Travel Consideration: Guyana

Contributed By RealAdventures

Guyana is a developing nation. Except for hotels in the capital city of Georgetown, tourist facilities are not fully developed.

Valid passports are required for all U.S. citizens to enter Guyana. Dual nationals must have a U.S. passport to depart Guyana for the United States. A U.S. naturalization certificate or birth certificate does not fulfill immigration or boarding requirements for departure. On arrival in Guyana, all visitors are granted a 30-day stay. Extensions of stay may be obtained from the Ministry of Home Affairs at Number 60 Brickdam, Georgetown. The extension must then be noted in the visitor’s passport by the Central Office of Immigration located on Camp Road, Georgetown. Travelers for other than tourism purposes should also check with the Ministry of Home Affairs for additional information about requirements for work permits and extended stays. For further information regarding entry and customs requirements, travelers should contact the Embassy of Guyana at 2490 Tracy Place, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20009, telephone (202) 265-6900, or the Consulates General of Guyana in Florida, New York, or Texas. Internet:

Guyana has suffered from occasional political and labor unrest. Although these demonstrations are not directed at U.S. citizens, visitors are advised to be vigilant to changes in the security situation and to maintain a low profile. U.S. citizens have not been targets of violence, but visitors should remain alert and take prudent measures to deal with the unexpected while in Guyana.

Crimes against wealthy people and property have become commonplace. Foreigners, in particular, are viewed as wealthy targets of opportunity. Crimes of violence are primarily confined to Georgetown and to some of the other more populated areas of the country. Most crimes occur in the major business and shopping districts of Georgetown, in and around the two main indoor/outdoor markets of Stabroek and Bourda, and in the vacinity of the Hotel Tower and Le Meridien Pegasus Hotel (formerly the Pegasus and The Forte Crest Hotel), the two major hotels most frequented by foreigners. The area adjacent to the sea wall in Georgetown is usually deserted and therefore, dangerous except in the early morning and in the late afternoon, when it is frequented by people walking or jogging. Theft from vehicles and guest rooms at the major hotels occurs infrequently. Police are cooperative but largely ineffective. U.S. visitors who suffer criminal assaults are encouraged to contact the police as well as the Consular Section at the U.S. Embassy. After hours, travelers can contact the U.S. Embassy duty officer at telephone: (592) (2) 62614, 68298, or 77869 and leave a message for pager number 6516.

Medical care is available for minor medical problems. Emergency care and major medical care requiring a hospital stay are limited due to lack of specialists, diagnostic aids, and poor sanitary conditions in most medical facilities. Travelers are advised to bring prescription medicine sufficient for their length of stay and should be aware that Guyana’s humid climate may affect some medicine. Some prescription medicines (mainly generic) are available. Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United States can cost thousands of dollars or more. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services.

While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Guyana is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance. Driving in Guyana is on the left-hand side of the road.

Safety of Public Transportation: Fair
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Fair
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Poor

For specific information concerning Guyana driver’s permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, please contact the British Embassy website.

Guyana customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from Guyana of items such as firearms and exotic birds. Many exotic birds are protected species. The Guyana Ministry of Agriculture will permit only those persons who have been legally residing in Guyana for more than a year to take an exotic bird out of the country when they leave. Those U.S. citizens who have legally resided in Guyana for more than a year and would like to take back any birds or animals, including pets, listed in appendices I, II and III of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), must have a Wild Bird Conservation ACT (WBCA) import permit from the U.S. Fisheries and Wildlife Services (USFWS), in order for the bird or pet to be imported into the U.S. Please note that this is a U.S. regulation that applies, regardless of distinctions among the three appendices. U.S. residents and non-residents continue to arrive at U.S. ports of entry without WBCA permits and encounter difficulties. Individuals can obtain WBCA fact sheets and permit applications from the USFWS Office of Management Authority, Branch of Permits, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22203, telephone (703) 358-2104, fax (703) 358-2281.

U.S. citizens living in or visiting Guyana are encouraged to register at the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Georgetown and obtain updated information on travel and security within Guyana. The U.S. Embassy is located 100 Young and Duke Streets; telephone (592) (2) 54900 through 54909; fax (592) (2) 58497. The hours of operation are 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Monday-Friday, except local and U.S. holidays. For emergencies after hours, on weekends, and holidays, U.S. citizens are requested to call the U.S. Embassy duty officer at (592) (2) 62614, 68298, or 77868, and leave a message for pager number 6516.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Guyana’s Civil Aviation Authority as Category 1 -- in compliance with international aviation safety standards for oversight of Guyana’s air carrier operations. For further information, travelers may contact the Department of Transportation within the U.S. at 1-800-322-7873, or visit the FAA Internet website at The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) separately assesses some foreign air carriers for suitability as official providers of air services. For information regarding the DOD policy on specific carriers, travelers may contact DOD at 618-229-4801.

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