Planning a trip to Guyana
As a frequent reader of flyertalk.com, a mileage run deal caught my eye back in July (thread here) for a (relatively) cheap flight from JFK to Georgetown, Guyana. Flights were over 50% off, down from the $800s to $399. As if I needed an excuse to take an impulsive weekend trip.
The best piece of advice you’ll read when planning for Guyana: “It is a pain in the ass to plan for Guyana.” There isn’t much info online, there are no international hotel chains in the country and few hotels are bookable online. You’ll feel like you’re planning a trip in 1989.
Planning things to do presents an even harder problem: not only do tour companies not have online booking systems (or much info about their offerings online), but also most tours require a minimum number of passengers before they can confirm the tour; this, by default, means that tours can really only be booked close to the departure date.
- Tips for planning:
- Read Weekend Blitz trip reports! (Series index here) And feel free to send us questions!
- Other, (second-rate) sources:
- Check TripAdvisor Guyana for recent tour operator reviews: link here.
- TripAdvisor: Georgetown Hotel & B&B reviews
- Start a new thread on FlyerTalk or search an old one (good old one here). People around this site have travelled to countries you’ve never even heard of and are more than willing to help out.
- Look around the Official Guyana Tourism Authority site.
- All tour operators are listed here: Tour Operators
- WikiTravel Guyana
- Traveling Ted has some good posts, mainly geared towards the “outdoor adventure traveller”: you can find them here.
When to Go
Literally anytime. Year-round high temps are 85 °F – 89 °F. Average lows are only 72 °F – 74°F. It goes without saying the climate is “tropical,” but it is worth noting that the two rainier-than-normal seasons are from May to mid-August & mid-November to mid-January. Depending on what you’re doing in Guyana, you might actively try to go during the rainy season or try to avoid it. For example: visiting the waterfalls might be better during the rainy season. Doing the 5-day camping/hiking trip to Kaieteur Falls, however, might be best left for the drier seasons.
What to Pack
- Sunscreen: a must!
- Bug spray: a must! Unless you want to pay $15+ for it at the gas station there
- Rain gear
- Shorts: you won’t stand out any more than normal if you skip the long pants
- Bathing suit
- Very casual clothing: you won’t have to worry about going to any upscale restaurants here
- Take cash with you. It’s very easy to change and you’ll likely get a better rate exchanging cash than the bank/ATM will give you.
- DO NOT go home with Guyanese dollars ($GYD), it is right at impossible to change them back outside of the country. I’ve got about $110 USD worth of Guyanese dollars that I’m currently using as coasters around the house. Both an annoying and expensive mistake.
Much more info on About Guyana in the next post.