The Wildlife and Culture of the Three Guianas

18 Days from £7833 per adult. All trip details below can be tailored just for you
18 Days
Tailor-Made Tour
Culture and Archaeology
Country Combo
Off The Beaten Track

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.

Itinerary

Price from £7833 per adult. Based on sharing double / twin rooms

Day 1 - Depart UK (Wednesday or Friday)

Depart the UK and connect via Trinidad to 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 - Return Flight

Transfer to the airport, catch flight to Trinidad, and connect with onward flight to the UK.

Includes In-flight Meals.

Day 18 - Arrive in the UK

Includes In-flight Meals.

Travel Info

Are Flights Included?
Yes

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.

Area Specialist

Ian Loyd
specialist_ian-loyd

Flight options include British Airways and Virgin Atlantic from London Gatwick to Port of Spain, Barbados or Antigua. Please note that the onward flight from these locations to Georgetown with Caribbean Airlines or Liat Airlines would not be a protected connection. This would also require you to collect your luggage and re-check in before the onward flight to Georgetown. If you would prefer to avoid this tight connection then we recommend flying out a day earlier and overnighting in the Caribbean. This can also be arranged for the return.

If you have any queries about this tour please feel free to call me directly on +44 (0)1803 866965 or...

We really enjoyed this tour – every location was thoroughly enjoyable for different reasons. [WILDLIFE HIGHLIGHTS] River otters at Karanambu (wild and tame); macaws from the top of Turtle Mountain at Iwokrama (nice to look down on them for a change!); St Giles Island, Tobago – literally thousands of birds, frigate, boobies, tropic etc; cock-of-the-rock and golden frog at Kaieteur Falls. We have now taken 5 trips with Reef & Rainforest – all great!

Ms H P - Kent

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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