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Your Guyana holiday starts in Georgetown. Upon arrival you will be met and be transferred to Cara Lodge.
Georgetown city Tour
You will be met in the morning and taken to enjoy a Georgetown city tour highlighting the architecture, markets and botanical Gardens. After lunch back at Cara Lodge, you will visit the Demerara Distillers Limited in the afternoon to see how rum is processed in their plant at Diamond. The tour also includes a visit to the Rum Heritage Museum. Later this afternoon you will visit the home of Roy Geddes for a cultural evening and local dinner. Roy is Guyana’s most famous steel pan player and maker. He will demonstrate how steel pans are made and discuss their history and even treat you to some renditions of the pop, rock, soca, classical and jazz numbers of the pans.
Trip to Kaieteur and Orinduik Falls
The Kaieteur Falls is truly one of the world’s natural wonders. The falls flow over a sandstone conglomerate tableland into a deep gorge, some 822 feet deep. Kaieteur supports a unique micro environment with Tank Bromeliads in which the tiny golden frog spends its entire life. The rarely seen Guianian cock-of-the-rock can also be found here.The Orinduik Falls is where the Ireng River thunders over steps and terraces of solid jasper. With a backdrop of the rolling grass covered hills of the Pakaraima Mountains, this is one of the most beautiful locations in Guyana.
Iwokrama River Lodge
With an early start today, you will depart Georgetown by 4x4 for a trip through the rainforest into the heart of Guyana and take a short transfer by boat on the Essequibo River to the Iwokrama River Lodge. Your afternoon will be free to explore the trails around the field station with an Iwokrama Ranger. After dinner, we will take you out on to the river to spot caiman and other nocturnal wildlife.
This morning we will take you on an early morning boat ride near the River Lodge. After breakfast, you will leave the River Lodge for the journey to Turtle Mountain, and a gentle climb up the mountain to its summit at 935 ft (approx. 360m). It takes 1¾ hours to walk up the mountain but the effort is more than worth it for the breathtaking views over the forest canopy when you get there. Enjoy a picnic lunch in the forest. On the return trip, visit Kurupukari Falls to see the Amerindian petroglyphs (dependent on the water level). Then visit the small Amerindian village of Fair View before returning to the River Lodge.
Explore Iwokrama Forest
At dawn take a wildlife walk with an Iwokrama Ranger close to the River Lodge. After breakfast we will transfer you by 4 x 4 or Bedford truck 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 though, but many have been lucky! The journey ends at the Iwokrama Canopy Walkway which allows you to view the forest from 35m up in the canopy. Experience the activity in the mid and upper canopy of the forest and see darkness settle over the forest.
Cock-of-the-Rock lek visit
Welcome the dawn chorus from the canopy walkway. After breakfast travel to a trail in the Iwokrama Forest to hopefully see the amazingly brilliant Guianian cock-of-the-rock. Continue your trip onto the Amerindian village of Surama. On arrival in Surama receive a welcome from a village counsellor and settle into your accommodation. A local guide will escort you for a short walk on trails to observe the forest and bird life. As the afternoon cools your guide will take you on a tour of the village. Visit the local school, medical centre and church along with some of the village houses. Tonight enjoy an educational walk to observe wildlife and experience the mystique of the forest after dark.
Surama Mountain Climb
Rise before dawn for a walk across the savannah and then the gentle climb up Surama Mountain in the cool morning air. This is the best time to observe bird life along the trail. Breakfast will be served at a lookout point which affords incredible views across the village and savannah to the Pakaraima Mountains. Return to village for lunch and then take a three mile walk across the savannah and through the rainforest to the Burro Burro River. Your guides will then paddle you on the Burro Burro River for opportunities to observe giant river otters, tapir, tyra, spider monkeys and many more species. You will return to village for sunset.
After breakfast depart Surama by 4x4 for Rock View Lodge at Annai. Rock View Lodge is located where the savannah meets the forest-covered foothills of the Pakaraima Mountains. With its tropical gardens and flowering trees, the lodge resembles an oasis in the savannah, and attracts many species of birds, particularly nectar feeders and frugivores. Nearby patches of light forest are home to certain ant birds and flycatchers, and of course the grasslands support an avifauna of their own. Visit the village of Aranaputa to see their Peanut Butter Factory and a visit to the school for a short cultural presentation.
Day At Leisure
Today you can hike in the foothills of the Pakaraima Mountains, visit nearby Amerindian villages or maybe just relax in the grounds of the lodge.
After breakfast we will travel to Ginep Landing and then by boat up the Rupununi River by boat, birdwatching along the way, to the Amerindian village of Yupukari and Caiman House. Caiman House 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. We will have some time to visit the village, to learn about their way of life. After dinner take a boat trip with experienced guide to spotlight along the banks for wildlife. You will have a very good chance to see the endangered black caiman, as this river has South America’s second largest population of the species. You may also see tree boas as well as some of the many species of frog to be found here.
After breakfast transfer by 4x4 to Ginep Landing for a boat trip on the Rupununi River to Karanambu Ranch. This is the home of Diane McTurk, widely known for her work in rehabilitating orphaned, giant river otters to the wild. Diane and her otters have appeared on National Geographic, Jeff Corwin Experience, Really Wild Show (BBC) and the Calgary’s “Zoo World”. Karanambu has a long history of visiting naturalists and Diane’s father, Tiny McTurk, has welcomed everyone from David Attenborough to Gerald Durrell (Three Singles to Adventure). Dinner with Diane will include stories on the history of the family and the Rupununi Savannahs.
Diane sometimes has resident orphaned otters and you can help her as she tends to them. You can visit Simoni Pond for some of the best inland fishing (at a supplementary cost) in Guyana including peacock bass or instead you could explore the flooded forest or savannah. Visits can be made to nearby ponds for birdwatching and to view the Victoria amazonica, the World’s largest water lily and Guyana’s national flower. Explore the Rupununi River in search of wild giant river otters, black caiman and arapaima. An evening visit to Crane Pond to see hundreds of ibis, anhinga, heron and egret roosting is a highlight.
Arrow Point Nature Reserve
This morning you will travel out onto the savannah to search for giant anteater. After an early lunch take a flight back to Georgetown. Then travel south along the Demerara River. Transfer to a boat for a trip along the Demerara River to Timehri and the Amerindian reserve of Santa. The river system is the only means of travel here, and you may see families transporting their farm produce to market or canoeing to the village church. You will be able to experience village life and see and purchase local handi craft made from materials of the rainforest. Then it is a 15 minute boat ride to Arrow Point Nature Resort, surroundings offer a variety of habitats: open grassy marsh, scattered stands of moriche palm and fairly tall sandbelt forest.
Bird Watching & Home
This morning before breakfast take canoes out to birdwatch along the creek. In the palms you may encounter the strikingly beautiful point-tailed palmcreeper. You may also see sungrebe, sunbittern, green ibis, trogons, macaws and a myriad of hummingbirds including the black-throated mango and green-tailed goldenthroat. But the one bird everyone wants to see is the magnificent crimson topaz which occurs along the streams. If you prefer you can go fishing with a guide. Breakfast is served on the verandah. This brings your exotic nature of Guyana tour to an end. Take a boat back to the marina and transfer to the airport for your departing flight.
Fitness is vital for this level of activity, as the environment traversed may be remote and challenging. These rugged experiences include long walks, trekking, cycling or rafting in isolated areas through variable weather conditions for up to eight to ten hours a day. These trips are usually 13 to 19 days in duration. Maximum altitude reached will be 4000m and you need to be very fit in order to withstand the weather conditions. Good physical condition is essential and previous hill-walking experience or preparation is advisable.
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