Guyana Travel Information

Photo Guyana achieved independence from the UK in 1966 and became a republic in 1970. In 1989 Guyana launched an Economic Recovery Program, which marked a dramatic reversal from a state-controlled, socialist economy towards a more open, free market system. Results through the first decade have proven encouraging.


Guyana's population is made up of five main ethnic groups--East Indian, African, Amerindian, Chinese, and Portuguese. Ninety percent of the inhabitants live on the narrow coastal plain, where population density is more than 115 persons per square kilometer (380 per sq. mi.).


Before the arrival of Europeans, the region was inhabited by both Carib and Arawak tribes, who named it Guiana, which means land of many waters. The Dutch settled in Guyana in the late 16th century, but their control ended when the British became the de facto rulers in 1796.


With a per capita gross domestic product of only $760 in 2000, Guyana is one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere. The economy made dramatic progress after President Hoyte's 1989 economic recovery program (ERP). As a result of the ERP, Guyana's GDP increased 6% in 1991 following 15 years of decline. Growth was consistently above 6% until 1995 when it dipped to 5.1%.

Important: Travel to Guyana may require a travel visa. Whether a visa is required for travel depends on citizenship and purpose of journey. Please be sure to review Travisa's Guyana visa instructions for details. Visa instructions for other countries are available on our do I need a visa page.

Country Statistics

Full country name: Cooperative Republic of Guyana
Capital city: Georgetown
Area: 214,969 sq km
Population: 741,908
Ethnic groups: East Indian 43.5%, black
Languages: English, Amerindian dialects, Creole, Caribbean Hindustani
Religions: Protestant 30.5%
Government: republic
Chief of State: President Donald RAMOTAR
Head of Government: Prime Minister Samuel HINDS
GDP: 5.851 billion
GDP per captia: 7,600
Annual growth rate: 5.4%
Inflation: 2.6%
Agriculture: sugarcane, rice, edible oils
Major industries: bauxite, sugar, rice milling, timber, textiles, gold mining
Natural resources: bauxite, gold, diamonds, hardwood timber, shrimp, fish
Location: Northern South America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Suriname and Venezuela
Trade Partners - exports: Canada 29%, US 28.6%, UK 4.9%, Trinidad and Tobago 4.3%, Jamaica 4.3%, Netherlands 4%
Trade Partners - imports: US 21.3%, Trinidad and Tobago 20%, China 8.3%, South Africa 7.5%, Cuba 5.5%