Practical Information A-Z
Most hotels, major restaurants, car rental agencies and tour operators accept major credit cards and travelers cheques. Foreign banking/ATM cards can only be used at select ATM machines in Guyana. The interior is largely a cash economy.
Lightweight, casual clothing can be worn throughout the year.
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. 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.
There is an exit tax of G$4,000 paid at the airport.
Drive on the left hand side of the road.
- Police: 911
- Fire: 912
- Ambulance: 913
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, Russia, Spain, Sweden, the United States. Visitors are advised to check with the nearest Guyana Embassy or Consulate or their travel agent.
Guyanese cuisine is a mixture of Caribbean, Indian, and African dishes. Fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, and meats are plentiful and curries, served with rice or roti, are popular. Lodges in the interior are renowned for buffet-style meals featuring local delights ranging from wild peccary to breadfruit, locally raised beef and freshly caught fish to freshly made juices.
Internet service is available nationally from independent providers. Service is also available in most hotels and at the many Internet Cafes across the country.
There are four daily newspapers: Stabroek News, The Guyana Chronicle, the Guyana Times, and Kaieteur News. The Catholic Standard is published weekly. There are more than 20 TV stations; most rebroadcast US (and sometimes Indian) imports. Radio Guyana, Voice of Guyana, Radio Roraima and 98.1 FM are the main radio stations.
- New Years Day
- Republic Day and Mashramani (February 23)
- Good Friday
- Easter Monday
- Labour Day (May 1)
- Independence Day (May 26)
- CARICOM Day (First Monday in August)
- Christmas Day
- Boxing Day (December 26)
The following public holidays follow a lunar calendar and thus the actual day varies annually:
- Hindu holidays of Phagwah (usually March)
- Deepavali (usually November)
- Muslim Holidays of Eid ul Fitr (end of Ramadan)
- Eid ul Azah and Youman Nabi.
Exercise the same safety precautions as you would in any city or unfamiliar environment. Most areas are safe on foot by day, or by taxi at night. Be on your guard when walking through crowds, and don’t venture by foot into low-income neighborhoods. Don’t walk around with valuables, and remember to check with your hotel for current advice.
8:30 am – 4:00 pm on weekdays and 8:30 am – Noon on Saturdays.
For all areas of Guyana the country code is 592, followed by a seven-digit number. Direct dialing is available from Guyana to any country in the world (Canada Direct – 161, USA Direct – 165, UK Direct 169). The Guyana Telephone & Telegraph company office in Georgetown has public facilities for overseas calls. Some local Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) offer walk-in Internet phone service at their Georgetown offices. Completion of the Americas II cable has provided an international fiber optic link. Fiber network reaches most of the coast, as does a seamless digital cellular service. Guyana has active SMS and Voicemail on mobiles. Local phone cards are available.
Four hours behind GMT; one hour ahead of EST (except during Daylight Saving Time, when they are the same).
110v in Georgetown, 220v in most other places, including parts of suburban Georgetown.
The water from the tap is brownish in colour, which is from the tannin in the water, and not polluted. However, it is recommended that bottled water, which is readily available, be used for drinking. Remember to drink plenty of it to prevent dehydration.