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Guyana: Land of the Jaguar

Guyana

from £4,749 per person
2 passengers 15 nights
Including optional travel insurance or a price reduction of £71 if not required
  • New New holiday
  • VIP travel service VIP door to door
  • Small Group < 14 Small Group 14 or less
  • All inclusive All Inclusive

Explore pristine rainforest, a haven for birdlife

Head off the beaten track on this escorted tour of Guyana. This lesser-travelled destination boasts pristine rainforest filled with exotic wildlife – including jaguar, giant river otter, and the mighty harpy eagle – and a friendly English-speaking population. Explore the colonial capital, Georgetown, experiencing the unique Guyanese cuisine, then fly to the cascading Kaieteur Falls, home to minuscule frogs inhabiting the world’s largest bromeliads.

Stay in the Iwokrama Rainforest Reserve, known as the ‘green heart of Guyana’ for its one million hectares of virgin rainforest. Here you’ll have unrivalled opportunities to spot some of the nation’s 835 species of bird from the Iwokrama Canopy Walkway. Continue to the sweeping savannah in the foothills of the Pakaraima Mountains to meet indigenous tribes, then seek out the national bird, the hoatzin, on the Mahaica River.

Politically closer to the British Caribbean Islands than its South American neighbours, Guyana has retained the feel of a 'wild frontier' outpost where nature overpowers everything else. The diversity of wildlife is extraordinary and will delight bird lovers particularly.

Richard Newsome, Head of Product

Including...

Hands shaking Included travel insurance

Bed14 nights in hotels and 1 in flight

Plate40 meals: 14 breakfasts (B), 13 lunches (L) and 13 dinners (D)

CocktailFree local bar in all hotels open 4pm-10pm daily

PersonSaga tour manager

Plus...

  • Return flights and transfers
  • Welcome drink
  • Bottled water with all meals
  • Porterage at all hotels

MapExcursions and visits

  • Guided tour of Georgetown
  • Georgetown culinary experience
  • Birdwatching session in Georgetown
  • Birdwatching on the Iwokrama Canopy Walkway
  • Rainforest tour to Guianan cock-of-the-rock lek site
  • Pakaraima Mountains hike
  • Birdwatching in the Annai savannah
  • Cashew roasting and tasting session
  • Visit to community peanut butter factory
  • Mahaica River cruise
Kaieteur Falls

On your tour, marvel at the world’s largest single drop waterfall by volume, Kaieteur Falls. Located in the pristine Amazon rainforest of Kaieteur National Park, at 741 feet, the falls are nearly five times higher than Niagara Falls. In local dialect the name means ‘falls of Kai’, and they are of deep significance to the local Patamona people. According to legend, their chief, Kai, saved his people by paddling over the edge as a sacrifice to appease the spirit Makonaima. Far from civilisation, the falls have a complete lack of commercialisation. As you walk through the forest to the thundering falls, look out for unique wildlife such as the tiny endemic golden rocket frog.


View Full Itinerary

Day 1 UK-Port of Spain-Georgetown

An aerial view of Georgetown

After taking your VIP door-to-door travel service to the airport, fly to Port of Spain in Trinidad, and take a connecting flight to Georgetown, Guyana.

Arriving late tonight, transfer to the 3-star Cara Lodge (3Q). The warm and friendly colonial-style hotel is centrally located and has air-conditioned bedrooms.


Day 2 Georgetown

St George's Cathedral, Georgetown

Rise early to discover Georgetown on a city tour this morning. Visit Bourda Market in the company of a chef guide, and enjoy breakfast from a local food stand. See St George’s Cathedral, one of the world’s largest free-standing wooden buildings, and visit the National Museum, and the Walter Roth Museum of Anthropology, which houses an expansive collection of indigenous artefacts.

Head to the Backyard Cafe for lunch cooked by the chef using the fresh ingredients purchased from the market visit in the morning. This afternoon, visit the Georgetown Botanical Gardens and Zoo, a rescue and rehabilitation centre for tropical wildlife, and the National Park where you’ll have the chance to feed the manatees.

Look forward to a welcome drink and tour briefing this evening. B, L, D


Day 3 Georgetown

A male snail kite

Rise early this morning to return to the Georgetown Botanical Gardens for a birdwatching session before breakfast. The gardens host macaws, parrots, pearl and snail kites, tanagers and, if you are lucky, you might spot the blood-coloured woodpecker, which is only found on the Atlantic shores of the Guianan countries.

Return to the hotel and spend the rest of the morning at leisure. Lunch today is at Shanta’s, one of the oldest restaurants in Guyana, famed locally for Guyanese Creole-style food.

Spend the afternoon at leisure or join an optional cruise along the Demerara River. B, L, D


Day 4 Georgetown-Kaieteur-Iwokrama Rainforest Reserve

A harpy eagle

This morning take a charter flight over miles of unbroken tropical rainforest to Kaieteur National Park (one hour), to visit Kaieteur Falls, the world’s highest free-falling waterfall by volume. Admire the falls, and seek out the colourful Guianan cock-of-the-rock – the male birds have unmistakable bright orange plumage. The walk to the falls is approximately two miles over uneven terrain.

Re-board the plane and fly to Iwokrama (45 minutes). Continue by road to the Atta Rainforest Lodge (2Q) in the Iwokrama Rainforest Reserve where you’ll stay for four nights (90 minutes). The forest here is home to the incredible harpy eagle, the most powerful raptor in the Americas, with a wingspan of up to six and a half feet – if you’re lucky you may get to see one.

The lodge is located 530 yards from the Iwokrama Canopy Walkway, a series of suspension bridges and viewing platforms through the mid to upper rainforest canopy. Facilities at the lodge are basic, but include a bar, dining area and gardens visited by hummingbirds and another of Guyana’s ‘must see’ birds, the crimson fruitcrow. B, L, D


Day 5 Iwokrama Rainforest Reserve

Jaguar

Before dawn visit the Iwokrama Canopy Walkway for a birdwatching session. Species you may see include green aracari, pygmy antwren, Guianan toucanet, buff-cheeked greenlet, and it’s possible to see red howler and black spider monkeys too. Spend the day at leisure, then head out this evening on a jaguar spotting excursion.

Take a drive through the forest to an area known for its jaguar sightings. This elusive cat is the largest cat species in the New World, and has a powerful bite able to pierce the shell of a turtle. These solitary animals inhabit the tropical forests and wetlands of South America, with approximately 4,300 individuals found in Guyana. Populations are declining due to habitat loss and poaching. Sightings are not guaranteed, but there are other wildlife viewing opportunities along this wildlife corridor. B, L, D


Day 6 Iwokrama Rainforest Reserve

Iwokrama Canopy Walkway

Spend the day birdwatching from the canopy walkway and surrounding rainforest trails. Look out for channel-billed toucan, white-necked puffbird, yellow-throated woodpecker, and black-crowned tityra. Along the jungle trails spot antwren and flycatcher species, and seek out the rarely seen rufous-winged ground cuckoo.

An optional excursion tours Turtle Mountain. B, L, D


Day 7 Iwokrama Rainforest Reserve

A great jacamar eating a large insect

Rise before dawn to birdwatch on the canopy walk or explore the trail in search of other wildlife with your guide. Other species you may encounter during your stay include crimson topaz, great jacamar, tiny tyrant-manakin and purple-throated fruitcrow. B, L, D


Day 8 Iwokrama Rainforest Reserve-Annai

Cock-of-the-rock

Spend a final morning birdwatching on the canopy walkway, then, after lunch, transfer to Annai in 4x4 vehicles (48 miles, 70 minutes).

En route stop at Corkwood, where a short trail through the rainforest offers another chance to spot the Guianan cock-of-the-rock, and learn about the medicinal uses of endemic plant species.

Continue to the family-run Rock View Lodge (2Q) where you’ll stay for five nights. The lodge is located where savannah meets the foothills of the Pakaraima Mountains, a region home to giant anteaters. Accommodation at the lodge is basic. B, L, D


Day 9 Annai

A reddish hermit

At dawn, join a guided hike into the foothills of the Pakaraima Mountains, following the Panorama Trail, heading uphill over uneven terrain. Along the way look out for cinereous mourner, Finsch’s euphonia, reddish hermit and orange-backed troupial.

You’ll be rewarded with views across the savannah and villages as the sun rises. Later today, an optional excursion seeks out kingfishers along the river, or at the lodge you join a cashew roasting and tasting session. B, L, D


Day 10 Annai

Pakaraima Mountains

Join a dawn hike along the Panorama Trail again this morning to look for birds and see the sunrise. This morning, visit the village of Aranaputa, and their community operated peanut butter factory.

Continue to the Pakaraima Mountain Inn in the Aranaputa Valley for a home-cooked lunch on the veranda.

The afternoon is free to spend at leisure. B, L, D


Day 11 Annai

A burrowing owl

Spend the day birdwatching on the savannah or hike into the mountain foothills. Bird species you may see in the area include burrowing owl, double-striped thick-knee, yellow-headed caracara and pale-vented pigeon, as well as parakeet, macaw and parrot species.

An optional excursion visits a nearby indigenous village. B, L, D


Day 12 Annai

A fork-tailed flycatcher

Spend the day at leisure, perhaps enjoying the gardens surrounding the lodge, or join an optional excursion to Camoudi. B, L, D


Day 13 Annai-Georgetown

An aerial view of Georgetown where the Demerara River meets the Atlantic Ocean

Fly to Georgetown (75 minutes). Return to the 3-star Cara Lodge (3Q) for a two night stay. The remainder of the day is free to spend at leisure. B, L, D


Day 14 Georgetown

Two hoatzin on the river

Rise before dawn and travel eastward to the Mahaica River. Take time for a cup of tea or coffee before heading out on the river for an early morning cruise.

The river is a lifeline for the local communities, and is the main method of transportation and a source of food, and water for irrigation. The ecosystem is inhabited by egrets, herons, ibis and is one of the best places to spot Guyana’s national bird, the hoatzin. This unusual bird is also known as the stinkbird due to its ability to produce a horrible smell to deter predators. Enjoy breakfast at the home of the boatman, then return to Georgetown.

The return journey offers the chance to spot black skimmer, brown pelican, magnificent frigatebird and the rufous crab hawk.

The afternoon is free to spend at leisure, before a farewell dinner at a local restaurant this evening. B, L, D


Day 15 Georgetown-Port of Spain-UK

Transfer to the airport for your overnight flight to the UK, with a long layover in Port of Spain.


Day 16 UK

Arrive in the UK and take your VIP door-to-door travel service home.


Demerara historical river tour

Cruise along the Demerara River for a brief history of the buildings along the waterfront, and to see the Demerara Harbour Bridge, once the longest floating bridge in the world. The boat will stop in the mangroves, and as the sun sets, you can enjoy cold drinks and snacks as you watch for egrets and ibis settling in the mangroves for the evening.

Three hours
The Demerara River
Demerara River Demerara-Mahaica Guyana South America Georgetown
  • Optional on 15 nights itinerary

Turtle Mountain tour

Transfer through the forest by 4x4 to the Iwokrama River Lodge, then travel by boat along the Essequibo River to the start of the hike for Turtle Mountain. Follow the well-maintained trail on foot through the forest, then begin the exhilarating climb to the summit, at 935 feet. You’ll have the opportunity to birdwatch as you walk, looking out for eagle, aracari and bellbird species.

Full day
View from Turtle Mountain
Turtle Mountain Guyana South America
  • Optional on 15 nights itinerary

Rupununi River cruise

Travel across the savannah by 4x4, then take a boat trip along the Rupununi River to look for giant river otters and black caiman. The river is also home to five species of kingfisher and numerous water bird species.

Evening
Rupununi River
Rupununi River Guyana South America
  • Optional on 15 nights itinerary

Surama village and the Burro Burro River

Visit the Macushi community of Surama. The village is located in a small savannah deep in the rainforest. It’s here that British naturalist and explorer, Charles Waterton, passed through in 1812 in search of the secrets of the useful Wourali poison known as Curare, and wrote of the beauty of the spot. Tour the village, visiting the local school and medical centre. Then, take a guided paddle along the Burro Burro River where you may see giant river otter, tapir, tayra and monkey species.

Half day
A giant river otter
Surama Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo Guyana South America
  • Optional on 15 nights itinerary

Birdwatching at Camoudi

Take a morning visit to Camoudi Bach to birdwatch for species including fork-tailed flycatchers, savannah and black-collared hawks and rufous-bellied antwren.

Half day
A black-collared hawk
Guyana South America
  • Optional on 15 nights itinerary

Please note

Wildlife sightings cannot be guaranteed. Accommodation outside of Georgetown is basic but comfortable. Due to the internal flights, luggage allowance is limited (7kg) and guests will be required to bring duffel bags instead of a suitcase. On selected departures, the order of the itinerary will differ, staying at Rock View Lodge first, and then Atta Rainforest Lodge.

Guyana: Land of the Jaguar

Guyana

from £4,749 per person
2 passengers
15 nights
Including optional travel insurance or a price reduction of £71 if not required
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Guyana: Land of the Jaguar

Guyana

from £4,749 per person
2 passengers
15 nights
Including optional travel insurance or a price reduction of £71 if not required