Pristine Guyana Tour – a 15 day Small Group Tour.

The small South American country of Guyana rarely features on most people’s travel plans, but discerning travellers are coming to recognise it as one of the premier wildlife destinations on our planet.

Experience the very best of the country with our small group tours – look for Jaguar at Iwokrama, meet indigenous villagers and see the Giant Otters at Karanambu.

A truly unforgettable trip that no serious nature lover should miss.



On this trip we travel deep into the rainforest to Iwokrama and gain a unique perspective of the forest from its amazing canopy walkway, as well as visiting the village of Rewa to learn more about the lives of Guyana’s indigenous people and spend time immersed in a truly off the beaten track location away from roads.

After experiencing nature walks and boat trips, we head to iconic Karanambu Lodge with its landscape ranging from savannah to wetlands and forest where we take trips on the river, look for birds, monkeys, and Giant Anteaters, and experience the overwhelming hospitality that characterises this part of the country.

This is a truly unforgettable trip through a stunning land that no serious lover of the wild should miss.

Tour ratings.

  • Fitness
  • Off the beaten track 
  • Culture
  • History
  • Wildlife

Tour pace


Tour style


Relaxed Pace

Relaxed tours are easy paced with plenty of leisure time built in. The tour will in all probability still be off the beaten track, with the occasional early start and there may still be occasional long drives. In general on a relaxed pace tour you can enjoy easy-going activities and experiences with opportunities to absorb the sights and immerse yourself in the local surroundings.

Moderate Pace

Moderate pace tours are ideal if you want a tour experience that combines activities and experiences with some time to relax. Typically you will be active and busy for part of the day but then also have time to rest and recharge your batteries. In general on a moderate paced tour there may be some long journeys involved but the tour is not an expedition or a road trip. On a moderate paced tour it will be necessary to have some early starts.

Busy Pace

A busy paced tour means that you can expect to be doing, seeing or experiencing something new almost every day, and moving on from place to place to pack in as much as possible. There may be early starts, long journeys and tiring days along the way, but you’ll return home feeling you’ve really experienced as much as you possibly could.

Pioneer Class Tours

On our Pioneer tours, you will be amongst an elite group of intrepid travellers and some of the first to explore a country that few have been privileged enough to discover. Of course, exploring such areas of the world will come with its challenges; it may mean several nights camping, long journeys by 4WD and the need to maintain a degree of flexibility for when carefully laid plans change. These are challenging tours in countries and areas that may have poor infrastructure, high levels of poverty and illiteracy. This can translate in to low standards in hotels, bad roads and poor driving standards among other issues. We try and smooth out as much of these issues as we can but you should be prepared to experience the bad with the good.

Traveller Class Tours

Our Traveller itineraries are at the core of our programme. These journeys are designed for travellers who still want to discover a land away from the tourist crowds but expect minimum standards. Accommodation will be primarily hotel based, although you could still find yourself camping, or the guest of a local family. Depending on the destination and itinerary, you’ll likely be travelling in a private vehicle, with occasional use of public transport. This is adventure travel with some of the rough edges smoothed out.


Note tour arrival day is Thursday or Monday (itinerary in different order)

Arrive in Georgetown, Guyana’s capital, and transfer to your hotel. Overnight at Cara Lodge or similar. No meals or guided arrangements are included today.

This morning, we make an early start to have breakfast at one of the local stands with our host, guide and culinary master, Chef Delven Adams who will guide us around Bourda Market, the largest and most colourful of the four markets in Georgetown. We will start our tour at the Guyana Shop which has all the locally packaged products, before heading over to the market where we will meet some of the vendors who Chef buys from daily. Chef will make his purchases with your suggestions of what you would like to try and will then head home to start preparing while we continue a tour of the city of Georgetown with an experienced guide who will give you the history, rumour and facts on Georgetown and its citizens. Sights include a drive by of Stabroek Market – once described as a “bizarre bazaar, and St. George’s Cathedral which is one of the world’s tallest free-standing wooden buildings. Other historic buildings along this promenade are the Public Library, City Hall, the Victoria Law Courts and St. Andrews Kirk. Visit the National Museum, which contains a broad selection of our animal life portrayed in taxidermy including an amazing extinct giant sloth. The Walter Roth Museum of Anthropology houses a wonderful collection of artefacts and explains indigenous history and lifestyle, in a beautiful colonial wooden building that is worth the visit on its own.  Touring the city, we will head to the shady garden of the Backyard Café for lunch. This, as the name suggests, is a backyard that Chef has turned into an exclusive little hidden gem of a restaurant. You can sit under the arbour and sip unique blends of juice or enjoy a cold beer while taking in the sounds and smells of a delicious meal in the making. Once he is ready, we will start eating our way through the courses, remember to pace yourself as you will want to try it all. Later, we will visit the Botanical Gardens, home to an extensive collection of tropical flora, and the Zoo which has become a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centre that houses over one hundred different species of tropical wildlife.  We will also pay a visit to a pond either in the gardens or the National Park, to observe the endangered West Indian Manatees. Overnight Cara Lodge (BL)

(Domestic Flights)

Today you will transfer to the local airport and fly to the spectacular Kaieteur Falls, the world’s highest free-falling waterfall, where the Potaro River drops impressively 741 feet into the gorge below. As well as the incredible vistas of the falls, enjoy walking the trails of the area and look out for flora and fauna. A snack and a drink will be provided at the small visitor centre on return from the falls trails. Afterwards, we return by plane to Georgetown for the evening. Overnight at Cara Lodge or similar. (B)

Notes: On occasion the visit to Kaieteur Falls may need to be re- scheduled due to unfavourable weather conditions or other uncontrollable extenuating circumstances.

You are required on arrival at the airstrip at Kaieteur to be able to walk to various viewpoints of the falls. The walking is generally straightforward but there is some uneven ground. The authorities have restricted travellers going right up to the edge of the drop off for obvious safety reasons,

(Domestic Flight)

Fly over Guyana’s rainforest to the Rupununi from where we transfer by 4WD to Iwokrama, an incredible region of rainforest with a breathtaking diversity of species. Iwokrama is the most likely place to see Jaguar on this tour, although due to the density of the forest, chances are slim, but some have been lucky. This afternoon is free to explore the trails with a local ranger, and later we take a night boat trip to look for Black Caiman and other nocturnal creatures. Overnight at Iwokrama River Lodge. (BLD)

Note: Please read the notes on luggage under “Preparing for your Tour”.

Take an early morning boat ride on the Essequibo River to spot wildlife before returning to the lodge for breakfast. For those that feel fit, travel by boat and then a boat journey for the hike to Turtle Mountain, where we walk to the summit (approximately 2 hours) for spectacular views over the forest canopy. The area is home to Red Howler Monkeys, Black Spider Monkeys, and five different eagles. For those who feel that the walk may be too strenuous, an alternative boat ride can be taken to Stanley Lake to search for Giant River Otters and Black Caiman. Afterwards we visit Kurupukari Falls with their prehistoric Amerindian rock arts (dependant on the river level). As darkness falls, we head out by vehicle along a track where if you are very fortunate, a Jaguar sighting may be possible. Overnight at Iwokrama River Lodge. (BLD)

Note – It should be taken into consideration that hiking in the Rupunini involves walking in hot and humid conditions. We recommend that to enjoy hikes in Guyana, you are a regular hiker, used to walking on uneven terrain and in warm/hot conditions. Travellers who feel the hike may be too much, are welcome to enjoy the surrounds of the lodge. Good footwear is essential as conditions can be slippery after rain which is common at any time of year.

Those that wish to can rise early and take a dawn wildlife walk, and afterwards we will transfer by road to Atta Rainforest Lodge. Along the way we should keep a keen eye out for any wildlife that may be on the edge of the forest. On arrival at Atta, make yourself comfortable before a late afternoon excursion to the superb Iwokrama Canopy Walkway, situated 35 metres up into the canopy, for a very different and birds eye perspective of the forest. Your local guide will point out key species in the forest. Overnight at Atta Rainforest Lodge. (BLD)

Note – The walk to the Canopy Walkway involves initially a flat walk through the forest until then a series of steps to the beginning of the walkway. Once at the walkway you will need to cross hanging bridges between platforms at height. Those who suffer from vertigo, may not wish to take this excursion and can bird watch from the lovely grounds of Atta Lodge. Good foot wear is essential.

Before dawn we will return to the canopy where we can birdwatch easily and may see Rufous-throated Sapphire, Green Aracari, Pygmy Antwren and Guianan Streaked-Antwren.  With some luck Guianan Toucanet, Pompadour Cotinga, Buff-cheeked Greenlet and a host of crown specialists may come within our view.  From this tree top vantage, you can sometimes see Red Howler and Black Spider Monkeys. Apart from the Iwokrama Canopy Walkway itself you can enjoy wildlife and birdwatching walks on the trails around the area. Many bird species, stunning insects, noisy amphibians, and playful primates make the surrounding forest their home. Deer, Tapir, and agouti are also occasional visitors to the lodge.  Serious birders will want to search the undergrowth for the rarely seen Rufous-winged Ground-cuckoo. As darkness falls on the walkway, you may see the White-winged Potoo.  Night walks are also possible and something interesting or new always seems to pop on to the scene. Overnight at Atta Rainforest Lodge. (BLD)

Once again, experience the dawn chorus from the canopy walkway followed by breakfast, before setting off for the indigenous village of Rewa, firstly stopping on the way at a spot known for sightings of one of Guyana’s most intriguing birds, the spectacular Guianas Cock of the Rock. We then continue to Kwatamang Landing and take a boat along the Rupununi River with possible opportunities to see wild Giant River Otters and Black Caiman.  The journey is approximately 56km by river and can be as short as 2 hours and as long as 4 hours depending on the water level. There will also be lots of birdlife to enjoy on the cruise. After getting comfortable at the lodge, this afternoon take a short boat ride from the lodge to the opposite bank on the Rupununi River.  Hidden after a 15 minute walk from the boat is a lovely oxbow lake.  The magical setting is enhanced with a wooden deck out over the pond, allowing close-up views of the Victoria amazonica, the world’s largest waterlily and the national flower of Guyana.  The leaves that float on the water grow up to 3 metres in diameter with a submerged stalk of 7 to 8 metres.  The flowers which bloom at dusk are white on the first night. By the third night, they change colour to pink and change to a male flower.  The golden colours across the pond at dusk combined with birds coming into roost provide a lovely nature experience. Overnight Rewa Lodge (BLD)

Note – The walk to try and observe the beautiful Guianas Cock of the Rock can be hot and humid and involves walking across uneven terrain and up and down slopes which can be slippery in wet weather so good footwear is essential.

Note – During times of high-water levels it may be more difficult to spot larger mammals such as giant River Otters and Caiman.

Enjoy breakfast at dawn overlooking the river.  Then head out by boat along the Rupununi River, into an oxbow lake to begin a hike up Awarmie Mountain.  The climb is steep in a few sections but in general not too difficult for those used to regular hill hiking.  Along the way, you may see lots of birds and perhaps good close-up views of Black Spider Monkeys. There is good birding to enjoy along the trail with White Bellbirds calling both from the scrubby woodland at the beginning of the trail and again from the forests far below you when reach the summit. Other possible species you may see include Ornate Hawk-eagle, Black Curassow, Red-fan Parrot, Guianan Puffbird, Todd’s Antwren, Spotted Tanager and Bay-headed Tanager.  The area also has a high density of macaws including Scarlet, Blue-and-yellow and Red-and-Green Macaws. There is a small plateau on the top of the mountain and in one direction, there are uninterrupted views back to the Rupununi River, some patches of Savannah and across to the distant Kanuku Mountains. In the other direction, there is a near vertical drop of at least 200m and the view is across great swathes of undisturbed forest to the distant Iwokrama Mountain and much closer, Makarapan Mountain. Makarapan is the oldest mountain in South America if not the world clocking in at an amazing two thousand million years old.  A picnic lunch will be provided on the hike before returning to the lodge. This afternoon, take a boat up the Rewa River and then a 15-minute hike to Grass Pond.  This pond or lake is about 3kms long and is a beautiful setting with Victoria amazonica.  It has a good population of Arapaima, (reportedly the highest density in Guyana) the largest scaled freshwater fish in the world and you can also fish for Peacock Bass.  During a late afternoon visit, you may see Brown Capuchin monkeys or Capybaras.  Birds likely to be seen include Limpkin, Wattled Jacana, Black-collared Hawk, Green Kingfisher and Guianan Puffbird.  As dusk settles, watch the flower of the Victoria amazonica bloom. Overnight Rewa Lodge (BLD)

Note – It should be taken into consideration that hiking in the Rupunini involves walking in hot and humid conditions. We recommend that to enjoy hikes in Guyana, you are a regular hiker, used to walking on uneven terrain and in warm/hot conditions. Travellers who feel the hike may be too much, are welcome to enjoy the surrounds of the lodge. Good footwear is essential as conditions can be slippery after rain which is common at any time of year.

This morning, enjoy a guided walk around the local community village. Then enjoy some leisure time before this afternoon travelling up the Rewa River to a location known as Seawall. This rock formation is a great place to fish or take in the beauty of the location.  Visit sand banks where river turtles come to lay their eggs.  Along the river banks you may see red howlers, squirrel, and brown capuchin monkeys. We continue up river and then hike through the rainforest to area where we can observe the Goliath bird-eating spider, the largest spider in the world by mass and size.  The practice of calling theraphosids “bird-eating” derives from an early 18th-century copper engraving showing one eating a hummingbird. The spiders can have a leg span of up to 28 cm (11 in), a body length of up to 11.9 cm (4.7 in) and can weigh up to 175 g (6.2 oz).  Despite its name, it is rare for the Goliath bird-eating spider to prey on birds. In the wild, they have been observed feeding on rodents, frogs, toads, lizards and even snakes. Overnight Rewa Lodge (BLD)

Travel by boat along the Rupununi River to Kwatamang Landing and from there through the forest to Genip Landing, stopping enroute at Pakaraima Mountain Inn which sits in the Aranaputa Valley, just outside the village of Yakarinta.  Enjoy a home-cooked lunch on the veranda along with fascinating stories from local character and genial host, Charlie De Freitas. From the Ginep Landing we take a boat on the Rupununi River, to Karanambu Lodge which was established by the late Diane McTurk. Towards the evening we take a boat out on the river to search for Giant River Otters and other species. As dusk falls, we continue by boat to the ponds to see the magical giant Amazonia Regis water lily which blooms at this time of day. On the boat ride back, a spotlight will be used to search for Black Caiman and other night animals. Overnight at Karanambu Lodge. (BLD)

Note – During times of high-water levels it may be more difficult to spot larger mammals such as giant River Otters and Caiman.

This morning travel out to an area of rolling grassland which is home to a population of Giant Anteaters There is a good chance of seeing some of these remarkable looking creatures. During the afternoon you can explore the area around the river to glimpse some of the many birds, and in the evening, walk along the airstrip for the chance to spot some of the seven species of Nightjar that live there. There will also be an evening river excursion for those that wish. Overnight at Karanambu Lodge. (BLD)

Note – You have a good chance of seeing Giant Anteater and Giant River Otter, but it cannot be guaranteed. If you do not see one on the first outing, the local staff will make efforts to take you out again for a second opportunity.

If the Giant Anteater was elusive yesterday, then there will be a further opportunity to search for them early this morning. This morning transfer by boat, looking for birds along the way, to the Amerindian village of Yupukari and Caiman House. Tonight, enjoy a foray on the Rupununi River from Caiman House Field Station. As a guest you have the unique opportunity to support and participate in an ongoing field study of the Black Caiman, the largest member of the Alligator family, and an endangered species. If the water level is low enough, you may be invited to accompany the indigenous crew as they search for and capture these magnificent reptiles on the river. Overnight at Caiman House. (BLD)

Early this morning there will an opportunity for a nature cruise on Awariku Lake. After breakfast transfer to Lethem for your flight to Georgetown. On arrival you can either relax at the hotel and reflect on your incredible nature experience, or you can take a final trip on the Demerara River and soak up some of the history of this waterway and enjoy the birdlife in the small channels including the spectacular Scarlet Ibis.  Overnight at Cara Lodge or similar. (B)

Depending on your time of departure, there is an optional trip to the Mahaica available this morning. Alternatively, spend time at leisure until your transfer to the airport for your flight home. (B)

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Depending on the time of the Lethem flight, where others not doing the extension will fly back to the capital, transfer by vehicle the short distance to Waikin Ranch. This afternoon, enjoy a guided walk around the property seeking out some of the local flora and fauna, various birds now nest year-round at Waikin, such as: Muscovy Ducks, Great Horned Owls, Buff Neck Ibis, Herons, Sun Parakeets, and several others.  This evening enjoy the fabulous cuisine served lovingly and creatively by your hosts. Overnight Waikin Lodge (BLD)

For those that wish, enjoy an early morning horseback ride on the Rupunini as the sun comes up. After a leisurely breakfast, spend time at leisure enjoying the ranch, take a walk around for some independent birding or head down to the natural pool and deck area for a swim.  Later as the sun starts to dip, journey to one of the scenic savannah lookout points where you can observe the setting sun over the horizon and visit the nearby “Termite City” and be stunned by the size and abundance of the mounds. A great photo opportunity. Return to the ranch for dinner and enjoy some time this evening sitting with a cold beer or a rum under the Rupunini sky. Overnight Waikin Ranch (BLD)

At the appropriate time transfer to Lethem back over the savannah and forests of Guyana, to the capital where the rest of the day is at leisure. This evening, enjoy a meal out at a renowned Indian restaurant. Overnight Cara Lodge (BLD)

7 Curry is a traditional dish that is enjoyed by Guyanese regardless of ethnic background. It is usually cooked on special occasions such as weddings and traditionally served in a beautiful, freshly gathered Lotus waterlily leaf. The meal features 7 different curries eaten with rice and other accompaniments such as puri and achar. And the fun part is you get to eat it with your hands. The 7 curries are all vegetarian and includes pumpkin, bagee (spinach), catahar, potato/channa (chickpeas), boulanger (eggplant), edoe and dahl. All very delicious and a true Guyanese experience with East Indian influences. This is a much-loved traditional meal but prepared but with a modern twist. The tour commences with a 15-minute briefing. You will then gather your own lotus waterlily leaves to start the day off and then take off to Bourda market to purchase some of the vegetables to make the 7 curries. We will meet Buddy who has been selling water coconuts for over 50 years and partake in a delicious cold-water coconut.

After this we make our way to Tony Favorites Puri shop where you will be able to watch a demonstration of how the puris are made. You will see as Tony prepares the puri ball then throws it to his nephew who rolls it and then throws it to Tony’s son who cooks it right in front of you. We will take puris to go with the 7 curries but as they are so delicious, we will, of course, have a fresh one right there and then served with a filling of your choice and local fresh fruit juice.

We will then head over to Jessica and Eon’s secret garden. 7 curry is traditionally cooked outside so you will be taken through the process of how each curry is made and learn some of the techniques from Eon John the Singing Chef. As soon as the curries are all cooked, we will all sit down together under the gazebo and enjoy. Photo opportunities abound as you are pictured making the curries and then eating them from your own gathered waterlily leaf in a beautiful setting.

To finish Eon John the Singing Chef will take to the stage for your own private concert of lovingly crafted Guyanese song

Later return to the Cara Lodge for a rum tasting experience, which has been classified as one of the world’s leading rum distilleries. Overnight Cara Lodge (BLD)

0430 – 0445hrs pickup by your guide at Cara Lodge and travel eastward from Georgetown along the Atlantic coast to the Mahaica River. The narrow winding road to the landing runs parallel to the river and takes us through an area that is mainly used for the cultivation of rice and other crops. Fortunately for us, the area along the river has been well preserved and provides an excellent riverfront ecosystem inhabited by flocks of egrets, herons, ibis, various marsh tyrants, and Guyana’s national bird, the Hoatzin. Howler Monkeys also frequent these riverside trees. Giant River Otters can occasionally be seen in the river.

Upon arrival at the river landing, you may enjoy a cup of coffee or tea before heading out onto the river. The river offers a rare chance to see the range-restricted Blood-coloured Woodpecker which has been badly affected by habitat loss in the ‘Guianas’ coastal region. This river is one of the best places to spot Guyana’s national bird, the Hoatzin (Opisthocomus Hoatzin), also known as the Stinkbird, or “Canje Pheasant”. This odd bird is an unusual species of tropical bird found in swamps, riverine forest and mangrove between the Amazon and the Orinoco delta in South America. It is a pheasant-sized bird about 65 cm (25 in) long, with a long neck and small head. The Hoatzin is herbivorous; it eats leaves and fruit, and has an unusual digestive system with an enlarged crop which functions as a rumen. It also produces a horrible smell to scare away potential predators, hence one of its local names.

After our tour we will have breakfast before returning to Georgetown. On the way we will make a brief stop to look for shore birds on the mudflats beyond the seawall. Flocks of Scarlet Ibis, Herons and Egrets are common here as is the rare endemic Rufous Crab-Hawk.

You will then have the rest of your final full day at leisure before a final evening excursion which is sums up the vibrancy and character of Guyana. The seawall experience is a colourful experience indeed. With your guide, walk along the Atlantic Sea Wall and take in the crackling atmosphere of music, dancing and the aromas emanating from the many food stalls. Feel the passion of the Guyanese and become immersed in this weekly carnival vibe. Overnight Cara Lodge (BLD)

For those that wish, take an early morning trip out to the botanical gardens to improve on what is likely to already be an extensive list of bird species. Late checkout is included for those travelling on late flights out of Georgetown (B)

Dates & Price.

Tour Notes

This tour departs on a Thursday or a Monday. The Monday departure has the same content but follows a different order.

Prices start from £1995 per person based on 2 people. Single supplement from £405.

Return flights from London to Georgetown start from £890 return per person.

Extra night accommodation pre and/or post tour in Georgetown costs from £87 per person, per night sharing a twin/double room and £157 per person in a solo occupancy room.

Please note that the prices quoted above are for the category of accommodation and hotel used for this particular tour. Depending on the hotel eventually confirmed there may be some difference in the rate advertised by the hotel, and the prices available through Undiscovered Destinations. It should be noted we will not apply a surcharge should more expensive accommodation be used. At the same time in the event that a lower rate is available for the confirmed hotel we are unable to offer a refund.

Airport transfers are included if you are booking pre and/or post tour accommodation at the hotel mentioned in our tour dossier.

Please note that the rainy season is between May and September so if the rains have been heavy the water levels may be very high for the tours in August and September. Please contact us if you would like more information.

Mapped itinerary.

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Download the full tour dossier for this trip here.

For expert advice get in touch now with our passionate,
well-travelled team.

+44(0) 191 296 2674 from THE UK
1-800-614-2967 from THE US & CANADA
1-300-956-415 from AUSTRALIA

Tour inclusions.

  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Domestic flights
  • Transport throughout
  • All accommodation
  • Services of English speaking local guides – please note that you will have a different guide in each place on the itinerary, rather than the same guide throughout the trip
  • Meals as listed (B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner)
  • Entrance fees for sites listed as part of the itinerary

Tour exclusions.

  • International flights
  • Any airport taxes
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas
  • Drinks
  • Items of personal nature
  • Tips (Discretionary)

My trip was amazing. The accommodation was basic but I was always made to feel welcome and looked after. Karanambu in particular – I almost felt like I was staying with a family! I may go back – all in all it was very special – a real adventure!

Thanks so much for arranging this. I had the time of my life!

Name withheld at clients’ request