Skip to main content

Guyana Nature Experience

14 Days FROM AUD 8,015

Overview

Immerse yourself in nature, spotting exotic wildlife, marvelling at natural wonders and learning of life and culture in the tropical rainforest as you explore the very best of Guyana. Visit Kaieteur and Orinduik Falls, trek through Iwokrama Rainforest, travel by boat along rivers, swim in the cool waters and witness unforgettable sunrises. There are plenty of options for adventure seekers with canopy walkways and mountain hikes to spectacular view points. In amongst all the fascinating wildlife you may get the chance to see the elusive jaguar in its natural habitat. Stay in the Makushi village of Surama before exploring the savannahs in search of giant river otters, giant anteaters and black caiman. This is a trip that will never be forgotten with beautiful photos capturing your memories forever.

Trip Code: GUTSGNE

Travel Style: Small Group Journey

Location: Guyana

WHY YOU'LL LOVE THIS ITINERARY

  • This itinerary is perfect for wildlife lovers, see incredible animals such as caiman, giant river otters and anteaters as well as a chance to spot the illusive jaguar. 

  • You will be able to observe the customs and traditions of the local Surama peoples, bringing and intrinsic and deeply meaningful cultural interaction to your experience.

ITINERARY INSPIRATION

On arrival at the airport, you will be met and transferred to your selected hotel in Georgetown. The remainder of the day is free at leisure for you to settle in and explore your surroundings.

Overnight at hotel in Georgetown

Arrival in Georgetown, Guyana

After breakfast at the hotel we transfer to the Eugene F. Correia International Airport for a scheduled flight over the Demerara and Essequibo Rivers and hundreds of miles of unbroken tropical rainforest to land at Kaieteur Falls, the world’s highest free-falling waterfall. Situated in the heart of Guyana on the Potaro River, the falls plummet 228 metres into a deep gorge. Kaieteur Falls are nearly five times the height of Niagara Falls and were first seen by a European on April 29, 1870.

Kaieteur supports a unique micro-environment. It is home to tank bromeliads, the largest in the world, in which the tiny golden frog spends its entire life, and the rarely seen Guiana cock- of-the-rock that nests here. You may also be lucky enough to see the Kaieteur swifts or Makonaima birds which nest under the vast shelf of rock carved by centuries of water, hidden behind the eternal curtain of falling water.

Please Note: Flights to Kaieteur are operated on chartered aircraft and are subject to a minimum of 5 passengers. In the unlikely case that we cannot meet the required numbers, we will wherever possible reschedule the flight to another day of your tour. If we cannot reschedule the flight we will guarantee a flight, with a minimum of 2 passengers, to Kaieteur Falls only. If a flight is cancelled due to circumstances beyond our control, such as weather, we will endeavour to reschedule the flight during your itinerary. If this is not possible then a full refund on the flight will be made.

Overnight at hotel in Georgetown

Kaieteur Falls

Returning to Eugene F. Correia International Airport we board another scheduled flight to land in the Rupununi. From here we transfer by 4x4 vehicle or 4x4 Bedford truck to Iwokrama River Lodge.

The Iwokrama Rainforest is a vast wilderness of one million acres. This protected area was established in 1996 as the Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation and Development. The Iwokrama Forest is in the heart of one of four last untouched tropical forests of the world - The Guiana Shield of North-Eastern South America. Iwokrama was established as a living laboratory for tropical forest management because the unsustainable utilisation of these forests will result in the extinction of half the world's plant and animal species and unknown changes to global climate.

This is a protected area with a difference, as it has the full involvement of local people. Iwokrama is exceptional among conservation organizations because it joins with local people in every aspect of its work. From research to business, Iwokrama ensures local economic and social benefits from forest use and conservation. The rainforest is in the homeland of the Makushi people, who have lived here and used the forest for thousands of years. The success of Iwokrama relies on the ownership of local people and the combined skills of specialists and communities. Iwokrama does what so many international conventions have acknowledged as best practice. It has begun conservation locally and integrated conservation into national development.

We explore the trails around the lodge with an Iwokrama ranger. Iwokrama is home to many bird species including the capuchinbird, black nunbird, chestnut-rumped woodcreeper, Amazonian antshrike, brown-bellied, spot-tailed, grey and Todd’s antwren, spotted puffbird, green aracari, Guyana toucanet, Guianan red and pompadour cotinga, rufous-crowned elaenia, bronzy jacamar, chestnut and waved woodpecker and the strong-billed woodcreeper. Three other Neotropical species in the Iwokrama forest of interest are the white-winged potoo, rufous potoo and rufous-winged ground cuckoo.

The forest is also home to many mammals and you may see red-rumped agouti and various species of monkey including red howler, black spider and wedge-capped monkeys and brown capuchins.

After dark we take to the river, in the hope of spotting one or more of the four species of caiman and listening for night birds such as the spectacled owl, white-winged potoo, rufous potoo, long-tailed potoo, zigzag heron and blackish nightjar. We may see snakes including cox boa, tree frogs and possibly a puma or capybara.

Overnight at Iwokrama River Lodge

Iwokrama Rainforest

Making an early start, we embark on the Essequibo and circumnavigate nearby Indian House Island, before returning to the lodge for breakfast.

We then leave the lodge by boat, bird watching along the way, for the hike to Turtle Mountain. A well maintained trail winds through the forest before an exhilarating climb up the mountain to its summit at 935ft (approx. 360m). It takes 1 ¾ hours to climb the mountain, and you will be rewarded with breathtaking views over the forest canopy. You may see green aracari, white bellbirds or one of five types of eagles. This trail is also a great location for seeing black spider and red howler monkeys and if you are very lucky, even a jaguar. This pristine forest offers huge buttress trees and the endemic greenheart, a highly sought after hardwood. If you think this hike may be too strenuous you can take an alternative boat trip to Stanley Lake to search for giant river otters and black caiman.

As the afternoon cools we set out on a boat trip to visit Kurupukari Falls to see the Amerindian petroglyphs (dependent on the water level).

Overnight at Iwokrama River Lodge

Turtle Mountain Hike, Kurupukari Falls

Today we explore the trails around the lodge with an Iwokrama ranger.

We transfer by 4 x 4 along a trail that is one of the best places to see the elusive Jaguar. The Iwokrama Forest is rapidly gaining an international reputation for its healthy jaguar populations that seem not to be troubled by the appearance of curious humans. Along the road, look out for the myriad of bird species that frequent the forest edge, including crimson and purple-necked fruitcrows, crimson topaz, green oropendula, spotted and Guianan puffbirds, scarlet and red-and-green macaws, blue-cheeked and orange-winged parrots and grey-winged trumpeters. This road is the only north-south access in Guyana and links the country to Brazil. Even so traffic is only very occasional and wildlife is often seen along the road, including agouti, tayra, puma, tapir and black curassow. The journey ends at the Iwokrama Canopy Walkway.

The Iwokrama Canopy Walkway is situated at Mauisparu, near the southern boundary of the Iwokrama Reserve in central Guyana. The walkway has four suspension bridges leading to three platforms, the highest of which is over 30 metres above the ground. These allow great spotting opportunities of a range of canopy species, many of which you would struggle to see from the forest floor. Amongst the likely highlights are painted, brown-throated and golden-winged parakeets, caica parrots, Guianan puffbirds, waved and golden-collared woodpeckers and various antwrens. The walkway is also an excellent place to look for various species of cotinga including the poorly known and range-restricted dusky purpletuft. If there are any suitable fruiting trees nearby, you stand a good chance of seeing this bird, as well as the more widespread purple-breasted cotinga.

We also spend some time in the clearing around the lodge, as this is one of the best places to see another of Guyana’s “must see” birds, the crimson fruitcrow. This species is seen here on a reasonably regular basis, often coming in to feed in some of the nearby trees. The clearing is also a reliable site for black curassow with one family regularly passing through the clearing. With reasonable luck, you should be able to add this bird to the impressive list of species you will see around the lodge and walkway.

Overnight at Atta Rainforest Lodge

Iwokrama Forest

Before dawn we return to the canopy to bird watch, maybe spotting rufous-throated sapphire, green aracari, pygmy antwren and Guianan streaked-antwren. We may also see Guianan toucanet, pompadour cotinga, buff-cheeked greenlet and a host of crown specialists. 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 bird watching walks on the trails around the area. For those interested in botany many of the trails have the key trees species marked. Many bird species, stunning insects, noisy amphibians, and playful primates make the surrounding forest their home and you can be fairly certain to spot some extraordinary wildlife without too much effort. Deer and agouti are also regular visitors to the lodge. Serious birders will want to search the undergrowth for the rarely seen rufous-winged ground-cuckoo.

As dark falls on the Canopy Walkway, you may see the white-winged potoo. Night walks are also possible with the occasional jaguar being seen along the trans-national road near the lodge.

Overnight at Atta Rainforest Lodge

Iwokrama Canopy Walkway

This morning you have the opportunity to visit the Canopy Walkway as dawn breaks. Short-tailed nighthawks settle in for the day, swifts take to the sky, white-throated and channel-billed toucans yodel, and barred forest falcons call. Bird watch from the mid and upper canopy on the walkway as flocks fly past and look for paradise jacamars, white-necked puffbirds, yellow-throated woodpeckers, black-tailed and black-crowned tityras. Alternatively you can bird watch along the jungle trails where antbirds flocks including white-plumed, spot-winged, ferruginous-backed and long-billed antbirds. There are also various flycatchers including the McConnell’s and grey-crowned flycatcher, plain xenops and wedge-billed woodcreepers.

We return to the lodge for breakfast before our drive from Atta Rainforest Lodge by 4 x 4 vehicle or 4x4 Bedford truck (converted with forward facing seats and canopy) through the rainforest to Corkwood in the Iwokrama Forest. Here there is a comparatively short walk to a trail where we hope to see the amazingly brilliant Guianan cock-of-the-rock. This trail is through interesting forest and the guides can explain the use of the various plants. We then continue our journey to the community of Surama.

The Amerindian community of Surama is located in the heart of Guyana. The village is set in five square miles of savannah, ringed by the forest-covered Pakaraima Mountains. Surama’s inhabitants are mainly from the Makushi tribe and they still observe many of the traditional practises of their ancestors.

This isolated and idyllic location offers an escape into a serene and peaceful existence with nature. The guides have lived their entire lives in the rainforest, and have an incredible understanding of nature and how to utilise its resources.

On arrival in Surama you will receive a warm welcome from the local staff before you settle into your accommodation at the Surama Eco-lodge. A local guide will then escort you on a short walk along trails to observe the forest and bird life. As the afternoon cools your guide will take you on a tour of the village. Visit the local school, medical centre and church along with some of the village houses. Tonight enjoy an educational walk to observe wildlife and experience the mystique of the forest after dark.

Overnight at Surama Eco-Lodge

Surama Village

We rise before dawn for a walk across the savannah before climbing Surama Mountain for incredible views across the village and savannah to the Pakaraima Mountains. This is not a technical climb but can be arduous, especially after rain. Your guides will happily offer alternative activities if you prefer not to do this climb.

We return to the village for lunch before taking a three mile walk across the savannah and through the rainforest to the Burro Burro River. Your guides will then paddle you on the Burro Burro River for opportunities to observe giant river otters, tapir, tira, spider monkeys and many more species. We return to the village for sunset.

Overnight at Surama Eco-Lodge

Surama Mountain Climb, Burro Burro River

Enjoy dawn breaking across the rainforest, choosing between a forest walk to look for wildlife and birds or alternatively relaxing around the lodge before breakfast and our departure. We transfer by 4x4 vehicle or 4x4 Bedford truck from Surama to Rock View Lodge at Annai.

Rock View Lodge is located 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, particularly nectar feeders and frugivores. Nearby patches of light forest are home to certain ant birds and flycatchers, with the grasslands supporting an avifauna of their own.

Whilst staying at the lodge you can see how cashews are roasted. The labour-intensive method of cracking open the roasted nuts along with the self-ignition of the nuts as the acid content burns off are a spectacular sight. You can then taste the freshly roasted nuts.

There are also opportunities to see how local handicrafts are made. In addition the locals have always made the items needed for their daily activities from material gathered in the forest. You will see how the materials are plaited in various designs to form the baskets, sifters and other utensils as well as the spinning of cotton and the working of leather to create whips, belts and other articles used by the local vaqueros.

Overnight at Rock View Lodge

Rupununi Savannah to Rock View Lodge

At dawn we take a hike in the foothills of the Pakaraima Mountains along the Panorama Trail where we may see cinereous mourner, Finsch’s euphonia, reddish hermit, rufous-bellied antwren, green-tailed and yellow-billed jacamar. The views across the savannah and villages as the sun rises are spectacular.

Later we head south by road from Rock View Lodge to Ginep Landing. From Ginep Landing we take a boat trip on the Rupununi River to Karanambu Lodge. Depending on the river level, this trip offers an excellent opportunity to look for giant otters as there are several family groups which live along this stretch of the Rupununi River.

Karanambu, a 110-square mile former cattle ranch, is the home of Diane McTurk, conservationist and world-renowned expert on giant otters. Karanambu is located in the North Rupununi, a region of southwestern Guyana known for its expansive wetlands and savannah, as well as its biological and cultural diversity. Settled in 1927 by Tiny McTurk, Karanambu was once a working cattle ranch and Balata collection station. It is now an eco-tourist destination known as Karanambu Lodge. Karanambu encompasses savannah, marshy ponds, riparian forest, and a 30-mile stretch of the Rupununi River.

The North Rupununi of southern Guyana is an extraordinary natural and pristine area. The landscape is an integration of four ecosystem types: wetlands, savannahs, rivers, and forests. The number of species found here is much higher than expected given its size. There are at least 600 species of fish and birds, and over 200 species of mammals. Karanambu is located in the middle of this beautiful and fascinating biological hotspot where endangered species like the giant otter, black caiman, jaguar, giant anteater and arapaima can be found. The seasonally flooded savannahs and forests also draw substantial fish migrations and at times there may be as many as 700 species of fish at Karanambu.

This region is also rich in history. The North Rupununi is the homeland of the Makushi and earlier peoples dating back almost 7,000 years ago. Neighbouring villages include the Makushi villages of Kwaimatta, Massara, Yupukari, Toka, and Simoni. Several prominent explorers and naturalists have written about their experiences here, including Robert and Richard Schomburgk, Charles Waterton, Evelyn Waugh, Gerald Durrell, and David Attenborough. Lake Amuku, near Karanambu, was once considered by Sir Walter Raleigh, and later by Alexander von Humboldt and others, to be the location of Lake Parime on whose banks the golden city of “El Dorado” was said to be located.

The romance of the Rupununi pioneers lives on at Karanambu. The compound has the flavour of an Amerindian Village. Because of the remoteness of Karanambu, staff live on site and the children can be seen and heard on weekends and holidays when they come “home” from schools in the nearby villages of Yupakari, Kwaimatta and Massara.

With both the river and the savannahs close at hand there is a wide variety of activities to be enjoyed at Karanambu. You are free to choose based on your interests and the time of year. Two guided excursions are included each day - one early in the morning and another late afternoon and into the evening. These are the coolest times to be out and the best times to see wildlife. Trips may be on the river by boat, across the savannahs by Land Rover or along forest trails on foot to the different ponds in the area.

Late in the afternoon we will travel by boat to look for wild giant river otters and as dusk falls we head to the ponds to see the giant

Panorama Trail, Annai Village

This morning we make an early start to reach an area of rolling grasslands, home to a population of giant anteaters. With luck we will locate one of these six-foot long animals excavating its breakfast from one of the red termite mounds that dot the savannah. The giant anteater, also known as the ant bear, is a large insectivorous mammal native to Central and South America. It is recognizable by its elongated snout, bushy tail, long fore claws and distinctively coloured pelage. It feeds primarily on ants and termites, using its fore claws to dig them up and its long, sticky tongue to collect them. Though giant anteaters live in overlapping home ranges they are mostly solitary except during mother-offspring relationships, aggressive interactions between males, and when mating. Mother anteaters carry their offspring on their backs until weaning them.

An evening visit to a nearby pond to see hundreds of ibis, anhinga, heron and egret roosting (only in rainy season) is a highlight. If you are interested in bird watching you can explore woodland patches or gallery forest along the river where we hope to find such species as spotted puffbird, striped woodcreeper, pale-bellied tyrant-manakin, golden-spangled piculet, bearded tachuri and capuchinbird. A feature bird for the area is the agami heron. An evening walk along the airstrip offers seven species of nightjar and among the grasslands the double-striped thick-knees.

Overnight at Karanambu Lodge

Karanambu

If you did not see a giant anteater the previous morning, there is time to travel out to search the savannah again. Or you can explore the Rupununi River in search of wild giant river otters, black caiman and arapaima, making a boat journey along quiet stretches of river.

We return to the lodge for breakfast before our departure. We transfer upriver by motorized boat to the nearby Amerindian village of Yupukari and then by vehicle to Caiman House.

At the edge of Yupukari Village in the Central Rupununi is Caiman House Field Station, a combination guest-lodge and education centre focused on research and conservation projects along the nearby Rupununi River. The Field Station is the hub of several participatory development projects, including the introduction of classroom libraries in all three village schools and an Internet-enabled public library. Visitors may have the opportunity to meet local craftspeople, including the furniture builders at Yupukari Crafters, a non-profit venture to create village jobs and generate income to sustain educational development.

As a guest you have the unique opportunity to support and participate in an on-going field study of the black caiman, the largest member of the alligator family and an endangered species. You are invited to accompany the indigenous crew as they search for and capture black caiman on the river. Guests will observe the capture from a separate boat, but will be offered the opportunity to assist in data collection. Caiman are weighed, measured, sexed and tagged before being released back into the river. The research has already discovered interesting information on caimans’ nests that was previously unknown.

Overnight at Caiman House

Caiman Field Study

This morning there is time to visit the village to learn about their way of life. Or you may prefer to go bird watching in search of savannah, gallery forest and river-edge birds found in the Caiman House area including pinnated bittern, green-tailed jacamar, black-chinned antbird and capuchinbird.

We then transfer from Caiman House to the airstrip to board a scheduled flight to Eugene F. Correia International Airport. On arrival we are transferred to Georgetown.

We take a tour of Georgetown, the chief port, capital and largest city of Guyana, situated on the right bank of the Demerara River Estuary. It was chosen as the site for a fort to guard the early Dutch settlements of the Demerara River. The city was designed largely by the Dutch and is laid out in a rectangular pattern with wide tree-lined avenues and irrigation canals that criss-cross the city.

Most of the buildings in the city are wooden with unique architecture dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries, including traditional Demerara shutters. On Main Street there are several excellent examples of old colonial homes, including the State House, built in 1852. Set in large gardens and painted green and white, the State House has hosted many visiting dignitaries over the years.

The tour of Georgetown also includes St. George’s Cathedral, consecrated in 1892 and one of the world’s tallest free-standing wooden buildings. The foundation stone was laid on November 23, 1890 and the building was designed by Sir Arthur Bloomfield. The history of Guyana and the cathedral is depicted inside.

Other historic buildings on the tour include the Public Library, housed in the Carnegie Building on Avenue of the Republic, the gothic-styled Town Hall, the Victoria Law Courts, St. Andrews Kirk - the oldest surviving church structure in Guyana, the National Museum and the Walter Roth Museum of Anthropology.

The famous Stabroek Market, once described as a “bizarre bazaar”, contains every conceivable item from house hold goods and gold jewellery to fresh meat and vegetables brought to town on the river daily. The clock tower can be seen for miles around and is a famous landmark. The Botanical Gardens house one of the most extensive collections of tropical flora in the Caribbean and the Zoo has over 100 species of Guyanese wildlife including a wide variety of tropical fish and birds.

The tour is accompanied by an experienced guide who explains the history and facts and legends of Georgetown and its citizens. A vehicle is used for travel between areas of interest. During the tour there are opportunities to purchase unique Guyanese handicrafts and souvenirs.

Overnight at hotel in Georgetown

Yupukari, Georgetown City Tour

After breakfast at the hotel, you will be collected and transferred to Cheddi Jagan International Airport in time for your onward flight.

Departure from Georgetown
DOWNLOAD ITINERARY PDF

WHY TAILOR-MADE?

  • Personalise your itinerary
  • Access to great flight deals
  • Choose your accomodation
  • Tailored travel insurance options
  • Choose your preferred dates
  • Cater to your travel needs

Pricing & date

Guyana Nature Experience from AUD 8,015
Departing Ending Duration
05 Oct 2019 18 Oct 2019 14
09 Nov 2019 22 Nov 2019 14
07 Dec 2019 20 Dec 2019 14
04 Jan 2020 17 Jan 2020 14
08 Feb 2020 21 Feb 2020 14
21 Mar 2020 03 Apr 2020 14
18 Apr 2020 01 May 2020 14
02 May 2020 15 May 2020 14
08 Aug 2020 21 Aug 2020 14
05 Sep 2020 18 Sep 2020 14
03 Oct 2020 16 Oct 2020 14
14 Nov 2020 27 Nov 2020 14
05 Dec 2020 18 Dec 2020 14
Enquire Now

Important Information

  • Airport transfers
    Accommodation
    Meals as listed
    Limited local bar at Karanambu Lodge
    All road and river transfers
    Internal flights in Guyana
    Activities as described
    Local guides
    VAT
    Kaieteur National Park fee
    Iwokrama Forest User Fee
    Iwokrama Canopy Walkway fee

    Exclusions

    Items of a personal nature
    Alcoholic drinks except where mentioned above
    Departure tax
    International flights
    Visa

  • 2 (light adventure)
  • Contact us for more details. 

  • Passengers traveling on internal flights in Guyana are allowed a free baggage allowance of 20 lbs/9.1 KG exceeding this weight passenger's will incur a cost of GY$145.00 equivalent to US$ 0.74 cents per pound.

    Minimum 4 persons to operate the trip, maximum of 10 persons.

    This tour can also be operated on a private basis.  Contact us for details and pricing. 

     

  • Season of Availability

Accommodation

We believe that appropriate accommodation should add to the authentic travel experience, as well as providing utmost enjoyment. For that reason our accommodation is scrutinised by our staff on the ground frequently, ensuring the properties adhere to our high standards. This key will help you understand the levels of accommodation available on this tour.

SPEAK TO A SPECIALIST

Talk to one of our Destination Specialists to plan your South American adventure and turn your dream into a reality. With exceptional knowledge and first hand experience, our consultants will assist in every way possible to make your journey the most memorable it can be, matching not only the itinerary, but the accommodation and activities to suit your style of travel and budget.

Sustainability

Being environmentally accountable is a crucial part of our organisation. Chimu is currently striving towards using less paper, taking several initiatives to do so and tracking our progress along the way. Our goal: A paperless organisation. For this reason, all information given to you will be sent electronically. We encourage those who choose to travel with us to support our aspirations and actions and ask that you reconsider printing out documentation. To view these documents, you can download them to your iPad or portable computer before and during your trip.

Chimu is passionate and dedicated to sustainability measures and understands the crucial part sustainability plays within the tourism industry.

We use local guides and office staff to both maximise local employment opportunities and minimise carbon footprint. Local guides also ensure you benefit from the intimate knowledge, passion and culture of the country you’re visiting. Our guides are all highly qualified (most with university degrees) or equip with many years of experience and are paid above the standard wage. Whether it be our knowledgeable local guides, locally produced meals or the transport on tour, we do not use imported goods when local products are available. We aim to minimise our impact on the environment and give as much back as possible to the communities we work in.

While visiting the many national parks, heritage sites, museums and landmarks our travellers are encouraged to explore remain culturally aware and sensitive. We further encourage you to buy appropriate souvenirs and discourage the buying of anything wrongfully made or taken from the environment i.e. shells and endangered species products. Information on how you can be environmentally conscious, and travel responsibly will be made available in our Travellers Guides and provided during your travels by guides and staff.

For more information on our sustainability policies, including how we are striving towards being a paperless organisation, click HERE