1. When is the best time to go to Guyana?
There are two wet seasons in the north, from May to June and from December to January. The south and the Rupnuni savannah region has a wet season during the month of May to July. Rainfall averages 91 inches (2,300mm) a year in Georgetown.
In general, Guyana is a great place to visit year round. Guyana is about 63% rainforest. There the air is moist and rain frequent, though it often does not penetrate the canopy. The rainiest season is summer, though some rain falls throughout the year. Showers or thunderstorms usually come in afternoon. Most days are said to have at least four hours of sunshine, and overcast is rare. Guyana is south of the hurricane belt.
The ocean moderates the coastal heat, often with a sea breeze. The tepuis, the soaring mesas of Guyana, are often much cooler than the rainforest immediately below.
In general, the average shade temperature is 27°C (81°F). Average maximum is 31°C (88°F) and the mean minimum is 24°C (75°F).
2. What are the accommodations like?
In Guyana, we have selected a variety of charming accommodations that have captured the local flavor and culture of Guyana. In general, we use small, family-run accommodations that are locally owned and characteristic of each area instead of luxury chain resorts. For more information, check out our Guyana Lodging
page to view pictures of our standard hotels/ lodges.
3. Do I need a converter/ adapter for the electricity?
In Georgetown you will find predominately 110 volts, though some areas also have 220 volts. In the interior, power is by generator only and is 110 volts. In general, generated power is only supplied from sundown until 10:00pm-11:00pm. Travelers will usually require a voltage converter for 110 volt devices. Ask the hotel to be sure of the voltage. Plugs are either the 2 pronged flat type found in the US or the 2 round prongs, bring an adapter just in case.
4. Are meals included?
Yes and no. We have tried to balance flexibility and convenience regarding meal options. For this reason, we include meals on any of our tour days when you are traveling off the beaten path where restaurant choices are limited. In the major towns, where there are a wide variety of restaurants, we generally do not include meals, to allow our travelers the flexibility of choosing their own food preferences. Your tour leader or hotel staff can recommend some great restaurant options. Your hotel will also provide a light continental breakfast on these days. Included meals are listed in parenthesis next to the tour itinerary on each tour page. An estimated meal budget can also be found under Personal Budgeting at the bottom of the itinerary on the tour pages.
5. What are the tour leaders like?
All of our tour leaders are exceptional! Our tour leaders are from the local areas where they guide and are among the very best guides available in each region. All of our tour leaders treat our travelers like friends, showing visitors both the major highlights and the local treasures.
6. What type of transportation is used?
Our Guyana tours utilize a variety of transportation including boats, private vehicle, flights, your own feet, horseback riding, etc. Guyana has very few paved and dirt roads. This makes travel into the interior somewhat challenging. Long distances are typically covered by small aircraft to make the shorten travel time, and make it more comfortable. We use a mix of private/ public transportation to provide travelers with the safest and most efficient transportation in each area. Each tour itinerary page has a description of the transportation included on that tour. If you have additional questions, just ask!
7. What type of food is typical of Guyana?
Indian, African, Chinese, Creole, English, Portuguese, Amerindian, North America -- the blend of different ethnic influences gives a distinctive flavor to Guyanese cuisine. Seafood is plentiful and varied. Try local dishes such as Pepper Pot (meat cooked in a bitter cassava juice with pepper and herbs). Though vegetarians can be easily accommodated in all areas, options typically leave out the meat rather than adding vegetarian mainstays such as tofu, beans, or nuts.
Rum is the most popular drink and Guyana blends some of the world's best. The local brew, Bank Beer, is a pretty good drink to toast your travels at the end of the day.
8. Are these trips suitable for kids?
It depends. We recommend a minimum age of 10 on our Guyana tours only because they are especially remote. Guyana tends to attract fairly adventurous travelers and unless your kids have had substantial international travel experience in the past, the ruggedness of the climate, long transfers, and lacking electricity in some accommodations may be overwhelming.
For teens, Guyana can provide an incredible experience with dramatic landscape formations, authentic cultural traditions, and lively colonial towns. We realize that you know your kids best so we will be happy to answer all of your questions and try to give you the most accurate impression of what to expect. However, please remember that these are adventure tours and flexibility is essential!
9. What is a typical group like on the Guyana tours?
Since Guyana is a relatively undiscovered destination, groups tend to be very small. These tours are a great choice for travelers seeking to get off the beaten path and travel in an area without a lot of other tourists. We run our tours with a minimum of two travelers so you may end up with a private guide for your chosen departure.
10. Are these trips a good choice for solo travelers?
Yes and no. As noted above, our Guyana tours tend to attract very small groups so they are not the best options for solo travelers hoping to meet a diverse group of other travelers. Some departure dates may not be available, as they do not have the minimum number of travelers to depart. Solo travelers should also take a look at our exclusive Solo Traveler Departures.
11. Do tour rates include international flights?
Tour rates do not include international flights. We find that it is usually less expensive for travelers to book these separately and this also allows you the flexibility to choose the schedule and routing that is most convenient for you. We are very familiar with helping you arrange flights, and can help you find the best options with an airfare consolidator that specializes in South America flights. Or you are welcome to arrange flights on your own.
12. How do I get to the hotel from the airport when I arrive?
For our Guyana tours, we have arranged for an Adventure Life representative to meet you at the airport and transfer you to your accommodations.
13. How much should I budget for tips?
Tips are not required on any of our tours. However, it is customary in Latin America to offer a small tip for exceptional service. Tipping amounts vary widely, though some travelers report that ~$2-$10/ day for your guide and ~$1-$3/ day for your driver is common. Other travelers opt to bring small gifts from their home to give to service providers along the way. In the interior, a tip is preferred in Guyanese dollars rather than foreign currency, since there are no facilities to exchange money within the area.
14. Are there any discounts available?
We offer select trip discounts periodically throughout the year. Check out our Travel Discounts
page for the latest offers and on-going discounts.
15. How far in advance should I book?
You can book your Guyana tour at any time. Since Guyana is relatively undiscovered, availability is often better for these tours than many of our other destinations. Even last minute bookings can often be accommodated!
We usually recommend that you wait to book your international flights until after your tour is confirmed. The sooner that you book your tour, the sooner you can take advantage of flight deals as they become available.
16. Are tour dates flexible?
Please contact us if you are not able to travel on the set departure dates listed on-line. Most tours can be arranged on alternative departure dates for a minimum of two travelers as long as lodges/ hotels are available.
17. Can I extend or change my stay?
With more time, take a city tour of Georgetown or visit Kaieteur and Orinduik Falls. Kaieteur Falls has a drop of 822 feet, five times the height of Niagra Falls. Let us know how you would like to customize your trip and we will do our best to accommodate you.
18. What should I pack?
You will receive a detailed packing list after you book your tour. Most people wear casual, comfortable clothing and formal attire is only required at official functions. Shorts and sandals are acceptable. In the savannah region, expect varied weather. Rain gear, flashlight, binoculars, insect repellent and breathable clothes for hot days are all recommended. Good walking shoes and sun protection are also a must for all Guyana tours.
19. How safe is Guyana?
Petty theft is common in busy tourist areas such as airports, markets, and other tourist sites so be aware of your valuables and don't leave them unattended. Like any city, certain areas of Georgetown are not particularly safe, especially after dark. Your tour leader is from the local area and is an excellent source of information and advice. In general you will find Guyanese to be extremely helpful and friendly. Check out the US State Department travel advisories for the latest information at: travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1133.html
20. Is the water safe to drink?
The water from the tap in Guyana is brownish in color, due to the tannin in the water. The water is not polluted, but the tap water is generally not safe to drink. Bottled water is readily available for purchase at tourist sites, hotels, and restaurants. Ice is not always made with boiled/ bottled water. Order your beverages without ice or ask your tour leader if the ice is safe in a particular restaurant. Remember to drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration.
21. Can I use US dollars, or do I need local currency? What is the local currency, exchange rate, etc.?
In general, you will want to use the local currency; the unit is the Guyanese dollar. There are bills for $20, $100, $500 and $1000 and coins for $1, $5 and $10. Exchanges vary, but is typically around USD$1.00 = GYD$200.00. Check out a Currency Converter
for the latest exchange rates.
22. Should I bring cash or Traveler's checks? Are ATMs available? Can I use credit cards?
Cash can be exchanged in hotels, banks and cambios (businesses that specialize in exchanging). Cambios normally offer the best exchange rate. Ask your tour leader for help in finding the best cambios to use. Holders of Cirrus cards can obtain cast from ATMs in Georgetown only. Travelers can withdraw local currency at fair exchange rates. Traveler's checks are fine, but they can be more difficult to exchange and you will usually receive a poorer rate or be charged an additional fee. Credit cards are not widely accepted. Most major hotels and some restaurants will accept credit cards. The inland lodges, in general, do not accept credit cards, but do accept US dollars, pounds and Guyanese dollars. Although it is helpful to bring a credit card along for emergencies, don't count on using it for most purchases.
23. Can I use my cell phone?
Check with your cell phone provider. Each company is different and they can give you the most up-to-date information.
24. Do I need a visa/passport?
All visitors must have a valid passport to enter Guyana. We recommend checking all travelers' passports as soon as possible. Make sure passports are current. Your passport should be valid for at least six months after your departure date.
Entry requirements in Latin America change with surprising frequency. It is each traveler's responsibility to check with the consulate in your country for the most up-to-date visa and passport information.
25. What immunizations are recommended/ required?
No immunizations are currently required for visiting Guyana. Hepatitis A and Typhoid are recommended on most of our Guyana excursions, and we recommend you are updated on your booster shot. Malaria preventatives are also recommended as a precaution when visiting portions of Guyana. Most beds in the interior of the country are netted. For the most current information, please consult your doctor and/or check out the Center for Disease Control web-site at www.cdc.gov.
26. What time zone is Guyana?
Guyana is four hours behind GMT (one hour ahead of EST).
27. Is travel insurance recommended?
Absolutely!!! We work with a company called TravelGuard that provides reasonably priced insurance for trip cancellation, medical expenses, medical evacuation, lost bags, etc. They have two different types of insurance available, depending upon whether or not you will need the cancellation coverage. Check out our Once You're Booked
page for more information.