In Guyana (formerly British Guiana), which overlooks the Atlantic Ocean in the north and touches the Equator in the extreme south, the climate is hot and humid all year round.
As regards the rainfall, in Guyana there are two rainy seasons (from December to early February and from late April to mid-August), and two relatively dry seasons (typically February-March and September-October). Both duration and intensity of rainfall vary depending on area, but everywhere the period May-August is very rainy. In the areas that don't have a real dry season, we can speak of equatorial climate, otherwise of tropical climate. The rains occur mainly in the form of heavy showers and thunderstorms, usually in the afternoon or evening.


The forest

Most of Guyana is occupied by the forest, which means that the rains are constant throughout the year, or that there may be short and not very pronounced dry seasons.


In the north-west, there is no real dry season, but only a relative decrease in precipitation: here even September and October are quite rainy, with around 200 millimetres (8 inches) per month, while the decrease in the rainfall from February to mid-April it's more noticeable, when around 100 mm (4 in) of rain fall per month. Here is the average precipitation.
Mabaruma - Average precipitation


Along the central and eastern part of the coast (see the capital Georgetown), comparing the two less rainy seasons, the period September-October is only slightly less rainy than the period February-March, so the difference is not significant. In Georgetown, 2,400 mm (94.5 in) of rain per year fall. Therefore, here too there is no real dry season. The wettest month is June, with 345 mm (13.5 in) of rain.
Here is the average precipitation in Georgetown.
Georgetown - Average precipitation

In the capital Georgetown, as in the rest of the country, the temperature is fairly constant throughout the year; daytime temperatures are slightly higher in the September and October, and slightly lower in the period from December to March. At least in the capital, as in general along the coast, during the day the heat is tempered by sea breezes.
Here are the average temperatures of Georgetown.
Georgetown - Average temperatures
Min (°C)242424252524242425252424
Max (°C)292929303029303031313029
Min (°F)757575777775757577777575
Max (°F)848484868684868688888684

The amount of sunshine in Guyana is not high in the rainy months, while it is good in the dry periods, when the sky is usually clear, even though a bit of cloudiness may develop at any time.
Here are the sunshine hours in Georgetown.
Georgetown - Sunshine

The sea in Guyana is warm all year round: the water temperature ranges from 26 °C (79 °F) to 28 °C (82 °F), as can be seen from the sea temperature at Georgetown.
Georgetown - Sea temperature
Temp (°C)272627272727282828282827
Temp (°F)817981818181828282828281

New Amsterdam

In the easternmost part of Guyana, near the border with Suriname, the second less rainy season is longer and a bit more pronounced, and also includes the month of November.
Here is the average precipitation in New Amsterdam.
New Amsterdam - Average precipitation

The savanna

In the south-west, towards the border with the Brazilian state of Roraima, we find the area occupied by savannah, where the climate is tropical, with a dry season from October to March, in which the heat is intense, with highs around 33/35 °C (91/95 °F).


Here are the average temperatures of Lethem.
Lethem - Average temperatures
Min (°C)232324242423232323252424
Max (°C)323333323130303133343333
Min (°F)737375757573737373777575
Max (°F)909191908886868891939191

Although the total quantity of rainfall is high, around 1,700 mm (67 in), in this area there is a single and long dry season, with poor rains, around 30 mm (1.2 in) per month from November to March, and 50 mm (2 in) in October. In April and September the rains are moderate, while they are heavy from May to August.
Here is the average precipitation.
Lethem - Average precipitation

In addition to the strip along the border where Lethem is located, called North Rupununi Savannah, there is a more extensive area of savannah, called South Rupununi Savannah, located south of the Kanuku Mountains (a low mountain range covered by forests).

North of the Rupununi Savannahs, there's a mountain range, the Sierra Pacaraima, culminating in Mount Roraima, whose top is in Venezuela, but in the Guyanese part it exceeds 2,200 metres (7,200 ft); other peaks are Mount Ayanganna, 2,041 metres (6,696 feet) high, and Mount Caburaì, 1,465 metres (4,806 feet) high. Obviously, the temperature decreases with increasing altitude, and although we are near the equator, above 1,500 metres (5,000 feet) the air becomes cool. On the northern slopes of this mountain range, precipitation reaches 3,500 mm (138 in) per year. In these mountains, the Potaro River, which then feeds the huge and spectacular Kaieteur Falls, has its source.

Kaieteur Falls


Guyana is outside of the path of hurricanes, which pass to the north, on the Caribbean Sea, however, it can not be ruled out that some of the rare hurricanes that pass at a very low latitude, affecting Trinidad and Tobago and the northeastern coast of Venezuela, may also have some effect on Guyana, in terms of rain and anomalous waves on the coast, especially in the northernmost part. The hurricane season in the Caribbean goes from June to November, though they are more likely from August to October.

When to go

The best time to visit Guyana depends mainly on the rain pattern, which as we have seen is not the same throughout the country. In the north-west (see Mabaruma), the best period is February-March. In Georgetown and in the central area, the best periods are September-October and February-March. In the east, the best period is September-October, but it's extended until November (so it becomes September-November). In the south-western area of the savannah (see Lethem), you can go from October to March.
Having to choose a single period for the whole country, you can choose February and March.

What to pack

Throughout the year: lightweight clothing of natural fibres, possibly with long sleeves for mosquitoes; a light sweatshirt; sun hat; umbrella, or lightweight and breathable raincoat. For mountain climbing, hiking shoes, sweatshirt.
From December to March, a sweatshirt for the evening.