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Set like a gem in the crown of South America, nestled on the North-Eastern shoulder, defying the raging Atlantic Ocean, Guyana's many waterways reflect the source of its name The Land Of Many Waters. This article gives a traveler the basic information needed when planning a visit to Guyana.

Geography
Guyana a real tropical paradise for naturalist, located on the north-eastern coast of South America, between latitudes 1 to 9 degrees, and longitudes 57 and 62 degrees west. It is flanked by Venezuela for one-half of its western border, Brazil embraces one-half the western and all of the southern border and Suriname on the eastern border, with the Atlantic Ocean on the north.

With a land area of approximately 216,000 square kilometers (83,000 m2), it is a territory of approximately 435 km of Atlantic coastline and runs in land to Brazil on the south for some 450 miles. Sharing the Amazon basin with eight other countries.

Topography
Guyana is characterised by its many rivers, waterfalls (Kaieteur Falls), mountainous plateaus, tropical rainforest, vast savannahs, varied physical resources base on good climate conditions. The topography is also part of the pre-cambrian lowland region of the Guiana shield.

The country is divided in four distinct geographical areas- the coastal plains, varying in width from 8 to 65 km of a low flat plain, much of which lies below sea level and depends upon an elaborate drainage system of dams and dykes to protect it. South of the coastal plain is the hilly, sand and clay belt this is characterised by bauxite deposits and primary forested areas. The rainforested area covers roughly 80% of the country and extends virtually unbroken to the southern and western borders, it is also the area of mountains, waterfalls and rivers where gold and diamond deposits can be found. The savannah zone interrupts the rainforest cover, here is where cattle roam and are reared.

The largest rivers of Guyana find their sources in the forested mountain regions and flows in a northerly direction and empties into the Atlantic Ocean.

Climate
Guyana has an equatorial climate, with temperature on the coastland ranging from 20 degrees to 33.8 degrees centigrade with a mean temperature of 26.8 degree centigrade. The interior temperature is between 18.3 degrees centigrade and 39.4 degrees centigrade with a mean temperature of 28.3 degrees centigrade. The coastland is alleviated by a northeast tradewinds.

The seasonality of the rainfall has led to two seasons: the dry season occurs between (February-April and July-November) and the rainy season (May-June and December-January). The average rainfall is about 90 inches.

Hurricanes, earthquakes or volcanoes do not affect Guyana.

Electricity
The electricity supplied is generally 110/120 volts, 50 to 60 cycles.

Shopping Hours
Monday to Friday: 0800-1630 hours. Wednesdays and Saturdays: 0800-1630 hours. There are Sunday shopping at some of the super markets from 0900-1400 hours

Communication
Guyana is well linked to the rest of the world by a sophisticated telecommunication network and modern telecommunication services such as international direct dialing telephone, telegram, facsimile, cellular, Internet, radio and television are available.

Country Code
(011) 592 - plus the city code (Bartica 5, Georgetown 2, New Amsterdam 3), plus the five digit number.

Clothing
Lightweight, casual clothing is best through out the year (cotton). For the mountains and interior trips good walking/hiking shoes, sturdy clothing and rain gear are recommended.

Food
Guyanese cuisine can be described as a culinary hybrid. The national dishes originated from the various ethnic groups. Our favourite are; pepper pot (indigenous), metagee (African) and curry (East Indian)

Religion
There are three of the five major religions represented in Guyana- Christianity, Hinduism and Islam. Check with your tour operator or the front desk of any hotel for churches, mosques and temples in the area.

Entry Requirements
Passport/Visas
A valid passport is required for all visitors. Visas are required with the exception of the following: All Commonwealth Countries, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, U.S.A and Korea.

Additional information can be obtained from Guyana Embassies, High Commissions and Consulate in the various countries.

Departure Tax
A departure tax of U.S. $ 17.00 (G$ 2,500) and can be purchased from most Travel Agencies and at the airport.

Health/Vaccination
Visitors from specific (endemic) Yellow fever areas are mandatory to be inoculation. Anti-malaria precautions are recommended.

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