Climate & Key Facts

In general terms, the Guianas have two wet seasons and two dry, and the best time of the year to travel is generally from the end of August or beginning of September to the end of October or start of November.

Moderate wet season:  Mid-November – February

Short dry season:    March-April

Main wet season:   May-August

Main dry season:  September – Mid-November

Please click the links below for up-to-date visa and entry requirements for British nationals travelling to the Guianas:

French Guiana: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/french-guiana/entry-requirements

Guyana: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/guyana/entry-requirements

Suriname: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/suriname/entry-requirements

 

Passport validity

Please make sure your passport is valid and up to date. In general terms, your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from your date of arrival into all South American countries.  

 

Yellow fever

Evidence of Yellow Fever vaccination may be required for travellers who are going to or have recently been to countries where there is a risk of yellow fever transmission.

 

Travelling with children

Single parents or adults travelling with children under the age of 18 are required to provide notarised documentary evidence of parental responsibility, or consent to travel from those with parental responsibility. Such documentation is often required before being allowed to enter South American countries and, in many cases, before permitting children to leave the country.  

 

Local airport taxes International and domestic airport taxes may be payable locally if it is not included with your airline tickets. This is usually payable in US dollars and it may not always be possible to pay by credit/debit card.

For up-to-date advice on any vaccination requirements and any health risks associated with visiting the Guianas, please contact your local GP.

The following NHS websites provide health information and advice for travellers:

French Guiana: http://www.fitfortravel.scot.nhs.uk/destinations/south-america–antarctica/french-guiana.aspx

Guyana: http://www.fitfortravel.scot.nhs.uk/destinations/south-america–antarctica/guyana.aspx

Suriname: http://www.fitfortravel.scot.nhs.uk/destinations/south-america–antarctica/suriname.aspx

Please click onto the links below for advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth office. This is revised and updated regularly:

French Guiana: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/french-guiana

Guyana: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/guyana

Suriname: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/suriname

 

French Guiana is technically part of France and the currency is the euro.

For Guyana and Suriname it is best to take a supply of US dollars rather than trying to obtaining any local currency here. Dollars can always be changed for local currency and are more widely recognised than euros or pounds.

It is always a good idea to visit an airport ATM when you land, before leaving the airport.  You should always take sensible precautions when using bank ATMs.

Do bear in mind that once you are outside the main cities, bank ATMs are few and far between. We always recommend you carry a supply of US dollars for Guyana and Suriname and euros for French Guiana. Make sure that notes are clean and undamaged. Torn or damaged notes (e.g. from a staple or written on) will not be accepted.

We also suggest that you have a supply of single 1 dollar notes as these are useful for tips for airport and station porters and for hotel staff.

Credit cards are widely accepted in hotels and the better restaurants and shops but may not be accepted in small shops, cafes, bars and restaurants, nor in local markets.

In general terms, MasterCard is more widespread than Visa. It may be a good idea to take both if you have them. American Express is rarely used.

If you are a regular traveller to countries which use the euro (e.g. French Guiana) or where the currency is the US dollar (e.g. Ecuador, Panama, the United States) or where you can obtain US dollars from some bank ATMs (e.g. Peru, Bolivia) you may like to consider obtaining a currency card. Caxton FX, Foreignex and FairFX are amongst suppliers. Charges and fees vary.

Exchange Rates are subject to change at any time but the following table gives indicative rates for countries in Central and South America.

French Guiana: Cayenne: GMT -3 hours

Guyana:   Georgetown:     GMT -4 hours

Suriname: Paramaribo     GMT -3 hours