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all about Guyana

Reasons to visit Guyana

Guyana may be the third-smallest country in South America, but its tropical forests are an important resource for the whole world. Guyana boasts a remarkably rich ecology. Tropical rainforests, filled with distinctive plants and trees, teeming with exotic birds, insects and mammals, are a big draw.

Guyana is a paradise for nature lovers, adventure seekers, and the eco-tourist alike. It boasts an irresistible combination of fascinating and breathtaking natural beauty. The country offers pristine Amazonian rainforests, immense waterfalls and amazing wildlife.

Guyana also offers a vibrant indigenous culture, rich heritage and some of the most hospitable and friendly people in the world. Talk to us about a tour of this exciting country. We have been assisting clients with their trips to Guyana for over 30 years and know the country inside out.

We love Guyana for

  • Adventure tourism
  • Birdwatching
  • Community tourism
  • Fishing
  • Eco tourism
  • Hiking
  • Jungle treks 
  • Safari 
  • Sailing
  • Watersports

When to go to Guyana

The high season runs from middle of July to November when hotel prices will rise and you will need to book up at least six months in advance to get the best deals.

We recommend that you try travelling to Guyana at other times if you are not bound by school holidays, where you will find some great hotel and airfare deals. Check out our latest deals to Guyana with Virgin Atlantic and Caribbean Airlines.

Weather in Guyana

Coastal wet season runs from mid-November to mid-January and May to mid-July. The interior wet season is from May to end of August and they have short rains in December. The rest of year is generally dry. The average temperature year round is 27.5°C/82°F.

Planning your holiday

Family reunions and holidays to Guyana

When considering a trip to Guyana, many travellers choose the country for its spectacular scenery, luxuriant rainforest and adventure tours.

Places to stay in Guyana

Guyana has only a handful of lodges in its rainforests and savannahs, and most of these are small and remote establishments with fewer than a dozen beds. Some - like Rewa, Surama, and Maipaima - are run by the local Amerindian villagers who turn your visit into something like a homestay experience.

Others - like Karanambu and Rock View Lodge - are captained by British expats who have carved out a slice of unexpected comfort in an otherwise rugged environment.

Those lodges such as Caiman House, Atta Rainforest Lodge, and Iwokrama River Lodge - have a strong science and nature focus and provide amply comfortable hospitality as well as a chance to learn about the vivid surrounding ecosystems. Running water and at least a few hours of electricity are available at each lodge, and amenities are always clean and comfortable.

While no one comes to Guyana looking for a luxury travel experience, welcome creature comforts are on offer at the charming colonial boutique Cara Lodge in Georgetown as well as the multi storied Pegasus on the city's northwest corner. Meanwhile, Baganara Island on the Essequibo delights visitors with a host of recreational and relaxation opportunities.

We offer a range of specially selected tours, hotels and lodges in Guyana so do let us know how we can help.

Guyana for weddings, anniversaries and special occasions

If you are looking for help organising a trip to Guyana for a group, whether that’s for a special family occasion such as an anniversary or wedding just get in touch. We have organised many types of trips, including music tours for some of the most well known bands in the Caribbean and wilderness tours.

Guyana for family holidays

Guyana has a lot to offer familes, including exciting safari trips, wilderness adventures and resort based trips, on one of the many beach resorts on the rivers.

Guyana for couples

Guyana is often seen as a romantic getaway for couples that really enjoy nature, who are celebrating their honeymoon or an anniversary. Resorts mentioned below are ideal for such an occasion.

Beach Holidays in Guyana

There are more than three hundred and sixty five islands in the Essequibo river and some of them boast their own airstrip and offer lush tranquil resorts with their own beaches and are surrounded by virgin rainforest. Resorts such as Baganara Island offer an ideal spot for romantic getaways and are a short trip from the capital Georgetown. 

Cultural and Adventure Holidays in Guyana

Guyana offers one of the most untouched rainforest experiences, complete with wildlife viewing of some of the rarest creatures on the planet such as the Black Jaguar and Giant Otters. It also offers some of the most colourful and rare birdlife.

 

Getting to Guyana

Virgin Atlantic flies daily to Barbados from where connections are available via LIAT service into Georgetown, Guyana, using Virgin Atlantic’s Caribbean fleet of Boeing 747s. Alternatively Virgin Atlantic makes connections at JFK to Guyana daily.


Caribbean Airlines flies three times a week via Trinidad, the overall travel time is perhaps the shortest available and their fares are very competitive.

Other travellers find the best connections are through New York's JFK where both Delta Airlines and Caribbean Airlines offer direct service into Georgetown.  Caribbean also offers a service into Guyana via Toronto from December 2012. 

You need to book at least a year in advance to travel during the peak travel periods of Easter, July and Christmas.

Getting around

Transport into Guyana’s largely unpopulated interior regions is by small plane, river canoe, or 4X4 pickup truck. Getting around is truly part of the adventure.

Outside of Georgetown and the coastal region, there are few roads (none of which are paved) and the small number of vehicles that ply the rugged dirt roads are, frankly, miracles of endurance and roadside maintenance.

Guyana's real highways are its rivers, and we recommend spending at least a day or two meandering along the Burro Burro, Rupununi, Rewa, Demerara, or Essequibo Rivers during your visit. Boats are typically open to the elements and run by a small outboard motor. The best bird spotting and wildlife viewing come from these waterways, so be sure to come with a hat, sunscreen, binoculars, and a good camera. All boats typically have both a captain and spotter (to avoid snags and sandbars) and are equipped with life vests, water, and tarpaulins.

Aircraft are small but well-maintained bush aircraft with 6-12 seats: Cessna Caravans, 206's, and Norman Islanders. You might even get to sit up front with the pilot!

Things to do and see in Guyana

Vast pristine rainforests

With nearly 80 percent of its land covered by rain forest, Guyana joins neighbors Suriname, French Guiana and portions of Venezuela and northern Brazil to form the Guaiana Shield region of Amazon forest—the source of 20 percent of the world’s fresh water. The vast forests of the Guaiana Shield also contain 18 percent of all the carbon dioxide stored in the world’s tropical forests.

This remarkably intact ecosystem sustains Guyana's treasure trove of more than 6,000 species of plants, 800 birds, 200 mammals, 200 reptiles and amphibians, and countless insects. Many of these species are endemic and some unknown to science. Its more famous endangered creatures include the jaguar, giant river otter, giant anteater, harpy eagle, green anaconda, Guianan cock-of-the- rock, arapaima, and tapir. 

Kaieteur Falls

There are no other falls in the world with the magnitude of the sheer drop existing at Kaieteur. The water of the Potaro River flows over a sandstone conglomerate tableland into a deep gorge - a drop of 251 meters (822 feet). This is 5 times the height of Niagara Falls. Kaieteur supports a unique micro environment with Tank Bromeliads, the largest in the world, in which the tiny Golden Frog spends its entire life.

The rarely seen Guianan Cock-of-the-rock nests close by. The lucky visitor may also see the famous flights of the Kaieteur Swifts or Makonaima Birds. They nest under the vast shelf of rock carved by the centuries of water, hidden behind the eternal curtain of falling water. Because of its remote location, most visitors to the falls won't see any other people during their stay. 

Sunrise on Surama Mountain

Rise before dawn for a walk across the savannah and then the exhilarating climb up Surama Mountain in the cool morning air. This is the best time to observe bird life along the trail. Enjoy the incredible views across the village and savannah to the Pakaraima Mountains. After walking back to the village, many might opt to rest and relax around the cabins.

Medicinal plant and culture demonstration in Surama

Local guides can escort you for a short walk on trails to observe the forest and bird life and talk about medicinal plants and their uses in the Amerindian culture. Surama offers one of the best-known chances for seeing rufous-winged ground-cuckoo.

Birdwatching and nature spotting in the Iwokrama rainforest

Although the forest around Atta Lodge is excellent for birds, the major attraction here is a 154 metre long canopy walkway which is only 750m from the lodge. The walkway has four platforms, the highest of which is over 30 metres above the ground, and these will allow you to view a range of canopy species, many of which we would struggle to see well from the forest floor.

Amongst the likely highlights are painted, brown-throated and golden-winged parakeets, caica parrot, Guianan puffbird, waved and golden-collared woodpeckers and spot-tailed, todd’s and ash-winged antwrens. The walkway is also an excellent place to look for various species of cotinga including the poorly known and range-restricted dusky purpletuft and if there are any suitable fruiting trees nearby, we stand a good chance of seeing this bird, as well as the more widespread purple-breasted cotinga. This area is also one of the best places to see another of Guyana’s “must see” birds, the crimson fruitcrow. 

Climb Awaramie Mountain, sundowners on Rewa River

Head out by boat along the Rupununi River, into an oxbow lake to begin a hike up Awarmie Mountain. The climb is steep in a few sections but in general not too difficult. Along the way you will lots of birds and perhaps good close up views of black spider monkeys. There is good birding along the trail with white bellbirds calling both from the scrubby woodland at the beginning of the trail and again from the forests far below you when reach the summit.

Other species you may see include ornate hawk-eagle, black curassow, red-fan parrot, Guianan puffbird, Todd’s antwren, spotted tanager and bay-headed tanager. The area also has a high density of macaws including scarlet, blue-and-yellow and red-and-green macaws. At the summit you will have absolutely stunning views across rainforest to the distant mountains. 

Fishing and turtle or monkey watching on the Rewa River

Travel up the Rewa River to a location known as Seawall. This rock formation is a great place to fish or take in the beauty of the location. Visit sand banks where giant river turtles come to lay their eggs. Along the river banks you may see red howler monkeys, squirrel monkeys and brown capuchin. Talk to us about the many trips and excursions you can make with the experts such as Wilderness Explorers.

Community tourism projects

Three Macushi villages have opened rainforest eco-lodges entirely owned and operated by the local community. Other communities support the eco-lodges by providing food, supplies, and services. These lodges are cooperatively managed and staffed by villagers who take time out of their normal daily routines to provide services to guests.

You can be treated to authentic Makushi hospitality as if you were a guest in one of their homes. The abundant flora and fauna surrounding these villages is masterfully curated by local residents who offer hikes, river canoe expeditions, and visits to community schools, centers, and traditional events. Only a few hundred visitors stay at these lodges each year, so you are guaranteed a rustic but authentic opportunity to interact with your hosts. 

Events & Holidays

1 January - New Year holiday
23 February - Mashramani (Carnival with parades, calypso and soca music)
February or March - Holi
Easter - Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Monday.
Easter - Kite flying competitions.
1 May - Labour Day
5 May - Arrival Day - Religious and cultural festival in Indian community to commemorate their arrival in Guyana.
26 May - Independence Day 
First Monday in July - CARICOM Day
First Monday in August - Emancipation Day
October or November - Deepavali
25-26 Dec - Christmas Holidays
EID-UL-FIT, EID UL AZAR, YOUMAN NABI - Muslim festivals celebrated on the island.

Useful Guyana travel information

Language - English is the official language.

Currency - Guyanese Dollar (GYD; symbol G$) = 100 cents.
Notes are in denominations of G$1,000, 500, 100 and 20.
Coins are in denominations of G$10, 5 and 1.
US Dollars are widely accepted throughout Guyana.

Emergencies - Dial 911 for the Police or 225 64 11.
Dial 912 for Fire emergency
Dial 913 for medical emergencies or 226 9449 (Georgetown hospital).

Local Customs - It is customary to dress smart casual when dining out at restaurants and casual wear around town, at the creeks, rivers and pools swimwear and beachwear is perfectly acceptable.

Tipping - Taxi drivers and restaurant staff will typically expect a tip of 10% for service.

Voltage - 110v with US style outlets

Time Difference - GMT -3 hours 

Country dialing code is + 592

Departure tax - See our flight pages for details of the departure tax payable.

Security in Guyana - Georgetown's reputation for crime is associated with ups and downs in the local drug trade, none of which is likely to intersect with tourist activities or destinations. The biggest safety concern in Guyana comes from the remote and wild places you will visit: access to western standard medical care may take hours or days over trails, rivers, and rutted dirt roads. Please make sure you have adequate medical insurance.

Other Risks - Hepatitis B and D are highly endemic in the Amazon basin and precautions should be taken. Although rare, tuberculosis also occurs and Jungle yellow fever may be found in forest areas. Dengue fever, rabies and American trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease) may also occur. For those at high risk, vaccination before arrival should be considered. If you are bitten, seek medical advice without delay.

All travellers in Guyana should carry a good first aid kit and all the medical supplies they require and take out a comprehensive travel insurance policy.

Medical care and prescription drugs are limited and sanitary conditions are poor in many medical facilities. Travellers are also advised to bring prescription medicines sufficient for their length of stay.

Useful Links

Guyana High Commission in the UK
3 Palace Court, Bayswater Road, London W2 4LP, UK
Tel: (020) 7229 7684.
www.guyana.org

Opening hours:
Mon-Fri 0930-1730 (except national and UK holidays);
Mon-Fri 0930-1430 (consular enquiries).

Guyana Tourism Authority 
National Exhibition Centre,
Sophia, Greater Georgetown, Guyana
Tel: 592 219 0094-6.
www.guyana-tourism.com

Insider tips

Orinduik Falls

Ireng River

The Orinduik Falls lie on the Ireng River, and thunders over steps and terraces of solid red jasper (a semi-precious stone) on the border of Guyana and Brazil before merging with the Takutu River and into Brazil to join the Amazon River.

Orinduik Falls is a wide, multi-tiered series of cascades situated amid the Pakaraima Mountains, making it an ideal waterfall for swimming.

It is alleged that the falls are littered with wealth as locals and tourists have claimed to collect small nuggets of gold on occasion.

“The phone calls are answered promptly and no waiting around in queues listening to some obscure music.The staff are very knowledgeable, helpfulĀ and friendly.They go out of their way to find answers to questions asked. Judy. Last contacted us Oct 14. ”

Judy Ali - Read more