What a tourist should know about visiting Guyana: location, visa, best time to visit

Guyana’s History

Like many other countries in North and South America, Guyana has long been home to the Arawak and Carib Indian tribes. Little is known about events of such antiquity, but according to anthropologists, people appeared in this area more than thirty thousand years ago. Interestingly, the name of the country has deep roots from this very period. “It is not surprising that the place got such a name, because there are many waterways on the territory of Guyana. The first Europeans set foot on the land of Guyana in the 15th century.

However, Spanish colonizers at that time were not too interested in the territory. But later, in the 18th and 19th centuries, the British, Dutch and French fought for supremacy. At first, the Dutch succeeded – they expanded trade with the locals. And from the early 19th century – and for the next century and a half – the territory was under British control.

The colonizers brought slaves from Africa to the territory. This contributed to the fact that the ethnic composition of Guyanese is now very diverse. Already in the 20th century progressive changes began in the country: the introduction of the constitution, the participation of local residents in the government of the country. However, Guyana did not gain independence until the 1960s. Interestingly, the emerging state chose the socialist ideology and almost immediately established relations with the Soviet Union. Currently, Guyana is a developing country, its economy, infrastructure, and social services have yet to reach a decent level, but the government and people of the country are moving in the direction of development.

Geographic information about Guyana

Guyana is located in the northeast of South America. It has access to the Atlantic Ocean and borders Venezuela, Brazil, and Suriname. The topography of the country is a plateau and the coast is lowland. As the name implies, Guyana has many rivers, lakes, and beautiful waterfalls. Much of the country is jungle. The fauna includes such interesting species as armadillos, sloths, tapirs, hummingbirds and parrots.

Climate in Guyana

Guyana The climate of the state is subequatorial, characterized by high temperatures and humidity. During the year, the average temperature on the coast, where many tourists go, reaches 25-30 degrees Celsius. But in the mountainous areas, the difference between night and daytime temperatures is palpable: nighttime temperatures can drop as low as 5 degrees Celsius. In terms of humidity, Guyana is suitable for those who tolerate a humid climate well. Rainfall is especially high in April-August and November-January.

Best time to visit Guyana

The best time to travel to Guyana is between September and April because it is the dry season. If you’re wondering what to pack for Guyana, think quick dry, light outdoor gear.

The weather is always hot and humid in Guyana. It’s the rain – or lack thereof – that makes the difference. The roads can get really muddy and travel becomes very difficult, if not impossible, or at least frustrating.

Also, if you plan to travel in the wilderness, imagine camping in the rain. The rivers are also growing and kayaking is becoming more dangerous. In any case, if you plan to spend time outside the capital city of Georgetown, make sure you travel in the dry season.

Visa

Guyana is surprisingly easy to enter for those coming from the U.S., EU, and UK, as you don’t need a visa. You will only need your passport, which will be valid for at least 6 months, and will be stamped upon arrival. A single entry tourist visa is valid for 1 month.

Of course, in case you are flying to Guyana via the US, you will need to apply for an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization), which usually only takes a few hours. It’s best to do this in advance, i.e. at least 72 hours before your flight. It only costs $14.

Please keep in mind that yellow fever vaccination is mandatory for entry into Guyana, so be sure to bring your vaccination records with you.

Language/People in Guyana

Guyana is the only country in South America where English is the official language.  It definitely makes traveling here a lot easier than you might imagine.

Guyanese speak mostly Guyanese Creole – which is actually English Creole with African and East Indian syntax. The native Amerindian minority also speaks a number of Amerindian languages, such as Makushi, Akawayo, and Wai-Wai.

Guyana is a diverse nation: 39.8% of the population is East Indian, 30% are Black African, 19.9% are multiracial, 10.5% are Indian, and 0.5% are other, mostly Chinese and white (especially Portuguese). As mentioned, Guyana is more like the Caribbean and South America and this is reflected in its population and its culture.

What to bring back from Guyana?

At the end of vacation vacationers traditionally think about how to “prolong” the memories with the help of souvenirs. As a rule, on their way home from Guyana tourists bring:

  • statuettes made of wood;
  • woven carpets and hand-painted fabrics;
  • masks;
  • details of national costumes and accessories.

Guyana, of course, is not yet a leader in the countries most popular among tourists. But this is a good thing: after all, many corners of unspoiled nature can lose if you wander among the tourist crowds. This country is suitable for those who like organized travel (you can book a tour or choose a holiday at the resort), and those who can plan their own adventure. Think about it – maybe you should go here in 2020?

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