Although being a relatively small country in South America, there are plenty of things to do in Guyana. The capital, Georgetown, has a lovely cathedral called St. George's Cathedral. You can find amazing waterfalls in Lethem, and a remarkable mountain in Monte Roraima National Park. Guyana is certainly not a boring travel destination.
Many travels who go to South America buy local SIM cards, including Guyana, so that they can enjoy local rates instead of expensive roaming rates you get with roaming with your provider. In this article, I will go over everything you need to know about buying a SIM card in Guyana. Let's go.
Telecom Providers in Guyana
Guyana has 2 telecom providers: GTT+ and Digicel Guyana. GTT+ is the only landline operator in the country. It also operates the submarine cables connecting Guyana to the internet. Digicel operates in multiple countries in the Americas and Oceania.
What SIM card should you buy when visiting Guyana? If you want to buy a SIM card in Guyana, I would recommend going with GTT+ because they have the best coverage and speeds, although speeds in Guyana are around 2 Mbit/s, even on 4G/LTE.
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2G and 3G can be used with both GTT+ and Digicel Guyana. Only GTT+ offers 4G/LTE. However, according to Open Signal, speeds on 3G averages around 2 Mbit/s, which is slow, but the standard in this region. You should not expect to be streaming 4K videos all day with these operators.
Coverage with both providers can be found around the coast of Guyana. You can barely connect to anything in inland Guyana.
Also, you do not have to register yourself when buying a SIM card, unlike other countries in South America.
With that out of the way, let’s see what GTT+ and Digicel Guyana has to offer to us.
Tip: Looking for cheap flights? Book with AirWander and add stopovers! Not in a hurry yet? Set up flight alerts with Airfarewatchdog and get notified when ticket prices for your preferred route(s) drop!
GTT+ by GT&T
GTT+ is operated by the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company, which is mainly owned by a US-company called ATN International and partially by the government of Guyana. GTT+ is the only provider to operate a 4G/LTE, which can be found in New Amsterdam, Rossignol, Blairmont, Lusignan, Georgetown, and Great Diamond. Besides that, they have better coverage than Digicel Guyana.
GTT+ SIM cards are sold in GT&T stores and vendors. The SIM costs 2000 GYD ($9.60) and comes without credit. The following combo packs can be added. The minutes can be used for calling to Canada and the United States:
- 449 GYD: 300 MB, 15 minutes, and 30 SMS for 1 day
- 749 GYD: 500 MB, 25 minutes, and 50 SMS for 3 days
- 1499 GYD: 1.5 GB, 60 minutes, and 80 SMS for 7 days
- 3499 GYD: 4 GB, 100 minutes, and 200 SMS for 30 days
- 5199 GYD: 5 GB, 150 minutes, and 250 SMS for 30 days
Only interested in data? Check out GTT+’ data-only packs:
- 299 GYD: 150 MB for 1 day
- 399 GYD: 220 MB for 1 day
- 599 GYD: 350 MB for 3 days
- 1459 GYD: 1 GB for 7 days
- 2629 GYD: 2 GB for 30 days
Digicel Guyana, just Digicel, entered Guyana in 2006. Until this day, the network is not as great as GT&T’s. You cannot use 4G/LTE with Digicel because they do not have such a network.
Digicel SIM cards are sold for 2000 GYD in Digicel stores, vendors, and at Cheddi Jagan International Airport.
Digicel sells two kinds of data bundles. One for its 2G network and one for its 3G network. Do note, however, that the bundles for the 3G network are advertised as 4G. Digicel does the same thing in Suriname for some reason I do not understand. I will not list the 2G data bundles, as 2G speeds are annoyingly slow.
The following “4G” combo packs can be added:
- 370 GYD: 150 MB for 1 day
- 450 GYD: 250 MB and 10 minutes/SMS for 1 day
- 770 GYD: 550 MB and 20 minutes/SMS for 3 days
- 1600 GYD: 1.3 GB and 30 minutes/SMS for 7 days
- 3800 GYD: 3.5 GB and 80 minutes/SMS for 30 days
- 5500 GYD: 4.5 GB and 150 minutes/SMS for 30 days
You can add more data if you run out of it:
- 230 GYD for 50 MB
- 560 GYD for 200 MB
- 1200 GYD for 500 MB
- 1700 GYD for 1 GB
Other Ways to Stay Connected When Traveling in Guyana
Some travelers do not want to get a Guyana SIM card for various reasons. Some prefer to roam with their providers while others would prefer an international SIM card. Then we have those who like portable WIFI devices, and others who will connect to WIFI networks instead.
Roaming in Guyana with Your Provider
Roaming is a term used in wireless telecommunication that indicates a mobile device is outside the range of its home network and has connected to a different, available cell network. If you use your phone in Guyana without changing SIM cards, you would be roaming in Guyana.
Roaming can be expensive. This person received an £8,348.41 data roaming bill. I also found out why roaming is so expensive. However, it does not always have to be costly.
Many providers offer roaming plans where you can roam for free in select destinations like Guyana. Others may offer bundles that give you some minutes, SMS, and data. You also have providers that allow you to use your plan's allowance for a daily fee. Every carrier is different, so it is recommended to explore your roaming options before you go out and experience bill shock (which is not fun). Luckily, I have reviewed the roaming options of many providers so that you do not have to.
No idea how roaming works? I made this comprehensive guide about what roaming is and how it works. It is worth the read – promised!
You can also Roam As You Go, meaning that you will pay per minute, text, and MB. In most cases, this is not recommended, as these rates are insanely high (that is how people get bills in the thousands). There are some providers, however, that do have attractive Pay As You Go roaming rates. Do not get too excited, though, as the number of carriers that have decent standard roaming rates is rare.
International SIM Cards
International SIM cards are cards that have been made for travelers so that they do not have to deal with roaming costs.
There are many international SIM cards out there, such as OneSimCard and SIM cards from SimOptions. These SIM cards with the same as roaming with your provider, but the charges are often way less than actually roaming because they have been set up for international travel.
International SIM cards give you the same convenience as roaming with your provider. As in, not having to get numerous SIM cards, you will not use again, and being reachable on one number instead of multiple
International SIM cards are, however, more expensive than using a local SIM card, such as a Guyanese one. On the other hand, they are often cheaper than roaming with your provider. International SIM cards are appealing to those who travel frequently or those who are visiting multiple destinations in one trip. If you are only visiting Guyana, stick to a local SIM as discussed in this article.
Portable hotspots, or pocket WIFI, are devices small enough that they should fit into your pocket. These devices turn into your on-the-go WIFI hotspot while they connect to the cellular networks in the country.
There are many portable hotspots out there. Two reputable pocket WIFI companies I know are Skyroam (use coupon code PHONETRAVELWIZ) and Vision Global Wireless. WIFI access with Skyroam starts at $8 a day. Using a Vision Global device starts at $2 a day. Both services cover more than 130 destinations around the world.
A pocket WIFI device is ideal for those who are traveling with families or multiple individuals. This way, everyone can connect to the device and enjoy the WIFI network on the go. Some companies will charge you per GB while others will give you unlimited data. Be aware of the data restrictions of your device so that you will not receive a high bill after your travels.
Free WIFI connections
Finally, we have the most cost-effective way to stay connected: Free WIFI hotspots.
Although using WIFI hotspots may save you money, it may not be convenient as using a SIM card. First, you would have to find WIFI hotspots. Guyana has some WIFI networks around the country, but some are slow and useless.
Additionally, public WIFI hotspots are unsecure. I would recommend using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) if you connect to an unfamiliar network. The VPN will encrypt your data and will keep your data private. I use NordVPN, and you can get up to 70% off when you get a NordVPN subscription. Get yours today or find out more about NordVPN.
The Best Way to Stay Connected When Traveling in Guyana
Getting a SIM card from GTT+ would do you well when considering a Guyanese SIM card. Be sure to explore the roaming options your provider offers you, as they may offer free or cheap roaming bundles.
You could also consider getting an international SIM card or using a portable hotspot. International SIM cards are attractive for those visiting multiple destinations at once or within a year. Portable hotspots will be useful when traveling with multiple people so that not each individual has to get a SIM card but can use the hotspot.
Visiting other countries in South America? Check out my South America SIM card buying guide, covering other South American countries, such as Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, and Uruguay. Going to other places around the world? Then you should also check out my sim card buying guides for other destinations around the world.
What is next?
Looking for the best companies and gadgets to enhance your travel experience? Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel! Save money on plane tickets, bus rides, cruises, and accommodation. Besides that, I also list services and items I use to make my life easier – and I believe they will help you too!
Book Your Flight for Guyana
It is time to book your flight. Find cheap flights with AirWander so that you can add free or cheap stopovers in destinations you have not considered yet before going to Guyana. If you are not ready to take off yet, set up flight alerts with Airfarewatchdog, and they will notify you once ticket prices to Guyana drop.
Book Your Accommodation for Guyana
I am a huge fan of Airbnb because it allows me to live with a local or get a local place for myself. Staying in someone’s house or apartment feels much different than being in a ho(s)tel, especially in Guyana. At least, that is how I see it. Moreover, Airbnb can often be much cheaper than staying in a hotel.
Get Your Travel Insurance for Gayana
You will regret not having travel insurance once you actually need it and “forgot” to get it. Nowadays, travel insurance is cheap and comprehensive unlike back in the days. World Nomads is by far the best travel insurance for adventurous travelers like yourself. You can even get insured WHILE already traveling in Guyana, which is not something many insurance companies allow you to do.
Get a Travel Debit Card
Travel Cheques are outdated. Paying with your credit card or debit card can be expensive because of all the exchange commissions banks charge you. TransferWise allows you to convert your main currency to the currency of your destination for a small fee (up to 8 times less than with your bank!) Getting a Transferwise Borderless account is FREE, so you will get an instant return on your investment.
Enjoy your trip!