Travel information for Guyana
Guyana, best eco-destination in Latin America
Guyana wins 3 tourism awards in the first half of 2019; ‘Best in Sustainable Tourism‘, ‘Best in Eco-Tourism’ destination in the world and one of the top 10 ‘Sustainable Destinations’.
Guyana is located in the north of South America and borders Suriname in the east. Guyana also borders on Brazil and Venezuela. The country is known for the large areas of rainforest. In these rainforests, you will find many mountains, rivers, lakes, creeks, and waterfalls. The most famous waterfalls are the Kaieteur Falls. These waterfalls are among the highest one-drop waterfall in the world. The capital of the country is Georgetown. Guyana was a long time ago Dutch territory and that can still be seen in some street and city names. Guyana’s population (Guyanese people) is made up of six main ethnic groups: Amerindians, Africans, Indians, Europeans, and Chinese. 90 % of the inhabitants live on the narrow coastal plain. English is the official spoken language in Guyana. Creole, Urdu, and Hindi are also spoken. The population of Guyana was estimated at 773.303 in 2016. You drive on the left side of the road, one of the leftovers of the English colonialism.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- TRAVEL DOCUMENTS AND VISAS
- HEALTH & VACCINATION CAR
- BANKING & CURRENCY
- UNSAFE AREAS & CRIME
- NO PHOTOGRAPHS OF MILITARY OBJECTS
- HOMOSEXUALITY IS PUNISHABLE
- TIPS FROM THE EMBASSY IF YOU TRAVEL FROM SURINAME TO GUYANA
- NATIONAL HOLIDAYS
TRAVEL DOCUMENTS AND VISA
You need a valid travel document for all your trips abroad.
Holders of a Dutch end Belgium passport do not require a visa for traveling to Guyana. With a minimum stay of 90 days.
For more info about countries who do not require a visa to enter Guyana: www.minfor.gov.gy/visa-entry-requirements-countries/
Information about visa requirement: www.minfor.gov.gy/demo/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/New_Immigration_Procedures_Visa_Fees.pdf
Entering Guyana through Suriname?
If you are entering Guyana through Suriname you can get the visa at the Guyanese Embassy while you’re in Suriname. The costs are US 40,- and it takes 2 days.
You need the following documents:
- Visa application form
- 1 photo of passport (with name etc.)
- 1 recent passport size photo
- Yellow fever card
You need to apply for the visa yourself also the picking up the next day.
Opening days; Monday until Friday. If you file for a visa on Friday you will get it on Monday. Closed on national holidays.
Want to apply for a visa from home?
Check the Guyanese Embassy in England, telephone number +442072297684 or Belgium +3226756216.
There are safety risks for traveling in Guyana. Poverty in the country leads to an increase in petty crime such as robberies and pickpocketing. Be alert, especially in and around the capital Georgetown and at marketplaces. Also, be alert when you go out on the street in the evening. Threats and robberies occur in taxis.
Corruption at checkpoints
Corruption in paying bribes regularly occurs in contacts with the police. For example, at the police checkpoint (Mabura Hill) on the road to Lethem / Brazil. Or for a minor offense, along the coastal road. This applies more to Guyanese than to foreigners.
Pirates off the coast
Pirates are active off the coast of Guyana and in the border area at sea with Suriname. This is especially a problem for Guyanese people.
There is a lot of crime in Guyana. For example, there is a lot of drug trafficking. In addition, there is regular violence between drug gangs. This concerns shooting, kidnappings, and armed robberies. Furthermore, in Guyana theft and robberies occur, even from slow-moving cars. Therefore, be careful in all of Guyana.
Are you traveling in Guyana? For your safety, take the following precautions:
- be vigilant if you go out on the street in the evening;
- be alert when traveling alone. It can be safer to travel with others or join a tour;
- avoid remote places such as quiet streets and ruins. Especially if you are traveling alone;
- public transport is not safe. Take hotel taxis for shorter trips within the cities. Do not keep taxis on the street;
- keep an eye on your luggage. Especially in places where many people come, such as a bus station;
- do not carry too much money and do not wear striking jewelry;
- carry money, credit cards and other valuable documents on your body. For example in a money belt;
- do not withdraw a large amount of money from the bank at once;
- keep your passport, airline ticket, and money that you do not need immediately in a safe place;
- keep a photocopy of your passport separate from your passport;
- do not offer resistance in the event of robbery or robbery. If you are a victim of this, hand over your possessions. Resistance often leads to (more) violence.
- Be extra vigilant when visiting banks or ATMs.
BANKING & CURRENCY
You can change your money safe at the Cambios. The Cambios have licensed currency exchange houses. Opening hours of most Cambios are from 08:00hrs to 17:00hrs, and on Saturdays from 08:00hrs to 12:00hrs, sometimes to 14:00hrs. Keep your Cambio receipts; you will need to produce them in order to change Guyanese dollars on departure.
CURRENCY – In Guyana, the Guyana dollar (GYD) is the only legal tender accepted in this country. The Guyana dollar is a floating currency and the value fluctuates in accordance with the changes in the value of the US$. The exchange is approximately US$1 – GY$202.00 (2018). Exchanges of currencies are possible at banks, Cambios and most hotels for tourist.
Credits cards and traveler’s cheques are accepted by most hotels, restaurants, car rental agencies and tour operators. Master Card, International VISA, Maestro and Cirrus credit, and debit cards can be used to obtain cash from Scotiabank in Branch during banking hours or at ABMs. Above mentioned cards can also be used at the Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (GBTI) at their branches and at certain ATM locations. ATM Machines are accessible to persons with ATM Debit Cards. Opening hours of Banks: 08:00 hrs. and 14: 00 hrs. from Monday to Thursday and 08:00hrs and 14: 30hrs on Friday. Closed on national holidays. Dutch bank cards are not accepted in Guyana.
NO PHOTOGRAPHS OF MILITARY OBJECTS
Do not take photographs of military objects in Guyana.
HOMOSEXUALITY IS PUNISHABLE
You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Homosexuality is punishable in Guyana, this also applies to foreigners! Homosexual activity is illegal. Public displays of homosexuality like holding hands or kissing in public places could lead to arrest and imprisonment.
TIPS FROM THE EMBASSY IF YOU TRAVEL FROM SURINAME TO GUYANA
If you are traveling from Suriname to Guyana, pay attention to the validity of your Surinamese tourist card. Have you traveled to Suriname with a tourist card and do you want to go to Guyana and then back to Suriname? Then you have to buy a new tourist card to return to Suriname.
Alarm number ambulance: 913.
Alarm number police: 911.
Alarm number fire department: 912.
International code: +592.
In case of emergency for Dutch and Belgium passport holders, you can call 24/7 Minister of Foreign affairs in the Netherlands +31247247247.
The electricity in Guyana varies, from 110 to 240 volts. Both frequencies are also used, of both 50 Hertz and 60 Hertz. The country thus uses different types of outlets and plugs. In many places, you will find American sockets that are suitable for plugs with two flat pins. It is therefore advisable to bring an adapter and a world plug.
Drug trafficking is a serious problem: possession and trafficking in drugs lead to lengthy prison sentences and heavy fines. The minimum jail sentence for illegal drug offenses is three years. Prison conditions in Guyana are tough. Pack all luggage yourself and do not carry any items that do not belong to you.
HEALTH & VACCINATION CARD
For a visit to Guyana, it is advisable to get one or more vaccinations before you arrive. Check this out with your Tropical doctor.
When entering Guyana you need to have the yellow fever vaccination card with you. The control will be conducted by the Immigration officers at all border crossings, ports and international airports in Suriname. Travelers who are not vaccinated against yellow fever will be refused entry to the country. Vaccination must be undertaken at least 10 days prior to travel to Suriname. A vaccination certificate is required for children over 1 year of age. Travelers should carry their vaccination card with them at all times while traveling to Guyana.
In response to the yellow fever epidemic in Africa, the Ministry of Health has announced that control of yellow fever vaccination will be increased for travelers from yellow fever risk regions:
AFRICA: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, C6te d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, South Sudan, Togo and Uganda.
SOUTH AMERICA: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guyana, Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela.
NOTE: Persons are advised to refrain from consuming alcohol 24 hours before and after receiving vaccines.
There is a risk of dengue in Guyana. Dengue is a viral infection transmitted by mosquitoes which predominantly feed between dawn and dusk. It causes a flu-like illness, which can occasionally develop into a more serious life-threatening form of the disease. Severe dengue is rare in travelers. The mosquitoes that transmit dengue are most abundant in towns, cities and surrounding areas.
All travelers should avoid mosquito bites, particularly between dawn and dusk. There is currently no medication or vaccination available for travelers to prevent dengue.
Guyana is considered to have a moderate risk of Zika virus transmission. Pregnant women should consider postponing non-essential travel until after the pregnancy. Zika virus (ZIKV) is a viral infection transmitted by mosquitoes which predominantly feed between dawn and dusk. A small number of cases of sexual transmission of ZIKV have also been reported. Most people infected with ZIKV have no symptoms. When symptoms do occur they are usually mild and short-lived. Serious complications and deaths are not common. However, there is now a scientific consensus that Zika virus is a cause of congenital Zika syndrome (microcephaly and other congenital anomalies) and Guillain-Barré syndrome.
- All travelers should avoid mosquito bites, particularly between dawn and dusk.
- There is no vaccination or medication to prevent ZIKV infection.
- It is recommended that pregnant women planning to travel to areas with a moderate risk of ZIKV transmission should consider postponing non-essential travel until after pregnancy.
- Women should avoid becoming pregnant while traveling in, and for 8 weeks after leaving an area with active ZIKV transmission or 8 weeks after last possible ZIKV exposure.
- Couples should follow guidance on prevention of sexual transmission of Zika and avoid conception while traveling and for up to 6 months on return.
- If a woman develops symptoms compatible with ZIKV infection, it is recommended she avoids becoming pregnant for a further 8 weeks following symptom onset.
- Pregnant women who visited this country while pregnant, or who become pregnant within 8 weeks of leaving this country, or within 8 weeks after last possible ZIKV exposure, should contact their GP, obstetrician or midwife for further advice, even if they have not been unwell.
- Further information about when to perform fetal ultrasound scanning, and, if necessary, referral to the local fetal medicine service is available.
In Guyana, the average temperatures vary very little. Humidity is high, temperatures feel hot all year with a fair chance of precipitation about half of the year. The warmest time Guyana, are November, August, September, and November where highs are regularly around 32.°C with temperatures rarely dropping below 25.°C at night. The best time to travel to Guyana is February – April, August – November.
- NEW YEAR’S DAY: December 1
- REPUBLIC DAY: 23 February
- PHAGWAH: 21 March
- GOOD FRIDAY: 19 April
- EASTER DAY: 22 April
- LABOUR DAY: 01 May
- ARRIVAL DAY: 05 May
- INDEPENDENCE DAY: 26 May
- CARICOM DAY: 01 July
- EMANCIPATION DAY: 01 August
- EID-UL-ADHA**: 11 August
- DEEPAVALI: 27 October
- YOUMAN –NABI **: 09 November
- CHRISTMAS DAY: 25 December
- BOXING DAY: 26 December
- TENTATIVE DATES **