Vast pristine rainforests
With nearly 80 percent of its land covered by rain forest, Guyana joins neighbors Suriname, French Guiana and portions of Venezuela and northern Brazil to form the Guaiana Shield region of Amazon forest—the source of 20 percent of the world’s fresh water. The vast forests of the Guaiana Shield also contain 18 percent of all the carbon dioxide stored in the world’s tropical forests.
This remarkably intact ecosystem sustains Guyana's treasure trove of more than 6,000 species of plants, 800 birds, 200 mammals, 200 reptiles and amphibians, and countless insects. Many of these species are endemic and some unknown to science. Its more famous endangered creatures include the jaguar, giant river otter, giant anteater, harpy eagle, green anaconda, Guianan cock-of-the- rock, arapaima, and tapir.
There are no other falls in the world with the magnitude of the sheer drop existing at Kaieteur. The water of the Potaro River flows over a sandstone conglomerate tableland into a deep gorge - a drop of 251 meters (822 feet). This is 5 times the height of Niagara Falls. Kaieteur supports a unique micro environment with Tank Bromeliads, the largest in the world, in which the tiny Golden Frog spends its entire life.
The rarely seen Guianan Cock-of-the-rock nests close by. The lucky visitor may also see the famous flights of the Kaieteur Swifts or Makonaima Birds. They nest under the vast shelf of rock carved by the centuries of water, hidden behind the eternal curtain of falling water. Because of its remote location, most visitors to the falls won't see any other people during their stay.
Sunrise on Surama Mountain
Rise before dawn for a walk across the savannah and then the exhilarating climb up Surama Mountain in the cool morning air. This is the best time to observe bird life along the trail. Enjoy the incredible views across the village and savannah to the Pakaraima Mountains. After walking back to the village, many might opt to rest and relax around the cabins.
Medicinal plant and culture demonstration in Surama
Local guides can escort you for a short walk on trails to observe the forest and bird life and talk about medicinal plants and their uses in the Amerindian culture. Surama offers one of the best-known chances for seeing rufous-winged ground-cuckoo.
Birdwatching and nature spotting in the Iwokrama rainforest
Although the forest around Atta Lodge is excellent for birds, the major attraction here is a 154 metre long canopy walkway which is only 750m from the lodge. The walkway has four platforms, the highest of which is over 30 metres above the ground, and these will allow you to view a range of canopy species, many of which we would struggle to see well from the forest floor.
Amongst the likely highlights are painted, brown-throated and golden-winged parakeets, caica parrot, Guianan puffbird, waved and golden-collared woodpeckers and spot-tailed, todd’s and ash-winged antwrens. The walkway is also an excellent place to look for various species of cotinga including the poorly known and range-restricted dusky purpletuft and if there are any suitable fruiting trees nearby, we stand a good chance of seeing this bird, as well as the more widespread purple-breasted cotinga. This area is also one of the best places to see another of Guyana’s “must see” birds, the crimson fruitcrow.
Climb Awaramie Mountain, sundowners on Rewa River
Head out by boat along the Rupununi River, into an oxbow lake to begin a hike up Awarmie Mountain. The climb is steep in a few sections but in general not too difficult. Along the way you will lots of birds and perhaps good close up views of black spider monkeys. There is good birding along the trail with white bellbirds calling both from the scrubby woodland at the beginning of the trail and again from the forests far below you when reach the summit.
Other species you may see include ornate hawk-eagle, black curassow, red-fan parrot, Guianan puffbird, Todd’s antwren, spotted tanager and bay-headed tanager. The area also has a high density of macaws including scarlet, blue-and-yellow and red-and-green macaws. At the summit you will have absolutely stunning views across rainforest to the distant mountains.
Fishing and turtle or monkey watching on the Rewa River
Travel up the Rewa River to a location known as Seawall. This rock formation is a great place to fish or take in the beauty of the location. Visit sand banks where giant river turtles come to lay their eggs. Along the river banks you may see red howler monkeys, squirrel monkeys and brown capuchin. Talk to us about the many trips and excursions you can make with the experts such as Wilderness Explorers.
Community tourism projects
Three Macushi villages have opened rainforest eco-lodges entirely owned and operated by the local community. Other communities support the eco-lodges by providing food, supplies, and services. These lodges are cooperatively managed and staffed by villagers who take time out of their normal daily routines to provide services to guests.
You can be treated to authentic Makushi hospitality as if you were a guest in one of their homes. The abundant flora and fauna surrounding these villages is masterfully curated by local residents who offer hikes, river canoe expeditions, and visits to community schools, centers, and traditional events. Only a few hundred visitors stay at these lodges each year, so you are guaranteed a rustic but authentic opportunity to interact with your hosts.