Tailor-Made Holiday

Guyana Highlights Holiday

An intrepid trip into the wilds of Guyana and its virgin rainforest

17 days

from £4,495pp (excluding flights)

Not for the fainthearted, but highly rewarding this is an intrepid trip into the wilds of Guyana. Available as a tailor-made or group trip, this holiday idea spends 17 days travelling into the interior to discover this truly fascinating and little visited country.

  • Search for jaguar, giant anteaters, tapirs, giant river otters, harpy eagles and more amazing wildlife
  • Explore untouched wilderness. 80 percent of the land is virgin rainforest
  • Marvel at the dramatic landscape including Kaieteur Falls, five times the height of Niagara
  • Meet with local tribes and Amerindian communities, observing their traditional and age-old practices

Your holiday to Guyana begins in the capital city of George Town, spending time wandering the streets, exploring its beautiful colonial buildings and Dutch influence. From here delve into the pristine jungle, little visited by tourists and discover the weird and wonderful wildlife.

Hike, fly and journey by boat amongst dramatic jungle landscapes, mountains and huge waterfalls. Also spend time meeting local tribes, find out about their traditional practices and simple way of life.

2019 Price on a private basis: £4,575

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Price Excluding Flights £Flight cost from 
£ 4495 £ 900

Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Fly London to Port of Spain

Fly Port of Spain to Georgetown


The only large city in Guyana and the country's capital, Georgetown lies at the mouth of the Demerara River. An attractive colonial city, British-inspired architecture and a profusion of flowering trees fill its charming streets. Dotting the city are a fine selection of jazz bars and cafes, serving delicious local cuisine.

Packed with striking buildings, Georgetown's highlight is the impressive St. George's Cathedral, which is said to be the tallest wooden structure in the world. Other popular sites include the cast-iron Stabroek Market, the Parliament Building and the Victorian-era Botanical Gardens.


You will be staying at Cara Lodge, Bed & Breakfast

Day 2

Rest of the Day at Leisure
Have the rest of the day free to explore Georgetown.


You will be staying at Cara Lodge, Bed & Breakfast

Day 3

Day Trip to Kaieteur Falls
Transfer to the airport for a 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. At 228 metres, Kaieteur is nearly five times the height of Niagara Falls. First discovered in 1870 the falls are located in the heart of Guyana on the Potaro River, a tributary of the Essequibo. The water of Kaieteur flows over a sandstone conglomerate tableland into a deep gorge below and 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 and is famed for its tank bromeliads. The largest of all bromeliads, these strange plants act as lifelong sanctuaries for the tiny golden frog. The rarely seen Guiana cock- of-the-rock also nests close by. There is also a chance to see the flight of the Kaieteur Swifts or Makonaima Birds which nest under the vast shelf of rock carved by the centuries of cascading water. It is also possible to upgrade to a flight including Orinduik Falls.

*Flights to Kaieteur Falls are operated on chartered aircraft and all flights have a minimum passenger restriction. Any booking to Kaieteur and Orinduik Falls is subject to a minimum of 12 passengers being available to travel. In the rare case that required numbers cannot be met, every effort will be made to reschedule the trip to an alternative day. All flights are also subject to weather conditions.


You will be staying at Cara Lodge, Bed & Breakfast

Day 4

Fly Georgetown to Annai

Drive from Annai to Iwokrama River Lodge


Leave the small airstrip at Annai and travel by 4x4 to Iwokrama River Lodge. This journey can take up to six hours, depending on weather conditions.


A vast one million acre wilderness, the Iwokrama Rainforest was established as a protected area in 1996. The heart of the Guiana Shield, one of the last untouched tropical forests, Iwokrama is as a living laboratory for tropical forest management. Home to the indigenous Makushi, it is protected through a unique partnership between the local people and conservation organisations.

Rich in flora and fauna, this pristine rainforest is home to a startlingly large number of species. It contains particularly sizeable bird and fish populations, with more than 400 species of fish and 500 species of birds discovered thus far.


Afternoon to Explore Iwokrama
This afternoon is free to explore the trails around the river lodge, accompanied by an Iwokrama Ranger. Look out for Guianan toucanets, rufous-winged ground-cuckoos, black spider monkeys and brown capuchins.


Evening River Trip
After dark set out on the river in hope of spotting some of the four species of caiman. Look out for nocturnal birds, such as spectacled owls and nightjars, whilst keeping watch for boa snakes, tree frogs, puma or capybara.


You will be staying at Iwokrama River Lodge, Full board

Day 5

Early Morning River Trip
Rise early to embark on a boat trip down the Essequibo River, circumnavigating Indian House Island. Listen to the dawn chorus from birds such as quails, swifts, swallows and antwrens, before returning to the lodge for breakfast.


Half a Day Climbing Turtle Mountain
After breakfast, board a boat from the lodge and sail towards Turtle Mountain, watching out for wildlife along the way. The exhilarating trek to the 360-metre summit of Turtle Mountain will be a journey of approx. 2 hours, an effort which is rewarded with breath-taking views over the forest canopy. Along the route to the summit look out for green aracaris, white bellbirds and eagles, as well as black spider monkeys, red howler monkeys and the elusive jaguar.


Late Afternoon Boat Trip to Kurupukari Falls
As the afternoon cools, set out on a boat to visit Kurupukari Falls. Depending on water levels, it is possible to see some of the Amerindian petroglyphs that cover the rocks.


You will be staying at Iwokrama River Lodge, Full board

Day 6

Dawn Wildlife Walk
Take a sunrise wildlife walk, with an Iwokrama ranger, on the trails that surround the lodge.

Drive from Iwokrama River Lodge to Atta Rainforest Lodge


Leave Iwokrama Rainforest Lodge and travel by 4x4 to Atta Rainforest Lodge, a journey of approx. 2 hours, depending on weather conditions. The Iwokrama forest is rapidly gaining a reputation for its healthy population of jaguars, who seem to be untroubled by the appearance of curious humans.

This track is the only road linking the country to Brazil, and wildlife is often seen along the road. While driving, look out for the myriad of bird species, including the crimson topaz and green oropendula, as well as agouti, tayra, puma and tapir. The journey concludes at the Iwokrama Canopy Walkway with some bird-watching from a 30-metre high vantage-point in the canopy.


You will be staying at Atta Rainforest Lodge, Full board

Day 7

Canopy Walk at Dawn
Welcome the dawn chorus from the canopy walkway. Short-tailed nighthawks settle in for the day, swifts take to the sky and toucans fill the forest with noise. The unusually timid black curassow can also be seen from the tree-top vantage: at least one family party has become habituated and regularly feeds in the clearing of Atta Rainforest Lodge. Deer and agouti are also regular visitors to the lodge, and serious birders can head to the undergrowth to search for the rarely seen rufous-winged ground-cuckoo.


Explore the Canopy
Spend time spotting forest fauna from the Iwokrama Canopy Walkway. The walkway has five suspension bridges leading to four
platforms, the highest of which is over 30 metres above the ground. These will allow great views of a range of canopy species, many of which you would struggle to see well from the forest floor. Green puffbirds, painted parakeets, waved woodpeckers and purple-breasted cotingas can all be sighted from the walkway; whilst red howler monkeys and black spider monkeys are occasional visitors. As darkness falls there is the chance to see the white-winged potoo as well as the occasional jaguar.


You will be staying at Atta Rainforest Lodge, Full board

Day 8

Drive from Atta Rainforest Lodge to Surama via Cock-of-the-rock Trail


After breakfast, depart Atta Rainforest Lodge and travel by 4x4 to the beginning of a trail in the Iwokrama Forest. Set off on foot with the hope of spotting the brilliantly colourful Guianian cock-of-the-rock, Guyana's most iconic bird. During the trek, also learn about the uses of some of the forest's fascinating plants.
Afterwards, continue on to the Amerindian village of Surama. The driving time can be up to 90 minutes, depending on weather conditions.


Set upon a small patch of savannah and surrounded by the densely forested Pakaraima Mountains, the village of Surama is lost amidst Guyana's vast interior. Sporadically inhabited throughout the years, the village's current inhabitants are from the Makushi tribe. Life for many of the residents has hardly changed and many still observe the traditional practices of their forebears.


Village Welcome and Tour
On arrival in Surama, receive a welcome from a village counsellor and settle in. Explore woodland trails with a local guide, observing forest and bird life, then as the afternoon cools take a tour of the village. Visit the local school, medical centre and church along with some of the village houses.


Late Afternoon and Evening Walks
Tonight, venture out on an educational walk to observe wildlife and experience the mystique of the forest after dark.


You will be staying at Surama Eco Lodge, Full board

Day 9

Half Day Trek up Surama Mountain
Rise before dawn to walk across the savannah, then begin to climb Surama Mountain in the cool morning air. This is the best time to observe bird life along the trail. Stop for breakfast at a lookout point and admire the incredible views across the village and savannah, towards the Pakaraima Mountains.


Half a Day Walking and Spending Time on the Burro Burro River
Set out on a three mile walk across the savannah, and through the rainforest, to the Burro Burro River. Transfer to a boat on the Burro Burro River - paddled by the guides - and take the chance to spot some of the animals that inhabit the river and its banks. Observe giant river otters, tapirs, tayras, spider monkeys and many other species. Return to the village for sunset.


You will be staying at Surama Eco Lodge, Full board

Day 10

Drive from Surama to Ruperti


Depart Surama by 4x4 vehicle or Bedford truck and travel to the Rock View Lodge at Ruperti. This journey can take up to 90 minutes, depending on weather conditions. The road winds its way through the savannah and the foothills of the Pakaraima Mountains. En route, spot some of the savannah's birdlife, including jabiru storks.


You will be staying at Rock View Lodge, Full board

Day 11

Dawn Hike to Pakaraima Mountains
Set out at sunrise for a trek in the foothills of the Pakaraima Mountains, on the Panorama Trail. Affording spectacular views across the savannah and villages, this trail is rich with birdlife. Have the chance to spot species such as cinereous mourners, Finsch's euphonias, reddish hermits, and jacamars.


Spend the Day Visiting Local Villages
Visit nearby Amerindian villages and have the chance to gain an insight in to the local people's way of life. Learn about the local cashew industry and observe a demonstration of traditional cashew nut roasting. Finish the day with drinks around the pool.


You will be staying at Rock View Lodge, Full board

Day 12

Travel by Boat and 4x4 from Ruperti to Karanambu Ranch


Leave Ruperti and travel through the savannah and into the foothills of the Pakaraima Mountains. Jabiru storks and toco toucans, as well as red howler and spider monkeys, are often seen along this stretch of road.

From Ginep Landing, take a boat trip on the Rupununi River to Karanambu Ranch. Depending on the river level, this trip offers an excellent opportunity to look for giant otters. Several family groups live along this stretch of the Rupununi River. This journey can take up to four hours, depending on weather conditions.


An extensive area of grassland that is scattered with termite mounds and riparian woodland, the Rupununi Savannah is squeezed between the Rupununi River and Guyana's borders. Home to a number of indigenous Amerindian tribes, this sparsely populated area is famed for its biological diversity.

Large parts of the savannah are devoted to cattle raising and ranches dot the empty grassland areas. Many of the 'vaqueros', or cowboys, that work on these ranches are said to be descended from 19th century Scottish immigrants.


Late Afternoon Boat Trip to Look for Otters
Set out by boat to look for giant river otters. As dusk falls continue to the nearby ponds to see the giant Amazonian water lilies, which bloom in the evening. On the way back use a spotlight to search for black caimans and other nocturnal animals.


You will be staying at Karanambu Lodge, Full board

Day 13

Day of Bird or Wildlife Watching
Rise early this morning to travel to an area of rolling grasslands in the savannah which is home to a population of giant anteaters.

This evening visit a nearby pond where hundreds of ibis, anhinga, heron and egret roost during the rainy season. Species including spotted puffbird, striped woodcreeper and pale bellied tyrant-manakin can be found in nearby woodlands and a feature bird for this area is the agami heron. An evening walk along the airstrip offers seven species of nightjar and among the grasslands the double striped thick-knees.


You will be staying at Karanambu Lodge, Full board

Day 14

Early Morning Savannah and River Trip
In the event that giant anteaters were not seen the previous day, this morning there is another chance to search the savannah. Alternatively, explore the Rupununi River in search of giant river otters, black caimans and arapaima. Afterwards, return to the lodge for breakfast before departure.

Travel from Karanambu Ranch to Caiman House


Leave Karanambu Ranch and travel upriver in a motorboat, bird watching on the way to the village of Yupukari, a journey of approx. 2 hours. Afterwards, transfer by vehicle to Caiman House.


Night-time River Trip
This evening offers the unique opportunity to support and participate in an ongoing field study of black caiman, the largest member of the alligator family and an endangered species. Observe captures from a separate boat with the opportunity to assist in data collection. Caimans are weighed, measured, sexed and tagged before being released back into the river. The research undertaken here has already uncovered interesting new information about caimans' nests. During periods of high water, it is difficult to capture caimans, but there will still be the chance to enter the nocturnal world of the Rupununi River. Just after darkness settles on the river, many creatures emerge. These include black caimans, spectacled caimans, tree boas, iguanas, frogs, and numerous fish species. Observe sleeping birds, such as kingfishers, nightjars and herons. In the trees, look out for possums, capybara and sleeping monkeys.


You will be staying at Caiman House & Research Centre, Full board

Day 15

Half Day Local Village Visit or Bird Watching
This morning, go on an adventure with skilled guides, who paddle their boats from the Awariku Lake through a lowland forest creek to the Rupununi River. Search for the many savannah, forest and river-edge birds, in particular the allusive agami heron and the rufescent tiger heron. Also search for the spectacular Victoria Amazonica giant water lily. After reaching the river, the guides will allow the boats to drift before journeying back to Caiman Lodge. After breakfast visit the Amerindian village of Yupukari to observe their way of life, perhaps learning to make cassava bread, spin and weave cotton, fashion bricks from river clay, or make rope from leaf fibres. Visit the Yupakari village school to meet the students and their teachers.

Drive from Caiman House to Karanambu Airstrip


Leave Caiman House and travel to Karanambu Airstrip, which is around an hour away.

Fly Rupununi Savannah to Georgetown


Half Day City Tour of Georgetown
Embark on a brief city tour of Georgetown, accompanied by an experienced guide, who will recount the history of Georgetown. A vehicle will also accompany the tour, to be used for travelling between the most significant areas of interest. Walk along the avenues, browse the local gifts and handicrafts, delve in to the gold and diamond market, visit the Botanical Gardens, and learn about the historic buildings and examples of Gothic architecture.


You will be staying at Cara Lodge, Bed & Breakfast

Day 16

Fly Georgetown to Port of Spain

Fly Port of Spain to London overnight

Destination Experts

Our experts have unrivalled firsthand knowledge of Guyana

James Armitage, Travel Expert

"The help and great knowledge James offered really made the holiday special"

"James listened and managed our expectations and therefore made sure we were prepared for all eventualities when going on our holiday to Brazil"

"James was brilliant and all the advice was spot on."

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John Faithfull, Travel Expert

"Personalised service. Seemed to really want to get it right for us. Very impressed when I first called and John spent 40 minutes finding out what we wanted to do and tailoring it for us."

"The expertise that John has really gave us faith in where we were going, the regions, the hotels, the trips. John knew about it all, he described them in detail, and when we asked for different regions he was straight in there with suggestions and ideas. The way the whole trip was planned and presented to us, never any pressure to book or any problem to change plans /ideas."

"John Faithful was wonderfully helpful and conscientious in arranging the itinerary and was always ready to suggest alternatives or rearrange matters without any hesitation; this and his detailed knowledge gave one great confidence."

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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