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A native bromeliad

Guyana Wildlife and Adventure Journey

Example 15 Day Tour
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Experience a 15-day adventure through the natural wonders of Guyana. Spend some nights at Cara Lodge, steeped in history and charm, before delving into Georgetown's vibrant markets and historic sites. Explore the Georgetown Botanical Gardens and soar over the Demerara and Essequibo Rivers to witness the breathtaking Kaieteur Falls. Continue your adventure at Iwokrama River Lodge, where you'll traverse rainforest trails, spot diverse bird species, and search for caimans under the stars. Visit Atta Rainforest Lodge for a canopy walkway experience and journey to Rewa Eco-Lodge for wildlife encounters along the Rupununi River. At Karanambu Lodge, explore expansive wetlands and learn about the region's rich cultural heritage. Marvel at the giant anteaters in the savannah and embark on river excursions to spot nocturnal wildlife. Finally, return to Caiman House for an unforgettable boat journey on Awariku Lake before bidding farewell to Guyana.
Water lily padsA nest of caiman babies!Cabins at Karanambu LodgeA view of the Demerara River between a break in the cloudsPonds like this are a great place to spot birds, caimans, and the largest lily pad species in the worldThree canoes to bring us to our hike on the way to Rewa LodgeThe endangered Guyana Cock-of-the-RockLily pads in GuyanaHoatzin bird in the rainforestA native bromeliad
Highlights
  • Witness the majestic Kaieteur Falls from above the Demerara River
  • Experience the thrill of a canopy walkway at Atta Rainforest Lodge
  • Observe giant anteaters in their natural savannah habitat
  • Go on river excursions to spot elusive nocturnal creatures
Places Visited
  • Amazon
  • Guyana
  • South America
  • Atta Rainforest Lodge
  • Cara Lodge
  • Georgetown
  • Iwokrama Forest
  • Iwokrama River Lodge
  • Kaieteur Falls
  • Karanambu Ranch
  • Rewa Ecolodge
  • Rupununi Savannah
Activity Level: Variable
Activity options vary depending on destination and operator. Activity level is determined by the range and intensity of activities you choose to participate in. Discuss with your Trip Planner which options are best for you.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Arrive in Guyana

Arrive in Guyana and are picked up and transferred from the Airport to your hotel in Georgetown. Cara Lodge, built in the 1840s, holds a long and romantic history as the former residence of Georgetown's first Lord Mayor. Over the years, many dignitaries visit, including King Edward VIll, who stays in 1923. President Jimmy Carter, HRH King Charles III, and Mick Jagger are among the esteemed guests. This magnificent wooden colonial home, now a hotel, exudes the tradition and nostalgia of a bygone era. You spend the night at Cara Lodge.

Day 2: Georgetown, Guyana

Today, you wake up early to have breakfast with Chef Delven Adams. He takes you to Bourda Market, which is the largest market in Georgetown. You visit the fish market, meat section, and haberdashery section, and stop at the bush medicine stalls. Outside, you see, touch, and taste a variety of local fruits and vegetables. The chef makes his purchases based on your suggestions of what you would like to try and then heads home to start preparing while you continue on a tour of the city of Georgetown with an experienced guide. The guide gives you the history, rumors, and facts about Georgetown and its citizens.

On this mix of vehicle and walking tour, you'll enjoy the views of other historic buildings along this promenade, such as the Public Library, City Hall, the Victoria Law Courts, St. Andrews Kirk, 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. We also visit a pond in the National Park to feed the endangered West Indian Manatees.

After the city tour, you'll then go to the Backyard Café for lunch, where the Chef prepares a delicious meal from the fruits and vegetables you bought at the market. You can also sit under the arbor and enjoy a unique blend of juice or a cold beer while taking in the sounds and smells of the delicious meal in the making. Once the meal is ready, you can start enjoying the different courses, remembering to pace yourself as you'll want to try everything.

Day 3: Georgetown and Kaieteur Falls

You'll be picked up and taken to Georgetown Botanical Gardens. There, you might see unique birds like the Blood-colored Woodpecker, Snail Kite, Gray Hawk, Pearl Kite, Carib Grackle, and the Red-bellied and Red-shouldered Macaws. As you explore the trails, look out for the Yellow-chinned Spinetail, Black-crested Antshrike, Silver-beaked Tanager, Buff-breasted Wren, Golden-spangled Piculet, and Ashy-headed Greenlet.

Next, you'll head to Eugene F. Correia International Airport for a flight over the Demerara and Essequibo Rivers to Kaieteur Falls, the world's highest free-falling waterfall. Located in the heart of Guyana on the Potaro River, the water there plunges 741 feet, which is five times the height of Niagara Falls.

Kaieteur Falls is surrounded by unique plants and animals. You might see the Tank Bromeliads, the largest in the world, which is home to the tiny Golden frog. The rarely-seen Guiana Cock-of-the-rock might also make an appearance. And if you're lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the Kaieteur Swifts or Makonaima Birds nesting under the vast shelf of rock carved by the Potaro River over millions of years.

Day 4: Iwokrama River Lodge

You board a scheduled flight, traveling over hundreds of miles of tropical rainforest, to reach Fair View Airstrip. Upon arrival, you are picked up and taken to Iwokrama River Lodge.

The Iwokrama Rainforest is your destination, covering over one million acres in the heart of one of the world's four last untouched tropical forests - The Guiana Shield of North-Eastern South America. It is a protected area established in 1996 as the Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation and Development.

At the Iwokrama River Lodge, an Iwokrama Ranger will guide you as you explore the trails around the lodge. The forest is home to many species of birds and mammals like the Capuchin bird, Black Nunbird, Chestnut-rumped Woodcreeper, Amazonian Antshrike, Brown-bellied Antwren, Spot-tailed Antwren, Todd’s Antwren, Spotted Puffbird, Green Aracari, Guianan Toucanet, Guianan Red Cotinga, Pompadour Cotinga, Rufous-crowned Elaenia, Bronzy Jacamar, Chestnut & Waved Woodpecker, Gray Antbird, and Strong-billed Woodcreeper. You can also spot Red-rumped Agouti and various species of monkeys such as Red Howler, Black Spider, and Wedge-capped.

In the evening, you can set out on the river in search of one of its four species of caiman. You can also listen for night birds such as the Spectacled Owl, White-winged Potoo, Rufous Potoo, Long-tailed Potoo, Zigzag Heron, or Blackish Nightjar. Using flashlights, you can look out for the eyeshine of snakes, including Cox boas, tree frogs, and if you are lucky, some mammals too.

The Iwokrama River Lodge overlooks the Essequibo River. You can stay in one of the eight spacious timber cabins with en suite and verandas overlooking the river. Electricity is provided by a combination of solar and diesel generator systems, and wireless internet access is free in the main building. Meals are served buffet-style in the Fred Allicock dining hall. Iwokrama ensures local economic and social benefits from forest use and conservation, from research to business. The forest is the homeland of the Makushi people who have lived here and used the forest for thousands of years.

Day 5: Iwokrama River Lodge

Start early and begin your journey on the Essequibo river, circumnavigating Indian House Island before returning to River Lodge for breakfast.

After breakfast, you take a boat ride and do some birdwatching on your way to Turtle Mountain. There, you hike along a well-maintained trail, winding through the forest until you reach the summit at 935ft (approx. 360m). The climb takes about 1 and 3/4 hours, but it's worth the effort for the breathtaking views of the forest canopy and the chance to spot some wildlife such as Green Aracari, White Bellbird, or one of the five types of eagles. This trail is also a great place to see Black Spider and Red Howler monkeys. If you think the hike may be too strenuous, you can take an alternative boat trip to Stanley Lake to search for Giant River Otters and Black Caiman.

In the afternoon, you take a boat trip to Kurupukari Falls to see the Amerindian petroglyphs, dependent on the water level.

Later in the afternoon, you drive through the forest in an area known for Jaguar sightings. Although it's not guaranteed, there is a reasonable chance that you could be fortunate enough to spot this elusive cat. Apart from the Jaguar, there are other wildlife opportunities along this corridor. You spend the night at Iwokrama River Lodge.

Day 6: Iwokrama River Lodge to Atta Rainforest Lodge

Take a walk on the wild side and explore the trails around the Atta Rainforest Lodge with an expert Iwokrama Ranger. During the trail, you will be transferred by 4x4 on a road that's well-known for its chance of spotting the elusive Jaguar. While there is no guarantee of sightings, numerous visitors have been fortunate enough to see them. Keep an eye out for the diverse bird species that inhabit the forest edge.

The road is the only way to travel north-south in Guyana, connecting it to Brazil. Despite this, traffic is rare, making it the perfect spot for spotting wildlife, including Agouti, Tayra, Tapir, and Black Curassow. You'll end your journey at Atta Rainforest Lodge, the home of the Iwokrama Canopy Walkway.

The Iwokrama Canopy Walkway is in the southern part of the Iwokrama Reserve in central Guyana. It's a suspended walkway with four bridges leading to three platforms. The highest platform is 30 meters above the ground.

Don't miss the chance to visit the clearing around the lodge. It's an excellent spot to see the Crimson Fruitcrow, a must-see bird in Guyana. You might also see Black Curassow, which regularly passes through the clearing.

Atta Rainforest Lodge is only 500 meters from the Iwokrama Canopy Walkway. You'll enjoy a comfortable private-room that comes with ensuite bathrooms, home-cooked meals, and traditional Amerindian hospitality. The communal building, which houses the bar, dining area, and kitchen, is open-sided, providing a beautiful view of the gardens and the towering forest surrounding the lodge. You can relax in hammocks or outdoor benches and admire the lovely gardens, which are home to various heliconias that attract ten different species of hummingbirds. Spend a night at Atta Rainforest Lodge and experience the beauty of Guyana's rainforests.

Day 7: Atta Rainforest Lodge

You can head back to the canopy before dawn for an exciting birdwatching opportunity. With luck, you might catch sight of the Rufous-throated Sapphire, Green Aracari, Pygmy Antwren, and Guianan Streaked-Antwren, as well as the Guianan Toucanet, Pompadour Cotinga, Buff-cheeked Greenlet, and other crown specialists. You might even spot some Red Howler and Black Spider Monkeys from your tree-top vantage point.

Aside from the Iwokrama Canopy Walkway, you can also take wildlife and birdwatching walks on the trails around the area. The rich forest is home to many bird species, stunning insects, noisy amphibians, and playful primates. Deer, Tapir, and agouti are also regular visitors to the lodge. For serious birders, the Rufous-winged Ground-cuckoo can be found by searching the undergrowth.

As night falls on the canopy walkway, you may be able to witness the White-winged Potoo. Night walks are also available and often reveal something new or interesting, including one of the six different cats that can be found along the transnational road near the lodge. You are spending the night at Atta Rainforest Lodge.

Day 8: Atta Rainforest Lodge to Rewa Eco-Lodge

You will start your day by watching the dawn chorus from the canopy walkway and returning to the lodge for breakfast before departure. Then, you will transfer from Atta Rainforest Lodge to Corkwood in Iwokrama Forest, where you can see the Guianan Cock-of-the-rock by taking a short trail. You can also learn about the plants and their medicinal uses from the guides. After that, continue to Kwatamang Landing.

You can have lunch at Rock View Lodge before traveling by boat along the Rupununi River, where you may see wild Giant River Otters and Black Caiman. You will pass by locals fishing and bathing in the river until you reach the Rewa River and the Amerindian community of Rewa. 

Rewa Village is situated where the Rewa River flows into the Rupununi River in the North Rupununi. The surrounding area is full of wildlife, birds, and fish. The community mostly practices subsistence farming, fishing, and hunting. In 2005, the Rewa community constructed the Rewa Eco-lodge, which is owned and operated by the village. The lodge is located on the river bank overlooking the Rewa River. It has tables, benches, three benabs, and six cabins. Accommodations include two benabs, each with two bedrooms and a large patio with hammocks, and six individual cabins.

Later in the afternoon, you can take a short boat ride from the lodge to an oxbow lake hidden after a five-minute walk from the boat. You can enjoy the view of the Victoria Amazonica, the world's largest waterlily, and the national flower of Guyana from a wooden deck. The flowers bloom white on the first night, turn pink by the third night, and change to male flowers. Birds come into roost, providing a lovely nature experience. Overnight at Rewa Eco-lodge.

Day 9: Rewa Eco-Lodge

Start your day with a delicious breakfast while enjoying the beautiful view of the river at dawn. After that, take a boat ride along the Rupununi River and into an oxbow lake to begin a hike up Awarmie Mountain. Although there are some steep sections, the climb is generally not too difficult. Along the way, you can spot many birds and even get close-up views of Black Spider Monkeys.

The path offers excellent birdwatching opportunities, with White Bellbirds calling from both the wooded areas at the beginning of the trail and the forests below when you reach the summit. You might also see Ornate Hawk-eagles, Black Curassows, Red-fan Parrots, Guianan Puffbirds, Todd’s Antwrens, Spotted Tanagers, and Bay-headed Tanagers. The area also has many macaws, including Scarlet, Blue-and-yellow, and Red-and-Green Macaws.

At the top of the mountain, you'll find a small plateau with stunning views in both directions. One side offers a view back to the Rupununi River, some patches of Savannah, and the distant Kanuku Mountains. The other side provides a view across vast stretches of undisturbed forest to the distant Iwokrama Mountain and much closer Makarapan Mountain. Makarapan is the oldest mountain in South America and an incredible two billion years old.

For lunch, head back to the lodge. In the afternoon, take a boat up the Rewa River and a 15-minute hike to Grass Pond. This lake is about 3km long and has a beautiful setting with Victoria amazonica, the largest water lily in the world. It also has a good population of Arapaima, the largest scaled freshwater fish in the world, and you can even fish for Peacock Bass. During a late afternoon visit, you might spot Brown Capuchin monkeys or Capybaras. Birds that are likely to be seen include Limpkin, Wattled Jacana, Black-collared Hawk, Green Kingfisher, and Guianan Puffbird. As dusk settles, watch the Victoria amazonica flower bloom.

Day 10: Rewa Eco-Lodge

This morning, you're off on an exciting boat journey to a scenic trail where you'll explore the lush rainforest and venture into the vast savannah. You might spot some local traditional farms along the way. If you're lucky, you could even catch a glimpse of a family using ancient farming techniques that have been passed down through generations.

In the afternoon, your adventure continues up the Rewa River to Seawall, a stunning rock formation that's perfect for fishing or simply soaking up the breathtaking views. You'll also visit the sandy banks where river turtles lay their eggs. Keep an eye on the riverbanks, where you're likely to see red howlers, squirrel monkeys, and brown capuchin monkeys in their natural habitat.

But the journey doesn't stop there. You'll go further upriver and hike through the rainforest to a spot known for sightings of the Goliath bird-eating spider – the largest spider in the world by mass and size. Despite its name suggesting a diet of birds, it rarely eats them. Instead, it mostly feeds on insects, worms, and small animals. These imposing creatures can have a leg span of 11 inches and weigh as much as 6.2 ounces. They're known to occasionally snack on small vertebrates like rodents, frogs, and lizards.

After a day full of discovery, you'll relax and spend the night at the Rewa Eco-lodge, surrounded by the serene beauty of nature.

Day 11: Rewa Eco-Lodge to Karanambu Lodge

After breakfast, the journey continues with a boat ride along the Rupununi River towards Kwatamang Landing. During the trip, a stop is made at the village of Aranaputa, where the community-operated Peanut Butter Factory is located. The factory generates organic peanut butter, which is supplied to local schools along with cassava bread. The area's favorable peanut-growing conditions provide a viable market for local farmers, who run the factory as a cooperative.

The next destination is Pakaraima Mountain Inn, located in the Aranaputa Valley, just outside the village of Yakarinta. Here, you can enjoy a home-cooked lunch on the veranda while listening to fascinating stories from Charlie De Freitas, a local character and the host.

From Ginep Landing, a boat trip on the Rupununi River takes you to Karanambu Lodge, a former cattle ranch in the North Rupununi. The area is renowned for its expansive wetlands and savannah, as well as its biological and cultural diversity. Karanambu encompasses a vast range of habitats, including savannah, marshy ponds, riparian forest, and a 30-mile stretch of the Rupununi River. Despite its size, the number of species found here is surprisingly high, with at least 600 species of bird and over 200 species of mammals. This region is also home to a substantial fish migration, with as many as 700 species of fish, making it the most diverse fish habitat on Earth.

The area has a rich history, dating back over 7,000 years. The Makushi people, along with earlier peoples, have lived here, and several prominent explorers and naturalists have written about their experiences, including Robert and Richard Schomburgk, Charles Waterton, Evelyn Waugh, and Gerald Durrell. David Attenborough also spent time here as a young man and wrote about it in his book, "Zoo Quest to Guiana."

Karanambu offers a variety of activities, with two guided excursions provided each day, one early in the morning and another late in the afternoon. These are usually the coolest times to be out, and you may see different birds and animals during these times. Trips may be on the river by boat, on the savannahs by 4 by 4, or along forest trails on foot, leading to the different ponds in the area.

In the late afternoon, a boat ride takes you to see wild Giant River Otters, while the giant Victoria amazonica waterlily blooms can be observed as dusk falls in the ponds. On the return trip, you can spot Black Caiman and nocturnal birds and creatures.

The accommodations at Karanambu Lodge are in traditionally made clay brick cabins, each with an ensuite bathroom and a veranda with hammocks.

Day 12: Karanambu Lodge

This morning, we will embark on an early start to explore an expanse of rolling grasslands that serves as the habitat of the giant anteater. This incredible mammal is capable of growing up to six feet in length and can be observed as it excavates its breakfast from termite mounds, which are scattered throughout the savannah. Though giant anteaters exhibit overlapping home ranges, they are generally solitary, except during mother-offspring relationships, aggressive interactions between males, and mating. Notably, mother anteaters carry their young on their backs until they are weaned.

In the evening, there will be an opportunity for a river excursion or exploration of woodland patches and gallery forests along the river, which should yield an assortment of bird species. Of particular interest is the Agami Heron. Alternatively, an evening walk along the airstrip provides a chance to observe seven species of nightjar, while the grasslands are home to the Double-striped Thick-knees. 

Day 13: Karanambu Lodge to Caiman House

If you missed spotting a giant anteater yesterday, you can return to the savannah for another chance. Alternatively, explore the Rupununi River in search of wild Giant River Otters, Black Caiman, and Arapaima on a boat journey. After morning activities, return to the lodge for breakfast before departure.

After breakfast, you'll say your goodbyes and transfer upriver by motorized boat to the nearby Amerindian village of Yupukari and Caiman House. Situated in the Central Rupununi, Caiman House Field Station is a guest lodge and education center focusing on research and conservation projects along the Rupununi River. Visitors have the opportunity to meet local craftspeople and learn about various projects, including a turtle conservation program. Rangers rescue turtle eggs threatened by rising water levels, ensuring their survival. Guests may visit holding ponds for baby turtles.

The lodge offers modest but comfortable guest rooms with ensuite bathrooms and solar-powered amenities. Wireless internet access is available throughout the station.

Guests can support ongoing research on the Black Caiman, an endangered species, by accompanying indigenous crew members on river patrols. While observing from a separate boat, guests can assist in data collection and learn about caiman behavior and conservation efforts.

Day 14: Caiman House to Georgetown

Experienced guides will accompany you on a paddling or electric motor excursion at Awariku Lake, where you can spot various birds and wildlife, including egrets, ibises, Giant River Otters, and Black Caiman. You'll paddle through a creek in the lowland forest and emerge onto the Rupununi River. From there, you can drift downstream to the main landing and return to Caiman House. If the water level is low, you can paddle back to the original landing.

After the excursion, you will be transferred by vehicle from Caiman House to Lethem. Then, you will board a scheduled flight to Eugene F. Correia International Airport. Upon arrival, you'll be picked up and transferred to Georgetown.

Day 15: Return Home

  • 1 Breakfast
You have the option to either take a day off to relax, go on an optional tour, or return home.

Accommodations

Cara Lodge

Cara Lodge in Guyana
Cara Lodge Guyana
Cara Lodge Guyana

Karanambu Ranch

Karanambu Ranch
Karanambu Ranch
Karanambu Ranch

Iwokrama River Lodge

Iwokrama River Lodge
Iwokrama River Lodge
Iwokrama River Lodge

Caiman Lodge

Caiman Lodge Living area
Caiman Lodge at night
Caiman Lodge Pool area

Rewa Ecolodge

Rewa Ecolodge
Welcome to Rewa Ecolodge located in the Rupununi Savannah
Rewa Ecolodge

Atta Rainforest Lodge

The lodge offers complete immersion into the rainforest experience
Guests find comfortable and private accommodation in the guest quarters
Take time to savor the breeze during a stay at Atta Rainforest Lodge

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$8,740 2-3 travelers

Notes

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Included
  • 14 Breakfasts, 11 Lunches, 10 Dinners
  • 14 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Local guide
  • limited local bar at Karanambu Lodge
  • All road and river transfers
  • Internal flights in Guyana
  • Kaieteur National Park fee
  • Iwokrama Forest User Fee
  • Iwokrama Canopy Walkway fee
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Visa
  • Departure taxes

Map

When to Go

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Oct
Nov
Dec
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.

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Everything was amazing! The planning with Adventure Life went smoothly. The actual trip was fantastic! One of the best trips I have experienced. The cruise staff members were knowledgeable and attentive. I will be writing more about this on the blog!
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