Destination Information – Georgetown Guyana
Georgetown, Guyana. Georgetown is the capital of Guyana, that country that is a part of the Caribbean, but is not an island and is not in the Caribbean, but actually in South America! Confused? Let me explain.
Guyana is considered a part of the Caribbean as its a part of what’s called CARICOM, Caribbean Communities, whose headquarters is actually, well, in Georgetown, Guyana; not too far from the Ogle downtown airport.
One other reason too is that Guyana is the only country in South America that was once a British colony. It was even called British Guyana at one point. I think to differentiate it from the still named French Guiana also in South America.
As a matter of fact, the region was once called the “Guianas” and there’s even a Guyana City in Venezuela:
- French Guiana: French Guiana
- Guyana: British Guiana
- Suriname: Dutch Guiana
Oh, you can’t talk about Guyana without talking about the following:
Georgetown Guyana Massacre
When you hear about Guyana, this is perhaps the thing that comes to mind first; the Jonestown Massacre.
My friend who was driving me around said that he thinks this is the remains of the “Peoples Temple” as we drove by it.
You know that I’m no good at History, but the History Channel is so much better than I am, so head over there to check out all the details.
Where Is Georgetown, Guyana?
Georgetown is the capital of the country of Guyana which is located on the northern coast of the South American continent. It is bordered by Venezuela on the west, Suriname on the east and Brazil on the south and also the southwest.
The town is divided by the mighty Demerara River which ends in the Atlantic Ocean.
Here are some things you should know about Georgetown and Guyana:
How To Get Here
You can get flights into Guyana from North America, the Caribbean as well as the neighboring countries of Venezuela and Suriname.
Georgetown Guyana Airport
There are two airports serving the city of Georgetown, Ogle and Cheddi Jagan.
RV4W+PJ2, Ogle, East Coast Demerara, Georgetown, Guyana
This airport runs flights mostly within Guyana by the two airlines based here: Trans Guyana Airways and Roraima Airways. It is located about 10 minutes from downtown Georgetown.
It is an international airport and is the airport that I used to enter the country from Trinidad and Tobago using an ATR72-600. It is super tiny and I’m impressed at the traffic it handles.
GP3W+CX6, Timehri, East Bank Demerara, Timehri, Guyana
This is the larger of the two airports and handles the majority of the international commercial flights. It is located south of the city about an hour’s drive and is literally in the middle of a community, Timehri.
Actually, the name of the airport was Timehri before it was renamed to Cheddi Jagan after the former President.
Give yourself plenty of time to get to the airport as there is typically one main road that follows the Demerara River and it usually has a lot of traffic. As a matter of fact, my taxi driver asked to leave earlier so he wouldn’t be stuck in traffic.
I thought it was an odd request, but said yes. Glad I did as I actually had gotten my flight time wrong. Even at the early departure of 4:30a, we could see the traffic building for his drive back.
Airlines Serving Guyana
In addition to the two local airlines, Trans Guyana Airways and Roraima Airways, air service into Guyana is provided by the following airlines:
- American Airlines (AA)
- Caribbean Airlines (BW)
- Copa Airlines (CM)
- InterCaribbean Airways (JY)
- JetBlue (B6)
- Suriname Airways (PY)
Give yourself extra time when using the Cheddi Jagan Airport due to traffic issues. Check your schedules on passrider.com.
There are no airport lounges at the Ogle Airport (OGL).
There is a lounge here operated by Roraima Airways Executive Lounge. They do accept Priority Pass membership. The offerings were skimpy and there were no hot food choices. There was only one other patron there with me when I visited.
The airport does have a bar as well as a Pizza Hut and a Burger King, plus a Lego Store and a Duty Free shop.
Airport To The City (Georgetown)
Take a taxi into the city; it takes about 10 minutes.
Take a taxi or a pre-arranged ride with your hotel. It takes about an hour and a half.
There are local vans you can take if you can figure out how to navigate the transportation system. The vans look like this:
Georgetown Guyana Currency
Guyanese Dollars (GYD).
Cash is king in Georgetown. I went to take my Covid-19 test to return to Trinidad and Tobago as it’s required and they only take Visa. I tried to get funds from an ATM and I couldn’t find one that would take my card.
Eventually, I did find one at the airport; a Scotiabank that worked. I did have similar issues when it comes to finding a working ATM with my bank in Tobago. So bring cash with you.
In addition, American Express was not accepted anywhere I went; it was mostly MasterCard and Visa.
Georgetown, Guyana Language
English and Guyanese Creole.
Visa and Health Requirements
If you are a U.S. citizen, a visa is not required at this time. However, one may be required for citizens from select other countries. Use this link to check visa requirements for other citizenship.
Here is some additional information from the U.S. State Department including visa and health requirements.
In addition, be sure to check https://www.health.gov.gy/index.php for the most current travel restrictions and requirements for the country before you start your travel plans.
Wifi is available and is complimentary.
Wifi is available and is complimentary.
It was actually very difficult for me to find a hotel that was not too expensive in Georgetown. The top properties in the city are the Marriott and the Pegasus hotels. The Marriott is in the mid $300s costing 30K points per night and the Pegasus is about mid to low $200s. I was shocked at the prices.
They are next to each other at the waterfront in downtown Georgetown. You can see them below; the Pegasus is the round building with the two new structures (rooms) to its left and the Marriott is the building to the far right of the round Pegasus hotel with the swimming pool.
I happened to have a meeting with the Tourism Marketing Director and he was able to call around and eventually he found me a room at the Herdmanston Lodge for one night only. I’d figure out the next night later or maybe they would have a cancellation. Luckily they did have a cancellation so I was able to stay there for both nights.
It is a nice property, but at $162.99/night including all the taxes, I thought it was overpriced even with breakfast included.
But that’s what the market is bearing at the moment, since rooms are hard to come by. I did enjoy my stay and would stay there again. The staff is very friendly, breakfast and my dinner one night was really good.
Had I not found a place, I would have stayed at the Marriott or the Pegasus as they did have rooms for both nights. I didn’t have enough Marriott points as I’d used them all in Dubai and although I have a 25K certificate, I can’t combine it with the points in my account or with cash to pay for the room.
Thankfully, due to members’ constant complaints to Marriott, this can now be done or some semblance of it.
Even as I write this, rooms in the city are either expensive or non-existent; the Marriott is $399 and the Pegasus $275 for rooms in July 2022.
The city does not have a lot of hotels at the moment. The only major chains there are the Marriott and the Ramada. As many are local brands, it’s hard to tell the quality of the services they offer as many have old photos and since tourism is not yet big there, there are not many ratings or reviews.
I did see another hotel while driving along the coast and a few while driving around the city.
Things are picking up in Georgetown due to oil being found in Guyana, so the hotels are booked up by the corporate oil people. As such, one week there was plenty of availability and the next week, there was not.
This also caused you to have properties that were lower rated costing more than they should.
Other chains like Hilton are planning on building properties in the coming years, so this will change.
I didn’t try Airbnb, but of course you can or any other shared services.
Also, you can go to https://www.passrider.com/hotelscombined to book your hotel or use the box below.
Where To Eat in Guyana
I had some food at my hotel, at a local Mall and on the street. So you can eat anywhere in the city. I didn’t get a chance to get to the market at all as I did not have enough time, but you can get some good produce there and if it’s mango season have a mango as well.
At the hotel, I was glad that they had local dishes. Here are some photos of the foods I had while in town.
Things To Do
So what’s there to do in Guyana?
It’s a vast country and there is a ton to do. It is just starting to be developed for tourists, so bear that in mind when you visit. Let’t first talk about safety in Georgetown.
Georgetown Guyana Crime
Safety is always an issue when you travel and I always say to be on your Ps and Qs at all times, even when you are in your own city. A friend of mine met me at the airport and showed me around the city.
He used to live in Georgetown and there was only one area that he told me not to walk alone. As a matter of fact he said to walk one block over rather than down the street on which we were driving. This was an area where there is still a lighthouse on the street.
Listen to your body and watch your surroundings. This goes for everywhere to which you may travel.
Guyana’s biggest tourist attraction is the mighty Kaieteur Falls. And, yes, it’s worth seeing. It’s not the easiest place to get to and its not cheap to get to either.
You can take a plane to the airport for the Kaieteur National Park, have lunch, then take a short hike to the Falls. The on ground time takes about 2 hours. You will more than likely get a flyby of the Falls on arrival and if you’re lucky, you will also get on on departure. I got both.
I did my tour with Evergreen Adventures. It took a little calling around before I got on my flight. On my initial trial, the company didn’t have enough people. But when I got in touch with another company with the help of the Tourism Authority, I was able to secure a seat.
I went straight to the airport after that and paid for it using a MasterCard. The trip was the next day.
It’s a tiny plane (Cessna Caravan, a Britten-Norman Islander or Trilander) and takes about an hour to make the journey over the green of the country below. You are in bush country and these are bush pilots. They know their terrain and they are amazing pilots!
While you go to see the Falls, they relax in the Welcome Center and also ensure that the airplane is ready for the return trip.
But the Kaieteur Falls is not the only thing to see in Guyana. The Guyana Tourism website has some items listed here. Here are some more…
The Georgetown Sea Wall
The city is prone to flooding and so a seawall is built to protect it from the Atlantic Ocean. it is also a place to gather for festivals such as the Kite Festival. There is also quite a bit of History along the Sea Wall area.
Locks Around Georgetown
The City’s Architecture
As you walk around the city, you can see how invasions over the years have left their mark in its architecture.
Walking Around The City
The Tourism Guyana folks have a 48 hours in Georgetown tour you can take a look at.
Golden Jubilee Independence Arch
You can see these amazing grasslands as I flew to the Kaieteur Falls
- Discover Guyana – https://guyanatourism.com/ National Exhibition Site, Sophia Georgetown, Guyana
- Telephone: (592) 219-0094
- Email: [email protected]
- Discover Guyana Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/discoverguyana/
- Discover Guyana twitter – https://twitter.com/discoverguyana
- Discover Guyana Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/GuyanaUndiscovered/
- Discover Guyana YouTube Channel – https://www.youtube.com/user/gotoGuyana
- Hashtag – #VisitGuyana #DiscoverGuyana
Please leave a comment below about your own experiences and tips.