The tropical climate zone is always a coveted tourist-destination in its entirety (even though it encompasses a large chunk of the world) for it is paradisiacal and irresistible. Situated between Venezuela, French Guiana and Brazil, Guyana is a country that enjoys all of its flavours and so should you! Since it is tangent with the Caribbean Sea, it cannot help but be eyed by trip-surveyors (if you know what we mean). So, before you race to the nearest airport, keep these top six things about it!
Start with the basics of the basics – that is how you get things done (wink)! So, the tipping rules of Guyana are not that hard to memorise: if the bill includes a service tip (usually around 10%), then your tip has already been added. If, however, you see no such thing anywhere, know that there is nothing to worry about as leaving extra coin is not part of the local culture and thus it is not practiced. This includes bars, restaurants and, of course, hotel staff. Taxis are not tipped per se, but their bills are generally rounded up as a sign of gratitude (not to mention the practicality of not having to force them to produce change).
You may have experienced the displeasure of having buzzing midnight company before but nowhere in the world is as hectic as in Guyana. People there go out of their way to keep these pests away from themselves at night but if you do not have a proper net, your chances are slim. As a beginner in the tropical climate zone, your first few nights might go awry. The nasty thing is that you will find that almost nothing works such as creams, or incandescent repellents, outlet repellents – nothing. Stick to the far-too-obvious ways and always stay where you either have air conditioning (so that you may keep the windows shut), or mosquito nets!
3. Language barriers:
Well, English speakers in Guyana have nothing to worry about as it is the official language there. It is, in fact the only South American country where English is spoken by the vast majority of the inhabitants. This, however does not exclude another nine tongues recognised as regional “leaders” – these would be: Akawaio, Waiwai, Arawak, Carib, Wapishana, Arekuna, Macushi, Patamona, and Warrau. Though we know that, as an international tourist, chances are small that you might actually speak one of the aforementioned, but one might never know (wink). The bottom line is that English can get anything done in Guyana.
As you might expect from a well-functioning Caribbean country, Guyana is by no means cheap – but it isn’t expensive either. Really, what you need to keep in mind there is what services you opt for. The prices will completely vary between locations and the closer you are to the Atlantic, the more expensive things get (of course, this might not sound very productive as 90% of the population lives on the coast). Travellers who are hitting the road with tight budgets, what we can recommend for you is to stick to housing as far away from the ocean as possible but the most important thing is for them to have nets.
There are a few Mediterranean countries that are quite notorious for their hectic driving but a small country from South America called Guyana sure can contend. Drivers there are impatient and they often disregard common rules like priorities and correct lane positions. This, however, does not mean that the locals themselves are unfriendly – it is simply that they are used to such chaos daily. Also, know that the Guyanese drive on the left (like in the United Kingdom), and for this particular reason, you might not want to be the one to instigate road rage (wink)!
You know, there are a lot of people out there telling you how dangerous Guyana is, but here’s the thing: it is only dangerous if you are a magnet for bad things. Statistically (taking homicide rates into consideration) Guyana is somewhere in the middle – not too high, not too low. Flashing expensive phones and cameras around isn’t advised because even though getting killed is unlikely, getting robbed is not uncommon. Generic thugs do exist but this does not mean that you constantly have to watch your back. Just be smart, dress accordingly, and you’ll be alright. Oh, and ladies, “dressing accordingly” does not mean that you have to look like a tramp, because the Guyanese women are quite the dressers – you don’t want to make a fool out of yourselves by looking raggy, now, would you (wink)?
Did you enjoy our list? What experiences have you had in Guyana and what can you share with the world? Hit the comment section below and leave nothing out. Oh, and if you have the time, do check out some of our other posts! Safe travels!