Are you looking for an adventure that will take you off the beaten path? Look no further than Guyana, the small South American country that is home to some of the most breathtaking natural landscapes and wildlife experiences.
But before you start packing your bags, it’s important to understand what makes this destination unique.
In this guide, we will provide an overview of Guyana and its hidden gems, how safe it is to travel alone in Guyana, as well as tips on recommended destinations.
Last updated on: 02-01-2024
Is it Safe to travel alone in Guyana?
Traveling alone in Guyana is generally safe, but it’s important to exercise caution, especially in the capital, Georgetown.
It’s recommended to use the same level of common sense that you would use in many other solo travel destinations in the world to stay safe as a solo traveler in Guyana.
Guyana holds the 106th spot on the Global Peace Index. The GPI is a creation of the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) and stands as the foremost global measure of worldwide tranquility.
While there are no special precautions that tourists need to take in Guyana beyond the precautions they would take elsewhere, it’s advisable not to walk around Georgetown at night.
Additionally, it’s suggested to be aware of the amount of alcohol consumed and to avoid going out alone after dark or putting oneself in risky situations.
What is the best time to visit Guyana for solo travelers?
The prime time to visit Guyana stretches from September to April, during the dry season. This period offers optimal conditions for travel, ensuring a delightful experience.
Conversely, the rainy season, spanning from May to August, presents fantastic opportunities for sighting river otters and encountering more critters like lizards and capybaras.
It’s important to note that Guyana has a tropical climate with temperatures hovering between the mid-20s and low 30s all year round.
What are the most important holidays and festivals in Guyana?
Guyana celebrates several important holidays and festivals, including both religious and non-religious occasions. Some of the most significant ones are:
- New Year’s Day – January 1
- Republic Day – February 23
- Phagwah – February or March
- Good Friday – March or April
- Labour Day – May 1
- Indian Arrival Day – May 5
- Independence Day – May 26
- CARICOM Day – 1st Monday in July
- Emancipation Day – August 1
- Deepavali – October or November
- Christmas Day – December 25
- Boxing Day – December 26
- Youman-Nabi – 12th/15th of the third month in the Islamic calendar
- Eid-ul-Adha – 10th day of the 12th month in the Islamic calendar
In addition to these public holidays, there are several cultural and religious festivals that are celebrated in Guyana. Some of the notable ones include Mashramani, Phagwah, Youman Nabi, Deepavali, and Eid-al-Adha.
These festivals are an integral part of Guyana’s cultural heritage and are celebrated with great enthusiasm and fervor.
It’s important to note that during these holidays and festivals, most business places and schools are closed, and there are often various events, parades, and cultural activities taking place throughout the country.
How to meet other solo travelers in Guyana
There are several ways to meet other solo travelers in Guyana:
1. Online Platforms: Joining online platforms such as Likeplan can help you connect with like-minded solo travelers and locals in Guyana. This platform provides opportunities to share experiences, make new friends, and even find travel companions to explore the country together.
2. Hostels and Guesthouses: Staying in hostels and guesthouses can be a great way to meet other solo travelers. These accommodations often organize social events, tours, and activities, providing a natural setting to connect with fellow adventurers.
3. Local Events and Tours: Participating in local events, tours, and activities can also help you meet other solo travelers. Look for group tours or excursions that interest you, as they can be a fun and social way to explore Guyana while meeting new people.
By leveraging these resources and being open to new connections, solo travelers can enhance their experience in Guyana and create lasting memories with fellow explorers.
Is Guyana expensive for solo travelers?
Guyana can be an affordable destination for solo travelers, especially when cost-saving measures are taken. According to Numbeo, Panama holds the 61st spot on the Cost of Living Index by Country.
Here are some insights to consider:
- Daily Budget: The daily budget for a solo traveler in Guyana can vary. Traveling and sightseeing in a cost-effective manner, including transportation, staying in hostels and consuming inexpensive food, can amount to around 115 to 132 USD per day.
- Cost of Living: The cost of living in Guyana is relatively lower compared to some other destinations. Prices for accommodation, food, and activities can be budget-friendly, especially when opting for more affordable options.
- Safety and Convenience: While some travelers may have concerns about safety and ease of travel in Guyana, leveraging online platforms and local resources can help mitigate these concerns. Additionally, solo travelers can consider joining group tours or activities to enhance safety and convenience.
In summary, with careful planning, budgeting, and the use of available resources, Guyana can offer an affordable and rewarding experience for solo travelers.
What are the best places to visit for solo travelers in Guyana?
Some of the best places to visit for solo travelers in Guyana include:
- Georgetown: The capital city offers a unique blend of urban life and natural marvels along the Atlantic Ocean. Solo travelers can explore its cultural landmarks and immerse themselves in the local atmosphere.
- Kaieteur Falls: Located in Kaieteur National Park, this is the world’s highest single-drop waterfall and a must-see natural wonder for solo travelers. Accessible by a short flight from Georgetown, it offers a breathtaking experience.
- Rupununi: This region is known for its pristine rainforests, diverse wildlife, and the opportunity to immerse in the Amerindian culture. Solo travelers can explore the Rupununi savannah, encounter unique flora and fauna, and visit indigenous communities.
- Iwokrama Forest: A protected area known for its rich biodiversity, including the Iwokrama Canopy Walkway, which offers a unique perspective of the rainforest. Solo travelers can engage in birdwatching, wildlife spotting, and guided tours.
- Rewa: This is the home of an indigenous community and offers a unique off-the-beaten-path experience for solo travelers. It’s a great opportunity to immerse in the local culture, explore the rainforest, and engage in sustainable tourism activities.
These destinations provide a mix of natural beauty, cultural immersion, and unique experiences that are well-suited for solo travelers looking to explore Guyana.
What are the best ways to get around in Guyana?
The best ways to get around in Guyana, especially for solo travelers, include:
- Taxis: Taxis are a safe and common form of transport for tourists in Guyana. They are readily available and can be used for both short and long distances. It’s important to agree on the price before departure to avoid any misunderstandings.
- Domestic Airlines: Flying with domestic airlines, such as Air Services Limited and Trans Guyana Airways, is the most reliable means of traveling into the interior of Guyana. This is especially useful for reaching remote areas and natural attractions.
- Minibuses: Minibuses operate in designated areas and offer the cheapest means of public transportation in Guyana. They are well-regulated and operate on a designated fare system. However, their reliability and safety may vary, so it’s important to exercise caution.
- Car Hire: While there is limited car hire available in Guyana, it can provide flexibility for solo travelers who are comfortable with driving in the country. It’s important to be aware of local driving laws and conditions, and to avoid driving at night.
- Waterways: Guyana has a significant network of navigable inland waterways, and government steamers connect with the interior along rivers such as the Essequibo and Berbice. This mode of transport can be used for certain destinations and offers a unique travel experience.
What are 5 must-try dishes in Guyana?
Here are five must-try dishes in Guyana:
- Pepperpot: A slow-cooked meat stew that is considered the national dish of Guyana. It is often enjoyed during special occasions and celebrations.
- Cook-up Rice: A one-pot dish made with rice, peas, and various meats such as chicken, pork, or beef. It is a popular and flavorful dish in Guyanese cuisine.
- Roti: A flatbread that originated in India and is a staple in Guyanese cuisine. It can be filled with curried vegetables, chicken, or beef, making it a versatile and satisfying meal.
- Metemgee: A hearty stew made with a combination of meats, vegetables, and ground provisions. It is a comforting and filling dish that is popular in Guyana.
- Fried Bagan: Thinly sliced eggplant that is battered and deep-fried to crispy perfection. It is a popular snack or side dish in Guyanese cuisine.
These dishes showcase the diverse influences and flavors of Guyanese cuisine, making them a must-try for solo travelers looking to experience the local food culture.
To conclude, Guyana offers a unique and off-the-beaten-path travel experience for solo travelers. With breathtaking landscapes, thrilling wildlife encounters, and a warm and welcoming local community, it is a destination worth exploring.
Pepijn is the founder of Likeplan. He mainly writes about solo traveling. With over 10 completed solo trips, he writes from his own experience with the mission to encourage other people to go out and explore by themselves.