Amerindian Guyana Tour

From:
AUD $ 9,899
p.p. twin share. Excludes Airfares

Discover rich culture and the pristine environment of Guyana as your journey focuses on small and out-of the way Eco-Lodges owned and operated by Amerindian communities.

Explore by 4×4, boat, flight and on foot the incredible rain forest of this undiscovered destination and discover the wildlife and floral wonders of Guyana.

 

Overview

Overview

Day 1 Arrive in Georgetown, overnight Cara Lodge
Day 2 Flight across rainforest, canopy walk, overnight at Atta Rainforest Lodge
Day  3 Welcome the dawn chorus from canopy walkway
Day 4Travel to Amerindian village of Surama for overnight in Eco Lodge
Day 5 Dawn walk to climb Sumara Mountain
Day 6Canoe trip on Burro Burro River
Day 74×4 to Rupununi River for boat transfer to Amerindian community of Rewa
Day 8Hiking Awarmie mountain
Day 9Visit traditional farms
Day 10Boat and 4×4 trip to Yupukari and Caiman House
Day 114×4 journey across savannah to Amerindian village of Nappi, Maipaima Eco-Lodge
Day 12Wildlife viewing on your way to Jordan Falls
Day 13Trekking back to Maipaima Eco-Lodge
Day 144×4 across savannah to Lethem for flight back to Georgetown
Day 15Day-trip to Kaieteur Falls
Day 16End of your adventure through Guyana

Itinerary

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Georgetown

On arrival in Guyana’s capital city you will be transferred to Cara Lodge for your first overnight stay.

Cara Lodge was built in the 1840’s and originally consisted of two houses. It has a long and romantic history and was the home of the first Lord Mayor of Georgetown. Over the years, the property has been visited by many dignitaries including King Edward VII who stayed at the house in 1923. Other dignitaries have included President Jimmy Carter, HRH Prince Charles, HRH Prince Andrew and Mick Jagger. This magnificent home turned hotel offers the tradition and nostalgia of a bygone era, complete with service and comfort in a congenial family atmosphere.

Day 2: Iwokrama rainforest Canopy Walkway, wildlife viewing.

After breakfast you will be taken to Ogle International Airport to board your scheduled flight for a journey over the Demerara and Essequibo Rivers and hundreds of miles of tropical rain-forest to land at Annai. Breakfast at Rock View Lodge.

Transfer by 4 x 4 along the 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. No promises, but many have been lucky!  Journey ends at the Iwokrama Canopy Walkway and Atta Rainforest Lodge.
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, and these will allow great looks at a range of canopy species, many of which you would struggle to see well from the forest floor.  Amongst the likely highlights are Painted, Brown-throated and Golden-winged Parakeets, Caica Parrot, Guianan Puffbird, Waved and Golden-collared Woodpeckers and Spot-tailed, Todd’s and Ash-winged Antwrens.  The walkway is also an excellent place to look for various species of cotinga including the poorly known and range-restricted Dusky Purpletuft and 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.

Another area where we will want to spend some time is 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, as it often comes to feed in some of the nearby trees.  The clearing is also a reliable site for Black Curassow as there is a family party which has become habituated to people and regularly passes 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.

Atta Rainforest Lodge is 500 metres from the base of the Canopy Walkway, offering comfortable private-room accommodation with ensuite bathrooms, delicious home-cooked meals, and traditional Amerindian hospitality.  The lodge is completely surrounded by tropical rainforest which offers a complete immersion in the rainforest experience.  The main building is open sided with views across the gardens to the towering forest on all sides and houses the bar, dining area and kitchen.  Overnight at Atta Rainforest Lodge.

Day 3: Full day & evening safari through rainforest with healthy Jaguar population.

Before dawn we will return to the vantage of 35 Metres up in the canopy where we can bird watch 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 Monkeys 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 even trying too hard. 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 and something interesting or new always seems to pop on to the scene including the occasional jaguar (panthera onca) along the transnational road near the lodge.

As dusk turns to night, we plan to be on a stretch of road for an evening vehicle safari along the trail leading through the Iwokrama Forest looking for Jaguars, which are often seen in this area.  We will wait quietly watching the road and hope to catch a glimpse of this elusive species as they cross the road. Other wildlife you may see include Red-rumped Agouti, deer and night birds.  Overnight at Atta Rainforest Lodge.

Day 4: Dawn bird watching, hiking trek,  visit and overnight at Amerindian community at Surama.

Welcome the dawn chorus from the canopy walkway.  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 travel past and look for Paradise Jacamar, White-necked Puffbird, Yellow-throated Woodpecker, Black-tailed and Black-crowned Tityras.  Or you can bird along the jungle trails where antbird flocks include White-plumed Antbird, Spot-winged Antbird, Ferruginous-backed Antbird, Long-billed Antwren, McConnell’s Flycatcher, Gray-crowned Flycatcher, Plain Xenops and Wedge-billed Woodcreeper.

Return to the lodge for breakfast before departure.

Transfer from Atta Rainforest Lodge by 4 x 4 vehicle through the rainforest Corkwood in the Iwokrama Forest.  Here there is a comparatively short trail to hopefully see the amazingly brilliant Guianian Cock-of-the-rock.  This trail is through interesting forest and the guides can show the use of the plants. Then, if it is active, we may be able to visit a nearby Harpy Eagle nest. The nest itself is located in a huge emergent tree and if we are extremely fortunate, we may see one of the adult birds bringing a sloth or monkey to the nest to feed their chick.  The trek into the nest site is about an hour each way on a reasonable trail. We will then continue on to the Amerindian community at Surama.

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

This isolated and idyllic location offers an escape from the concrete jungle to 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 local staff and settle into your accommodation at the Surama Eco-lodge.  A local guide will escort you for a short walk on 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.

Day 5: Hiking and canoeing Burro Burro river + overnight in hammock camp

This morning take a three mile walk across the savannah and through the rainforest to the Burro Burro River.  Your guides will paddle you up the river to observe wildlife and birdlife with opportunities to see Giant River Otters, Tapir, Tira, Spider Monkeys and many more species.  Stop along the way to swim or take walks into the forest.  In the late afternoon watch or join in as your guides construct a camp on river bank.  Enjoy a dinner cooked over an open fire before spending the night in your hammock camp.  BLD

Day 6: Full day Burro Burro river exploring

IMG_0385Today continue paddling and exploring the Burro Burro River before returning to Carahaa Landing Camp and then walk back to Surama.  Overnight at Surama Eco-lodge.

Day 7: Depart Burro Burro river to Kwatamang landing for boat trip to Amerindian community at Rewa.

At dawn your guides will paddle you on the Burro Burro River for opportunities to observe Giant River Otters, Tapir, Tira, Spider Monkeys and many more species. Return to village before departing Surama by vehicle to Rock View Lodge at Annai for lunch.After lunch continue along the road to Kwatamang Landing.

Travel by boat along the Rupununi River with opportunities to see wild Giant River Otters and Black Caiman.  You will pass locals fishing and bathing in the river until you reach the Rewa River and the Amerindian community of Rewa.  Journey is approximately 50 miles by river and can be as short as 2 hours and as long as 4 hours depending on the water level.

Rewa Village is located where the Rewa River runs into the Rupununi River in the North Rupununi.  The surrounding area is rainforest, mountains and oxbow lakes and teeming with wildlife birds and fish.  The community of approximately 220 persons is predominately Macushi with a few families of the Wapashani and Patamona tribes.  Villagers practice subsistence farming, fishing and hunting with little opportunity for cash employment.

In 2005 the community constructed the Rewa Eco-lodge so that they could establish a sustainable eco-tourism business.  The lodge itself is situated on the river bank overlooking the Rewa River with views down river to the Rupununi River.  Along the river bank tables and benches offer a relaxing location to enjoy the river.  The grassed clearing in the rainforest houses three benabs and three cabins.  The largest benab is the kitchen and dining area, with an outlook to the river.  Accommodation is in two benabs each with two bedrooms and a large patio with hammocks for relaxing with shared bathrooms and three individual rooms in the cabins with ensuites.

Once settled in take a walk through the community of Rewa to see how the locals live.  Visit villager’s houses where you can experience their everyday life and see activities such as grating cassava, weaving baskets and tending kitchen gardens. Overnight at Rewa Eco-lodge.

Day 8: Full day exploring Rewa River by boat and on foot.

GTISFAM_SPRING07img_1833Enjoy breakfast at dawn overlooking the Rewa 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.  Along the way you will lots of birds and perhaps good close up views of Black Spider Monkeys.

There is good birding 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 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.

At the summit you will have absolutely stunning views across rainforest to the distant mountains.  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.  On the return journey you could fish for peacock bass which are plentiful in the oxbow.

Return to the lodge for lunch, then take a walk through the community of Rewa to see how the locals live.  Visit villager’s houses where you can experience their everyday life and see activities such as grating cassava, weaving baskets and tending kitchen gardens.

Later this afternoon travel 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 giant river turtles come to lay their eggs.  On the return trip spotlight for wildlife along the river banks, where you may see red howler monkeys, squirrel monkeys and brown capuchin.  Overnight at Rewa Eco-lodge.

Day 9: Full day bird and wildlife watching from Rewa Eco Lodge

IMG_2750This morning travel by boat to a nearby trail for a hike through rainforest and into savannah.  See local traditional farms and if you are lucky a family may be there practicing their indigenous farming methods.

This afternoon take a boat up the Rewa River and then a 15 minute hike to Grass Pond.  This pond or lake is about 3 kms long and is a beautiful setting with Victoria Amazonica.  It has a good population of Arapaima, (reportedly the highest density in Guyana) the largest fresh water fish in the world and you can also fish for Peacock Bass.  During a late afternoon visit you may see Brown Capuchin monkey or Capybara.  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 at Rewa Eco-lodge.

Day 10: Travel to Yupukari Village in the Central Rupununi to stay at Caiman House Field Station, a combination guest-lodge and education centre.

Sunset+at+IwokramaAfter breakfast say goodbye to staff and newfound friends and board boat for return journey to Kwatamang Landing. Transfer by 4×4 from Kwatamang Landing to Rock View Lodge where you will enjoy lunch before continuing your journey.

Travel south by road from Rock View Lodge to Ginep Landing. From Ginep Landing we take a boat trip on the Rupununi River to Yupukari.  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.  As you slowly travel on the river keep an eye out for Jabirus nesting along the river, Bat Falcons, King Vulture, Crestless Curassow, White-necked Jacobin and Drab Water Tyrant.  We may also have a chance to see various animals including Giant Otters, Red Howler, White-faced Saki and Squirrel Monkey.

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.

Four modest but comfortable guest rooms are situated around a central lounge area in the lodge behind the research centre. Guest rooms comfortable beds and feature attached bathrooms with flush toilets and running water.  Other rooms are available in the main building with shared bathroom. Caiman House Field Station and the Guest House are powered 24 hours a day by a large solar array.  The entire station is served by wireless internet access.

As a guest you have the unique opportunity to support and participate in an on-going field study of the Black Caiman (Melanosuchus niger), 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.

Day 11: Transfer by 4×4 across the savannah and into the rainforest to Maipaima Eco-lodge.

GTISFAM_SPRING07img_1905On arrival at the Amerindian village of Nappi meet a member of the village council and take a brief orientation of the village before continuing to the Maipaima Eco Lodge. Travel from the savannah into the rainforest to Maipaima Eco Lodge which is nestled in the rainforest covered Kanuku Mountains, in the south central Rupununi district of Guyana.

Once at Maipaima Eco Lodge enjoy a cold drink and relax in a hammock.  Owned, operated and hand built by the Macushi Amerindians of the Nappi Village Eco Tourism group, the lodge itself was constructed through the dedicated efforts of former Guyana Parliamentarian Shirley Melville and funding by Foster Parrots. The lodge is named after the Maipaima Creek which runs past the property.  Simple wooden cabins with ensuite bathrooms are linked by a raised wooden walkway to the main dining and communal area.

Nappi is famous for its Balata figurines and this afternoon you can learn about how Balata is harvested, see how the figurines are made and even try and make your own.  At dusk the bush comes alive and in the clearing of the lodge you have the ability to see 360 degrees to view wildlife and birdlife.  Overnight at Maipaima Eco Lodge.

Day 12: Jordon Falls, steep hike, overnight in hammock camp.

IMGP0838At dawn you can venture along well maintained trails.  Breakfast is served on the open veranda as Macaws fly by and the Red Howler Monkeys control the heights.

From the lodge we set out on a trail observing wildlife as our guide takes us through the rainforest on our way to the Jordon Fall. At about 2,000M from the lodge we encounter the steepest climb on the trek as we ascend the Kanuku Mountains.  Near the top there is a break in the trees for a lovely view across the rainforest to the savannah.  The trail then winds its way up and down small peaks.  The forest here is pristine with plenty of wildlife.  Hard to see species include Jaguar, Ocelot and Tapir.  There is a chance to see Harpy Eagle, as they nest in this area.  More easily seen are Spider, Red Howler, Squirrel and Capuchin Monkeys.

Further along the track we stop at a small creek where you‘ll have a chance to rest and take lunch before continuing the arduous walk to the falls. The hike is likely to take 4 to 6 hours depending on conditions, fitness and what is seen along the way.

Upon arrival to the falls the view is just reward for the tough trek.  The Wamacarro Creek tumbles about 120 metres down the stepped, rocky mountain side. The creek opens up fantastic views across the rainforest covered mountain tops and the rocks create lovely and inviting natural pools to swim in and recover from the hike.  The creek water gently massages as you bathe in the natural Jacuzzi.

Dinner is served al fresco on a rocky outcrop overlooking the falls and mountains. Overnight in hammock accommodation at Jordon Falls.

Day 13: Enjoy the rainforest around Jordon Falls, hike back to Maipaima Eco Lodge.

Wake to the sound of rushing water and Bell Birds, which can sometimes been seen in the very tops of the trees on adjacent mountains.  For the more adventurous you can take a difficult path down beside the falls to view them from the bottom.  After a morning dip in the creek you leave by foot, trekking back through the rainforest to the lodge.  The trek back is easier at much of it is downhill.  Back at Maipaima Eco Lodge enjoy a cold drink and relax in a hammock. Overnight at Maipaima Eco Lodge.

Day 14: Travel to George Town & city tour.

This morning visit a local farm to see how the Amerindians grow their crops, much of which will have been served during your stay.  On departure you can walk along the track and bird watch to Nappi Village.

Transfer by 4×4 from Maipaima Eco Lodge through the rainforest and across the savannah to the border town of Lethem for our scheduled flight to Georgetown.

Georgetown the chief port, capital and largest city of Guyana is situated on the right Bank of the Demerara River Estuary.  It was chosen as a site for a fort to guard the early Dutch settlements of the Demerara River.  The city of Georgetown 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.  For the most part the buildings have Demerara shutters and designed fretwork which trim eaves and windows.  Main Street, Georgetown provides several excellent examples of old colonial homes, a prime example of which is the State House, built in 1852.  The State House is set in large gardens and is painted green and white and has hosted many visiting dignitaries.

During your visit to Georgetown there are a number of interesting sights that should not be missed: the most famous being St. George’s Cathedral.  The Cathedral is one of the world’s tallest free standing wooden buildings and was consecrated on 1892.  The foundation stone was laid on November 23, 1890 and the building was designed by Sir Arthur Bloomfield.  The story of the cathedral is told on the interior on tablets and memorials of a historical and sentimental nature: it is the tale of the history of Guyana in general and of the Diocese in particular.

At the beginning of the Avenue of the Republic stands the Public Library housed in the Carnegie Building.  Other historic buildings along this promenade are the Town Hall, a splendid example of Gothic architecture, and further along are the Victoria Law Courts and St. Andrews Kirk.  St. Andrew’s is the oldest surviving structure of any church in Guyana.

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.

No trip to Georgetown would be complete without a visit to the Botanical Gardens and zoo.  The Botanical Gardens houses one of the most extensive collections of tropical flora in the Caribbean and are laid out with ponds, canals, kissing bridges and bandstand.  Over 100 species of Guyanese wildlife can be observed at the Zoo including a wide variety of tropical fishes and birds.

The National Museum which contains a broad selection of our animal life and heritage should not be missed, nor the Walter Roth Museum of Anthropology, which explains Amerindian history and life style.

The tour will include walking along the Avenues with an experienced guide who will give you the history, rumour and facts on Georgetown and its citizens.  The group will be accompanied at all times by a vehicle, which will be used for travel between areas of interest.  Along the way visitors will sample local exotic fruits, snacks and refreshments.  During the tour there is always the opportunity to purchase that unusual gift or unique Guyanese handicrafts, or for the daring the chance to delve into the gold and diamond market. Overnight at Cara Lodge.

Day 15: Kaieteur Falls fly in-out excursion

IMGP1039The Kaieteur Falls which was first seen by a European on April 29, 1870 is situated in the heart of Guyana on the Potaro River, a tributary of the Essequibo.  The water of Kaieteur, one of the world’s natural wonders, flows over a sandstone conglomerate tableland into a deep gorge – a drop of 741 feet or 5 times the height of Niagara Falls.

There are no other falls in the world with the magnitude of the sheer drop existing at Kaieteur.  Amerindian legend of the Patamona tribe has it that Kai, one of the tribe’s chiefs (after whom the falls is named), committed self sacrifice by canoeing himself over the falls.  It was believed this would encourage the Great Spirit Makonaima to save the tribe from being destroyed by the savage Caribishi.

Kaieteur supports a unique micro environment with 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 nesting close by.  The lucky visitor may also see the famous flights of the Kaieteur Swifts or Makonaima Birds which nest under the vast shelf of rock carved by the centuries of water, hidden behind the eternal curtain of falling water.

This trip may include an extension to Orinduik Falls or Baganara Island Resort, at no additional cost. Overnight at Cara Lodge in Georgetown.

Day 16: Depart Georgetown

Pickup in Georgetown and transfer to Cheddi Jagan International Airport for departing flight.

Inclusions

Inclusions

  • airport transfers
  • twin accommodation
  • meals as listed
  • limited local bar at Karanambu Lodge
  • all road and river transfers
  • internal flights in Guyana
  • activities as described
  • local English speaking  guides
  • VAT
  • Kaieteur National Park fee
  • Iwokrama Forest User Fee
  • Iwokrama Canopy Walkway fee

Not Included

  • items of a personal nature
  • alcoholic drinks except where mentioned above
  • departure tax
  • international flights
  • visa

Airfares

Travel Just 4U  has competitive South America Flights to get you to the starting point of your chosen Holiday. Contact one of our Travel Consultants for a full quotation including airfares, stopovers and any additional travel you wish to organize.