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Country Guides Guyana:

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Guyana

  1. Country Facts
  2. Health
  3. Media
  1. Intro
  2. Geography
  3. People
  4. Travel
  5. Embassies & Visas
  6. Finance
  7. Cities/Regions

Quick Facts

Region: South America
Full Name: Cooperative Republic of Guyana
Capital City: Georgetown
Language Spoken: English, Amerindian dialects, Creole, Hindi, Urdu

Travel Insurance Guyana

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Geographic data

5 00 N, 59 00 W

Elevation Extremes

lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m highest point: Mount Roraima 2,835 m

Land boundaries

total: 2,949 km border countries: Brazil 1,606 km, Suriname 600 km, Venezuela 743 km

Natural hazards

flash floods are a constant threat during rainy seasons

Natural resources

bauxite, gold, diamonds, hardwood timber, shrimp, fish

Land use

arable land: 2.23% permanent crops: 0.14% other: 97.63% (2005)

Environmental current issues

water pollution from sewage and agricultural and industrial chemicals; deforestation

Climate

Guyana?s climate is warm and tropical throughout the year. The rainfall is generally high for most of the year, as is the humidity. December to January and May to June are the rainy seasons, while in coastal areas the climate is tempered by sea breezes.

Time difference

time difference: UTC-4

Population

767,245 note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2006 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 26.2% (male 102,551/female 98,772) 15-64 years: 68.6% (male 265,193/female 260,892) 65 years and over: 5.2% (male 17,043/female 22,794) (2006 est.)

Median age

total: 27.4 years male: 26.9 years female: 27.9 years (2006 est.)

Population growth rate

0.25% (2006 est.)

Birth rate

18.28 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Death rate

8.28 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Net migration rate

-7.49 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 65.86 years male: 63.21 years female: 68.65 years (2006 est.)

Total fertility rate

2.04 children born/woman (2006 est.)

Business Practices

Business dress is moderately casual, befitting Guyana's tropical climate. Work attire usually consists of guayabera (shirtjac) or shirt and tie for men and light business suits for women. English is the primary and official language of Guyana. Guyanese Creole, a dialect of English, is spoken in some parts of the country. Calling cards are useful. The pace of business and general attitudes are very Caribbean-orientated. Working hours are 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. for most government offices. Business Office hours are usually 0800-1130 and 1300-1630 Monday to Friday.

Crime

Serious crime is concentrated in the more populated areas of the country, and the crime rate in urban centers continues to be a major problem. Returning Guyanese and foreigners are favorite targets. Georgetown in particular suffers from violent crime, including home invasions, kidnappings, carjackings and shootings. Pickpocketing, purse snatching, assaults and thefts occur in all areas of Georgetown. The Tiger Bay area, and the areas adjacent to the sea wall and the National Park, although frequented by joggers, have been the scenes of violent crimes ranging from pickpocketing to armed assaults including rape. The risk increases significantly after dusk. Travelers should exercise extra care in visiting these areas. Pickpockets and thieves also frequent Stabroek and Bourda, the two major markets, and great care should be taken to safeguard personal property. Criminals also focus on the major hotels most frequented by foreigners. Remain vigilant when visiting the city of Linden; the bauxite mines are essentially closed and unemployment is very high. Avoid stopping in or traveling through the village of Buxton, which lies along the road between Georgetown and New Amsterdam. Kidnapping for ransom, with random targeting of persons who are viewed as wealthy targets of opportunity is also a threat. In April 2003, an American was the victim of a kidnapping and held for a short time until a ransom was paid. The victim appeared to have been randomly selected. When approached by a police officer, always ask to see identification. Criminals may act brazenly, and police officers themselves have been the victims of assaults and shootings. The response of local law-enforcement authorities to the increase in violent crime has been largely ineffectual; the police are cooperative, but lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents. Avoid displaying expensive-looking jeweler, cameras, and other signs of affluence. Do not hail taxis from the roadside. Use hotel or airport-approved taxis; they are inexpensive and reliable. Avoid public minibuses, for safety as well as security concerns. Avoid traveling alone. Vehicle occupants should keep their doors locked and be aware of their surroundings at all times.

Hotels

There are some good hotels in Georgetown, of which the Forte Crest Hotel conforms to international standards. Others of a reasonable standard include the Tower Hotel, the Park Hotel and the Woodbine Hotel, Cara Lodge, Cara, Embassy Club, Guyana Pegasus, Ocean View Hotel and the Queenstown Inn. Single room rates for these hotels range from $50 to $125/night.

Communications

Telephone IDD service is available to main towns and cities. Country code: 592. Outgoing international code: 001. Fax facilities are available at the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company, the Bank of Guyana Building in Georgetown and some hotels. Telephone service is available in Georgetown and throughout the settled coastal areas, but generally not in the interior. Many firms operating in the interior access cellular satellite links or operate their own radio nets.

Electricity

is 110 volts AC, 60Hz. Frequent power outages occur in many areas of the country. Electricity 110 and 220 volts ord=adDateTimeStamp;url=adCountryStamp;document.write(''); AC, 60Hz.

Plug Types

A,B,D,G

Food And Dining

The food in hotels and restaurants reflects the range of influences on Guyanese society. On the menus of most restaurants you will often find chicken, pork and steak and, most of the time, shrimp. The best Chinese food in the country can be found in Georgetown. It is best to drink bottled water in Guyana. National specialties: ? Curry, especially mutton, prawn or chicken. ? Foo-foo (plantains made into cakes). ? Metamgee (dumplings made from cornflour, eddews, yams, cassava and plantains cooked in coconut milk and grated coconut). ? Portuguese garlic pork. ? Amerindian pepperpot. National drinks: ? Local rum. ? Demerara Rum. ? Banks is the local beer. Tipping: 10 per cent at hotels and restaurants. Nightlife There are numerous nightclubs and bars in Georgetown.

Entry departure requirements

* Please see passport section

Visa immigration information

Passports

Passport valid for at least six months beyond intended stay required by all.

Visas

Required by all except the following:
(a) 1. nationals mentioned in the chart above for stays of up to 90 days (except nationals of Austria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovak Republic and Slovenia who do need a visa); (b) persons of Guyanese birth with foreign passports provided their passports clearly indicate place of birth or they have other satisfactory documentary evidence; (c) nationals of Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Korea (Dem Rep), Korea (Rep), Montserrat, New Zealand, Norway, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent & the Grenadines, South Africa, Surinam, Switzerland and Trinidad & Tobago, provided they hold onward or return tickets and sufficient funds for the duration of stay; (d) transit passengers continuing their journey to a third country by the same aircraft or by first connecting aircraft within seven hours, without leaving the airport.

Note: Those with Guyanese parentage may enter Guyana visa-free, provided they can submit original birth certificate, and birth certificate/passport of Guyanese parent(s). This will also have to be submitted to the Immigration Officer upon arrival.

Types of visa and cost

Tourist: US$34 Business: US$34 (single-entry); US$43 (one-year multiple-entry). Courtesy visas are issued free of charge to spouses or close relatives of Guyanese citizens, provided they supply documentary proof.

Validity

Visas are usually valid for three months from the date of issue. However, the length of stay and extension is at the discretion of the Immigration Office.

Application to

Consulate (or Consular section at Embassy or High Commission); see Passport/Visa Information.

Application requirements

(a) Three application forms. (b) Three passport-size photos. (c) Evidence of sufficient funds to cover length of stay or proof of other satisfactory arrangement for support while in Guyana, in the form of a letter of invitation from Guyana, a recent bank statement, a letter from employer, or a business letter with a certificate from the Chamber of Commerce. (d) Passport valid for at least six months prior to travel. (e) Return or onward ticket. (f) Fee. Business: (a)-(f) and, (g) Letter of approval from the Minister of Home Affairs, Guyana, or other appropriate evidence.

Working days required

Applicants should contact Embassy or High Commission at least one week in advance of travel to Guyana. If passport is to be returned by a courier service, pre-paid arrangements (making sure to include own account number) must be made by the applicant.

Temporary Residence

Permission must be obtained from the Minister of Home Affairs, Guyana. Note Long-term visitors are advised to register their presence with the British High Commission in Georgetown.

HIV entry requirements

No Test Required

Departure tax

G$4000 or equivalent in US Dollars; transit passengers and children under seven years of age are exempt.

Embassies

Guyana High Commission in the UK

3 Palace Court, Bayswater Road, London W2 4LP, UK
Tel: (020) 7229 7684.
E-mail: ghc.1@ic24.net
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 0930-1730 (except national and UK holidays); Mon-Fri 0930-1430 (consular enquiries).

Embassy of the Republic of Guyana in the USA

2490 Tracy Place, NW, Washington, DC 20008, USA
Tel: (202) 265 6900.
Website: www.guyana.org

Travel Advice

Most visits to Guyana are trouble-free, but crime levels are high especially in Georgetown and towns in the coastal regions. Visitors to the eco-sector (which excludes Georgetown and the coastal regions) generally experience no problems.
The risk of terrorism is low but you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.
This advice is based on information provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. It is correct at time of publishing. As the situation can change rapidly, visitors are advised to contact the following organizations for the latest travel advice:

British Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Tel: (0845) 850 2829.
Website: www.fco.gov.uk

US Department of State

Website: http://travel.state.gov/travel

Currency

Guyanese Dollar (GYD; symbol G$) = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of G$1000, 500, 100 and 20. Coins are in denominations of G$10, 5 and 1. US Dollars are widely accepted throughout Guyana.

Currency restrictions

The import and export of local currency is limited to G$200. The import of foreign currency is unlimited, provided declared in writing on arrival. The export of foreign currency is limited to the amount imported and declared. The Guyanese Dollar is not negotiable abroad.

Banking hours

Mon-Fri 0800-1230 and Friday 1500-1700.

Currency exchange

Banks offer exchange facilities. Bureaux de change (cambios) offer free conversion of currencies.

Credit cards

American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are accepted by most larger hotels, restaurants, car rental and tour operators. Check with your credit or debit card company for details of merchant acceptability and other services which may be available. Foreign credit cards cannot be used in Guyanian ATM machines.

Travellers cheques

Accepted but not recommended for those who may wish to change money in a hurry. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travelers are advised to take traveller's cheques in US Dollars. Visitors are advised to bring traveller's cheques to cover the entirity of their stay.

City/RegionCity/Area codeFollowed by
Adelphi326+ 4 digit subscriber nr
Adventure331+ 4 digit subscriber nr
Agricola233+ 4 digit subscriber nr
Aishalton773+ 4 digit subscriber nr
Amelia?s Ward442+ 4 digit subscriber nr
Anna Catherina276+ 4 digit subscriber nr
Anna Regina771+ 4 digit subscriber nr
B/V Central234+ 4 digit subscriber nr
B/V West272+ 4 digit subscriber nr
Bartica455+ 4 digit subscriber nr
Belladrum232+ 4 digit subscriber nr
Belmont228+ 4 digit subscriber nr
Benab338+ 4 digit subscriber nr
Blairmont327+ 4 digit subscriber nr
Canal No. 1271+ 4 digit subscriber nr
Cane Grove257+ 4 digit subscriber nr
Clonbrook259+ 4 digit subscriber nr
Cottage328+ 4 digit subscriber nr
Cove & John229+ 4 digit subscriber nr
Crabwood Creek335+ 4 digit subscriber nr
Diamond265+ 4 digit subscriber nr
Edinburg336+ 4 digit subscriber nr
Enmore270+ 4 digit subscriber nr
Fort Wellington329+ 4 digit subscriber nr
Friendship774+ 4 digit subscriber nr
Georgetown263+ 4 digit subscriber nr
Goed Fortuin253+ 4 digit subscriber nr
Golden Grove255+ 4 digit subscriber nr
Good Hope279+ 4 digit subscriber nr
Hampshire322+ 4 digit subscriber nr
Hope West256+ 4 digit subscriber nr
Ituni441+ 4 digit subscriber nr
Joppa325+ 4 digit subscriber nr
Kwakwani440+ 4 digit subscriber nr
Land of Canaan266+ 4 digit subscriber nr
Leonora268+ 4 digit subscriber nr
Lethem772+ 4 digit subscriber nr
Linden444+ 4 digit subscriber nr
Long Creek261+ 4 digit subscriber nr
Mabaruma777+ 4 digit subscriber nr
Mahaicony221+ 4 digit subscriber nr
Mahdia456+ 4 digit subscriber nr
Matthews Ridge775+ 4 digit subscriber nr
Met-en-Meer-zorg275+ 4 digit subscriber nr
Mortice258+ 4 digit subscriber nr
New Amsterdam334+ 4 digit subscriber nr
New Road254+ 4 digit subscriber nr
No. 40337+ 4 digit subscriber nr
No. 52339+ 4 digit subscriber nr
Parika260+ 4 digit subscriber nr
Rosignol330+ 4 digit subscriber nr
Sheet Anchor332+ 4 digit subscriber nr
Uitvlugt277+ 4 digit subscriber nr
Vigilance274+ 4 digit subscriber nr
Vreed-en-Hoop264+ 4 digit subscriber nr
Wales267+ 4 digit subscriber nr
Windsor Forest269+ 4 digit subscriber nr
  1. Health Information
  2. Recent Disease Outbreaks
  3. Hospital Database

Dental care

Avoid dental care in Guyana

Medication Availability

There is little medication available in Guyana

Blood supplies

There is a National Transfusion Service in Guyana and the screening is based on American standards, the supply is reasonably safe.

Medical facilities

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.

General caution

Recent medical and dental exams should ensure that the traveler is in good health. Carry appropriate health and accident insurance documents and copies of any important medical records. Bring an adequate supply of all prescription and other medications as well as any necessary personal hygiene items, including a spare pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses if necessary. Drink only bottled beverages (including water) or beverages made with boiled water. Do not use ice cubes or eat raw seafood, rare meat or dairy products. Eat well-cooked foods while they are still hot and fruits that can be peeled without contamination. Avoid roadside stands and street vendors. Swim only in well-maintained, chlorinated pools or ocean water known to be free from pollution. Wear clothing which reduces exposed skin and apply repellents containing DEET to remaining areas. Sleep in well-screened accommodations. Carry anti-diarrheal medication. Reduce problems related to sun exposure by using sunglasses, wide-brimmed hats, sunscreen lotions and lip protection.

Specific concerns

AIDS occurs. Blood supply may not be adequately screened and/or single-use, disposable needles and syringes may be unavailable. When possible, travelers should defer medical treatment until reaching a facility where safety can be assured. Constant high humidity may cause fungal infections. Because of local drainage problems in Georgetown, parasites and worms are prevalent. Do not walk barefoot. Swimming is not recommended in the ocean or in the Demerara River because of silt and sewage pollution.

Immunization

Cholera: Although limited in effectiveness, vaccination may be appropriate for persons living and/or working in less than sanitary conditions for more than 3 months where medical facilities are unavailable. Vaccination may also be appropriate for travelers with impaired gastric defenses who are planning an extended visit or being exposed to unsanitary conditions. Vaccination is not advised for pregnant women, infants younger than 6 months old, or persons with a history of severe reaction to the vaccine. Hepatitis A: Consider active immunization with hepatitis A vaccine or passive immunization with immune globulin (IG) for all susceptible travelers. Especially consider choosing active immunization for persons planning to reside for a long period or for persons who take frequent short-term trips to risk areas. The importance of protection against hepatitis A increases as length of stay increases. It is particularly important for persons who will be living in or visiting rural areas, eating or drinking in settings of poor or uncertain sanitation, or who will have close contact with local persons (especially young children) in settings with poor sanitary conditions. Hepatitis B: Vaccination is advised for health care workers, persons anticipating direct contact with blood from or sexual contact with inhabitants, and persons planning extended stays of 6 months or greater (especially those who anticipate using local health care facilities, staying in rural areas, or having intimate contact with the local population). Rabies: Preexposure vaccination should be considered for persons staying longer than 30 days who are expected to be at risk to bites from domestic and/or wild animals (particularly dogs), or for persons engaged in high risk activities such as spelunking or animal handling. Need for vaccination is more important if potential exposure is in rural areas and if adequate postexposure care is not readily available. Typhoid: Vaccination should be considered for persons staying longer than 3 weeks, adventurous eaters, and those who will venture off the usual tourist routes into small cities, villages and rural areas. Importance of vaccination increases as access to reasonable medical care becomes limited. Contraindications depend on vaccine type. Yellow fever: Vaccination is recommended for travelers over 9 months of age going outside of urban areas. Note: All routine vaccines (such as DTP or Td, Hib, MMR, polio, varicella, influenza and pneumococcal) should be kept up-to-date as a matter of good health practice unrelated to travel.

Disease risk summary

Insect-borne illness: these diseases, including malaria and yellow fever, are an important cause of ill health in rural areas. Dengue fever - occurs Encephalitis - occurs Filariasis (Bancroftian type) - prevalent Leishmaniasis (cutaneous and mucocutaneous) - occurs Trypanosomiasis (Chagas' disease) - occurs Food-borne and water-borne illness: these diseases are common and include amoebiasis, diarrheal diseases, helminthic infections, and viral hepatitis. Brucellosis - common Cholera - occurs Echinococcosis (hydatid disease) - occurs Other hazards: High levels of immunization coverage have reduced the incidence of diseases such as measles and diphtheria. Influenza risk extends throughout the year. Rabies - occurs

Entry requirements

AIDS: According to the Department of State, testing is required for all foreigners staying longer than 3 months. Contact Guyana's embassy for details. Yellow fever: A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travelers coming from infected areas and the following countries: Africa: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Togo, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Zaire. America: Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Surinam, Venezuela.

Recent disease outbreaks

No recent disease outbreaks

NameAddress
Georgetown HospitalNew Market & Thomas Street Georgetown
St. Joseph's Mercy Hospital130 - 132 Parade Street Georgetown Georgetown

Media

Press: The daily state-owned newspaper is The Guyana Chronicle (website: www.guyanachronicle.com). The independent Stabroek News (website: www.stabroeknews.com) and the Kaieteur News are published weekdays. On weekends, there are also The Mirror, The Sunday Chronicle and The Sunday Stabroek.
TV: Guyana Television (GTV) is government-owned.
Radio: BBC World Service (website:www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice) and Voice of America (website: www.voa.gov) can be received. From time to time the frequencies change and the most up-to-date can be found online. Guyana Broadcasting Corporation is government-owned and runs three radio channels: Voice of Guyana, Radio Roraima and Hot FM.

Need help?

UK Customer Services0330 880 3600

Open Mon - Fri 8:30am - 6pm.
Sat 8:30am - 4pm.
(Calls may be monitored or recorded)

Contact details can be found in your policy documentation

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