Exotic Guyana Tour

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Exotic Guyana Tour

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1
Arrival in Georgetown
  • Arrive in Georgetown, Guyana's capital city and by far its largest settlement.
  • Originally chosen as a site to guard the early Dutch settlements of the Demerara River, the city has a largely Dutch design, and is laid out in a rectangular pattern with wide tree lined avenues and irrigation canals that criss-cross the city.
  • For those arriving on time, our Leader plans to meet you in the hotel reception at 7.30pm for the welcome meeting and for those that wish, there is the chance to go out for dinner. There are no activities planned today, so you are free to arrive in Georgetown at any time. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you'll need to arrive into either the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (code: GEO) or the Eugene F. Correira Airport (code: OGL), a 1hr15 minute drive or 15 minute drive respectively from our Hotel.
  • Should you miss the welcome meeting, your Leader will inform you of any essential information as soon as you catch up.
  • Return back to Hotel and Overnight stay at Hotel.
2
City Tour
  • Breakfast at Hotel.
  • The early part of the morning is the best time to visit Georgetown's markets, and today we'll do just that. Bourda Market is Georgetown's largest, and is stuffed with local produce from tamarind balls to cassava bread, with fish, meat, vegetables and everything in between.
  • There are the bush medicine stalls that sell concoctions for every ailment, and haberdashery sections with all kinds of fabrics including beautiful African prints.
  • At the market we'll meet the local chef Delvin Adams, who will take us first for a breakfast at one of the local stands. He'll then guide us around the market and introduce us to all of the different foods that Guyana has in spades - from seaside grapes and large red bananas to fiery chillies! Delvin will purchase our lunch ingredients with us at the market, and then depart to start preparing while we continue with a local guide. We'll visit some of Georgetown's key sites, including the beautiful and impressive wooden cathedral, one of the tallest wooden churches in the world at a height of 43.5 metres. We'll also visit the National Museum and the Walter Roth Museum of Anthropology.
  • We will reunite with our chef for lunch, at his 'Backyard Cafe' restaurant, which is a little hidden Georgetown gem that Delvin has created in his own backyard. Our meal will be proper Guyanese fare, made from ingredients that we've picked up this morning at Bourda Market. It might vary depending on the tastes in the group and what produce is in season, but it's all guaranteed to be fresh and delicious.
  • After lunch, we will visit the Botanical Gardens, home to an extensive collection of tropical flora.
  • Return back to Hotel and Overnight stay at Hotel.
3
Free day in Georgetown
  • Breakfast at Hotel.
  • We have a free day to spend exploring Georgetown, or alternatively travel on one of two exciting excursions.
  • The first is a flight away, to the majestic Kaieteur Falls. This long-drop waterfall, first seen by a European on April 29, 1870, is the world's highest single-drop falls, and is situated in the heart of Guyana on the Potaro River. The water of Kaieteur, one of the world's natural wonders, flows over a sandstone conglomerate tableland into a deep gorge - a drop of 822 feet or 5 times the height of Niagara Falls. A lucky visitor may also see the famous Kaieteur Swifts, or Makonaima Birds, which nest under the vast shelf of rock behind the falls. The trip departs from Ogle Airstrip in Georgetown and you'll spend approximately two hours on the ground.
  • Alternatively, take an early morning birding trip back to the extensive Georgetown Botanical Gardens.
  • Travelling with an expert birding guide, you'll be searching out the blood-coloured woodpecker, a species found only in the Guianas. The gardens also host a myriad of other local and endemic species from snail kite and red-bellied macaw, to yellow-chinned spine tail and buff-breasted wren, along with many others.
  • Return back to Hotel and Overnight stay.
4
Drive into the interior to the Iwokrama River Lodge
  • Breakfast at Hotel.
  • It's an early departure from Georgetown today, as we drive through the Bauxite Mining township of Linden and into the rainforest.
  • The laterite road is easy traveling to Mabura Hill and then it becomes an adventurous drive on rainforest trails to the Essequibo River, which we will cross on pontoon. Just at the other side of the river we find the Iwokrama River Lodge, our base for the night. It will take upwards of 7 hours to reach Iwokrama along the interior road; this road is the only north-south access in Guyana and links the country to Brazil. If we take our time, the road also offers excellent opportunities to spot a host of birds, flowers, and perhaps even sloths residing high up in the trees. We'll explore both from the vehicle and on foot. Our base at Iwokrama is located in a vast wilderness of one million acres. This protected area was established in 1996 as the Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation and Development, and the 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.
  • The forest is in the homeland of the Makushi people, who have lived here and used the forest for thousands of years.
  • Our hotel has a beautiful location overlooking the Essequibo River. With wooden en suite cabins, each one with their own veranda, the rooms are comfortable and charming. Electricity is run by generator (both solar and diesel), and there is limited wifi in the main building.
  • Return back to Hotel and Overnight stay.
5
City Tour
  • Breakfast at Hotel.
  • For those who wish, there's the opportunity (at an additional cost) to take a pre-dawn boat trip around the nearby Indian House Island.
  • It takes around one hour to circumnavigate the island, and with your wildlife-spotting driver, you'll look for butterflies, snakes, howler monkey and macaws by the water's edge before going back to the lodge for breakfast.
  • Reuniting with those who've enjoyed a longer sleep, we take a small motorboat after breakfast to the Turtle Mountain trailhead, birdwatching along the way. The walk starts off steadily winding its way through forest on a well-maintained trail, before ending with a short and steep climb to the summit at 360 metres. The effort is more than worth it for the incredible panoramic views over the forest canopy, and the chances of spotting green aracari, white bellbird or even one of five different types of eagle. If the hike is too strenuous, there is an alternative boat trip available to nearby Stanley Lake.
  • In the afternoon we'll explore the trails around the lodge with an Iwokrama Ranger, spotting myriad birdlife along the way. There is the option this evening of a night time boat trip, spotting caiman and listening for night birds such as the spectacled owl and blackish nightjar.
  • We'll also search for amphibians and snakes among the river edge.
  • Return back to Hotel and Overnight stay at Hotel.
6
City Tour
  • Breakfast at Hotel.
  • We drive in a 4x4 vehicle today along a forest trail that is one of the best places to catch a glimpse of the elusive jaguar. Of course, there's no guarantee of spotting these enormous cats, but occasionally they do make their way down to the interior access road. We'll be watching for myriad bird species en route.
  • The journey takes us to the southern boundary of the Iwokrama Reserve, to Atta Rainforest Lodge; home of the Iwokrama Canopy Walkway. This series of four suspension bridges leads to observation decks of up to 30 metres in height. The state-of-the-art construction allows trees to grow normally by using adjustable cables and braces throughout the support structure. From the vantage points on the decks, you can comfortably gaze over the mid- and upper-level forest canopy, without intruding on the wildlife. We'll be looking for a procession of striking, canopy-dwelling birds such as screaming piha, caica parrot, white-throated trogon, Guianan toucanet and many more. If we are lucky we may even see the stunning and highly sought-after pompadour cotinga. Families of spider and howler monkeys are sometimes seen here, feeding on the fruits of nearby trees. Every day brings a new surprise to explorers on the canopy. Our simple lodge for this evening offers private rooms, ensuite bathrooms and traditional Amerindian hospitality.
  • There is a communal building that houses the bar and dining area, and its open-sided construction gives out views over the flower garden and the forest, which completely surrounds the lodge. Watch out for hummingbirds that come to feed in the heliconias.
  • Return back to Hotel and Overnight stay.
7
Bird-watching from the canopy
  • Breakfast at Hotel.
  • Today will be fairly relaxed. We may head out before dawn to the canopy, where we can bird-watch more easily.
  • Howler monkeys are also spotted more frequently at this time in the morning. The rest of the day will be spent at the lodge and will be very flexible to explore either with or without the guide, as you wish. There are many bird species, insects, noisy amphibians and playful primates that make the surrounding forest their home. Deer, tapir and agouti (similar to a capybara) also visit the lodge occasionally. Walks around the access trail bring something different every time, and as darkness falls on the canopy walkway we may catch a glimpse of the white-winged potoo. Night walks are possible from the lodge with our Tour Leeader, and something interesting or new always seems to appear. There is also the option (at an additional cost) to travel out in a vehicle this evening, moving slowly along the access road southwards, in an attempt to spot jaguar. Sometimes other animals like tapir, pacas and agouti are also spotted, but the excitement is really in the search, being completely surrounded by the noise of the forest.
  • Return back to Hotel and Overnight stay.
8
Travel to the indigenous community
  • Breakfast at Hotel.
  • We'll depart Atta Lodge this morning, travelling through the rainforest to a small place called Corkwood.
  • Here we have a short trail through pristine rainforest, with the end goal of hopefully seeing the brilliant Guianan cock-of-the-rock. Along the way, the guides may explain how plants are used for medicine and other purposes. After this short walk, we continue to Surama. This indigenous community is located right in the heart of the country, in the 'savannah' area that is ringed by the forest-covred Pakaraima Mountains. The villagers here are mainly from the Macushi indigenous trip, and our eco-lodge is owned and operated by the entire community. The Village Council decides, upon consultation with the villagers themselves, how to spend the profits from the tourism business so that it benefits the entire community. We'll settle into the eco-lodge on arrival, and take a short walk on trails to observe the forest and bird life, as well as visiting the village as a whole.
  • After dark, our Tour Leader will take us on an educational walk to experience the mysteries of the forest by night.
  • Insects and amphibians come into their own at this time, and we'll catch some of them watching us, using our flashlights as a guide.
  • Return back to Hotel and Overnight. 
9
Walk up Surama Mountain
  • Breakfast at Hotel.
  • Today we rise before dawn for a walk across the savannah, before climbing up Surama Mountain in the cool morning air.
  • This is the best time to observe birdlife along the trail. Breakfast will be served at a look out point which affords incredible views across the village and savannah to the Pakaraima Mountains. The climb is not long but can be quite strenuous, particularly after rain. Our Tour Leader will offer alternatives for those who wish.
  • We then return to the village for lunch and set out later in the afternoon to the Burro Burro River, from where the local guides will paddle us upstream in our indigenous dugout canoes for opportunities to observe birdlife and wildlife in their natural habitat, including plenty of kingfisher, ibis, and if we're lucky, giant river otters, before returning to the village.
  • On the walk back, we'll see the forest through the eyes of our indigenous guide, learning about how medicinal plants are used in the Amerindian community to treat everything from upset stomachs to glaucoma.
  • Return to Hotel and Overnight stay.
10
Drive from Surama to Lethem
  • Breakfast at Hotel.
  • We'll have our final chance to watch dawn breaking across the rainforest this morning, opting to walk through the forest for another bird-watching session, or relaxing around the lodge before breakfast.
  • We will then drive for several hours south across the savannah to Lethem, a town close to the border with Brazil, where we pick up our flight back to Georgetown. What remains of the day is ours to spend as we choose. For those who wish, there is the option to take a historical boat trip along the Demerara River.
  • You'll cross with the commuters by river taxi, before picking up a boat to discover the history of the buildings along the waterfront.
  • The trip also takes in the Demerara Harbour Bridge - once the longest floating bridge in the world, at almost 2 kilometers in length - as well as the mangroves near the city, where scarlet ibis, snail kits and egret make their homes.
  • Return back to Hotel.
11
City Tour
  • Breakfast at Hotel.
  • We'll take a guided trip along the Atlantic Coast this morning, heading in the direction of the Mahaica River.
  • Out of Georgetown, the road to the river landing runs parallel to the river itself, and gives us an introduction into the lives of the farming communities who cultivate rice and other crops in this area.
  • Upon arrival at the river landing, we'll jump into our small boat for a waterway exploration. The Mahaica River is one of the best places to spot Guyana's national bird, the hoatzin. This odd bird is an unusual species of tropical bird found in swamps and mangroves in this part of South America. It produces a horrible smell to scare away potential predators, which has led to locals naming it the Stinkbird. After our journey here we return to Georgetown, with the rest of the day free. Our guide will most likely organize a group meal this evening, on our final night in Guyana.
  • Return back to Hotel and Overnight stay at Hotel.
12
Fly Back Home
  • The trip ends after breakfast at our hotel in Georgetown.
  • There are no activities planned today, so you are free to depart from Georgetown at any time.
  • Transfer to Airport for your onward Journey.

Inclusions

  • As per mentioned in itinerary
  • SIC (Seat in Coach)
  • As per mentioned in itinerary
  • English speaking tour guide
  • Return airport transfers
  • As per mentioned in itinerary