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Guyana Facts Print E-mail

Emergency Numbers:
Police: 911
Fire: 912
Ambulance: 913

Location
Guyana is suited North East of South America continent and is the only English speaking country. Latitude 1 degrees and 9 degrees N and Longitude 56 degrees and 62 deg W, bordering Venezuela to the west, Brazil to the south, and Suriname to the East.

Geography
Guyana is 215,000 square kilometers in area (83,000 square miles) and it is the third smallest country in South America after Suriname and Ururuay. The country has four distinct geographical areas: the Low Coastal Plain, the Hilly Sand and Clay Belt, the High Land Region and the Interior Savannah. About 80 percent of the land area is still forested and only 2.5% is cultivated. The country’s Coastline lays 1 to 1.5 meters below the sea level at high tide necessitating elaborate systems of drainage canals. The most valuable mineral deposit is bauxite, gold and diamonds. The main rivers are the Demerara, Berbice, Corentyne and Essequibo.

Climate
Guyana is a tropical destination that is pleasant for most of the year, humid, moderated by the Northeastern trade winds. Average temperature range of 24deg C to 31deg C. An umbrella is useful during the two wet seasons, extended roughly through May and June, and from December to the end of January. Rainfall is approximately 2,300mm a year in Georgetown.

Government
Guyana became independent from Britain in 1966 and a “cooperative republic “in 1970, when a non executive President replaced the Governor-General. A new constitution in 1980 gave the President wide executive powers. The Cabinet is headed by the President and there is a 65- member National Assembly elected by proportional representation. 

Economy
The agriculture sectors accounts for half the national GDP, producing sugar and rice for export, with extensive timber operations and a range of other products, from coffee to fish and fruits , and fresh vegetables well respected brands of rum. Gold, bauxite and diamonds are mined.

Clothing
Lightweight, casual clothing can be worn throughout the year.

Health
There is a risk of malaria in certain parts of the interior. Consult your doctor for the required precautions if you intend to travel there. Georgetown and coastal areas are Malaria-Free. Visitors should drink bottled water; there are several local brands widely available. Georgetown has one public and several private hospitals, including St Joseph Mercy Hospital on Parade Street, Prasad’s Hospital on Thomas Street, Davis Memorial in Lodge Backlands and Medical Arts on Thomas Street.

Internet
For most customers internet service is available nationally from independent providers. Service is also available in most hotels and at many internet cafe which have been established across the country. Some hotels and restaurants provide WI-FI at no charge to patrons using laptops. The major internet service providers in Guyana are:
•    Guyana.net (www.guyana.net.gy),
•    Inter Net Works (www.networksgy.com),
•    Solutions2000 (www.solutions2000.net),

Whose informative home page has useful links to other local sites. The sustainable Development Programme site, www.sdnp.org.gy, has links to several government ministries, NGOs, conservation groups, and international organizations.

Language

The official language is English, often spoken with a Caribbean Creole flavour. Guyana is also the only English speaking country in South America.

Media


There are four daily, Guyana Times papers: the Stabroek News, the Guyana Chronicle and the Kaieteur News. The well respected Catholic Standard and the Mirror are published weekly. There are over 20 TV stations: most rebroadcast US (and sometimes Indian) imports; some have a strong a political slant . GTV and GBC have merged as one entity- National Communications Network  (NCN ) operating as voice of Guyana, Radio Roraima and 98.1fm, the main radio stations.

Places to Worship

The predominant religious groups are Christians, Hindus, and Muslims. Each is well represented with its own churches, temples mosques. There are also very dominant across the country in most villages where they are major landmarks featuring traditional architecture of the various cultures.

Population
Approximately 749,190 (2003 pop census) of which 90 percent live along the coastal strip and banks of the major rivers.


Public Holidays
New Year’s Day, Republic Day and Mashramani ( February 23 ) , Good Friday, Easter Monday ,Labour Day (May 1) Independence Day(May 26), Caricom Day (first Monday in August), Christmas Day, Boxing Day (December 26). The following are also public holidays but follow a lunar calendar and thus the actual day varies annually: Hindu Holidays- Phagwah-Spring Festival ( usually March) and Deepavali-the Festival of lights (usually November). Muslim Holidays- Eid-ul-Fitr (end of Ramadan) Eid ul Azah and Youman Nabi.

Security
Exercise the same safety precautions as you would in any city or unfamiliar environment. Most areas are safe on foot by day or by taxi at night. Be on your guard when walking through crowds. Don’t walk around with valuables, and remember to check with your hotel’s front desk or local contact for current advice.

Shopping Hours
8:30 am -5:00 pm on Wednesday and 8:00 am -2:00 pm on Saturdays (Market closes at 12:00 noon on Wednesday.)
Supermarkets are open from 8:00 am -6:00 pm on weekdays (7pm Saturdays and 10:00 am -2:00 pm on Sundays.)

Telecommunications
Guyana’s country code is 592, followed by a seven(7) digit number for all areas of the country. Direct dialing is available f to any country in the world (Canada Direct –161, USA Direct -165, UK Direct -169). The Guyana Telephone and telegraph Company Office in Georgetown has public facilities for overseas calls. Free Internet access is available to guests at selected hotels. The country has 100% digital switching, a full range of value-added customer services such as voicemail. Fiber network reaches most of the coast, as does a seamless digital cellular service.
Guyana has active SMS and voice mail on mobiles. Local phone cards are available. GSM mobile service is now available. GT&T Cellink and Cellink Plus – An alternative cell phone provider is Digicel company.

Time Zone
Four hours behind GMT; one hour ahead of EST.

Voltage
110v in Georgetown;220v in most other places, including parts of suburban Georgetown.

Crime
In 2002 five (5) prisoners escape from the Georgetown Prison and link up with drug gangs which resulted in an increase in organized criminal activities in the city of Georgetown only. Due to the fact that crime of that nature was something new to the Guyana society it became very alarming to Guyanese here and internationally. At present crime has been reduced by 80% percent since a number of drug lords were capture by the US FBI agents here and abroad.
With the increase in police presence in the city today Guyana is could consider to be relatively safe to visitors who really were never a target but like in every city around the world visitors are often warn to take the necessary precautions against the pity thieves around the city streets.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
All visitors require a valid passport. Those arriving by air require an onward plane ticket. Visas are necessary for all visitors except nationals of the following country:
Commonwealth countries; Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, USA, visitors are to check with the nearest Guyana embassy or consulate or your travel agency.

TRANSPORTATION
By land
Georgetown is well served with taxis, which operate through the city and to urban centers. Taxis are easy to find outside most hotel and throughout Georgetown (e.g. Stabroek, market, and Avenue Of the republic) there are fixed fares for most distances; check in advance. Most trips with in Georgetown is G$500. Private taxis are easy arranged through your hotel or by calling one of the numerous taxis services.
There are also cheap mini buses running around town and along the coast or to Cheddi Jagan international airport or to Linden. Check the fare in advance and prepare to be jostled.
Car rental is an alternative, US$30-50 per day with a security deposit of US$200-250, depending on the type of vehicle. There are good roads from Georgetown to Timehri and Linden, and for 185 mile along the coast from Springlands to charity. INTRASERV bus alternative to Lethem, everyday at a of Cost G$10,000 one way, 10% discount is available on return tickets.

By river
Guyana has over 600 miles navigable river, which provide an important means of communication. The Berbice, the Essequibo and the Demerara across by ferries and also by a 4 and 6 Seater privately run river taxis, which can be chartered. For details on ferry schedule contact the transport and Harbour Department, Water Street.



By plane
Private charter companies operate flights into the interior from ogle. Minibuses serve the airport from Stabroek market in Georgetown and surrounding areas.

AIR TRAVEL
Guyana’s international airport, named after the late Cheddi Jagan, is at Timehri, 25 miles/40 km south of Georgetown. Flights from Europe are routed through Antigua, Barbados or Trinidad. There are direct flights from Miami, New York, Toronto, Brazil, Suriname, French Guiana, Barbados, Trinidad and Curacao. Outward flights should be reconfirmed prior to departure.

International and regional carriers
•    Caribbean Airlines -Tel:261-2202/1-800-538-2942  
•    Caribbean star- Tel: 592-227-6770/226-8676
•    LIAT- Tel: 592-2278
•    Meta airlines Tel: 592-225-5315
•    North American airlines Tel:592-227-5805/5838/3896
•    Suriname airways Tel: 592-225-4894/3473
•    Travel span Tel: 592-227-1701-3/1734-6

Domestic Air Services & Charters
Internal flights and charters originate from ogle municipal airport (which is much closer to the city) to the many interior landing strips across the country and also to the neighboring country.
•    Air Services Ltd Tel: 592-222-4357, 592-222-4368
•     Roraima Airways Tel: 592-222-9647/8
•    Trans Guyana Airways Tel: 592-222-2525
•    Wings Tel: 592-222-6513, 592-226-9098

Cambios
These are licensed currency exchange houses. Most Cambios are open from 8 am to 5pm and on Saturdays from 8pm to noon, sometimes to 2 pm. keep your Cambio receipts; you will need to produce them in order to change Guyanese dollars on departure.

Departure tax

There is an exit tax of G$2,500.00 plus a security charge of G$1,500 (being a total of G$4000.) this is paid at the airport at the GRA both. (The US dollar equivalent for this exit may vary with exchange fluctuations) please note that this is payable in GY or foreign currency.

Driving
Traffic drives on the left. Seat belts are necessary.

Banking hours
Banking hours at most banks are relatively short:
Mondays to Thursdays: 08:00 – 14:00
Fridays: 08:80 – 14:30
The main commercial banks are
•    Bank of Boroda: Ave. of Republic, Georgetown
Tel: 592-2264005/6
•    Bank of Nova Scotia: Camichael Street, Georgetown (branches in Bartica, New Amsterdam and Parika) Tel: 592—225-9222
•    Citizens bank: camp street, Georgetown. Tel: 592-226-1705/6
•    Demerara Bank: camp Street, Georgetown
Tel: 592-225-0610/9
•     Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry:
Water street, Georgetown (Branches in Vreed-en- Hoop, Parika, Essequibo and Corriverton)
Tel: 229-8430/9

•    New building society:
Ave. of the Republic Georgetown (branches in Linden, Berbice, Corentyne, Rosignol, Rose Hall and Essequibo) Tel: 227-4444
•     Republic Bank Guyana Ltd
Water Street, Georgetown Tel: 592-2261691/5/4091

Guyana Stock Exchange
GASCI is a “self-regulatory organization” which was formed for the purpose of developing a stock market in Guyana. It is the result of earlier work undertaken by the Adam Smith Institute founded by the UK Company.
Gasci was incorporated on June 1st, 2001 trading commenced on the 30th June, 2003. The stock exchange was formally launched on September 25th, 2003. Its members consist of the four securities companies registered to trade on stock exchange viz. Beharry stock brokers Ltd, Guyana America


Merchant Bank Inc., Hand in Hand trust Corporation Inc., and Trust company (Guyana) Ltd. It is governed by a board of six directors. Trading currently takes place on Monday and on Wednesday when Monday is a holiday. Trading starts at 10:00am.

CURRENCY
The unit of currency is the Guyana dollar, which floats against the US dollar. (Exchange rate at the time of publication: US$1=G$200 approximately. Check for daily rates) US dollars are widely accepted. British, Canadian and some other bank notes may be accepted as well. Foreign currency can be changed at banks, finance houses and cambios. Many hotels will also change money but generally give a lower rate.

CREDIT CARDS
Major credit card and traveller’s cheques are accepted by most hotels, restaurants, car rental agencies and tour operators. Scotia cards and master cards can be used to obtain cash from the bank Of Nova Scotia during banking hours. American Express cards can be used at Demerara Bank .Foreign credit cards cannot be used at ATM machines in Guyana. .  

Guyana’s Overseas Missions
Guyana became independent from Britain in 1996 and a “Cooperative Republic” in 1970, when a non executive president replaced the Governor-General. A new constitution in 1980 gave the president wide executive powers. The cabinet is headed by the president, and there is 65-member national assembly elected by proportional representation.

High Commission of the Republic of Guyana to Canada.
H.E Rajnarine Singh – High Commissioner,
151 Slater St, suite 309,
Ottawa, Canada K1P5H3
Tel: (613) 235-7249.
Fax: (613) 235-1447
E-mail:guyanahcott@travelnet.com

Consul General of the Republic of
Guyana to Toronto
Mr.Danny T Doobay
Consul General
505 Consumer’s Rd, Suite 206
Willowdale, Ontario Canada M2j 4V8
Tele: (416) 494-6040
Fax: (416) 494-1530
E-mail: info@guyanaconsulate.com

Consul General of the Republic of Guyana to Toronto
Mr. Danny T Doobay – Consul General,
505 consumer’s Rd, suite 206
willowdale, Ontario M2J, Canada.
Tel: 416-494-6040 Fax 416-494-1530.
E-mail: info2guyanaconsulate.com

Embassy of the Republic of Guyana to the USA
H.E Baynet Karran – Ambassador
2490 Tracey Place, NW
Washington D.C, USA 20008.
Tel: (202) 265-3834
Fax: (202) 232-1297.
E-mail: guyanaembassy@hotmail.com

Consulate General
of the Republic of Guyana to New York
Mr. Brentnol Evans- Consul General
866 UN Plaza 3rd Floor
New York, NY USA 10017.
Tel: (212) 527-3215/3216
Fax (212) 527-3229
E-mail: infom@guyanaconsulate.com

High Commission
of the Republic of Guyana to the U.K
H.E Laleshwar K.N.Singh
High Commissioner,
3 Palace Court, Bayswater Rd
London UKW2 4LP
Tel: 44-207-229-7684
Fax 44-207-727-9809
Email: ghc.1@ic24.net

Embassy of the Republic of Guyana to Brazil
H.E. Ms Marilyn C Miles
Ambassador
Sas Quadra 2, Bloco J,
Ed Paulo Mauricio,
13 Andar Salas
Brasilia DF,Brazil.
Tel: 55 61 224-9229/9726


Embassy of the Republic of Guyana to Brussels
Ms Gale Lee
Charge D’Affaires,
12 Avenue Du Bresil,
1000, Brussels, Belgium.
Tel: 322-675-6216
Fax: 322-672-5598

Embassy of the Republic
Of Guyana to China
Mr. Cecil Pollydore
Charge D’Affaires
No 1 Xiu Shui Dong Jie
Jaing Guo Men Wai, Beijing
Peoples Republic of China
Tel: 861-532-1601
Fax: 861-532-5741

Embassy of the Republic of Guyana to Cuba
H.E. Timothy Chritchlow
Ambassador
18 Calle No 56
Entre Avenidas 5ta and 7 ma
Miramar, Havana, Cub
Tel: 537-24-2249
Fax: 537-24-2867
E-mail: embguyana@ip.etecsa.cu

Embassy of the Republic of
Guyana to Suriname
H.E. Karshanjee Arjune
Ambassador
Graventstraat No 82
P.O. Box 785, Paramaribo, Suriname
Tel: 597-477-985/957-472-509
Fax: 597-472-679

Embassy of the Republic of
Guyana to Venezuela
H.E. Odeen Ishmael
Ambassador
Quinta Roraima, Avenida El Paseo
Prados del Este, Caracas, Venezuela
Tel: 582-978-2781
Fax 582-976-3765

Foreign Embassies & Consulates in Guyana

Brazilian Embassy
308 Church Street, Georgetown
Tel:  225-7970, 225-7971
Fax: 226-9063

British High Commission
44 Main Street, Georgetown
Tel: 226-5881
Fax: 225-3555

Canadian High Commission
Young Street Kingston, Georgetown
Tel: 227-2081
Fax: 225-8380

Chinese Embassy
Tact B, Durban Backlands
Te: 225-4297/227-1652
Fax: 225-9228

Consulate General of the Netherlands
61 Avenue of the Republic, Georgetown
Tel 227-4085


Cuban Embassy
Main Street, Georgetown
Tel: 225-1881/1883
Fax: 226-1824

Embassy of Malta
28 Brickdam, Georgetown
Tel: 223-5398
Fax: 223-5399

European Union Delegation
11 Sendal Place, Georgetown
Tel:226-4004/5424
Fax: 226-2615

French consulate
46 First Avenue, Subryanville
Tel: 227-5425

High Commission of India
10 Avenue of the Republic, Georgetown
Te: 226-3996/226-8965
Fax: 225 -7012

Russia Embassy
3 Public Road, Kitty, Georgetown
Tel: 226-9773/225-2179
Fax; 227-2975

Suriname Embassy
171 Peter Rose street
Queenstown, Georgetown
Tel: 225-2846
Fax: 225-0759

United States Embassy
Young Street, Kingston, Georgetown
Tel: 225-4900/09
Fax 225-8497/7968


Venezuela Embassy
296 Thomas Street, Georgetown
Te: 226-6749/1543
Fax: 225-3241

 

Backpackers

Back- Packers- Inn
For a comfortable affordable, safe and central accommodation for
USD$20.00 per day.
45 Main Street Plaza Hotel, Georgetown, Guyana South America
Tele: 592-668-6501/592-225-5911
Email: fallsviewtours@yahoo.com

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