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Phone: +58 (212) 263.1820 / 265.2433/ 236.1940, Fax: +58 (212) 263.9119, info@alboradavenezuela.com

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Guyana
Introduction
Geography
Guyana lies in the northeast of South America, bordered by Venezuela to the west, Suriname to the southeast, Brazil to the south, and the Atlantic Ocean to the north and east. The word ‘Guiana’ (the original Amerindian spelling) means ‘land of many waters’ and the name was well chosen, for there are over 1,600km (965 miles) of navigable rivers in the country.

The interior is either high savannah uplands, or thick, hilly jungle and forest, which occupy over 83% of the country’s area. The narrow coastal belt contains the vast majority of the population, and produces the major cash crop, sugar, and the major subsistence crop: rice. The country has 322km (206 miles) of coastline. More than 25% of the population lives in or near Georgetown.
Flora & Fauna
The flora varies with the rainfall and soil composition. The coastal area, originally swamp and marsh with mangrove and associated vegetation, has long been cleared for farming. In inland areas of heavy rainfall there are extensive equatorial forests, with green-heart a major species; varieties of trees may number as many as 1,000. Local fauna includes locusts, moth borers, acoushi ants, bats and other small mammals. There may be more than 675 species of birds. Northwestern coastal beaches are an important breeding ground for sea turtles.
Facts at a Glance
Population
The Population in Guyana in 2003 was estimated by the United Nations at 751,000 inhabitants.
Political System
Under the constitution, adopted in 1980, legislative power is held by the unicameral National Assembly which has 65 members. Of these, 53 are elected by national popular vote under a system of proportional representation; the other 12 are delegated by local councils. Executive power is held by the President, who leads the majority party in the Assembly. The President appoints and leads a Cabinet of Ministers responsible to parliament.
Religion
50% Christian, 33% Hindu, less than 10% Muslim. Substantial numbers of the population also practice Rastafarianism and the traditional Caribbean religion known as Obeah, either exclusively or in conjunction with the practice of other faiths.
Currency
Guyanese Dollar (GYD; symbol G$) = 100 cents.
Notes are in denominations of G$1,000, 500, 100 and 20. Coins are in denominations of  G$ 10,5 and 1. US Dollars are widely accepted throughout Guyana.
Visa & Documents
All visitors require passports. Visa are necessary with the exception of the following: Commonwealth countries, USA, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Japan, Korea.
Visitors are advised to check with the nearest embassy, consulate or travel agent.
Travel Tips
Local time
4 hours behind GMT and 1 hour ahead of EST.
Electricity
110 and 220 volts AC, 60Hz.
Its people
The original inhabitants of the territory were Amerindians. However, to meet the labor needs of the plantation economy, slaves were brought in large numbers during the 18th and early 19th centuries from West Africa to work on the cotton and sugar plantations. When slavery was abolished in 1834, the former slaves refused to work for their former masters, even for wages. They left the plantations and established their own village communities. Immigrants were therefore brought in to work, first from Europe (Germany, Malta and Portugal), then China, and eventually in large numbers from India. Today the country's population reflects its immigrant history with Africans, East Indians, Chinese, Portuguese, Europeans, and Amerindians living side by side.
Water & Food
The food in hotels and restaurants reflects the range of influences on Guyanese society. On the menus of most restaurants you will often find chicken, pork and steak and, most of the time, shrimp. The best Chinese food in the country can be found in Georgetown.
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Regional specialties:
• Curry, especially mutton, prawn or chicken.
Foo-foo (plantains made into cakes).
Metamgee (dumplings made from cornflour, eddews, yams, cassava and plantains cooked in coconut milk and grated coconut).
• Portuguese garlic pork.
• Amerindian pepperpot.
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The water from the tap is brownish in color, which is from the tannin in the water, and not polluted. However, it is recommended that bottled water, which is readily available, is used for drinking.  Remember to drink plenty of it to prevent dehydration.
Vaccines
A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travelers over one year of age coming from infected areas and from the following countries: Africa: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, (Dem Rep), Congo (Rep), Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Tanzania, Togo and Uganda; Latin America: Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Surinam and Venezuela.

Travelers arriving from non-endemic zones should note that vaccination is strongly recommended for travel outside the urban areas, even if an outbreak of the disease has not been reported and they would normally not require a vaccination certificate to enter the country.

Special Precautions Certificate Required
Diphtheria Sometimes
Hepatitis A - Yes
Malaria - Yes
Rabies - Sometimes
Tetanus - Yes
Typhoid - Yes
Yellow Fever - Yes

Shopping
Hibiscus Plaza outside the post office in Georgetown has a wide variety of local arts and crafts including straw hats, baskets, clay goblets and jewelry. On Sundays, the Parika Market, on the west coast of Demerara, sells a variety of goods and is worth a visit. Other shops sell Amerindian bows and arrows, hammocks, pottery and salad bowls. Government-run shops sell magnificent jewelry, utilizing local gold, silver, precious and semi-precious stones. Prices are very reasonable for the quality of the goods. It is absolutely essential to ensure that receipts.
Shopping hours:
Mon-Fri 0800-1200 and 1300-1630, Sat 0800-1200
Tipping
Is not expected, but appreciated if you are happy with the service.  As a guide, a 10% tip is adequate. In the interior it is suggested that tips are given to the manager or village captain for equal distribution amongst all involved.  In the interior a tip is better in Guyanese dollars rather than foreign currency, as there are no facilities for exchanging the money.
Banks
The Bank of Guyana is the Central Bank. In addition to the Bank of Guyana, seven commercial banks operate in the country. Three of them are foreign-owned, namely, Bank of Baroda, Bank of Nova Scotia, and The National Bank for Industry and Commerce (NIBC).
Opening hours:
Mon-Fri 0800-1230 and Friday 1500-1700.
American Express, Diners Club, Master Card and Visa are accepted by most larger hotels, restaurants, car hire and tour operators. Foreign credit cards cannot be used in Guyanian ATM's.
Valid driver's license
A Permit to Drive in Guyana is available on arrival at Cheddi Jagan International Airport.  A valid Driver's License, from country of origin, is required.  The form will be completed by the Customs Officer on Duty, using the information stated on the Driver's License to issue the permit. There is no cost for the Permit.  The Permit will state the period it is valid; commencing the date of arrival and concluding on the date of departure. Persons who wish to extend their stay in Guyana can visit the License Office in Georgetown or visit the Airport to obtain an extension.
Emergency numbers
In Guyana, you can call the police by dialing 911 or 225 64 11, the firemen by dialing 912 and medical emergency services by dialing 913 or 226 9449 (Georgetown hospital).
Safety and Security
Like any city, certain areas of Georgetown are not particularly safe, especially after dark.  Ask your Hotel Reception or Alborada Venezuela Representative for guidance on these matters.  In general you will find Guyanese to be extremely friendly and helpful.  Don’t be surprise if you find local people wishing to talk to you or offering assistance.  In the interior and at the Resorts it is totally secure and safe and you will be able to completely relax without any concerns.
Climate and Season
Guyana has a tropical climate with almost uniformly high temperatures and humidity, and much rainfall. Seasonal variations in temperature are slight, particularly along the coast. Although the temperature never gets dangerously high, the combination of heat and humidity can at times seem oppressive. The entire area is under the influence of the northeast trade winds, and during the midday and afternoon sea breezes bring relief to the coast. Even though Guyana lies south of the path of Caribbean hurricanes none is known to have ever hit the country.
Temperatures in Georgetown are quite constant, with an average high of 32°C and an average low of 24°C in the hottest month (July), and an average range of 29°C to 23°C in February, the coolest month. The highest temperature ever recorded in the capital was 34°C and the lowest only 20°C. Humidity averages 70 percent year-round. Locations in the interior, away from the moderating influence of the ocean, experience slightly wider variations in daily temperature, and nighttime readings as low as 12°C have been recorded. Humidity in the interior is also slightly lower, averaging around 60 percent.
The rainy season lasts from May to July on the coasts, and until September in inland Guyana; there is a second rain season on the coast from November to January.