See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Guyana for information on U.S.-Guyana relations.
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Guyana.
U.S. citizens should remain alert and exercise particular caution in the neighborhoods of Agricola, Buxton, Stabroek, and Bourda; in and around the National Park; and along the sea wall due to criminal activity. U.S. citizens are advised to avoid walking in Georgetown alone and after dark.
Crime: Criminal activity, including murder and armed robbery, is common in Guyana. Armed robberies can occur in businesses, shopping districts, and in hotels. If you are staying in a hotel, use caution when opening the room doors and keep all valuables in the hotel safe.
Petty crimes such as pick pocketing, purse snatching, assault, and robbery can occur in all areas of Georgetown, particularly, in the general area of Stabroek Market and behind Bourda Market. Safeguard your personal property when shopping in these markets.
While local law enforcement authorities are cooperative, they lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents. U.S. citizens who are victims of crime should contact the local police and the U.S. Embassy in Georgetown.
Do not buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. These goods are illegal in the United States and cannot be brought into the country.
Victims of Crime: U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault should contact the local police and the U.S. Embassy in Georgetown.
Report crimes to the local police at + (592)-225-2700, 226-4585 or + (592)-227-6123, and contact the U.S. Embassy at + (592)-225-4900/9. The local equivalent to the "911" emergency line in Guyana is 911.
Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the U.S. Embassy for assistance.
For further information:
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.
Faith-Based Travelers: See our following webpages for details:
LGBTI Travelers: The Constitution of Guyana defines marriage as a legal union between a man and a woman. There is no legal protection from discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity under Guyanese law.
Consensual same-sex sexual relations are criminalized in Guyana for men, and it is not uncommon for the local police to use the law to intimidate men who are gay or perceived to be gay. There are no laws concerning same-sex sexual relations between women. Crossdressing is also illegal if done “for an improper purpose.” While this clause has not explicitly been defined by legislation or judicial decisions, the common understanding is that it refers to prostitution.
Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: The Guyana Constitution mandates the state to take measures to protect persons with disabilities, but there is no law that mandates provision of access for such persons. There is also a lack of appropriate infrastructure that provides access to both public and private facilities.
Illegal Drugs: Travelers to the United States from Guyana have found narcotics planted in their luggage, both in bags registered under their names and in items they were carrying for others. U.S. citizens should carry items that are personally purchased and packed, and ensure that no additional bags are registered in their name. Drug laws in Guyana are strict, pre-trial detention can last for years, and final sentences are lengthy.
Drinking Water: The water supply system throughout Guyana may be contaminated. U.S. citizens should treat or boil water before consumption, or purchase bottled water.
Changing Currency and Credit Card Use: Credit cards are only accepted in limited locations in Georgetown. Stolen PIN data is common when credit cards or ATM cards are used. U.S. citizens should only exchange currency with banks, hotels, or licensed money exchange houses (“cambios”).
Firearms: Visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection web site for information on importing firearms into the United States.
Wildlife: Many plants and animals in Guyana are globally threatened or are endangered species protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). An export permit is required by the Guyana Ministry of Agriculture in order to take an exotic animal or plant out of Guyana, and an import permit is required by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in order to bring an exotic animal or plant into the United States.
Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.
Medical care in Guyana is sparse, low in quality, and inconsistent. Emergency care and hospitalization for major medical illnesses or surgery are limited due to lack of trained specialists and poor sanitation.
Ambulance service is limited to transportation without any medical care and is frequently not available for emergencies. In the event of an emergency, the number for an ambulance is 913, but this number is not always operational and an ambulance may not be available.
Travelers should carry and use CDC recommended insect repellents containing either 20 percent DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535, which will help diminish bites from mosquitoes as well as ticks, fleas, chiggers, etc., some of which may also carry infectious diseases.
HIV/AIDS: The HIV epidemic is disproportionate, with an elevated burden of disease among high risk populations such as commercial sex workers, men who have sex with men, and transgender persons. In addition, HIV continues to affect the productive sector of the population, with the highest number of reported HIV cases among persons 25-49 years old.
We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas.
Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.
If traveling with medication, check with the Government of Guyana to ensure the medication is legal in Guyana. Always, carry your medication in original packaging and/or with your doctor’s prescription.
The following diseases are prevelant:
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Further health information:
Road Conditions and Safety: Road conditions in Guyana differ significantly than those in the United States. U.S. citizens should exercise caution when driving in Guyana and avoid driving after dark. If an accident occurs, call 911 for the police and 913 for an ambulance. U.S. citizens are reminded that these numbers may not always be operational, that the police may be slow to respond, and an ambulance may not always be available.
For more information about traveling in Guyana, visit the Traffic Division of Guyana's National Police Force website.
Air Travel: Airlines typically operate based on demand and can, therefore, delay, reroute, or cancel flights without notice. U.S. citizens should carry medication, valuables, and perishables in carry on lugguage.
Travel in the Interior: The interior of Guyana is underpoliced, emergency services are generally not available, and there is no cellular phone reception in many places. Travelers visiting the interior should consider bringing their own safety gear, such as life jackets, first aid kits, and communications equipment, e.g., satellite phone.
Traffic Laws: The use of seatbelts is required by law. There are no laws concerning the use of child car seats. Anyone on a motorcycle must wear a protective helmet. Talking on the cellular telephone while driving without using a hands-free set is illegal.
Public Transportation: U.S. government personnel are prohibited from using mini buses due to several fatal accidents in recent years. While bandits are known to attack taxis, taxis are generally safer to use to get around town and also to/from the airport. U.S. government personnel may use taxis, but are restricted from taking taxis to/from the airport between 11:30 p.m. and dawn. U.S. citizens should use taxis that are connected to major hotels or are painted yellow, which are registered with the Government of Guyana's licensing office.
See our Road Safety page for more information. Visit the website of Guyana’s national tourist office and national authority responsible for road safety.
Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Guyana, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Guyana’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.