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We're Andre & Lisa, adventurers and experienced budget travelers.

We have over two decades of travel experience and since 2018 have led a full-time nomadic lifestyle.

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GUYANA TRAVEL GUIDE

Guyana literally means “the land of many rivers” and they couldn’t have found a more apt name. About the size of Britain, Guyana is blessed with rivers, waterfalls, savannas highlands and rain forests.

 

English-speaking, with cricket and calypso music, it's culturally connected to the Caribbean region. Its capital, Georgetown, is known for British colonial architecture, including the tall painted-timber St. George’s Anglican Cathedral. The interior of the country is more Amazonian, with its Amerindian communities and unparalleled wildlife-viewing opportunities tucked quietly away from the capital’s noise and bustle.

COUNTRY PAGE
  • Capital: Georgetown
  • Currency: Guyanese dollar (GYD)
  • Area: total: 214,970 km2
  • Population: 779 004 (2018)
  • Language: English, Amerindian dialects, Creole,
  • Religion:Christian 50%, Hindu 35%, Muslim 10%, other 5%
  • Electricity: 110-240V/60Hz (USA plug)

 

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SEASONS AT A GLANCE

Most destinations have different times of the year when they’re more or less popular with tourists. 

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Peak Season

Shoulder Season

Off Peak Season

JANUARY

HOT

COLD

MODERATE

DRY

WET

FEBRUARY

HOT

COLD

MODERATE

DRY

WET

MARCH

HOT

COLD

MODERATE

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WET

APRIL

HOT

COLD

MODERATE

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WET

MAY

HOT

COLD

MODERATE

DRY

WET

JUNE

HOT

COLD

MODERATE

DRY

WET

JULY

HOT

COLD

MODERATE

DRY

WET

AUGUST

HOT

COLD

MODERATE

DRY

WET

SEPTEMBER

HOT

COLD

MODERATE

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WET

OCTOBER

HOT

COLD

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WET

NOVEMBER

HOT

COLD

MODERATE

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WET

DECEMBER

HOT

COLD

MODERATE

DRY

WET
Climate Chart with avergae monthly temperatues and rainfall

BEST TIME TO VISIT GUYANA

Guyana experiences two ‘wet’ seasons; most of the country receives 250‐450 mm of rain per month between May and July, and the second wet season affects mainly the northern, coastal regions which receive around 150‐300 mm per month in November to January. Mean temperature in Guyana is 25‐27.5°C throughout the year in most regions except the upland regions in the west, where mean temperature is 20‐23°C.

 

  • Mid-November to mid-January - Coastal rainy season and the height of tourism for expat Guyanese.
  • May to August - Interior and a second coastal rainy season. Road travel becomes difficult.
  • Late December -Cashew rains’ in the interior – light showers often provide a welcome temperature drop.

BEST TIME FOR:

The weather is most pleasant in Guyana in the months of February, March, April and September, October and November. There are not many beaches along the coast, with the exception of Shell Beach and 63 Beach Berbice, but there are a few lovely river beaches along the Essequibo River such as Bartica Beach, Saxacalli Beach and Hamburg Beach. Each year between March and August, turtles come ashore to lay their eggs at Shell Beach.

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GUYANA TRAVEL COSTS

Guyana can be VERY expensive to travel and can not be considered a budget destination. This has a lot to do with the fact that it's tourist industry is poorly developed as well as the sheer remoteness of locations. Also a lot of the existing tourist infrastructure is entirely set up to cater for the uber wealthy at exclusive lodges. Private transport options are terribly expensive and the only way to make some savings is by travelling with others - just make sure to book accommodation in advance if you are in a large group as often there just wont be adequate options available.

 

Overall, it's a bit of a mixed bag, where food, accommodation and drinks are not 'too' expensive, tours and trips can really crank up your budget. Especially compared to other destinations in South America.

 

SAMPLE COSTS

  • Beer GYD 600 (US$ 3)

  • Standard meal of chicken, rice and salad GYD 1100 (US$ 5). Eating local, fresh food out is relatively cheap and you can eat at a local place for around US$ 5-7 dollars with a small drink.

  • Taxi cost for 20 minute ride US$ 10. Or short 5 minute rides US$ 2.

  • Trip to Shell Beach (2-day stay and turtle-spotting, including a 1-hour small aircraft flight, transfers via taxi and boat, accommodation and food) US$ 450 per person.

  • Kaieteur Falls Trip – US$150 (A 4-hour trip, 2 hours flight time return and 2 hours at the falls.) If you make it there on a one-way trip, the government lodge at the falls charge US$ 15 to string up a hammock and you need to take everything you need with you.

  • Unless you sleep in a hammock you will find that even a basic guesthouse in Georgetown will start at US$ 40 and if you want a decent hotel you should budget at least US$ 120 and up! Once you make your way to Rupunini most lodges offer all inclusive rates ranging from US$ 130 up.

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TRAVEL TIPS FOR GUYANA

  • Base yourself in the Africa-like savanna of North Rupununi. You can stay in a rustic hut on a jungle island and visit indigenous villages, and go forest trekking, fishing and caiman-spotting.
  • Don’t miss Kaieteur Falls, the country’s undoubted highlight, and consider staying overnight there; a real adventure that allows you to have this magical place all to yourself once all the groups have departed.
  • Make sure to pack a travel hammock as this is how a lot of people in Guyana sleep and you will save a bundle by being able to string it up where you can.

 

GETTING AROUND

BUS / MINIBUS

Economical, cramped and dangerously driven minibuses to destinations along the coast depart from Stabroek Market and have no fixed schedules (they leave when full). Even getting aboard them can be a harrowing experience as six touts harass you into choosing theirs. To travel into the interior by bus, you’re limited to overnight services to Lethem, which run the entire way along the country’s main road, a dirt track through the jungle. The long, loud, bumpy, dusty journey is not for the fainthearted and involves stopping to sleep at a hammock camp for a few hours, a 6am ferry at the Kurukupari Crossing and several police checkpoints; bring warm clothes, your passport and patience. The buses stop along the main road on demand and pick up as long as they have empty seats (which they often do not – ask your lodging to call and reserve a spot ahead of time for any stops besides Lethem and Georgetown).

 

CAR

With bad roads full of farm animals and crazy drivers, few people decide to drive themselves in Guyana. If you do decide to drive you will need a Driving Permit, available for free at Cheddi Jagan International Airport arrivals terminal.

 

MOTORCYCLE

If you’re not in a group, getting around by motorcycle is a much cheaper option. This entails finding a local willing to take you (lodges will help with this), having light enough luggage to strap on the back of a motorbike or wear on your back, and having a resilient posterior (expect extremely bumpy rides).

 

TAXI

For simplicity and safety, taxis are the way to get around central Georgetown; trips around the center cost GYD300 to GYD500 or so, even at night. Have your hotel call a reliable cab company. If you need to flag down a taxi, use only registered ones painted yellow (all registered taxi license plates start with a ‘H’) and try to find ones with a company logo on the side.

 

REGIONS & HIGHLIGHTS OF GUYANA

  • Kaieteur Falls - Stand on the ledge of the world’s highest single-drop fall.
  • Rupununi Savanna - Paddle past populations of giant river otters in these wildlife-rich grasslands.
  • Dadanawa Ranch - Goon a cattle drive with vaqueros (cowboys) at this historic ranch.
  • Iwokrama Rainforest - Watch birds and track animals deep in the virgin rainforests of this reserve.
  • Shell Beach - Pass through rice-farming villages and cross rivers teeming with wildlife en route to Guyana’s best beach.
  • Rewa Eco-Lodge - Catch a glimpse of the giant arapaima, the planet’s biggest freshwater scaled fish, at this remote river lodge.
  • Saddle Mountain - Get on a horse search for giant anteaters at this beautiful corner of the South Rupununi.

 

RECOMMENDED ITINERARY

ONE WEEK

Stay in Georgetown for a night then take a day trip by plane to the scenic Kaieteur Falls. From there, fly or travel overland into the interior to stay in the Amerindian village of Surama for two nights. Next take road and river to either Caiman House, to help with caiman research, or Lethem, from where you can explore the nearby mountains, waterfalls and villages. On your final day, fly back to Georgetown from Lethem, enjoying incredible views of the rainforest.

 

GEORGETOWN

Next to where the Demerara River pours into the Atlantic, Georgetown is by far Guyana’s biggest city and a place all visitors will spend at least some of their time. With its dilapidated architecture, unkempt parks and vibrant street life, Georgetown has a laid-back feel and considerable charm in parts, even if there’s little to see beyond a smattering of museums, churches and colonial curiosities. Home today to the Caricom economic community, and thus a kind of Brussels of the Caribbean, Georgetown is no backwater, and its restaurants and nightlife reflect that, lending a distinctly cosmopolitan edge to the general chaos of a modern Guyanese city. Georgetown can be explored comfortably in a couple of days, with several interesting museums and attractive parks to explore. The best 19th-century buildings are along Main St and especially along Ave of the Republic, just east of the Demerara River.

 

KAIETEUR NATIONAL PARK

The 627-sq-km Kaieteur National Park is perhaps Guyana’s greatest drawcard, with the magnificent Kaieteur Falls its single biggest attraction, not to mention a national icon. As well as the stunning falls, the park is home to a tiny population of Amerindians and the endless biodiversity of the Guiana Shield, a massive geological formation covered in pristine rainforest, rushing rivers and vast savanna. This is the reason you came to Guyana.

 

IWOKRAMA RAINFOREST

The Iwokrama Rainforest Reserve is one of the most pristine rainforests left in the world. Its secluded location allows for a complete immersion in the rainforest experience. It is a unique living laboratory for tropical forest management and socioeconomic development for Amerindians. Overnight buses between Georgetown and Lethem go through the rainforest reserve, and so one of the lodges makes for an excellent stopover to break up the journey.

 

Download map waypoints for GUYANA here: KML / GPX

WHAT TO SEE AND DO IN GUYANA

More location information and points of interest are available in the above map

 

NORTH RUPUNINI

The North Rupununi savannas are Africa like plains scattered with Amerindian villages, small islands of jungle and an exceptional diversity of wildlife. Rivers full of caimans and the world’s largest water lilies (Victoria amazonica) cut through plains of golden grasses and termite mounds, and a mind-boggling array of birds fly across the sky. In the background the Pakaraima Mountains loom, more verdant hillsides than vast peaks, but which nonetheless give the landscape a touch of drama. The heart of the North Rupununi is the village of Annai, a crossroads for Amerindian peoples with a few sleeping options and an airstrip.

 

SOUTH RUPUNINI

South Rupununi is the wildest, most remote and least developed part of the vast Rupununi grasslands, and any trip here is a guaranteed adventure. Setting out under a vast sky along red dirt tracks through the savanna, with distant hills and bluish mountains in the distance, is an unforgettable experience. You’ll meet dozens of interesting local characters out here, from Amerindian village chiefs to authentic cowboys who make their living on the vast cattle ranches that still dot the landscape. Many of these have now turned to tourism and staying on one of these ranches is bound to be a highlight of your time in Guyana.

 

NORTHWESTERN COAST

Guyana’s little-visited Northwest Coast, which begins on the western bank of the Demerara River across the water from Georgetown and extends beyond the Essequibo River all the way to the border with Venezuela, has a number of interesting sights, wildlife-watching opportunities and the odd natural wonder to keep you busy should you head out this way. Beyond the Essequibo River, this is wild and largely unpopulated land with no roads or infrastructure, so it’s best to travel with an experienced travel agency rather than attempt to strike out alone.

  • Near Bartica, the Essequibo River meets the Mazaruni River and Marshall Falls, a series of rapids and jungle waterfall, reached via a hike through the rainforest.
  • Heading west from the Essequibo, a coastal road passes quaint rice-mill and farming villages to the town of Charity, about 50km away.
  • You will need a boat to go further from Charity – through bird-filled rivers, mangrove swamps and savannas – to Shell Beach, which extends for about 140km along the coast toward the Venezuelan border and is a nesting site for four of Guyana’s eight sea-turtle species.
  • Waini Point, near the town of Mabaruma, is a popular sighting area for the scarlet ibis.

WHAT TO EAT IN GUYANA

The cuisine of Guyana has been greatly influenced by both its colonial history and its ethnic populations. As a result, the food of Guyana is incredibly diverse taking elements from Creole, East Indian, African, Portuguese, Amerindian, Chinese and European cuisines. Root vegetables like cassava and sweet potatoes are staples of the country’s diet. Seafood is also a major part of Guyanese cuisine as are fresh fruits. Green seasoning, a combination of herbs, onions, hot peppers and garlic are used to flavour many of Guyana’s dishes.

 

ESSENTIALS:

  • Pepperpot - Stewed meat flavored with cinnamon and cassareep.
  • Cook up rice - A one-pot meal, this is a rice based dish with beans or peas. Chicken is sometimes added, while other versions include fish or salted beef tripe.
  • El Dorado rum - Considered one of the world’s best rums.
  • Roti - Soft Indian flatbread.
  • Cow heel soup - A soup made with split peas, vegetables, dumplings and cow heels.
  • Metemgee - A dumpling dish that is made from cornflour, yams, plantains, eddos root and cassava that is cooked in coconut milk and flavoured with grated coconut.

LGBTQ IN GUYANA

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WHERE TO STAY IN GUYANA

For a first-time visit to Guyana, choosing the right area or region to stay in depends on your interests, whether you're drawn to exploring the lush rainforests, discovering wildlife, or experiencing the vibrant culture. Here are some recommendations along with accommodation options in different price ranges:


Where to stay in Georgetown:

Georgetown, the capital city, serves as a convenient base for exploring Guyana, offering historical landmarks, cultural attractions, and access to nearby natural wonders. Explore attractions like St. George's Cathedral, Stabroek Market, and the Walter Roth Museum of Anthropology.

  • Budget: Herdmanston Lodge Hotel provides affordable accommodations in a tranquil setting in Georgetown. Guests can stay in spacious rooms surrounded by tropical gardens, enjoy access to a swimming pool and restaurant, and take advantage of services such as airport transfers and tour arrangements.

  • Mid-range: King's Hotel & Residences offers mid-range accommodations with spacious rooms and suites suitable for both leisure and business travelers. Guests can enjoy amenities such as a swimming pool, fitness center, and on-site dining options.

  • Luxury: Guyana Marriott Hotel provides upscale accommodations with panoramic views of the Demerara River. Guests can stay in elegant rooms and suites, relax at the hotel's swimming pool and spa, and dine at the on-site restaurants serving international and local cuisine.


Tip: Look out for special deals and promotions offered by hotels in Georgetown and consider visiting during the off-peak seasons (rainy season from May to August) for better rates.


Where to stay in Iwokrama Forest Reserve:

The Iwokrama Forest Reserve offers pristine rainforest landscapes, biodiversity hotspots, and opportunities for birdwatching, hiking, and wildlife encounters.

Explore canopy walkways, embark on guided nature hikes, and visit indigenous communities.

  • Budget: There are limited budget accommodations within the reserve, but eco-lodges and guesthouses offer rustic experiences amidst nature.

  • Mid-range: Atta Rainforest Lodge provides comfortable rooms and immersive experiences with guided tours and wildlife viewing platforms.

  • Luxury: There are limited luxury accommodations within the reserve, but mid-range options offer exclusive stays with personalized service.


Tip: Book accommodations and activities in the Iwokrama Forest Reserve in advance and bring appropriate gear for rainforest exploration.


For hassle-free bookings, use platforms like Booking.com for competitive rates or Holiday Swap for unique homes worldwide. Ensure to book in advance, especially during peak seasons, and align your preferences with nearby activities such as surfing, snorkeling, or cultural exploration.

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Find a cheap flight by using Skyscanner or Momondo. These are our favorite flight search engines. They index other travel websites and airlines across the globe to easily find you the best deal.

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Booking.com is our number one resource for researching and booking accommodation. In addition to Booking.com, we have found Agoda.com to consistently returns the cheapest rates in Southeast Asia. For longer stays, find unique homes worldwide on Holiday Swap, the most affordable travel platform that allows you to book homes anytime, anywhere in only a few clicks.

TRANSPORT

DiscoverCars.com is a leader in online car rental bookings; we compare car rental deals from many companies so that you can choose which is best for your trip. 12Go connects the world door-to-door, from transfers to flights, under the same user-friendly ticket.

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