupununi Rodeo.
The Rupununi Rodeo is held on the Easter weekend for two days. Keep an additional day to visit the low key Sand Creek Rodeo close by.