Wings and Wonders of Guyana - A Naturalist's Paradise

Destination: Guyana, South America

| Activities: Hiking, birding, and culture

Nestled on the North Eastern corner of the South American continent, Guyana stretches 270 miles along the Atlantic coastline into dense tropical forest and the broad savannahs of the Rupununi. A peaceful country that is off the common tourism radar, Guyana is rich in natural resources, biodiversity, and pristine forests that cover 80% of the country's exotic landscape. Although often considered part of the Caribbean region because of its strong cultural, historical, and political ties with other English Caribbean countries (English is the official language), it offers a vastly different experience to the intrepid traveler. With a strong indigenous culture in Guyana’'s inland and a distinctive Caribbean feel on its coastland, Guyana truly is a melting of cultures. Community-based tourism is at the heart of the travel experience and that combined with a stunning variety of bird and wildlife and a cuisine that reflects its cultural diversity makes for an unforgettable adventure.


  • Immerse yourself in amazing biodiversity, both flora and fauna
  • Stay in community-based lodges where the local people share their traditions and rich cultural delights
  • Visit Kaieteur Falls, one of the world's longest and most powerful single drop waterfalls
  • Boat down winding rivers, walk through pristine rainforests, and travel across savannah
  • With over 900+ bird species, even non-bird watchers will enjoy some of the best birding in the world

Departures and Prices

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  • A local English-speaking tour leader and an AGC guide
  • All transportation in Guyana, including internal flights and transportation by boat and 4x4s
  • Double occupancy lodging in hotels and lodging (9 nights)
  • All meals from dinner the first day through breakfast the last with the exception of one dinner
  • All activities on the itinerary
  • Airport arrival and departure transfer
  • Gratuities for local guides, drivers, and lodges

Not included: Travel to and from Georgetown, alcoholic beverages, guide gratuities, travel insurance, meals not noted on itinerary, optional activities not on the itinerary

Trip Info

This trip is appropriate for active women with good mobility. The one more challenging day (climbing Awarmie Mountain) is optional. With that exception, none of the days are strenuous; however, the days are full and some will involve early mornings. In addition the rain forest hikes, while flat, require navigating over roots. Please note, as in all international travel, flexibility is an absolute must and the ability to set aside our western expectations and enjoy the culture and country will make for a wonderfully enjoyable trip. Rating:[1] 2 3 4 5

The focus of this trip is immersion in the natural history and rich human culture of Guyana. While it is not at all sedentary, there is more emphasis on observation and learning than on physical activity.

We will spend the first and last two nights at the Cara Lodge in Georgetown. In the interior we'll be staying at three different community-owned lodges (see itinerary for specifics). The lodges are rustic, clean, and comfortable with limited access to WiFi and no air conditioning. In all our lodging the rooms are double occupancy with ensuite bathrooms with showers.

Below is the proposed itinerary for the trip. As is true on any adventure travel trip, plans for any specific day may be modified due to weather considerations, unforeseen circumstances, new opportunities, and group interests.

You can arrive anytime today. You’ll be met at the airport and transported to the historic Cara Lodge . Built in the 1840s and home to the first Mayor of Georgetown, this magnificent wooden colonial home turned hotel offers the tradition and nostalgia of a bygone era. It is the perfect place to rest and refresh before starting our journey. We’ll meet in the lobby at 5 PM for a welcome and introductions along with a brief trip overview, before sharing our first dinner together at the hotel restaurant. (D)
Our adventure starts with a one-hour chartered flight over miles of pristine tropical rainforest to land at Kaieteur Falls, the world’s highest free-falling waterfall. There are no other falls in the world with the magnitude of the sheer drop existing at Kaieteur! The waterfall also supports Giant Tank Bromeliads - the largest in the world - in which the tiny Golden Frog spends its entire life. Re-boarding our plane, we continue our journey to the Fairview Airstrip and then board private vehicles along the trail known for sightings of the elusive jaguar. Along the way to the Atta Rainforest Lodge, we may see myriad bird species such as the Crimson and Purple Necked Fruit Crow, Crimson Topax, Green Oropendula and the Spotted Guianan Puffbird. Atta Rainforest Lodge offers comfortable private-room accommodation with ensuite bathrooms, delicious home-cooked meals, and traditional Amerindian hospitality. The communal building houses the bar, dining area, and kitchen and is open-sided with views across the gardens to the towering forest, which completely surrounds the lodge. Hammocks and outdoor benches enhance the lovely gardens which include a variety of Heliconia flowers that attract hummingbirds, close enough for the perfect photo. One of the highlights of our stay here is the Iwokrama Canopy Walkway. The walkway has four suspension bridges leading to three platforms, the highest of which is over 100 feet above the ground, which allows a great look at a range of canopy species, many of which we would struggle to see well from the forest floor. Guided walks on the Walkway are available both early morning and evening when birds are most active. Overnight at Atta Rainforest Lodge. (B, L, D)
After a pre-dawn visit to the Walkway for those who choose, we’ll spend the morning on wildlife and birdwatching walks on the trails around the area. For those interested in botany, many of the trails have the tree species marked. Many bird species, stunning insects, noisy amphibians, and playful primates make the surrounding forest their home. Deer, Tapir and Agouti are also regular visitors to the lodge. Serious birders will want to search the undergrowth for the rarely seen Rufous-winged Ground-cuckoo. In the afternoon we’ll be treated to a cultural presentation by the Surama cultural group. In costumes made of homegrown and spun cotton, beads and other forest seeds, and beautiful feathered headdresses, the cast of dancers and musicians perform about traditional songs and poems. The Surama Cultural Group has performed for many audiences, including Prince Harry during his visit to Guyana! After this enchanting presentation, we will take a drive through the forest in an area known for Jaguar sightings. This elusive cat is a marvel to behold and there is a reasonable chance you’ll have a sighting. After dinner at the lodge, we might join a guide for a night walk - something interesting or new always seems to pop on to the scene along the transnational road near the lodge. Overnight at Atta Rainforest Lodge. (B, L, D)
We’ll start the day by welcoming the dawn chorus from the canopy walkway and then return to the lodge for breakfast before departure. From the Atta Rainforest Lodge we travel through the rainforest to Kwatamang Landing with a short hike along the way. This easy trail leads us to hopefully see the brilliant Guianan Cock-of-the-rock. While strolling, we’ll learn about the medicinal uses of plants lining the trail and then we’ll enjoy lunch at nearby Rock View Lodge before continuing on to the boat dock. Cruising along the Rupununi River, we may see wild Giant River Otters and Black Caiman. The journey is 50 miles long but could be as short as 2 hours or as long as 4 hours depending on water levels. At the end of our memorable river journey awaits a small slice of paradise, the Rewa Eco Lodge. Villagers here practice subsistence farming, fishing, and hunting with little opportunity for cash employment. In 2005 the community constructed the Rewa Eco-lodge so that they could establish a sustainable eco-tourism business owned and operated by the community. Later this afternoon, we’ll take a short boat ride from the lodge to the opposite bank on the Rupununi River. A brief walk leads us to a hidden oxbow lake, home to the Victoria Amazonica, the world’s largest water lily and the national flower of Guyana. The flowers which bloom at dusk are white on the first night - by the third night they change to a lovely pink. Tonight we’ll experience the amazing hospitality of our hosts, not to mention delicious freshly prepared food, and drift off to sleep lulled by the sounds of the jungle. Overnight at Rewa Eco-lodge. (B, L, D)
This morning we’ll travel up the Rupununi River into an oxbow lake to begin a hike up Awarmie Mountain. The climb is steep in a few sections, and approximately 2 miles one way with an elevation gain of about 1,000 feet. Our effort is rewarded at the summit with a 360-degree view across undisturbed rainforest and savannah. From here we can see the distant Kanuku Mountains in one direction and Makarapan Mountain, the oldest mountain in South America, in the other. There is also good wildlife viewing along the trail and we may get some close-up views of Black Spider Monkeys. If you prefer not to hike and would rather stay at the base, or even stay back at the lodge, that is certainly an option as we will be returning to the lodge for lunch. After lunch, our hosts will take us on a guided walk of the community of Rewa to learn about local life and customs, such as grating cassava, weaving baskets, and tending kitchen gardens. We then continue up the river for an easy nature walk through the rainforest. Afterward, we’ll travel up the Rewa River to a location known as Seawall, watching for red howler, squirrel, and brown capuchin monkeys along the way. This rock formation is a great place to fish or take in the beauty of the location, especially for sunset. After toasting to the beauty around us, we’ll boat back to the lodge for dinner. Overnight at Rewa Eco-lodge. (B, L, D)
We say goodbye to Rewa this morning as we travel by boat along the Rupununi River to Kwatamang Landing. Following along a road that skirts the foothills of the Pakaraima mountains, we’ll visit the village of Aranaputa to tour their Peanut Butter Factory before arriving for lunch at the Pakaraima Mountain Inn. Onwards to Ginep Landing, we take another boat trip on the river to Karanambu Lodge. Depending on the river level, this trip offers an excellent opportunity to look for Giant Otters as there are several family groups that live along this stretch. Karanambu encompasses savannah, marshy ponds, riparian forest, and a 30-mile stretch of the Rupununi River. It is located in the middle of a beautiful and fascinating biological hotspot with at least 600 species of bird and over 200 species of mammals, including the Giant Otter, Black Caiman, Jaguar, Giant Anteater, and Arapaima. Once we get settled in at Karanambu Lodge we can jump back in the boats to look for more River Otters. Our accommodations are in traditionally made clay brick cabins, each with en suite bathrooms and a veranda with hammocks. Overnight at Karanambu Lodge (B, L, D)
This morning we’ll get an early start to an area of rolling grasslands, home to a population of giant anteaters. With luck, we’ll find one of these six-foot long animals excavating its breakfast from one of the termite mounds that stud the savannah. Though giant anteaters live in overlapping home ranges they are mostly solitary. Mother anteaters carry their offspring on their backs until weaning them. We’ll return for lunch at Karanambu before setting off on an afternoon 3-mile hike through the shaded riparian forest and past the Honey Ponds. Evening finds us back on the river or, if you are more interested in bird watching, you can explore woodland patches or gallery forest along the river where there are usually a variety of species, including the Agami Heron. An evening walk along the airstrip offers seven species of nightjar birds and among the grasslands the Double-striped Thick-knees birds. Overnight at Karanambu Lodge (B, L, D)
Before breakfast, we’ll have a last opportunity to look for anteaters on the savannah or Giant River Otters, Black Caiman, and Arapaima along quiet stretches of the river. After breakfast we’ll transfer by 4x4 across the savannah to the airport at Lethem, stopping at Manari Ranch for lunch. We’ll be back in Georgetown about 5:30 and after the wilderness of the last week, it will be a bit of a shock. In the evening, Georgetown’s Seawall comes alive as families, courting couples and friends promenade along the seawall, enjoying the Atlantic sea-breeze. The narrow strip becomes a hive of street food vendors and Caribbean music. Our guide, who knows all the best places, will take us into the heart of the scene for dinner options. Overnight at Cara Lodge (B, L)
This morning we make an early start to have breakfast at one of the local food stands with our host, guide and culinary master, Chef Delven Adams. Chef Delven will guide us around Bourda Market, the largest of the four markets in Georgetown. We will start our tour at the Guyana shop which has all the local products produced and packaged in Guyana before heading over to the market where we will meet some of the vendors who Chef buys from daily. He will then head home to start preparing food, while we continue on a tour of Georgetown. Once we’ve worked up an appetite, we’ll dine at Chef Delven’s Backyard Cafe. After lunch, we will visit the Botanical Gardens, home to an extensive collection of tropical flora, and the Zoo which has become a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation center housing over one hundred different species of tropical wildlife. Nearby we can feed the endangered West Indian Manatees. In the afternoon we will slowly cruise along the bank of the Demerara River and learn about the history of the famous buildings along the waterfront as well as the Demerara Harbour Bridge, once the longest floating bridge in the world at 1,851 meters. We will cross under the bridge and tie up our boat near a mangrove. As the sun sets over the river we can enjoy flocks of brilliant Scarlet Ibis and three kinds of Egrets among others as they fly across the sky and settle into the mangroves for the evening. Tonight we’ll enjoy our final farewell dinner at a delightful local restaurant, Aagman, which offers an epicurean Mughlai Cuisine from the imperial kitchens of India. It’s a delicious end to an amazing experience. Overnight at Cara Lodge (B, L, D)
DAY 10
You are free to leave anytime (lodge check out is at 12 pm) and you will be transferred to the airport for your flight. (B)


(5 reviews)
3.8 Food
3.6 Lodging
4.2 Safety

*These are the unfiltered reviews of women who have been on this trip in answer to the question "What made this trip special for you?". We take reviews very seriously and often tweak itineraries based on feedback. Please feel free to contact us about any questions you have.

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Mary S.
1 year ago

As always the people. Those who are travel companions and those whose paths intersect mine.

Jana O.
1 year ago

Great group of ladies to travel with .. amazing country to visit people very friendly and hospitable . Natural beauty amazing birding opportunities

Karen H.
1 year ago

South America, jungle, great food, amazing wildlife, the best guide, contact with indigenous culture, a good mix of city, jungle, river and savanna, walking and hiking, small plane trips, overall great food, a good group. Well, that should cover just about the entire experience and trip, which was outstanding!

Joellen P.
1 year ago

This really was a wonderful trip and AGC/Jen did a great job from the first introduction to the follow through. An adventure of a lifetime and one of my top two trips with AGC now (Tanzania was the other...but I really liked New Zealand also...and Belize...but these were the top two.). Also Jen and Brenda Porter are my top two guides!

Judith L.
1 year ago

This small country (and its 2 neighbors, Suriname and French Guiana) has been on my bucket list for quite some years. That’s why when I first saw it for 2020, I was the first person to sign up! Of course Covid postponed it, but so glad we finally went. It is a lovely unspoiled natural place that will undoubtedly change as it becomes “discovered”, so I feel very privileged to go here. I also found out how easy it is to get to the other two countries and I think you could develop an itinerary to visit them too! The local guides were awesome and they could arrange a trip to Suriname and French Guiana as well. Please continue to offer this trip and I would definitely sign up for a trip to visit the Suriname/French Guiana as well!

  1. What language is spoken in Guyana?

    The official language of Guyana is English, the only English speaking country of South America. This is often mixed with local creole twangs throughout the country.

  2. What is the climate like in January?

    Guyana's climate is equatorial: hot but pleasant for most of the year, with a mean shade temperature of 81°F and an average temperature range of 75°F to 87°F. The heat is tempered by the sea breezes (North East Tradewinds) on the coast. January is in the dry season

  3. What are the insects and bugs like?

    During the day, the main concern is the Kabowra, a small black fly found near the rivers. However it cannot bite through clothes so wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants (also important for sun protection) is the key. During twilight hours there are mosquitoes, at a level typical of the US east coast during summer.

  4. Will I need any special vaccinations?

    Visitors are advised to get a Yellow Fever Vaccination Shot before coming to Guyana. You can see all of CDC's current recommendations here:

  5. Where do we eat?

    In Georgetown we'll eat breakfasts at the lodge and other meals as described on the itinerary. At the lodges

  6. What dietary preferences or restrictions can you accommodate on this trip?

    With advance notification, all dietary restrictions can be accommodated, including vegan, vegetarian, gluten free etc. The chefs at our lodges all have experience in serving their guests delicious meals that meet not only their restrictions but their preferences.

  7. I will be coming by myself. Do I need to pay a single supplement?

    You only need to pay a single supplement if you want to guarantee you have your own room. Otherwise we’ll pair you up with someone and then switch roommates every time we switch lodging.