Guyana Nature Experience
Guyana Nature Experience
Guyana is an irresistible combination of fascinating and breathtaking natural beauty, pristine Amazonian rainforests, immense waterfalls and amazing wildlife all blended with a vibrant indigenous culture, rich heritage and some of the most hospitable and friendly people in the world. On this trip we travel deep into the rainforest to Iwokrama – one of the best places for spotting Jaguars – and gain a unique perspective of the forest from its amazing canopy walkway, as well as visiting the Amerindian village of Surama to learn more about the lives of Guyana’s indigenous people. After experiencing nature walks and canoe trips to spot the flora and fauna of the region we travel to Rock View Lodge, where you can hike in the nearby mountains. Finally we head to Karanambu Ranch 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 nature lover should miss.
Fitness ●●●○○ | Adventure ●●●○○ | Culture ●●●○○ | History ●●○○○ | Wildlife ●●●●●
- The flight over Kaieteur Falls, the highest free falling waterfall in the world.
- The pristine rainforest of Iwokrama
- The numerous species of birds to be found in Guyana
- The varied landscapes and natural beauty of Karanambu with the opportunity of seeing Giant River Otters and Giant Anteaters
Included Meals: Daily breakfast (B), plus lunches (L) and dinners (D) as shown in the itinerary.
Group Size: Maximum of 10 (you may be joined by travellers from companies other than Undiscovered Destinations)
Start Point: Georgetown
End Point: Georgetown
Transport: 4WD, motorboats & domestic flights
Tour Itinerary Notes
While our intention is to adhere to the day-by-day itinerary as printed below, a degree of flexibility is built in. Overnight stops may vary from those suggested and on occasions alternative accommodation, of a similar standard to that named below, will be used.
Our guides are a key strength, chosen for their knowledge of and passion for the areas in which they work. All of our guides are carefully hand-picked and are born locally. Unlike some companies it should be noted we do not send a guide or tour leader from Undiscovered Destinations in the UK as we have every confidence in our locally appointed representatives who are responsible for operating the tour on our behalf. On this tour you will have local guides at each property.
Day 1 – Georgetown
Arrive in Georgetown, Guyana’s capital and transfer to your hotel. Overnight at Cara Lodge or similar.
Located on the coast, Georgetown is Guyana’s largest city and has a distinctly Caribbean feel to it, interspersed with its colonial British, French and Dutch heritage. The city was founded in the 18th century but did not become the capital until it was captured by the French in 1782, only to fall into British hands thirty years later. It owes its existence to the fertility of its soil – early settlers found this to be an ideal region for establishing plantations, and reclaimed what had been floodplains through the building of dykes and canals. Georgetown’s streets are laid out in a grid pattern and contain many interesting historic buildings dating back to the 19th century, as well as some colourful markets.
Day 2 – Kaieteur Falls
Visit the famous Kaieteur Falls, the world’s highest free-falling waterfall, where the Potaro River drops 741 feet into the gorge below. Afterwards we return to Georgetown for the evening. Overnight at Cara Lodge or similar. (BL)
*On occasion the visit to Kaieteur Falls may need to be re- scheduled.
Kaieteur Falls is a spectacular site, five times higher than Niagara Falls, and one of the most powerful waterfalls in the world. First seen by Europeans in 1870 it was known to indigenous people before this – the legend is that it was named after a great chief. Although there are taller and wider falls, Kaiteur’s distinction comes from its combination of both volume of water and height.
Day 3- Iwokrama
Fly over Guyana’s rainforest to Rupununi from where we transfer by 4WD to Iwokrama, an incredible region of rainforest with a breathtaking diversity of species. Iwokrama offers one of the best opportunities to see Jaguar in the wild. This afternoon is free to explore the trails with a ranger, and later we take a night boat trip to look for Caiman and other nocturnal creatures. Overnight at Iwokrama River Lodge. (BLD)
Please read the notes on luggage under “Preparing for your Tour”
Iwokrama Forest covers nearly a million acres and is home to a bewildering array of different species. Its name means ‘place of refuge’ in the language of the Makushi Amerindians, who retreated here to avoid the predations of the slave trade. Iwokrama was established as a centre for the study of the rainforest and has been set aside to promote sustainable tourism within the region. Wildlife here includes Jaguar, Caiman, Howler and Spider Monkeys, rodents such as Pacas and Agoutis, and Peccaries among numerous other species. The birdlife here is equally spectacular, with Toucans, Macaws, Hummingbirds and the sought after Guianan Cock-of-the-Rock.
Day 4 – Turtle Mountain
Take a morning boat ride on the Essequibo River to spot wildlife, followed by a boat journey to Turtle Mountain where we walk to the summit (approximately 2 hours) for spectacular views over the forest canopy. 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). Overnight at Iwokrama River Lodge. (BLD)
Day 5 - Iwokrama
Our day starts with a dawn wildlife walk, and afterwards we will transfer to a 4WD vehicle to travel along one of the best trails for seeing Jaguar. Sightings cannot be guaranteed but this is an excellent place to see one of Guyana’s most elusive creatures. We then head to the Iwokrama Canopy Walkway, 35 metres up into the canopy, for a different perspective of the forest. Overnight at Atta Rainforest Lodge. (BLD)
Day 6 – Iwokrama
Enjoy a full day exploring the forest around Atta Lodge, and also the clearing around the lodge, where you will have an excellent chance of spotting the Crimson Fruit Crow. Overnight at Atta Rainforest Lodge (BLD)
Day 7 - Surama
Experience the dawn chorus from the canopy walkway before setting off for the Amerindian village of Surama, stopping on the way at a spot known for sightings of one of Guyana’s most intriguing birds, the Cock of the Rock. We then continue to Surama, where a local guide will give us a tour of the forest and the village, with an opportunity to visit some of the houses and the local school. This evening we head out to experience the forest at night. Overnight in the basic accommodation at Surama Eco Lodge. (BLD)
Surama is a small Makushi village on the savannah with inhabitants still following time-honoured traditions and relying on the jungle for their livelihood. This isolated and idyllic location offers an escape from the concrete jungle to a serene and peaceful existence with nature. Dawn hikes, led by Surama guides across the savannah and up Surama Mountain, reveal a multitude of birds and fantastic vistas. The guides have lived their entire lives in the rainforest, and have an incredible understanding of nature and how to utilise its resources.
Day 8 - Surama Mountain
Rise before dawn and walk across the savannah in the cool morning air to climb Surama Mountain. This is not a technical climb but can be arduous, and for those who prefer, the local guides can arrange alternative activities. After lunch back at the village we set off this afternoon to walk the three miles to the Burro Burro River for a canoe trip, hoping to spot Giant River Otters, Tapir and Spider Monkeys amongst other wildlife. Overnight in the basic accommodation at Surama Eco Lodge. (BLD)
Day 9 – Rock View Lodge
Travel by 4WD vehicle to Rock View Lodge, situated in a region where the savannah meets the forest covered foothills of the Pakaraima Mountains. With its tropical gardens and flowering trees, the lodge resembles an oasis in the savannah and attracts many species of birds. Overnight at Rock View Lodge. (BLD)
Rock View Lodge
Rock View Lodge is located in the village of Ruperti in the North Rupununi Savannahs at the foothills of the Pakaraima Mountains and close to the border with the Iwokrama Forest. The Rupununi River, Pakaraima Mountains and the rainforest, as well as the Amerindian villages of Annai, Kwatamang and Woweta are to be found within a radius of only a few miles of Rock View Lodge and are easily accessible. Guests are accommodated in well-furnished and spacious self-contained suites with a swimming pool and are entertained in the old ranch house. Well trained bilingual staff from the region will look after your every need and the cuisine is an exciting blend of Creole, Guyanese and Brazilian. The lodge is set in acres of gardens and orchards which attract hundreds of humming birds.
Day 10 –Karanambu Lodge
At dawn we take a hike in the foothills of the Pakaraima Mountains and hope to see of some of the species of birds that live there. We travel by 4WD vehicle to the Rupunini River, and take a boat to Karanambu Lodge which was established by Diane McTurk. In the late afternoon we take a boat out on the river to look for Giant River Otters and other species. As dusk falls we continue by boat to the ponds to see the 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)
Karanambu Lodge is situated where the north savannah grassland, swamp and flood forest meet on the Rupununi River and the horse flats stretch towards the Pakaraima Mountains and into Brazil. The settlement has the flavour of an Amerindian village, with its clay brick and palm thatched cabanas set in a compound between the bush and the open range. The lodge accommodates guests in five cabanas with verandas; twin bedded rooms and en-suite bathrooms. Meals are served around a large dining table in the open hammock-swagged living room of the main ranch house. Outstanding tropical freshwater fish and teeming bird life abound. The area is also a last refuge for the Giant River Otter and the river reveals Black Caiman and for the lucky, the huge Arapaima, the world’s largest fresh water fish.
Day 11 – Karanambu Lodge
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. Overnight at Karanambu Lodge (BLD)
Day 12 – Caiman House
This morning transfer by boat, birdwatching 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 will be invited to accompany the indigenous crew as they search for and capture these magnificent reptiles on the river. Overnight at Caiman House. (BLD)
Day 13 – Caiman House - Georgetown
This morning we will have some time to visit the village, to learn about their way of life, or go birdwatching in search of the many savannah, forest and river-edge birds found in the area. We transfer to Lethem airstrip for the flight back to Georgetown and on arrival take a city tour of Guyana’s capital. Overnight at Cara Lodge or similar. (B)
Day 14 – Georgetown
Transfer to the airport for your flight home. (B)
Arrival and departure transfers
Services of English speaking 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
Any airport taxes