Summarizing the security situation of an entire country is a broad question that requires a nuanced answer and Guyana is no different. It is however true that Guyana has a bad safety reputation and for a long time didn’t see many tourists. With the current boom in oil, discovered just a few years ago, Guyana is seeing many more visitors than ever, perhaps including you.
Let’s Talk Cities
Most tourists to Guyana are going to be flying in through the capital city Georgetown. A sleepy city that can be tough to navigate if you’re on your own. The strong year round sun makes wandering an obstacle not to mention the few touristic sites that are in the city aren’t very close to one another. A car is going to be your primary mode of transportation but the taxis (most of which don’t have meters) are their own type of adventure.
It’s much easier to get transportation as well as spend a few days in Guyana being shown around by a local guide when you are in Georgetown. The capital is a 1 to 3 day stop that will satiate most travelers and a guide (roughly $60 a day but you will have to negotiate) will be able to maximize your time there.
Georgetown has a fairly high crime rate but using a guide helps reduce your chances of being a target. You’ll be able to visit some of the markets, popular food places, and use your phone and camera with an extra set of eyes who knows the territory.
Jungle And Beyond
Leaving Georgetown and the other larger cities in Guyana, which is mostly rain forest, is another but calmer story. In places like Kaieteur Falls, which is just a 45 minute small plan ride toward the interior, there’s fewer people and much less crime. In the Amazon, the sun, heat, and dehydration are your biggest dangers but nothing a prepared traveler can’t handle.
In the jungle the common dangers of the city, robbery, mugging, and pick-pocketing, are not considered major threats.
Adjusting Your Style
Back to the cities, some solid advice is not to wear jewelry, flash any valuables (a good guide will let you when you can break out the fancy camera), and know where you’re going. Avoid wandering down streets or areas you are not familiar with and always check with your plans and route with your hotel or accommodation.
There is a lot of see in Guyana – especially in the Amazon – but seeing parts of Georgetown with a bit of help is not as daunting as the statistics might suggest.