Georgetown (Guyana)

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Travel Guide South America Guyana Georgetown

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Introduction

Guyana GT 1

Guyana GT 1

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Georgetown is the capital of Guyana, located along the northeastern coastline of the country. It is the most important urban and economic centre of the country and has a important role for the Caribbean as well, with many official organisations located here. It is also a hub for many airlines making a combination with some Caribbean islands a possibility. The city is modernizing fast and in 2007 the World Cricket Series were held here, among other places in the West Indies. Although it is not of significant importance to travellers, it makes for a perfect place to start your travels to elsewhere in the country, like the beautiful Kaieteur Falls.

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Sights and Activities

If you have a day or two to spend in Georgetown, check out the markets listed below, take a walk down Regent Street, or through one of the markets and have a look at the Umana Yama Church (Amerindian cultural center) or some of the older colonial buildings around town, especially on Main Street.

The local seawall may be unimpressive, but it protects a city that lies 1 metre below high-tide level. The sea wall, which helps prevent flooding and drainage is aided by canals protected by sluices, was built by the Dutch and later the British.

Georgetown has an abundance of tree-lined streets and avenues and contains many wooden colonial buildings and markets. Most of the main buildings are found around the western region of the town near Independence Square and Promenade Gardens. Interesting buildings include the Walter Roth Museum of Anthropology, the National Library, the Bank of Guyana, the National Museum of Guyana, State House and St. George's Anglican Cathedral.

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Weather

Georgetown has a hot and humid tropical climate with temperatures around 30 °C during the day and 20 °C or slightly more at night. Rain falls mostly from April to August, with a shorter season from late November to January.

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Getting There

By Plane

International
Georgetown's Cheddi Jagan International Airport (GEO) receives all international flights. Leeward Islands Air Transport (LIAT) has flights to and from Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago. Zoom Airlines has connections to and from Toronto. Other destinations include New York, Paramaribo and Belém.

Ogle Airport is a small located airport slightly closer to Georgetown which is for a few private charter companies, primarily used for domestic/local flights. There are several companies with a few daily flights from/to Zorg-en-Hoop Airfield ORG IATA in Paramaribo, Suriname.

Domestic
Trans Guyana Airways operates scheduled domestic flights to about 20 destinations within the country from Georgetown. Several other charter airlines have flights as well, some of them as part of a package to the forested interior. Georgetown to Lethem is the most frequent flown route.

Once out of the airport, a taxi is about $25 or G$5000 and takes 45-60 minutes to get to Georgetown, depending on traffic. The cheaper, slightly slower option is to take minibus #42 to Timeri bus park which is behind the parliament building near Stabroek Market. The minibus costs G$260. The minibuses run at all hours of night and day, however taxi drivers will try to get you as a fare as soon as you come out of departures. They will say it's not safe to walk around in Georgetown at night, which is true. However, a taxi from the minibus station to your hotel will be about G$400.

By Bus

From Suriname, there are minibuses from Paramaribo to South Drain in western Suriname, just across the river from Guyana. The trip takes at least 3 hrs and costs ~US$15. From there, you will go through customs on the Suriname side. Then take the 11:00 daily ferry across the river to South Drain. The ferry journey takes about 30 minutes, but you'll need more time for going through customs on the Guyanese side. On the Guyanese side, you will be in Molson Creek and can take minibus #63a to the minibus station near Stabroek Market in Georgetown. The trip takes at least 3 hrs and costs ~US$10. From there you can get a minibus for G$60/pp to where you are staying in Georgetown or a taxi for G$400.

From Brazil travel to Bonfim on the border and walk across the border. Find a minibus or taxi to take you to Lethem city center and inquire about minibuses traveling to Georgetown.

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Getting Around

When people in Guyana refer to buses, they mean minibuses. Minibuses (known as route taxis elsewhere) are the most common way to get around town. Minibus fares range from G$60-G$1000 depending on the length of the journey. Within the city, minibuses cost G$60 per person. Travel in this mode at night could be risky, however if the minibus does not get you to your exact location, the taxis are very cheap to complete the last leg of your trip.

There are numerous taxi services which are listed in the telephone directory and are not expensive. Fares should never be more than G$500 for travel within the city and most fares should be around G$400, regardless of the number of people. All taxis licence plates begin with 'H.' There are set prices for taxis for different destinations, e.g. from the airport to town costs GD$5000, from the airport to Molson Creek is GD$24000, etc. It is wise to ask at your hotel to recommend a driver. The "Yellow" taxis have the best reputation. Once you have found a driver that you trust, ask for his or her mobile phone number. A small tip will ensure that you get prompt service.

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Drink

Guyana is famous for its rum (see Drink). El Dorado has a good store in Departures at the airport but bear in mind that you cannot take a connecting flight carrying liquids unless they are in your suitcase. There are several places in town where you can buy the best brands.

The most popular national drink is Caribbean-style dark rum. The two national favorites are El Dorado and X-tra Mature which both offer 5, 10, 12 and 25 year varieties. El Dorado also offers a 15 year old variety which has won the "Best Rum in the World" award since 1999. Mix the cheaper ones with Coke or coconut water if you please. All are quality enough to drink neat or by themselves with the 25 year-olds comparing with high-quality scotch whisky.

Banks is the national beer. It comes in a lager and a stout (Milk Stout). Also available are the lighter Carib (Trinidad and Tobago) and darker Mackisson's. Guinness is brewed locally under licence and is a bit sweeter than its Irish counterpart, but just as good. Polar (Venezuelan) and Skol (Brazilian) can be found randomly throughout the country. You can also find Heineken and Corona at posher bars in Georgetown.

Non-alcohol: Malta is a popular sweet soda that is worth a try. Drink only bottled water.

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Sleep

Since tourism in Guyana is not much developed there are not many online resources. But asking taxi drivers, barkeepers and random locals you meet on the street will yield many contacts to private accommodations that are much more affordable than the ones listed online. Thus, when planning to stay for more than just a few days, it is advisable to only book a hotel for one or two nights upfront and then go hunting when there.

  • Tropicana Hotel. Check-out: Noon. Cheapest place to stay in Georgetown. It's just above a bar, so there's loud music till late at night. There's also no attempt to limit mosquitoes or other insects. No air-conditioning, fan only. G$4000-G$5000/double.
  • El Dorado Inn, 295 Thomas & Quamina Streets, ☎ +592 225-3966, e-mail: francia@eldorado-inn.com. Attractive eight-roomed inn in the middle of the old colonial area. US$95.
  • Ocean Spray International Hotel, 46 Stanley Place, Kitty (at the intersection of Vlissengen & Public Rd), ☎ +592 592-223-7929, e-mail: reservations@oceanspray.co.gy. Check-out: Noon. Rooms are air conditioned and include a simple breakfast, wifi and refrigerators in the room. US$52/standard double room.
  • Sleepin International Hotel, 24 Brickdam, Stabroek, ☎ +592 227 3446. from $45 plus 16%.
  • CA Apartments, 56 Fifth Street, Albertown, ☎ +592 671-2192, e-mail: Carl.hunter69@yahoo.com. Apartments/Studios with well-equipped kitchen, air condition and WiFi. Pretty central location with bars, supermarket and local markets within easy walking distance. USD40 for an apartment with AC.
  • Cara Lodge, 294 Quamina St, ☎ +592 225 5301, fax: +592 225 5310, e-mail: caralodge@carahotels.com. Check-out: 12.00. An attractive wooden building with a newer part built in the same style as the earlier part that faces the street and goes back to the 1840s. Guests have included Jimmy Carter and Mick Jagger. Suffers a few of the problems of older buildings but a pleasant place to stay with a good restaurant. from US$125.
  • Pegasus, Seawall Rd, ☎ +592 225 2856, fax: +592 223 7251, e-mail: reservations@pegasushotelguyana.com. For many years this was Georgetown's main hotel. Now looking a bit shabby in places but still the first choice for most business visitors. from $150.
  • Le Grand Penthouse, 6 Commerce St, ☎ +592 227-3494, fax: +592 2273499, e-mail: reservations@legrandpenthouse.net.
  • Grand Coastal Suites, Le Ressouvenir (10 minutes out of town on the East Coast road.), ☎ +592 220 1091, e-mail: reservations@grandcoastal.com. A family run hotel built in a colonial style. Convenient for visitors to the headquarters of CARICOM.

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Keep Connected

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

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This is version 8. Last edited at 14:26 on Sep 28, 18 by Utrecht. 7 articles link to this page.

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