Guyana Register Travel insurance Destinations
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Guyana - Exercise a high degree of caution
Exercise a high degree of caution in Guyana due to high crime rates.
Safety and security
Safety and security
Border with Venezuela
There are no official border crossings with Venezuela. The areas near the border can be dangerous due to cross- border, gang-related violence.
- Avoid travelling near the border with Venezuela
- Only use the official border crossings with Brazil and Suriname.
Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, occurs. Criminals target foreigners and returning Guyanese citizens.
- Avoid showing signs of affluence.
- Ensure that your belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times.
Violent crime is prevalent across Guyana. It is often associated with illegal drug trafficking. Homicides, assaults, break-ins, armed robberies, theft from cars and carjackings are common.
Criminals often travel in groups of two or more and often surveille their target for days prior to any confrontation.
Foreigners have been robbed at gunpoint and attacked after withdrawing money at banks, in shopping districts and in hotels.
- Avoid carrying large amounts of cash
- Do not change money in the street with street changers
Exercise increased caution in Georgetown, particularly in the following neighbourhoods:
- the area 2 km south of Brickdam Street
- East Ruimveldt
- Tiger Bay
- West Ruimveldt
Criminals often target the following tourist sites:
- Stabroek Market
- Bourda Market
- Botanical Gardens
- the National Park
- the sea wall
Outside of Georgetown, violent incidents occur in the East Coast Demerara region, particularly near:
- the villages of Buxton and Friendship
- the East Bank Demerara region
- the New Amsterdam area.
To minimize the risk of violent crime:
- do not walk alone after dark
- avoid deserted or under-populated areas
- pay attention to your surroundings, especially when entering or leaving vehicles, residences and public places
- keep car doors locked and windows closed at all times
- stay in accommodations with good security
- always verify the identity of a visitor before opening the door
Credit card and ATM fraud occurs. Be cautious when using debit or credit cards:
- pay careful attention when your cards are being handled by others
- use ATMs located in well-lit public areas or inside a bank or business
- avoid using card readers with an irregular or unusual feature
- cover the keypad with one hand when entering your PIN
- check for any unauthorized transactions on your account statements
Women travelling alone may be subject to some forms of harassment and verbal abuse.
Demonstrations may occur. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.
- Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
- Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations
If you intend to trek:
- never practice this activity alone and always hire an experienced guide from a reputable company
- buy travel insurance that includes helicopter rescue and medical evacuation
- ensure that your physical condition is good enough to meet the challenges of your activity
- ensure that you are properly equipped and well informed about weather and other conditions that may pose a hazard
- inform a family member or friend of your itinerary, including when you expect to be back to camp
- know the symptoms of acute altitude sickness, which can be fatal
- obtain detailed information on trekking routes or ski slopes before setting out and do not venture off marked trails or slopes
Road conditions and road safety are poor throughout the country. Roads are poorly lit and drivers do not respect traffic laws. Drinking and driving is prevalent. Roaming livestock pose further hazard. Accidents causing fatalities are common.
In the case of an accident, the law requires persons involved in a traffic accident to remain at the scene until the police arrive to take a report. Response time may be slow due to a lack of resources. Injured persons are frequently transported to hospitals or the nearest medical facility by bystanders, unless they are seriously injured. Local authorities are cooperative, but assistance is limited and may only be available during business hours.
Travel to the interior (also known as the hinterlands) is not safe due to low police presence.
- Travel in convoys, particularly when visiting the hinterlands
- Avoid driving at night
Avoid using public minibuses, as they tend to be overloaded, poorly maintained and badly driven. Minibuses are often involved in accidents.
Taxis are the safest means of transportation, however, robberies and assaults occasionally occur.
- Do not hail taxis from the roadside
- Only use taxis that are connected to major hotels or from a reputable company
- Make note of the vehicle’s licence plate before entering, in order to track down the driver in the event of overcharging or lost luggage
Avoid using water taxis to cross international waters. Use the scheduled ferry service, which has a formal border control check point.
Pirate attacks and armed robbery against ships occur in coastal waters. Mariners should take appropriate precautions.
Live piracy report - International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the Guyanese authorities. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada.
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid at least 6 months beyond the date you expect to leave Guyana.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest diplomatic mission for your destination.
Ensure that authorities stamp your passport on arrival. Failure to do so could result in difficulties leaving the country or even jail time.
Tourist visa: Not required (up to 90 days)
Business visa: Not required
Student visa: Not required
If you are travelling to Guyana on business, you must bring a business letter with all pertinent information concerning the reason for your visit.
It is illegal to use the services of independent boaters to cross into Suriname. Foreigners have been fined and, in some cases, detained and subsequently deported.
- Cross the border only at official ports of entry
- Use only official ferry services and ensure that you receive an entry stamp in your passport
- Avoid using water taxis
Children and travel
Learn about travel with children.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health professional about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.
Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.
Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is a risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is required if you are coming from or have transited through an airport of a country where yellow fever occurs.
- Vaccination is recommended.
- There is currently a shortage of the yellow fever vaccine in Canada. It is important for travellers to contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of their trip to ensure that the vaccine is available.
- Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care professional.
Protect yourself from mosquito bites.
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in South America, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in South America. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
- Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
- Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
- The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.
Travellers visiting regions with a risk typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.
Insects and Illness
In some areas in South America, certain insects carry and spread diseases like American trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease), chikungunya, dengue fever, leishmaniasis, malaria, onchocerciasis (river blindness), West Nile virus , yellow fever and Zika virus.
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is currently a risk of chikungunya in this country. Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.
Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.
- In this country, dengue fever is a risk to travellers year-round. It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
- Dengue fever can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.
- The level of risk of dengue fever changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. After a decline in reported dengue cases worldwide in 2017 and 2018, global numbers have been steeply rising again.
- Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.
Zika virus infection
Zika virus infection is a risk in this country. Recent or ongoing cases of Zika virus have been reported in this country.
All travellers should protect themselves from mosquito bites day and night.
Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects such as abnormally small heads (microcephaly). Zika virus can also be sexually transmitted.
Travellers who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy:
- Should avoid travel to this country.
- If travel cannot be avoided follow strict mosquito bite prevention measures.
- Talk to your health care professional about the risk of Zika infection in pregnancy.
- Use condoms correctly or avoid having sex for the duration of the pregnancy, if you are pregnant and your partner has travelled to this country.
- Female travellers: wait at least 2 months after returning from this country or after onset of illness due to Zika (whichever is longer) before trying to conceive (get pregnant) to ensure that any possible Zika virus infection has cleared your body.
- Male travellers: wait 3 months after returning from this country or after onset of illness due to Zika (whichever is longer) before trying to conceive. Use condoms or avoid having sex during that time.
See travel health notice: Zika virus: Advice for travellers
- There is a risk of malaria in certain areas and/or during a certain time of year in this country.
- Malaria is a serious and occasionally fatal disease that is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no vaccine against malaria.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes covering up, using insect repellent and staying in enclosed air-conditioned accommodations. You may also consider pre-treating clothing and travel gear with insecticides and sleeping under an insecticide-treated bednet.
- Antimalarial medication may be recommended depending on your itinerary and the time of year you are travelling. See a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic, preferably six weeks before you travel to discuss your options.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas in South America, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks and impairs the immune system, resulting in a chronic, progressive illness known as AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome).
High risk activities include anything which puts you in contact with blood or body fluids, such as unprotected sex and exposure to unsterilized needles for medications or other substances (for example, steroids and drugs), tattooing, body-piercing or acupuncture.
Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.
For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.
Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care professional.
High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.
Medical services and facilities
Medical facilities are limited outside of Georgetown. Care in private hospitals and clinics is better than in public hospitals.
Medical evacuation to neighboring countries, which can be very expensive, may be necessary in the event of serious illness or injury.
Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
Laws & culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect heavy fines and lengthy prison sentences, which must be served in Guyana.
Pack all luggage yourself and do not carry any items that do not belong to you.
The importation/exportation of restricted items, including firearms and ammunition, without the proper permits may result in heavy fines and prison sentences.
Many birds are protected species. You may not export an exotic bird unless you have been a legal resident of Guyana for at least a year and received permission from the Ministry of Agriculture.
Guyana law prohibits sexual acts between individuals of the same sex and other related offences include being in a same-sex marriage and promoting homosexuality.
Those convicted can face jail sentences.
LGBTQ2 travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Guyana.
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Guyana.
If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of Guyana, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.
Vehicles drive on the left.
You should carry an international driving permit (IDP). If you cannot obtain an IDP before leaving Canada, you may apply for a local permit based on a valid Canadian driver’s licence.
Penalties for drivers responsible for an accident causing injury or death are severe and may include imprisonment. Ensure you have sufficient insurance coverage to drive in Guyana.
The currency is the Guyanese dollar (GYD). The U.S. dollar is widely accepted.
Only major hotels accept credit cards. There are a few ATMs that accept international bank cards.
- Carry enough cash to cover anticipated expenses
- Exchange foreign currency only at banks, hotels and established money exchange bureaus (cambios)
Natural disasters and climate
Natural disasters & climate
There are two rainy seasons in Guyana: from May to July and from November to January. However, flooding occurs year round and can hamper overland travel and reduce the provision of essential services, particularly in coastal areas. Roads may become impassable and bridges damaged.
The coast of Guyana is below sea level and protected by a sea defence and dam system. Infrastructure, including drainage systems, is poorly maintained.
- Monitor regional weather forecasts and plan accordingly.
Emergency services exist but may be subject to certain limitations. In case of emergency, dial:
- police: 911 or +592-225-8196
- medical assistance: 913
- firefighters: 912 or +592-226-2411
Georgetown - High Commission of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the High Commission of Canada to Guyana, in Georgetown, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.
The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.
If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
Learn more about consular services.
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