Can you Drive to Guyana?

You can drive to Guyana but only from one of the three South American countries with a common land border. The border crossing with neighboring Brazil in the southwest of Guyana is currently the only open crossing. However, it is located in a very remote region. There are currently no road crossings with either Suriname or Venezuela despite extensive land borders with both countries. For Suriname, there is at least the alternative option of a vehicle ferry, which runs daily between the two countries.  

It is also possible to drive to Guyana from the United States as part of a broader Pan-American road journey. There are countless challenges involved in making this journey, although it does remain theoretically possible. Crossing the Darien Gap between North and South America and passing through Venezuela into Brazil are just two of the significant challenges that lay in wait. Throughout this guide, we will delve deeper into the challenges of driving to Guyana, the different options for traveling there, and the safety considerations for making such a trip.

Where is Guyana Located?

Guyana is located on the northern coast of South America. It borders Venezuela to the west, Brazil to the south and southwest, and Suriname to the east. To the north, Guyana has a coastline along the Atlantic Ocean. It is the only English-speaking country in South America and is often considered part of the Caribbean region due to its cultural and historical ties to the Caribbean. The capital city of Guyana is Georgetown.

How to get to Guyana

There’s no escaping that Guyana is not an easy destination to reach. Limited flight options and only a single open border crossing mean Guyana is one of the more challenging South American destinations to reach. However, travel options are available if you have the time and determination to get there.

Guyana by Road

Despite three extensive borders with Venezuela, Suriname, and Brazil, there is only a single open land border crossing with Brazil. Find out why overland travel options to Guyana are so limited below. 


There is a single open official border crossing between Brazil and Guyana. Located in the north of Brazil and southwest of Guyana, the crossing is between the towns of Lethem in Guyana and Bonfim in Brazil. The Takutu River officially demarcates the border, and there are immigration offices positioned on opposite sides of the Takutu Bridge. This border crossing is in a very remote area amidst the Amazon Rainforest. 

The distance of the border region from the capital, Georgetown, and the surrounding dense Amazon Rainforest helps to explain the absence of other official crossings in the area. 


The border between Guyana and Suriname is characterized by two significant large geographical obstacles. In the north, there is the Courantyne River, while in the south, there is the mighty Amazon Rainforest. These two obstacles mean no direct road connections exist between Guyana and Suriname. However, all is not lost.

Good quality roads exist on either side of the Courantyne River, and a daily vehicle ferry operates between the two countries. See the ‘Guyana by Boat’ section for further details.

There are also ambitious plans for the construction of a bridge between the two countries. A proposed two-section bridge connected by an island is currently being reviewed, and the hope is construction will begin in 2024. This would be a very exciting development for both Guyana and Suriname. 


There is no open border crossing between Venezuela and Guyana. The two countries have a long-running dispute around the border territory known as the Essequibo region, which covers an area of approximately 159,500 square kilometers in western Guyana.

In 1899, the Paris Arbitration Tribunal made a decision in favor of Guyana. However, this was never accepted by Venezuela. The border dispute has continued to simmer for over a century, and there’s no sign of resolution. It has resulted in occasional tensions and diplomatic clashes between the two countries, including military standoffs. The situation escalated in 2015 when Venezuela renewed its claims over the Essequibo region.

This all means that direct travel between Guyana and Venezuela is unlikely any time soon. Anyone planning on traveling overland between the two countries will need to travel via Boa Vista in Brazil.

Guyana by Boat

There is a single ferry that operates between Suriname and Guyana. Sailing across the Courantyne River, the Canawaima Ferry operates between Moleson Creek, Guyana, and South Drain, Suriname, once daily. It departs from Suriname at 10 a.m. and makes the short return trip from Guyana at midday. The relatively small vessel only carries a maximum of 20 vehicles and 200 passengers, so arriving several hours before the sailing is due is recommended.

The river crossing is the only way to take a boat to Guyana. Despite the country’s proximity to Trinidad and the Caribbean, there are no regular ferry services to or from Guyana’s Atlantic Coast.

Guyana by Air

There are only 4 airports in Guyana and just 1 international airport, Cheddi Jagan International Airport. The airport is located south of the capital Georgetown and offers a limited number of flights. Destinations include nearby South American countries, countries in the Caribbean and a limited number of cities on the U.S. east coast. 

Most days the airport services between 10-12 flight arrivals from the likes of American Airlines, Caribbean Airlines and Suriname Airways. With such a limited roster of flights, it’s highly recommended that you book any flights well in advance. 

Colonial era building in Guyana
There's some excellent colonial era buildings to discover in Guyana.

Can you Drive to Guyana from the U.S?

You can embark on a road trip from the United States to Guyana by utilizing the extensive road network known collectively as the Pan American Highway. This route will lead you through Mexico and the Central American countries, culminating in a crossing from Panama to Colombia. However, this particular journey segment presents the greatest challenge and expense due to the impassable Darién Gap region. The only option is to ship your vehicle from Panama to Colombia. Further information on traveling to South America is provided in our blog post.

Upon reaching Colombia, you must head east to reach the border with Venezuela. You will then need to travel through Venezuela into Brazil and to the city of Boa Vista. From here, you can then turn north to drive into Guyana. There’s a lot of danger and uncertainty in driving through Venezuela, as it is a country in constant turmoil. You’ll also need to check on whether the borders between Venezuela, Colombia, and Brazil are open, as well as the current political situation in the country, before attempting this journey.

River setting with a canoe in Guyana
Rivers are the lifeblood of Guyana and a great way to access the interior of the country.

Can you Drive in Guyana?

Recent changes in 2022 to the rules for tourists and business visitors have made driving in Guyana much easier. Previously, it was necessary to obtain a locally issued Driver’s Permit, however, this requirement has now been dropped. Visitors are now permitted to drive for a period of 60 days from their arrival without any locally issued documentation. You do need to have:

  • A valid driving license issued by a competent authority
  • Documents that establish your date of entry


If you plan to bring your vehicle into Guyana, you must also bring ownership documents. You should also have insurance and an insurance certificate to prove this. While an International Driving Permit (IDP) isn’t mandatory, bringing one is always advisable if you can. 

Is it Safe to Drive in Guyana?

If you plan to drive in Guyana, you’ll face the same challenges as in many other South American countries. Aggressive driving, poor road conditions, and poor street lighting are all problems throughout Guyana. Fortunately, violent crime and carjacking are not common, although it’s still best to exercise plenty of caution.

If you’re going to drive in Guyana, here are a few key tips to follow to help keep you safe:

  • Don’t drive at night – Outside of the capital, Georgetown, there’s very little street lighting. Avoid driving at night as issues around crime and poor roads are exacerbated in the dark.
  • Drive slowly and cautiously – Guyana’s roads are a mixed bunch, and many roads are severely potholed. Coupled with sometimes aggressive and impatient drivers, this can be a recipe for disaster.  Try to exercise defensive driving and always keep your eyes on the road.
  • Know where you’re going – As wonderful as it can be to go with the flow, it’s important to know where you’re going. Otherwise, you can unwittingly end up on a road that’s only fit for a 4WD or in an area that isn’t safe.


So, in summary, there’s no reason not to drive in Guyana, but you should always exercise caution. If you’ve never driven in a foreign country, this isn’t the place to start. This is especially true if you’ve never driven on the left-hand side of the road before. Both Guyana and Suriname are outliers in South America, as they drive on the left while the rest of the continent drives on the right. 

Best Things to see and do in Guyana

Guyana is a country with a rich natural and cultural heritage. It offers a variety of different attractions for travelers. The following are some of the best things to see and do in Guyana:

Kaieteur Falls: One of the world’s most powerful waterfalls, Kaieteur Falls is a must-visit natural wonder. It’s four times higher than Niagara Falls and is located in Kaieteur National Park, which is only accessible by plane or on foot.

Iwokrama Rainforest: You can explore the pristine rainforests of Iwokrama, a protected area known for its biodiversity. You can take guided hikes and birdwatching tours, and even spot wildlife like jaguars, tapirs, and howler monkeys.

Rupununi Savannah: The Rupununi Savannah is a vast grassland region in southern Guyana. It’s perfect for wildlife viewing, especially birdwatching. You can also visit indigenous communities and learn about their unique way of life.

Historic Georgetown: The capital city of Georgetown boasts plenty of colonial-era architecture and historic buildings. These include St. George’s Cathedral, one of the world’s tallest wooden buildings. You should stroll through the city to appreciate its unique blend of British and Caribbean influences.

Orinduik and Waratuk Waterfalls: These waterfalls near the border with Brazil offer a serene and picturesque setting for hiking and climbing and more sedate activities like relaxing and swimming.

Turtle Mountain: Go on a hike to Turtle Mountain in the North Rupununi to enjoy panoramic views of the rainforest canopy and potentially spot wildlife along the way.

Amerindian Villages: Visit indigenous communities such as the Annai or Rewa to learn about their traditions, crafts, and way of life. Some communities also offer various ecotourism experiences.

Essequibo River: Take a boat trip on the Essequibo River, the largest river in Guyana, to explore its remote islands, wildlife, and scenic beauty.

Shell Beach: This beach, located on the northern coast, is a nesting site for four species of sea turtles. Visitors can witness turtle nesting and hatching during the nesting season.

Georgetown Seawall: Enjoy a leisurely walk along the Georgetown Seawall, a popular spot for locals and tourists, offering stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Guyana Zoo: Located in the capital, the Guyana Zoo is home to a unique variety of indigenous and exotic animals and provides an educational experience for visitors.

Parrot on a branch in Guyana
Guyana is renowned for its biodiversity and rich birdlife.

Best Time to Visit Guyana

Guyana has a warm tropical climate with a distinct wet and dry season. Generally, the best time to visit is during the dry season from February to April, when weather conditions are at their best. However, each season offers a slightly different experience, and activities are available in Guyana at different times of the year.

Here’s what to expect during each season:  

Dry Season (February to April):

  • This is generally considered the best time to visit Guyana for most travelers.
  • The weather is relatively dry and sunny during these months, making outdoor activities and wildlife viewing more accessible.
  • It’s an ideal time for birdwatching and exploring the rainforests and savannahs.


Shoulder Seasons (May to July and November to January):

  • These are transitional periods between the wet and dry seasons.
  • While you may encounter some rain, the weather can still be pleasant for travel.
  • Wildlife is still active, and you can find good deals on accommodations and tours.


Wet Season (May to August):

  • Due to heavy rains and increased humidity, the wet season in Guyana can be challenging for some travelers.
  • Many interior roads and trails may become impassable, making some areas inaccessible.
  • However, it’s an excellent time for river travel and fishing.

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You can drive to Guyana but only from one of the three South American countries with a common land border. The border crossing with neighboring Brazil in the southwest of Guyana is currently the only open crossing. However, it is located in a very remote region. There are currently no