Guyana Amerindian Tour
This 12 day journey introduces you to the rich Amerindian culture and pristine environment of Guyana while focusing on sustainable eco-lodges owned and operated by indigenous communities. You will visit Surama Eco-lodge, Guyana’s first community-owned and operated eco-lodge which has served as a model for other communities both locally and internationally. You will continue to Rewa Eco-lodge located in Rewa Village, the most remote and pristine of our lodges and Caiman House in the indigenous community of Yupukari where you will experience first hand the conservation research being done on Black Caiman and the Yellow-spotted Amazon River Turtle. Because we are English speaking, you will be able to interact directly with your hosts, guides and community members experiencing first hand the authentic hospitality and culture of Guyana’s first peoples.
This itinerary takes us into some of the most remote and pristine rainforest left on earth, with excellent chances for spotting endangered species such as jaguar, harpy eagle, giant river otter, black and spectacled caiman, guianan cock-of-the-rock, giant anteater, arapaima, neotropical butterflies, plus insects, amphibians, primates, birds, and marine creatures of all sorts. Our guides – who grew up swimming in these rivers, walking these trails, and learning the local rhythms of nature – will help us identify the hidden gems of the rain forest and savannah, introduce us to Amerindian medicinal plant traditions, and share time-honored stories about their people’s history and way of life.Accommodation at the eco lodges is offered in clean, comfortable, and traditionally designed facilities built by villagers from locally sourced raw materials. All beds are equipped with mosquito nets and guest rooms feature private bathrooms with flush toilets. Out of economic and practical necessity, most food is locally produced, power is solar-generated, and drinking water is harvested from rain-catches or freshwater springs. Transport into Guyana’s largely un-populated interior regions is by small plane, river canoe, 4X4 pickup truck, and the occasional bullock cart. Amenities are limited, and this isn’t a trip for those seeking luxurious resorts or glossy adventure packages… it is however, a perfect opportunity for those wishing to experience a vibrant and pristine natural environment in the care of those who call it home.
Day 1 - Saturday
Arrival at Cheddi Jagan International Airport and transfer to Cara Lodge. 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 VIll 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 wooden colonial home turned hotel offers the tradition and nostalgia of a bygone era, complete with service and comfort in a congenial family atmosphere. Overnight at Cara Lodge. (Check in time 1400hrs, Check out time 12midday)
Day 2 - Sunday
Pickup and transfer to Eugene F. Correia International Airport.
Board a scheduled flight for a journey over hundreds of miles of tropical rainforest to land at Fair View Airstrip.
(Check in time 0700hrs, Departure 0830hrs)
Pick up from Fair View Airstrip and 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! Along the road, we will watch for the myriad of bird species that frequent the forest edge, including Crimson and Purple-necked Fruit-crow, Crimson Topaz, Green Oropendula, Spotted and Guianan Puffbird, Scarlet and Red-and-Green Macaw, Blue-cheeked and Orange-winged Parrot and Gray-winged Trumpeter. 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, such as Agouti, Tayra, Puma, Tapir and Black Curassow. The journey concludes at the Atta Rainforest Lodge.
The Iwokrama Canopy Walkway is situated 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.
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.
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 BLD
Day 3 - Monday
Before dawn we will return to the canopy where we can bird watch easily and 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 tree species marked. Many bird species, stunning insects, noisy amphibians, and playful primates make the surrounding forest their home. Deer, Tapir 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 darkness 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. Overnight at Atta Rainforest Lodge BLD
Day 4 - Tuesday
Welcome the dawn chorus from the canopy walkway and then return to the lodge for breakfast before departure. Transfer from Atta Rainforest Lodge by 4 x 4 vehicle through the rainforest to Corkwood in the Iwokrama Forest. Here there is a comparatively short trail to hopefully see the amazingly brilliant Guianan Cock-of-the-rock. This trail is through interesting and pristine rainforest and the guides can explain how the plants are used for medicine and other purposes. Continue the 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 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 practices 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 utilize its resources. BLD
Day 5 - Wednesday
Rise before dawn for a walk across the savannah hiking up Surama Mountain for incredible views across the village and savannah to the Pakaraima Mountains. Return to the lodge for lunch before taking a three-mile walk across the savannah and through the rainforest to the Burro Burro River. Here you will have opportunities to observe Giant River Otters, Tapir, Tayra, Spider Monkeys, and other species. BLD
Day 6 - Thursday
After a morning walk and breakfast, you will depart by road through the rainforest and savannah to Rock View Lodge in Annai where you will have lunch before continuing to Kwatamang Landing for a 2 to 4 hours boat ride to Rewa Eco-Lodge depending on the water level. Once settled in take a walk over to 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. Take a short boat ride from the lodge to the opposite bank on the Rupununi River. Hidden a five-minute walk from the boat is a lovely oxbow lake. The magical setting is enhanced with a wooden deck out over the pond, allowing close-up views of the Victoria amazonica the world’s largest waterlily and the national flower of Guyana.
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. BLD
Day 7 - Friday
Friday Enjoy 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 lot 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. Makarapan is the oldest mountain in South America if not the world clocking in at an amazing two thousand million years old.
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 sandbanks 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. BLD
Day 8 - Saturday
After breakfast says goodbye to staff and newfound friends and you return by boat to Kwatamang Landing. Vehicle transfer from Kwatamang Landing to Pakaraima Mountain Inn, which sits in the Aranaputa Valley, just outside the village of Yakarinta. Enjoy a home-cooked lunch on the veranda along with fascinating stories from local character and host, Charlie De Freitas.
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.
Vehicle transfer from landing 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 nonprofit 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 feature comfortable beds and ensuite bathrooms with flush toilets and running water. Other rooms are available in the annex building, two with ensuite and one with a 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 ongoing 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 BLD
Day 9 - Sunday
Guests will be escorted with skilled guides who will go paddling or with an electric motor on the Awariku Lake. The ride on this huge lake takes you through a creek in some lowland forest and comes out into the Rupununi River. Once on the river, you will drift down to the main landing and then come back up to Caiman House. In low water you will paddle back to the landing where you embarked. This is good for birdwatching and Egrets and ibises are regular sightings along the lake and possibility of seeing Giant River Otters, Black Caiman.
Although never found, with continued exploration into Guyana’s interior, a Lake Amucu in the North Rupununi was linked to the golden city of legend - El Dorado. Join the guides for a half day drive or hike to this fabled site. A flooded savannah in the rainy season, this scenic locale is overlooked by the Pakaraima Mountains and pockmarked by bush islands, ite swamps, and large termite mounds. Watch and walk the historic paths of famous explorers and the indigenous Macushi on this historic and cultural tour. As well explore the area to seek out wildlife such as anteaters, fox, and a variety of savannah birds.
After dinner take a boat trip with an experienced guide to spotlight along the banks for wildlife. You will most certainly see Black Caiman, as this river has South America’s second largest population of the species. During periods of high water, it is difficult to capture Caiman so you will have chance to enter the nocturnal world of the Rupununi River and associated gallery forests which offer an experience, and world of wildlife entirely different than those viewed on a day trip.
Skilled guides will expertly escort visitors to meet elusive denizens of darkness by outboard powered boats, while interpreting the sights, and sounds of Guyana after dark. Just after darkness settles on the river many creatures emerge such as black caiman (to over 12 feet), spectacled caiman, tree boas, iguanas, frogs, and many fish species such as arauana and piranha. Sleeping birds may include kingfishers, nightjars, potoos, boat-billed herons and other aquatic birds. You may see bats, spiders, insects, moths which can be closely approached in way not possible during the hours of light. Less likely, but not rare inclusions for night viewing include possums, tree dwelling rodents, capybara and sleeping monkeys, especially squirrel monkeys, amongst other mammals. Few nights pass without some unusual offering.. BLD
Day 10 - Monday
Vehicle transfer from Caiman House to Lethem where you will board a scheduled flight back to Georgetown where you will be picked up for a tour of Georgetown. Here you will enjoy a guided afternoon tour of the city which takes in the city’s unique colonial architecture and cultural diversity. You should not miss the St. George’s Cathedral which is one of the world’s tallest free-standing wooden building, City Hall, the Victoria Law Courts and St. Andrews Kirk. Visit the Walter Roth Museum of Anthropology, which houses a wonderful collection of artifacts and explains Amerindian history and lifestyle and feed West Indian Manatees in the National Park. Overnight at Cara Lodge.
Day 11 - Tuesday
Take 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.
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.Spend two hours on the ground exploring the unique environment while enjoying spectacular views of this magnificent wonder of the world. This evening transfer to the airport for departing American Airlines flight. B
Condition of Sale :
Flights to Kaieteur Falls are operated on chartered aircraft and all flights have a minimum passenger restriction. Therefore, any booking to Kaieteur and Orinduik Falls is subject to a minimum of 12 passengers being available to travel. In most cases we are able to fill flights, especially if scheduled for a weekend. However, in the rare case that we cannot meet the required numbers we will reschedule the trip to another day during your stay, if this is possible. Operator retains the right to reschedule a flight as a first option. If we cannot reschedule the flight, operator 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 endeavor to reschedule the flight during your itinerary. If this is not possible then a full refund on the flight will be made.
Pickup and transfer from Eugene F. Correia International Airport to Georgetown. Overnight at Cara Lodge. BL
Day 12 - Wednesday
Pickup in Georgetown and transfer to Cheddi Jagan International Airport for departing flight. B
2020 RATE (Per Person) in double room in US$:
1 person: US$7735
2 People: US$5265 pp
4 People: US$4390 pp
6 People: US$4362 pp
8 People: US$4466 pp
Single supplement $380
- airport transfers
- double or twin accommodation
- meals as listed
- all road and river transfers
- internal flights in Guyana
- activities as described
- local guides
- 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
We are currently accepting bookings with no deposit to hold a long term reservation and 30% deposit just 30 days prior, and final payment 7 days before arrival. Free cancellation or date change up to 30 days prior to arrival. If you can’t travel due to covid we will offer a free change of date, travel voucher to the full amount or as a last resort a refund less any bank fees (generally US$50).
BODY WEIGHTS : Please be advised all customers must provide us with body weights of passengers booked to travel on tour to Guyana for all internal flights. We appreciate some people are sensitive about providing their body weights, but all customers and their baggage are weighed at check-in. This is procedure by the airline so as to ensure that the weight of the load is within the payload limit for the aircraft. All passengers are subject to removal of themselves or luggage from the flight if over the weight they provided and/or over the baggage allowance. Passengers are advised to provide a body weight with clothing similar to that which they would expect to travel in on the flight. Weights supplied are provided to the airline in advance to ensure the flight is within the allowable payload.
A WORD ON VISAS : The requirement for a visa can change at any time and without notice. It is your responsibility to ensure you have the necessary visa for each country. We recommend you check the visa requirements for each country included in your itinerary. We are happy to provide advice on current requirements and even assistance in obtaining a visa on arrival or tourist cards. If you are unsure of requirements please contact us for assistance.
CONDITION RESTRAINTS : You have selected a tour that is, in part, in remote areas. This adds to the adventure and opportunity to enjoy a true nature experience. However, due to the nature of the terrain, weather, road conditions, and other elements beyond our control, some elements of tours may have to be altered. Times of some activities may need to be changed or even cancelled due to the conditions. If an activity is cancelled it will be replaced with an alternative activity that is more appropriate for the conditions. Advance notice will be given for any changes where possible, although at times changes may be made whilst the tour is in progress.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
At all times the decision of the company or its representative will be final on all matters likely to endanger the safety, well-being and enjoyment of the tour. Clients must at all times strictly comply with the laws, customs, foreign exchange and drug regulations of all countries visited. Should the client fail to comply with the above or commit any illegal act when on tour or, if in the company’s opinion, the client's behavior causes or is likely to cause danger, distress or annoyance to others we may terminate that client’s travel arrangements without any liability on the company’s part.
The Client must be in possession of a valid passport (valid 6 months past the return date), visa (where necessary), permits and certificates including vaccinations certificates, insurance policies required for the journey – the client accepts responsibility of obtaining these. Any information or advice given by the company on visas, vaccinations, clothing, special equipment, baggage, climate, etc. is given in good faith but without responsibility on the part of the company.
You have selected a tour that is, in part, in remote areas. This adds to the adventure and opportunity to enjoy a true nature experience. However, due to the nature of the terrain, weather, road conditions, and other elements beyond our control, some elements of tours may have to be altered. Times of some activities may need to be changed or even cancelled due to the conditions. If an activity is cancelled it will be replaced with an alternative activity that is more appropriate for the conditions. Advance notice will be given for any changes where possible, although at times changes may be made whilst the tour is in progress.
WILDLIFE SIGHTINGS - With any trip involving wildlife it is impossible to guarantee a sighting, but each trip is designed around known habitats. operator will make every effort to ensure a sighting, but cannot be held responsible if no sighting is made due to the wildlife itself, weather, or any other elements beyond our control.
LOCAL CULTURE - Many of the areas to be visited are remote and cultures of the people most likely different to what you are accustomed to. These communities welcome visitors under the conditions that their customs, habits and rituals are respected at all times. Operator will endeavor to provide appropriate guidance to visitors as to correct behavior whilst in these communities. The company reserves the right to cancel a visitor’s tour, at any time, should their behavior be inappropriate and offensive to the local communities.
ACCEPTANCE OF RISK & RESPONSIBILITY
Nature and adventure travel is by character, an activity that requires travelling in areas that are often remote and the terrain difficult. Whilst every precaution is taken to ensure the comfort and safety of our customers, these trips do have elements of risk. By taking part in this tour you acknowledge that there are inherent risks and that you are fully aware of the conditions of travel, accommodation and activities offered. You accept that operator, its staff and sub-contractors cannot be held liable for any accident, illness or similar occurrence. You hereby accept all such risk and release the company from all claims and causes of action arising from any injuries or damages resulting from these inherent risks.
FORCE MAJEURE - The company will do its best to minimize the effects of matters outside its control but cannot accept liability of these matters which include political disputes, industrial action, refusal of visas, border closures, unforeseeable climate, delayed or cancelled flights etc.
TRAVEL INSURANCE - It is the client’s responsibility to obtain adequate personal travel insurance. This insurance should, as a minimum, cover personal accident, medical expenses and repatriation expenses. It is recommended that the coverage extends to include loss of effects, curtailment, cancellation and all other expenses which might arise as a result of loss, damage, injury, delay or inconvenience occurring to the client.
PAYMENT - All rates are quoted in US dollars, unless otherwise stated. Rates are correct at the time of publishing, but are subject to change without notice. Due to fluctuating world fuel prices internal airfares cannot be guaranteed and rate is therefore subject to change. Every effort will be made to maintain quoted rate. A deposit of 20% is required to confirm any booking and balance of payment is due 30 days prior to commencement of trip.
CANCELLATION BY THE CLIENT - Any cancellation by the client must be in writing and acknowledged by operator. The date on which the correspondence is received will determine the loss of any monies applicable.