Guyana, South America - Stein Travel

    • 16+ years

    • 12-15 years

    • 2-11 years

    • 0-23 months

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Welcome to Guyana

Guyana is fascinating, friendly and lush tropical destination that draws adventure travellers and nature lovers in increasing numbers. It is one of South America's smallest countries, situated on its north-east coast, and bordered by Suriname to the south-east, Venezuela to the west, Brazil to the south and the Atlantic ocean to the west.

Its star attraction is the awesome Kaieteur Falls - five times higher than Niagara and, thanks to its lush rainforest location, immeasurably more impressive.

Travellers to Guyana will find that it is quite unlike any other country on the continent. For one, it is the only English-speaking nation, a legacy of its time as a British colony when it was known as British Guiana. It is also has a distinctly Creole culture, and enjoys cricket as the national sport, making this a more Caribbean destination than its neighbours. The capital Georgetown is famous for its 19th century wooden houses on stilts, and its gently decaying colonial architecture.

Inland, however, Guyana takes on the tropical jungle and Amazonian character of a true South American country. Here you will find ample trekking, biking and other eco-tourism activities in the hilly plains around the Pakaraima mountains and a multitude of rivers to raft on and fish in. This region is also home to some 120 Amerindian tribes that still live in relative isolation to the more developed settlements along the coastline.

Guyana is truly a fascinating destination that hasn't allowed its corrupt and chaotic politicians get in the way of its many tourist offerings. The roads are bad, crime is high and prices relatively steep, and yet for visitors who come here little Guyana lives large and long in the memory.


Guyanese society is generally quite laid-back and accepting, and western travellers should not be unduly worried about 'clashing' with the social mores and customs that they will find in Guyana. Note that the Guyanese favour a frank, direct communication style, and that public displays of affection or anger are common. Note also that in Guyana, it is actually considered rude NOT to use your car's hooter when passing another vehicle, travelling through an intersection, or driving past pedestrians.

Duty Free

Travellers to Guyana over the age of 16 may import up to 200 cigarettes/50 cigars/225g of tobacco, 750ml of wine, 750ml of spirits, computers, and an amount of perfume reasonable for personal use.

Passport Visa

All foreign passengers to Guyana must hold return/onward tickets, the necessary travel documentation for their next destination, and proof of sufficient funds to cover their stay in the county. Those without return/onward tickets may be required to deposit funds, as a security (with the amount depending on their country of origin). A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required, if arriving in Guyana within 6 days after leaving or transiting through the following countries: (in Africa) Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome & Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia,Tanzania, Togo or Uganda; (in America) Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela. Passengers without valid a yellow fever vaccination certificate - if required - will not be allowed to disembark. Note that yellow fever vaccination certificate exemptions apply to passengers who have transited through one of the countries listed above, but did not leave the airport/aircraft. NOTE: It is highly recommended that your passport has at least six months validity remaining after your intended date of departure from your travel destination. Immigration officials often apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official sources.

Guyana's main tourist attraction is the hugely impressive Kaieteur Falls, the world's highest free-flowing waterfall. Kaieteur has a sheer drop of 741 feet (226m), and is 822 feet (251m) high. At the peak of rainy season the falls stretch 400 feet (122m) across. Approaching the falls on foot, once can hear a roaring thunder as up to 136,200 litres per minute of tannin-stained waters plunge to the river below.

Kaieteur is probably the most exciting of the world's great waterfalls - Niagara, Victoria , Angel and Iguazú - yet is easily the least visited and commercialised. It's remote location certainly enhances the experience: set in lush, verdant, ancient jungle, you are likely to be the only people there. This is nature at its most beautiful and powerful, providing a thrilling and memorable experience for those that make the effort to get here. Around the falls there is abundant bird life - look out for swallows nests under the falls - plus rare frogs and the elusive bush dog.

Get there from Georgetown via either a multi-day hike or a 1-hour flight. Roraima Airways offers scheduled flights on certain days of the week, although many visitors opt to charter a plane; the cost is much the same. Once there, a ranger will guide visitors around the falls, so pack sturdy shoes and beware sheer drops as there are no guard rails.

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