January 18, 2017
Usually by plane to the only international airport in the country. The Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Timehri, is located 25 miles (40 km) south of Georgetown. Airlines serving Guyana include the flag carrier, Universal Airlines, North American Airlines, BWIA, and LIAT.
Domestic flights in Guyana are usually from the Ogle Aerodrome, just about 6 miles east of Georgetown.
If you need a visa, check:
Banking hours in Guyana could be a little more restrictive than you might be accustomed to -- 8:00 am to 12:30 pm, Monday to Friday. Some banks may have extended Friday hours from 3:00 - 5:00 pm. The use of Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) are now being adopted in Georgetown.
Stores are open 8:30 am to 4:00 pm, Monday to Thursday, to 5:00 pm.on Friday, and to 12:00 noon on Saturday. Closed on Sundays.
Markets are open 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday to Saturday except on Wednesdays when they are open 9:00 am to 12:00 noon. On Sundays, markets are open between 8:00 and 10:00 am.
Do you like it hot? If so, Guyana is tailor-made for you. Hot but more pleasant on the coastline (due to the NE Tradewinds coming off the Atlantic Ocean), and hot and humid as you venture south past the coastal region and closer to the Equator. Hottest time of the day is usually around 2:00 pm.
There are only two seasons in Guyana -- dry (February-April and July-November) and rainy (May-June and December-January). During the rainy season, there may be rainfall for 60% of the time and the low-lying coastal areas can experience some flooding.
Clothing is usually lightweight summer-type casual clothing, and jackets are not necessary. Dress as you would in North America during the summer ... and leave the Hawaiian shirts for Hawaii. Guyanese use functional raincoats and unbrellas during the rainy season.
Due to its equatorial climate and rainy seasons, Guyana is well blessed with all sorts of bugs, beetles, butterflies, wasps, bees, hornets, mosquitoes, flies ... you get the picture. The only insects to worry about are the mosquitoes and sand flies, and windows of houses in Guyana are often meshed to keep these critters out. People also usually sleep under mosquito netting. The mosquito situation tends to get worse as one goes away from the coastline, as the effects of the Tradewinds are not there to blow the mosquitoes off course.
Being tropical, Guyanese houses are typically airy and have many non-closing openings to the outside. This means that lizards, spiders, and other crawlies can come in from time to time. Ignore them and they usually treat you similarly.
Snakes, caimans, and other more serious animals are not usually found in the cities, but then there are exceptions in every rule, and sometimes something might turn up. Good thing there are mongooses to keep the snakes at bay.
Guyana is glorious when it comes to animals, which should all be appreciated on any visit to this beautiful country. Except the mosquitoes -- bring DEET.
Guyana's currency is the Guyana dollar, which floats against the US dollar (check the present exchange rate). US dollars would be accepted by almost anyone since foreign currency is not always readily available at the banks and other similar institutions.
Basically you convert your foreign currency into Guyanese dollars at banks, cambios (money changing companies) and some hotels. Stay away from the money changers on the street. Keep cambio receipts if you need to change back to your own currency when leaving. There is a "Departure Tax" when leaving the country - Guy$2,500 -- payable at the airport.
Major credit cards and travellers cheques are now accepted by most hotels, restaurants, tour operators, and the like.
Popular ways of sending money to Guyana include money transfers from bank to bank, and also Western Union. There are many Western Union locations in all 3 counties -- telephone 592-2-75141.
Well, you could rent a car and be on your own, or you could use taxis within the coastline areas.
Driving is on the left hand side of the road, and as a result most cars have their controls on the right -- as in England.
When it comes to taxis, it might be better to take private ones than the public taxis that one hails on the road. Private ones usually only have you as the fare for the duration of your journey. Public taxis drivers will fill the vehicle with anyone who hails them, so you would most likely share a cab.
There is no state-owned public transportation system at the moment. Instead, longer distances are also served by mini-buses which are typically the size of minivans but which are equipped to seat more than 7 persons. Most mini-buses (or taxis) have no seatbelts, and have a bad reputation when it comes to driving on the roads. Accidents are often spectacular. I would avoid mini-buses more than I would avoid a tarantula.
River travel is by state-run ferries crossing the major rivers -- Demerara, Essequibo and Berbice -- and also by open-air 4- and 6-seater outboard-engined river taxis called balahoos and corials. These can be chartered.
Visitors are advised to drink bottled water (widely available), since potable water might not be treated the same way as you may be accustomed to.
There is a risk of malaria in the interior, but not in Gergetown and other coastal areas.
Georgetown has one public hospital, the largest in the country, and several good private hospitals.
Guyana's country code is 592 and this must prefix the telephone number you are calling. With the new 7-digit number system, your dialling number should look like '011-592-xxx-yyyy' where 'xxx' is the new area code and 'yyyy' is the telephone number. Here is a listing of the new area codes and how they impact existing telephone numbers.
The new numbers are already in effect. A complete switchover will be done on the dates above and the old numbers will not be accessible. For more information on the new system, please click here.
Direct dialling is available between Guyana and any country. Direct dialling codes are: Canada - 161, USA - 165, and UK - 169.
The phone company, GT&T, has public facilities in Georgetown for overseas calls.
Some local Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have walk-in, pay Internet services in their Georgetown offices. It might be a good idea to set up a web-based email account such as Hotmail, Yahoo, etc. and have your regular mail forwarded to that account for the duration of your stay in Guyana. That way you can check the email from any computer connected to the Web.
Free Internet access is available to Cara hotel guests.
Time Zone and Voltage
Guyana is 4 hours behind GMT, and 1 hour ahead of EST, except between April and October when they are coincident.
Voltage is 100V, 50/60 Hz in Georgetown, and 220V in parts of the City suburbs and in most other places.
Many people have asked how they can go about checking their roots, and the best I could come up with is to contact the Registrar's office at:Registrar of Births, Deaths, Marriages
Guyana, South America
Tel: 592-226-3556, 592-226-9836, 592-226-6673.
How do I ...Get to Guyana?
Do my banking and shopping when in Guyana?
Handle the climate?
Deal with the bugs and other fauna?
Pay for stuff?
Get money to Guyana?
Get around the place?
Satisfy my health concerns?
Exercise care for my personal security?
Call home or check my email?
Check Births, Deaths and Marriages?
Contact Guyana's Overseas Missions?
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