bing

'Essence of Guyana'

What makes this trip special?

The Garden City of the Caribbean

The Garden City of the Caribbean

Georgetown

Nicknamed the 'Garden City of the Caribbean', Georgetown still retains a distinctly colonial feel. Most visitors stay a night or two before moving into the interior of the country.

The green heartland of Guyana

The green heartland of Guyana

Iwokrama

Isloated and mostly undisturbed by civilisation, Iwokrama rainforest and Iwokrama Field Station offers stunning forest trails with good chances of seeing wildlife.

Viewing the forest at canopy level

Viewing the forest at canopy level

Iwokrama Canopy Walkway

Birding on the canopy walkway you have the opportunity to see species such as Guianan Puffbird, Guianan Streaked-Antwren, Spot-tailed, Todd's and Pygmy Antwren and Painted Parakeet.

An otter's life

An otter's life

Karanambu

Stay at Karanambu ranch, home of Diane McTurk, who was widely known for her work in rescuing, rehabilitating and returning orphaned giant otters to the wild.

Itinerary map for Guyana 'Essence of Guyana' holiday

Designer's notes

Guyana's large areas of wilderness, with few roads and few airstrips, mean its little known interior is largely left to nature. There is just one road, mostly unpaved, that serves the length of the country, passing through deep forests and wild savannahs below the rugged mountains of the Guaiana Shield. Flying in a small aircraft, driving by rugged 4WD, or remote river travel are the only ways to get about. With such a simple range of options, the best way to see Guyana is, in practice, almost the only way.

This itinerary, which I have travelled myself, goes deep into the interior, to some fabulously remote and natural places. The travelling is rugged (but not too rugged) and the accommodation can be basic (but not too basic).

If you have more time you can include the 'Macushi Life' side trip, which fits in at Day 5 of this trip, and the 'Kaieteur Falls' add-on, which would come at the end of your stay in this fabulous, little known, and greatly under-appreciated country.

Day-by-day itinerary for 'Essence of Guyana'

DAY 1

Georgetown

You are met on your arrival at the airport and driven into Georgetown to stay at Cara Lodge.

DAY 2
BL

Your guide meets you at your hotel this morning to show you Georgetown, whose colonial architecture reflects its Dutch, French and British influences. Its former elegance is still apparent, with wide tree-lined avenues and colonial-era homes sporting their Demerara shutters. You visit Stabroek Market, the city’s ‘bizarre bazaar’, and St George’s Cathedral. You stroll in the Botanical Gardens and if they are of interest perhaps visit the National Museum or the Walter Roth Museum of Anthropology. Lunch at the Maharaja Palace showcases the city’s vibrant Indian influences that date from the time of indentured labour. Try the vegetarian ‘seven’ curry - a favourite at Indo-Guyanese weddings. Eye-poppingly colourful saris are on display.

DAY 3
BLD

Iwokrama Reserve

By air to Lethem in Guyana’s interior where you are met and driven by 4WD across the savanna to Mauisparu near the southern edge of the Iwokrama Reserve to stay 2 nights at Atta Rainforest Lodge beside the Iwokrama Canopy Walkway with its views into and across the forest at tree canopy height. Deer and agouti visit the lodge’s clearing along with many birds including Crimson Fruitcrow and a family of Black Curassow.

DAY 4
BLD

Up early for the dawn chorus from the canopy walkway, 500m from the lodge. After breakfast walk the nearby jungle trails with good chances of seeing Red Howler and Black Spider monkeys. After lunch you might choose to visit the canopy walkway again, try the road near the lodge where jaguar are occasionally seen, or just relax. The lodge can usually arrange a night walk to see nocturnal wildlife.

DAY 5
BLD

Karanambu and the North Rupununi

Today you travel by 4WD into the North Rupununi. On the way you stop to walk a short woodland trail for a good chance of seeing the orange Guianan Cock-of-the-Rock. Arriving at Ginep Landing you take a boat along the Rupununi River to arrive at Karanambu Ranch for a 2 night stay.

DAY 6
BLD

The North Rupununi is something of a biological hotspot with 600-700 species of fish (more than anywhere else on earth), 600 species of bird, and over 200 species of mammals. It is home to the Macushi people, whose communities are scattered across the region. Life on the ranch has a villagey feel, with families who work at the ranch or the lodge living close by. Guests are taken on two guided excursions a day: in the early morning and the late afternoon. There is usually a choice of options, but we especially recommend a boat trip along the river and into lagoons to spot wildlife, to see hundreds of waterbirds coming to roost, and to pause by the Victoria Amazonica, the world’s largest water lily which opens its flowers as dusk approaches.

DAY 7
B

There is time this morning for another trip into the savanna, where Giant Anteater are a strong possibility. You then transfer to Lethem for your flight back to Georgetown across hundreds of miles of tropical rainforest, with the Demerara and Essequibo Rivers below you. You are met on arrival and transferred to your hotel.

DAY 8
B

Georgetown

After breakfast you are collected and driven to the airport for your international flight home, or on to Trinidad & Tobago for the next part of your trip. If you would like more time in Guyana you could choose our ‘Macushi Life’ add-on with our ‘Kaietur Falls’ day trip as a grand finale. You could also visit Rewa for extra wildlife or Dadanawa for ranching.

Guide prices for 'Essence of Guyana'

options based on all year low season mid season high season peak season other season
Guide price 2 people sharing £2,975
Prices are per person and include:
  • all travel in Guyana all travel in Guyana
  • all accommodation
  • meals as indicated B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner
  • excursions as described
Prices do not include:
  • international flights
  • airport and departure taxes
  • travel insurance
  • items of a personal nature such as drinks, tips, laundry, etc

Customer reviews for 'Essence of Guyana'

Recent reviews are shown here from holidays based on this initial design. In each case the itinerary may have been modified (a little or a lot) to suit the individual traveller.

Average

Seasonal information for 'Essence of Guyana'

Along this route in January

Day Location Max °C Monthly rainfall

Typical weather for January

rainchart

Max °C figures are the average daily maximum temperatures for the month. Rainfall is the average precipitation for the month.

Hotels for 'Essence of Guyana'

Days 1 - 2

Cara Lodge

Downtown Georgetown
rating

Average rating 4.8 (11 ratings)

This is a very characterful wooden gingerbread style hotel.   It is one of the oldest and grandest structures in Georgetown.

Built in the 1840s and originally consisted of two houses. It has a long and romantic history and was the home of the first Lord Mayor of Georgetown. Famous guests include: Edward VII,  President Jimmy Carter, HRH Prince Charles and Mick Jagger.

 All rooms have: Demerara shutters and polished wooden floors, private bathroom, a/c, mini bar, cable TV, hair dryer, iron and ironing board, complimentary tea and coffee

Standard Rooms:  Gallery Rooms and Verandah Rooms which overlook the gardens.

Executive rooms and suites have internet access and open out onto a veranda that overlooks the Mango Tree Patio.

It has a business centre and a restaurant open daily, except Sundays.

Cara Lodge
Exterior
Days 3 - 4

Atta Rainforest Lodge, Iwokrama Canopy Walkway

Iwokrama Canopy Walkway
rating

Average rating 4.9 (7 ratings)

Located 500m from the Iwokrama Canopy Walkway the main building is open sided with views across the gardens to the forest which is just 25m away. It houses the bar, dining area and kitchen.  There are 8 new rooms with private bathrooms   The two older accommodation buildings which are open sided to provide natural cooling. These rooms have two beds and there are four shared bathrooms situated between these two older accommodation blocks. The shared bathrooms each have a flush toilet, wash basin and shower which is open topped to the elements and gives a views of the forest. Visits to the Canopy Walkway (suspended 30m heigh above the ground and 154m in length) are scheduled during your stay at Atta Rainforest Camp. Normally there is a visit that leaves the camp before dawn so that you can welcome the dawn chorus from the canopy. Then again as the afternoon cools you can return to the walkway to experience night falling and the canopy after dark. Additional visits are available outside these scheduled trips. All visitors to the walkway are accompanied by local guides. Apart from the Iwokrama Canopy Walkway itself you can enjoy wildlife and birdwatching walks on the trails around the area. For those interested in botany many of the trails have the key trees species marked.

Atta Rainforest Lodge, Iwokrama Canopy Walkway
Lodge
Days 5 - 6

Karanambu Lodge

Rupununi
rating

Average rating 4.9 (10 ratings)

Settled in 1927 by the McTurk family Karanambu remains a working cattle ranch on its 125 square miles of savannah land, worked by traditional vaqueros. The meat produced is completely organic and is either sold locally or consumed on the ranch.

In 1983 Diane McTurk started the Karanambu Lodge eco-tourism resort allowing visitors to experience the tranquility and abundant wildlife that are key features of this part of the Rupununi. Guests are welcomed on to the ranch, share meals with the family and enjoy guided tours according to their interests. Typically there are two guided excursions each day. One early in the morning and another late in the afternoon and into the evening.  Trips may be on the river by boat, on the savannahs by Land Rover or along forest trails on foot to the different ponds in the area.

There are 5 simple clay brick thatched cabins each with private toilet and shower, verandah with hammock. Please note facilities are primitive. Water for bathing is provided from overhead tanks filled from the river. Electricity is generated from 18.00h-20.00h only. Four of the cabins have twin beds and accommodated 2 people. The Fifth cabin can sleep up to 4 people in two bedrooms sharing one bathroom.

Karanambu Lodge
Day 7

Cara Lodge

Downtown Georgetown
rating

Average rating 4.8 (11 ratings)

This is a very characterful wooden gingerbread style hotel.   It is one of the oldest and grandest structures in Georgetown.

Built in the 1840s and originally consisted of two houses. It has a long and romantic history and was the home of the first Lord Mayor of Georgetown. Famous guests include: Edward VII,  President Jimmy Carter, HRH Prince Charles and Mick Jagger.

 All rooms have: Demerara shutters and polished wooden floors, private bathroom, a/c, mini bar, cable TV, hair dryer, iron and ironing board, complimentary tea and coffee

Standard Rooms:  Gallery Rooms and Verandah Rooms which overlook the gardens.

Executive rooms and suites have internet access and open out onto a veranda that overlooks the Mango Tree Patio.

It has a business centre and a restaurant open daily, except Sundays.

Cara Lodge
Exterior