Travelling without preparation might be exciting for the intrepid traveller, but it can increase the potential for losing time and missing out on exciting experiences. A country like Guyana, a delight for the active and adventurous traveller, needs careful planning for a smooth journey. We advise that you keep these top tips in mind!
- When to travel
Tropical, blissful, with only two seasons – green (May-August) or peak (September-April). Guyana’s rains can dampen the spirit of the most hardened travellers. If you are willing to brave the rain, the green season offers stunning sights like golden-hued savannahs and excellent birding opportunities. The peak season is easy to navigate and opens up a whole new dimension of travel – jungle treks, wildlife spotting and birdwatching on foot, festivals and more. Choose the right season based on what you want to do so that there are no surprises. The temperatures are constant throughout the year and hover between 25 – 30 C (77 – 86 F). The savannahs in the interiors and the highlands are cool and breezy in the evenings, so you might consider bringing along a light jacket or scarf.
- Choosing a tour operator
Guyana is one of the few places on earth that remains relatively untouched and is the perfect destination for travellers to discover untrodden landscapes. Phone and internet connectivity is intermittent or unavailable in most parts of the interior. We would recommend that you select the right tour operator for your chosen activities and let them plan all aspects of your trip. On-ground knowledge allows them to offer you experiences that are truly diverse and may be otherwise inaccessible. Here’s a list of Guyana Tourism Authority accredited tour operators.
- Plan your time
Guyana offers a variety of experiences, ranging from sport fishing, river trips, wildlife spotting, birding, hiking, and ranch life among other adventures. If you are short on time, focus on a few activities. Here’s a list of sample 3-day, 5-day and 7-day itineraries. You can of course spend more time in specific regions or on specific activities for a really immersive experience. Ideally, your trip should be not less than 7 days. If you are looking for a true flavour of the country plan for a fortnight. If you need some guidance, contact Guyana Tourism Authority accredited tour operators.
Kayaking adventures on Guyana’s many waterways
- Visas and Money Handling
Citizens from the United States, Canada, the UK, Germany, Australia and any Caribbean Island do not require a visa to travel to Guyana. For a full list of countries that do not require visas to enter Guyana, kindly check here. If you are not a citizen of one of the mentioned countries, you will need a visa. Please visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website for more information on the visa application process.
The country uses Guyanese dollars (1USD =215 GYD). It is best to make major payments to your tour operator before you leave, so you don’t have to carry too much cash. Hotels in Georgetown accept credit cards, but during your visit to Guyana’s interior, you will only be able to pay in cash with few exceptions. Convert your money in Georgetown and be aware that only limited amounts can be withdrawn per day at ATMs.
Private hospitals are available in Georgetown and emergency medical services are available elsewhere. Getting immunisations before your trip is a must, especially for Hepatitis A and B, Yellow Fever and Malaria. You should get this done 4-6 weeks in advance. Carry your personal medicine kit, as similar brand names of medicines may not be available in Guyana. Aspirin, anti-diarrhoea, antibiotics, bug sprays and antihistamine medicines are recommended.
- Packing for Comfort
The tropical weather makes Guyana perfect for summer clothing. But if you are going to spend most of your time in the wilderness, it is recommended to pack cotton full length shirts and pants, along with breathable rain gear just in case and sturdy, broken-in hiking boots to navigate grasslands and hiking trails. Sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat are essential as well. As part of your photography kit, purchase a solar battery charger or keep multiple charged batteries and memory cards, as you may have limited access to electricity while exploring the rainforest.
- Travelling within Guyana
To see the top attractions and experiences of Guyana, you are likely to traverse through an array of terrains and regions. Expect long but exciting road trips, over unpaved roads, charming cruises down mighty rivers and flying in small Cessnas across a truly varied landscape. In Guyana the journey truly is an experience in and of itself!
Guyana has a packed calendar with numerous local festivals during the year. The main ones include Rupununi Rodeo and Bartica Regatta during Easter, Rockstone Fish Festival in October, Phagwah in March, Mashramani in February, the Guyana Carnival in May and many others. Include a local festival for a more immersive experience. This is the best time to see performances of local dances and music, along with elaborate spreads of local cuisine.
- Safety and Security
In general, you will find Guyanese to be extremely friendly and helpful. Don’t be surprised if you find locals wishing to talk with you and offering assistance. Nonetheless, we encourage you to exercise caution when travelling in Guyana as you would in your own home country. The basic precautions apply here as they do elsewhere. Travellers need to use the basic rules of safety, as in any other part of the world.
- Book in Advance
A final bit of advice: plan in advance to book economical flights, accommodations and experiences to help ensure a hassle-free trip!
Travel Better in Guyana: Guyana is working hard to conserve its vibrant wildlife and ecosystems and protect its culture and heritage. We realize that it is often difficult to understand how you can support these aims and make a difference when you travel. That’s why we’ve set out to help you by creating Visitor Guidelines for Sustainable Travel. All passionate globetrotters, curious culture seekers, and bold adventurers are encouraged to do all you can to leave a positive impact on the people and places you visit in Guyana.