Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago,

The Wildlife and Culture of the Three Guianas

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Tailor-Made Tour
16 Days
From £7233
GEOIP Not Available
Culture and Archaeology
Country Combo
Off The Beaten Track

Tour Introduction

16 Days from £7233
GEOIP Not Available
per adult.

The 1.7 billion year old Guiana Shield is overlain by one of the largest expanses of undisturbed tropical rainforest in the world. This vast forest houses a rich biodiversity which includes 1,400 species of vertebrates and 1,680 species of bird. Our unusually diverse itinerary explores the three Guianas – Guyana (formerly a British colony), Suriname (formerly a Dutch colony) and French Guiana (an overseas department of France). Search for magnificent species such as jaguar and giant anteater, learn about the many different tribes and cultures of the region including visits to Amerindian and Maroon communities, and marvel at Kaieteur Falls, the highest single drop waterfall in the world.

Full Itinerary

Price from £7233
GEOIP Not Available
per adult. Based on sharing double / twin rooms
Day 1
Arrive in Georgetown

Arrive in Georgetown, Guyana. Met on arrival and transfer to hotel.

Staying at Cara Lodge. Includes In-flight Meals.

Day 2
Karanambu

Fly to Karanambu. Met on arrival and transfer to the ranch located in the northern Rupununi region - a crossover area for wetlands, forests and savannahs. Afternoon spent exploring the waterways searching for wild giant otters and other wildlife. Karanambu is the home of Diane McTurk who is well known for her work in rehabilitating orphaned giant otters back to the wild. In the evening Diane may share some of her stories from the area.

Staying at Karanambu Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 3
Karanambu

Full day exploring the rivers and savannahs of Karanambu. Search for giant anteaters early in the morning on the nearby savannah. Later in the day there are opportunities to explore the waterways and surrounding forest in search of giant otters and birds such as the agami heron. In the evening there will be a visit to the oxbow lakes to see the world’s largest water lily, Victoria Amazonica, bloom at dusk. Returning to the lodge in the dark there will be the chance to find exciting nocturnal wildlife such as opossums, black caiman and Amazon tree boas along the rivers with spotlights.

Staying at Karanambu Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 4
Surama

Transfer along the river and then by vehicle to the Amerindian village of Surama: there is good wildlife watching potential en-route. The villagers have spent their lives in this environment and some will act as your guides. Upon arrival there will be a warm welcome from the community and a tour of their village. Afternoon excursions with the local guides followed by a night walk in the forest for nocturnal species.

Staying at Surama Eco-Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 5
Surama

Today hike before dawn to the top of the Surama Mountain to have breakfast at a vantage point where the sun can be seen rising over the forest. The
birdwatching should be very good as the sun rises. After lunch back at the village, walk to the Burro Burro River and take to canoes to search for wildlife from the river. Possible sightings include giant otter, black spider monkey, red howler monkey and several species of macaw.

Staying at Surama Eco-Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 6
Iwokrama Forest

Transfer to Iwokrama Forest, searching for the Guianan cock-of-the-rock en route. Explore the rainforest from the 154-metre long canopy walkway. The views from the walkway offer a unique perspective of the forest and enable views of canopy level birds and sometimes red howler and black spider monkeys. It is possible to stay on the walkway until dusk to watch the sun set over the forest.

Staying at Atta Rainforest Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 7
Georgetown

In the morning take a guided walk through the forested foothills of the Pakaraima Mountains. Many specialty birds can be found in this area and your guides will try to locate them. Transfer to the airport and fly back to Georgetown. Afternoon guided city tour of the principal sites including St Andrews Kirk, Stabroek Market and the Botanical Gardens.

Staying at Cara Lodge. Includes Breakfast.

Day 8
Kaieteur Falls

Charter flight to Kaieteur Falls. Full day to explore the area with guide. With a drop of 741 feet, the falls are five times the height of Niagara but benefits from few visitors. The falls have even produced a special microclimate that has resulted in a cloud forest ecosystem supporting the massive tank bromeliad (world’s largest) and the endemic Kaieteur golden rocket frog. Return flight back to Georgetown.

Staying at Cara Lodge. Includes Breakfast and Lunch.

Day 9
Paramaribo

Transfer to airport and fly to Paramaribo the capital of Suriname. Met on arrival and transfer to hotel. City tour in the afternoon showcasing the distinct architecture of this UNESCO World Heritage city. The tour will visit the Palm Gardens, the waterfront and the central market. Transfer to lodge.

Staying at Eco Resort Inn. Includes Breakfast.

Day 10
Commewijne

Excursion to the Commewijne district to explore the historic coffee, cocoa and sugar plantations, and learn about what life would have been like here during the booming colonial times. Visit the open-air museum at Nieuw Amsterdam and Marienburg to learn more about the plantation’s effect on the local population. In the evening take a boat trip to look for the Guiana dolphin which often can be seen leaping clean out of the water close to the boat.

Staying at Eco Resort Inn. Includes Breakfast and Lunch.

Day 11
Anaula Nature Resort

Travel into Suriname’s interior by road and then by boat to Anaula Nature Resort, next to the Ferulassi Falls. After settling in there will be a boat trip to a sandy island in the Ferulassi rapids that is suitable for swimming. The area is home to the Maroon community who are the descendants of runaway African slaves. There will be time to explore the local villages and pristine rainforest that surrounds the lodge. After dinner depart by boat to search for caiman.

Staying at Anaula Nature Resort. Includes All Meals.

Day 12
Anaula Nature Resort

Today visit the village at New Aurora to learn more about the way of life in this region. In the afternoon there will be a guided walk on an island through the forest, with explanations of the local plants and their medicinal uses. In the evening, be entertained by dance performances given by the villagers.

Staying at Anaula Nature Resort. Includes All Meals.

Day 13
Anaula Nature Resort

Morning is at leisure but it is possible to go swimming, walk through the forest or attend a tour of the village agricultural plots. After lunch transfer back to Paramaribo.

Staying at Eco Resort Inn. Includes Breakfast and Lunch.

Day 14
Saint Laurent Du Maroni

Transfer to the border and cross into French Guiana. Explore Saint Laurent Du Maroni, visiting sites such as the well-preserved transportation centre and the British steamer shipwreck, the Edith Cavel. Later transfer on to Kourou.

Staying at Hotel des Roches. Includes Breakfast.

Day 15
Islands of Salvation

Guided tour of the Islands of Salvation, an archipelago of colonial penal colonies situated just 7 miles out to sea from Kourou which includes Devil’s Island, St James Island and Royal Island. Devil’s Island was the setting for the book and 1973 film Papillon, starring Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman. The islands have had a varied and prominent role in French history and there will be time to learn about their past and observe how nature is now reclaiming the islands.

Staying at Hotel des Roches. Includes Breakfast.

Day 16
Guiana Space Centre

Spend the morning visiting the Guiana Space Centre which includes transportation in a motor coach stopping at various control centres to see the exciting research work of the station. Your guide will translate the information passed on. Transfer to the border, cross into Suriname and transfer to Paramaribo.

Staying at Eco Resort Inn. Includes Breakfast.

Day 17
Depart Guyana

Transfer to the airport and catch your international flights home.

Includes In-flight Meals.

Tour Accommodation

French Guiana

Hotel Des Roches

Overview

The elegant and modern Hotel des Roches in the city of Kourou, French Guiana, overlooks the bay where the “Islands of Salvation” (former penal colonies) including Devil’s Island (on which the book and film, Papillon was based) can be seen.

There are 99 comfortable rooms, all with free Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, TV, a safety deposit box and minibars can be avaialbe upon request. There are two restaurants; The Paradiser, which is on the first floor with sea views and offers lunch most days. The second restaurant, the Creolia is on the beachfront and serves buffet-style breakfasts.

The hotel also features a large swimming pool with sun loungers and umbrellas and there are ample sports facilities including tennis and squash, sailing and golf course, plus the Guiana Space Centre is not too far.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
Yes
Rooms
99
Facilities

2 restaurants, bar, lounge, conference room, large swimming pool, beach access, all the rooms have private bathroom, air- conditioning, TV and safes. Sports facilities include tennis and squash courts.

Optional Activities

The hotel is a comfortable base for trips to Devil’s Island, or to explore the city of Paramaribo, maybe visiting the space museum. There is a beach to the back of the hotel but the sea is very rich here. Facilities on offer at the hotel include a large swimming pool and tennis and squash, sailing and golf can also be arranged.

Suriname

Anaula Nature Resort

Overview

The Anaula Nature Resort is located within a beautiful patch of rainforest on a secluded island in the upper Suriname River. The resort is about 4 and half hours by road from Paramaribo, 2 hours by boat or 40 minutes by air.

The lodge is in a perfect location to explore the surrounding Amazonian rainforest and see some exciting wildlife and experience the fascinating Maroon communities’ culture of this region.

Anaula has 16 individual cabins, each accommodating up to 5 people. The cabins has private bathrooms with showers and flushing toilets, canopied beds with mosquito nets, simple furniture and a private veranda (some have hammocks) overlooking the Suriname River.

The main building has a dining area where freshly prepared buffet meals are served. There is an attractive swimming pool with sun loungers and umbrellas and, for those looking for more adventure, the rapids in the river next to the lodge are a popular place to experience a natural Jacuzzi.

Other facilities include children’s play area, lounge, bar, extensive gardens with benches and a conference centre.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
18
Facilities

Dining room, bar and lounge, conference centre, children’s play area, swimming pool; the rooms have private cold water showers hammocks and verandas.

Local Wildlife

Pale-throated three-toed sloths, common squirrel monkeys and brown capuchin monkeys can be seen in the trees around the lodge while green iguanas and spectacled caiman can often be spotted along the waterways. Typical Amazonian bird life can be seen in the forest and although larger mammals are present they are rarely seen.

Optional Activities

Walks and boat trips into the forest offer good chances to observe some typical Amazonian wildlife and guides will explain the medicinal uses of the local plants. Night boat rides in search of caiman and safe swimming in the Ferulassi rapids are also available. Interactive visits to the local Maroon communities are also offered and traditional dances are performed during the evenings.

Guyana Guyana Interior

Eco Resort Inn

Overview

The lovely Eco Resort Inn is a statuesque former colonial townhouse with plenty of period features, situated in the capital of Suriname, Paramaribo. The building has been thoughtfully renovated and rooms have environmentally friendly features such as natural bathroom cosmetics. The hotel has been awarded the Travel Life Gold Award for sustainability because of its green policies.

There is a selection of room types available including 72 standard, 48 riverside and a further 2 executive rooms. All have air- conditioning, comfortable beds, wide windows and private bathrooms.

Facilities include a swimming pool and decking area with bar service, gift shop laundry service, 24 hour desk service and restaurant.

Guests are also entitled to the facilities of the Torarica Hotel and Casino which include fitness and aerobics centres, tennis court, sauna, swimming pool, massage, hair and beauty parlours, children’s play area and gardens.

The Bougainville Terrace restaurant offers delicious European and Suriname regional dishes as a buffet. There is also a bar and breakfast hut at the back of the hotel and seating area surrounded by the attractive gardens to enjoy.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
122
Facilities

Restaurant, breakfast bar, swimming pool with sun loungers and bar service, laundry service, gift shop, 24 hour desk service,

Optional Activities

Guests of the hotel can use facilities at the nearby Torarica Hotel and Casino, including a fitness center, sauna, tennis court, and massage, hair and beauty parlours.

Guyana Guyana Interior

Atta Rainforest Lodge

Overview

Atta Rainforest Lodge has 8 simple en suite rooms set within a clearing in the wildlife rich Iwokrama forest and close to the base of the impressive Iwokrama Canopy Walkway. The lodge was built to provide guests with a base from which to access the canopy walkway at dawn and dusk when birds and other wildlife are most active. The setting for Atta Lodge is perfect for keen birders and naturalists as it is completely surrounded by dense rainforest bursting with biodiversity and frequently visited by red brocket deer, red-rumped agouti and the black curassow (a Guiana Shield endemic).

The Iwokrama Canopy Walkway is a series of suspension bridges and decks up to 30 metres in height and 154 metres in length that pass through an excellent stretch of rainforest. It provides a memorable view of the mid and canopy levels of the forest and affords excellent bird and wildlife viewing. Many canopy level specialist birds, including several Guianan Shield endemics, are commonly seen from the walkway, with the magnificent harpy eagle now being seen more regularly.

The main building houses the restaurant as well as a small bar and gift shop, lounge and collection of natural history books: there is some limited wireless internet access too.

The meals at Atta Lodge are particularly varied and tasty, always freshly prepared using local produce. Vegetarian and special diets can be catered for and one can visit the kitchen to see how the meals are prepared. The meals are usually buffet style and served under candlelight, creating a warm and cosy atmosphere. Power is provided by a generator that can be a little noisy. Note: the power is switched off between 10pm and 6am. The lodge has a sightings board and has deployed camera traps to record the exciting wildlife found close to the lodge.

Swimming Pool
No
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
8
Facilities

The rooms have mosquito nets, torch, insect repellent, electricity (6am -10pm), private bathrooms (cold water showers), dining room, lounge with a small bar and library, sighting board and limited free Wi-Fi in the main building.

Local Wildlife

Birds regularly seen from the canopy walkway and surrounding trails include crimson and purple-necked fruit crow, pompadour cotinga, green aracari, Guianan toucanet, painted parakeet, red-and-green macaw, white-winged potoo and (with luck) the awesome harpy eagle. Mammals are more rarely observed but red howler, brown and weeping capuchin and even white-faced saki monkey can sometimes be seen. A staggering diversity of reptiles, amphibians, and butterflies are observable from the walkways and trails. The trans-national road to the lodge is one of the best places for sightings of jaguars and ocelots in Guyana. Some of the notable tree species include the bullet wood tree, greenheart and waramadan (which is endemic to this forest).

Optional Activities

Excursions along the canopy walkways, walking the trails through the forest and off-site excursions to see the lek of the Guianan cock-of-the-rock. By special request, nocturnal drives or walks along the main road can be arranged.

Guyana The Rupununi

Karanambu Eco Lodge

Overview

Karanambu Ranch is the family home of Diane McTurk who founded the Karanambu Trust and is the world expert on giant otters and their rehabilitation. Karanambu is a leading center for the recovery and rehabilitation of injured or orphaned giant river otters and has attained worldwide recognition for its conservation work.

Over the years Karanambu has been visited by Sir David Attenborough, the late Gerald Durrell (Three Singles to Adventure), National Geographic and the BBC’s Really Wild Show. As well as tame resident individuals, wild otters are frequently seen here. The rainforested banks of the Rupununi River are also home to large numbers of birds, squirrel and capuchin monkeys and plenty of other forest wildlife. Diane sometimes has resident orphaned otters and it may be possible to help her as she tends to them. Diane now takes a back seat and the lodge is currently managed by Andrea and Salvador of American and Guyanan descent who make wonderful hosts.

Karanambu Ranch was previously a huge cattle farm and now covers 100 square miles of protected wetlands, rainforest and savannah.

Away from the river there are vast tracts of savannah, home to endangered giant anteaters which are commonly seen by guests in the early morning.

The lodge has twin-bed clay, brick and thatched roof cabins, 5 of which accommodate up to 2 people and one for families of up to 4, with private bathrooms (cold water only) and flushing toilets, comfortable beds, verandas and hammocks.

Drinking water, a laundry service, solar powered electricity (available 6am and 10pm) and a complimentary supply of rum punches are also provided. The main building houses the dining room, communal lounge area and a small library. The service and locally produced food is of high standard and hand-made snacks, water, juice and rum punches are always readily available both at the lodge and on excursions.

Swimming Pool
No
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
6
Facilities

Private cabins and bathrooms with cold showers only. Dining room, laundry service, drinking water, generator-supplied electricity, complimentary rum punches, hammocks and turn down service.

Local Wildlife

Both wild and orphaned giant otters can be regularly seen. Giant anteaters are frequently encountered on the savannah close the lodge. In the gallery forests surrounding the river and oxbow lakes red howler, common squirrel and brown capuchin monkeys and a wide diversity of birds are often spotted. Nocturnal boat trips reveal a high density of black caiman and snakes including the spectacular Amazon tree boa.

Fruiting mango trees around the lodge attract the elusive tayra in the early mornings and paca after dark. With luck a tapir, herd of collared peccary, armadillo or one of the six species of cat present in the area can be encountered.

Optional Activities

Excursions along the river by motorised boat during the day and night. Treks across the savannah and through the gallery forest. Fishing. Camping.

Guyana Guyana Interior

Surama Eco-lodge

Overview

Surama Eco-Lodge is a rustic but comfortable property within the Makushi community village set in savannah bordered by beautiful virgin rainforest.

The Eco-Lodge and its activities are managed and operated solely by the Makushi people. Over 70 people in the community are employed either directly as hospitality staff, guides, cooks, artisans and driver or indirectly as farmers, hunters, fishermen, and construction and maintenance workers. Roughly 60% of the community’s income is now sustainably generated through tourism-related activities, and guests are treated as though they are staying in one of their homes.

There are 4 traditionally built benab buildings and 4 newer cabins that offer slightly more space. There are private bathrooms in each with cold-water showers, flush toilets and twin or triple beds.

Traditional home-cooked meals using locally grown and harvested ingredients are served in the main benab, where tea and coffee and filtered water are always available.

There is solar-powered electricity available in the central building for charging of batteries, but only a very limited internet service in the village office, which is a 40-minute walk from the lodge. A new option is the possibility to camp in hammocks in an open air wooden shelter next to the Buro Buro River while the guides prepare food and drink and demonstrate survival skills.

Swimming Pool
No
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
8
Facilities

Rooms have private bathrooms with cold-water showers and flush toilets, dining room with electricity outlets, gift shop, bar and communal lounge area.

Local Wildlife

The Buro Buro River and the rainforest close to the lodge can produce sightings of black spider, red howler, weeping and brown capuchin monkeys and occasionally even tapirs. The area is fantastic for birdwatching with scarlet and red and green macaws, white-throated toucans, black-necked aracari and large birds of prey commonly seen. Many Guianan Shield endemics can be tracked down in the forest and a huge diversity of snakes, lizards and tree frogs can be seen in the area. Surama Mountain is another hotspot for primates, in particular black spider monkey, red howler and two species of capuchin.

Optional Activities

Excursions include boat trips along the Buro Buro River, treks across the savannah and forest to see wildlife, a pre-dawn trek to the top of Surama Mountain to see the sunrise and informative tours within the village including visits to the school and other points of interest. Another activity offered is a walk through the forest with demonstrations of local plant use.

Guyana Guyana Coast

Cara Lodge

Overview

Built in 1840, Cara Lodge is one of the oldest buildings in Guyana’s capital, Georgetown, and is steeped in history having hosted many world leaders, royalty and other dignitaries.

Built in the style of a traditional plantation house, Cara Lodge has spacious wooden verandas and large bedrooms with private facilities. There is a good restaurant serving good food, bar and comfortable communal area and the service is always attentive and friendly.

All rooms have air-conditioning, ceiling fans, cable TV, international direct dial telephones, minibars, hair dryers, tea and coffee facilities, private bathrooms with hot water and are decorated in colonial style. The rooms vary in size but all offer adequate space: some have verandas, and deluxe superior rooms are now available.

Swimming Pool
No
Air Conditioning
Yes
Rooms
34
Facilities

Restaurant and bar, 24-hour reception desk, internet access available: rooms have mini-bars, cable TV, direct dial telephones and tea and coffee making facilities.

Optional Activities

City tours of Georgetown and birdwatching excursions to the nearby Abary River. Charter and scheduled flights to Kaieteur Falls can be arranged.

Route Map

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Cara Lodge: 6.812775, -58.156061
Karanambu Eco Lodge : 3.751893, -59.315186
Surama Village Eco-Lodge: 4.133333, -59.033333
Atta Rainforest Lodge : 4.244635, -58.904994
Eco Resort Inn: 5.828787, -55.143619
Anaula Nature Resort: 4.384170, -55.387903
Hotel des Roches : 5.159120, -52.627312

Departure Dates

This tour has no set departure date and can be tailored to suit your travel requirements. Contact us for more details.

Travel Information

Are International Flights Included?

No. Please contact us for a quote if required.

Flight Info:

British Airways fly from London Gatwick to Barbados or Antigua where a connection (unprotected) with Liat Airlines can be made to Georgetown, Guyana.

Best Visited:

January to January

Are you ATOL Registered?

Yes. This means we are legally able to book your international flights in conjunction with your ground arrangements so you can book with us with complete confidence. Read more about our ATOL license here.

Ian Loyd

Area Specialist

If you have any questions regarding this Tour, please feel free to contact me on +44 (0)1803 866965

What makes Guyana additionally special is that it is the only English-speaking country in South America, and consequently you really warm to the people you meet, whether chatting with local cowboys, entertaining local school children or putting the world to rights with village elders.

Mr J M - London