Guyana & Trinidad

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    Destinations: Central and South America, Guyana
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Tour Description

Our new Guyana tour combines pristine nature with a rustic adventure! Be one of the few travelers to experience the rush of standing just steps from the unbound majesty of Kaieteur Falls, and discover the wonders still found in the pristine swaths of one of Earth’s last untouched tropical rainforests — The Guiana Shield. Plus, avid birders who travel Guyana will thrill at the possibility of spotting the Guianan cock-of-the-rock and as many as 800 avian species, while any wildlife enthusiast is sure to love searching for golden frogs, monkeys and jaguars!

Birding at Asa Wright Nature Center

Spend three nights in Trinidad’s lush highlands at the world-famous Asa Wright Nature Center — one of the top birding destinations in the world! While here, birders can expect to see such gems as scarlet ibis, oilbird, red-legged honeycreeper, bay-headed tanagers and bearded bellbirds on our frequent excursions. Plus, depending on the time of year you travel to Trinidad, IE includes an excursion to the rich Aripo savannah or watching nesting leatherback sea turtles.

Guyana Travel: The Ultimate Nature Experience

Join International Expeditions on an adventure to the virgin rainforests, towering waterfalls and pristine nature to travel Guyana and Trinidad. Small ecolodges ensure that the lucky few IE guests to visit these secluded areas have intimate access to some of the most wildlife rich environments on Earth — all yet to be discovered by the masses. From our charming and rustic accommodations, explore these emerging ecotourism hotspots on frequent excursions by canoe, boat and Bedford truck. Plus, our 10-day Guyana tour is packed with rainforest hikes, an Amerindian village visit, and excursions onto a vast canopy walkway for a new perspective on life in the treetops.

Contribute in the Caribbean

IE has a long history of promoting sustainable tourism development, and our accommodations in Guyana are each part of local community tourism projects that promote sustainable development and intimate involvement by local tribal people. By creating viable and sustainable opportunities in ecotourism in the still seldom-visited forests of Guyana, these lodges reduce the attractiveness of income options such as logging and mining. Just by traveling with IE, you are helping to protect Guyana’s pristine wilderness.

Itinerary

Day 1 – Friday

U.S. / Georgetown, Guyana

Fly independently to Georgetown, Guyana, where we overnight at the Cara Lodge. (Meals Aloft)

Day 2 – Saturday

Georgetown / Kaieteur Falls / Iwokrama Rainforest

After breakfast, enjoy a briefing on our activities by our knowledgeable Expedition Leader. Transfer to the airport for our charter flight to magnificent Kaieteur Falls. Secluded and spectacular, Kaieteur receives few visitors, so it feels as if our small group are the only explorers clambering over the rocks around the falls. First seen by Europeans in 1870, Kaieteur flows over a sandstone conglomerate tableland into a deep gorge — at 822 feet a drop five times higher than Niagara Falls. Legends from the local Patamona tribe tell that Kai, one of the tribe’s chiefs (after whom the falls is named), canoed over the falls in an act of self sacrifice that he believed would save the tribe from being destroyed by the savage Caribishi. Kaieteur supports a unique micro-environment with tank bromeliads, the largest in the world, in which the tiny golden frog spends its entire life. Our naturalist will lead a stroll through the lush wilderness in search of the magnificent Guianan cock-of-the-rock. Lucky visitors may spot Kaieteur swifts and makonaima birds, which nest under the vast shelf of rock carved by the centuries of water, hidden behind the eternal curtain of falling water. Enjoy a picnic lunch before boarding another charter flight to Iwokrama. Spend two nights at the Iwokrama River Lodge, where the calls of long-tailed potoo, zigzag heron or blackish nightjar fill the night skies. Our river-view cabins feature wrap-around verandahs with hammocks to relax during the day and enjoy the nighttime symphony of sound. (B,L,D)

Day 3 – Sunday

Iwokrama Rainforest

This morning a ranger joins our small group Guyana tour on a walk through the vast wilderness of the Iwokrama Rainforest. Established in 1996 as the Iwokrama International Center for Rainforest Conservation and Development, this protected area is the heart of one of the last untouched tropical forests of the world — The Guiana Shield of North-Eastern South America. Morning and afternoon excursions on forest trails and along the river are an opportunity to observe diverse bird species including capunchinbird, black nunbird, chestnut-rumped woodcreeper, brown-bellied antwren, spot-tailed antwren, Todd’s antwren, spotted puffbird, Guianan cock-of-the-rock, Guianan red cotinga, rufous-crowned elaenia, bronzy jacamar, chestnut woodpecker, gray antbird and strong-billed woodcreeper. Other neotropical species which inhabit the forest include white-winged potoo, rufous potoo and rufous-winged ground-cuckoo. After dinner at the lodge, set out on a river excursion, searching for caiman, snakes, tree frogs, capybara and maybe even jaguar. (B,L,D)

Day 4 – Monday

Iwokrama Rainforest / Atta Rainforest Lodge

Stroll paths along the river as dawn breaks in Iwokrama, a time when the wildlife will be most active before the heat of the day. After breakfast, drive through the forest, stopping in areas that are known observation points for the elusive jaguar. Iwokrama has gained an international reputation for its healthy jaguar populations which have a habit of ignoring curious humans. No promises, but many have been lucky! Check in to the Atta Rainforest Lodge and enjoy lunch. Our afternoon excursion takes us to the Iwokrama Canopy Walkway, suspended 115 feet above the forest floor. Explore the mid and upper canopy as darkness settles over the lush jungle. While birdlife abounds in the area, we also look for Guianan saki monkey, black spider monkey and two-toed sloth. (B,L,D)

Day 5 – Tuesday

Atta Rainforest Lodge / Rupununi Savannah

This morning, welcome the dawn chorus from the tree-tops on the canopy walkway before departing the Atta Rainforest Lodge. Our Bedford truck follows a trail to a hotspot known to locals as the best place to find nesting Guianan cock-of-the-rock. Continue to Rock View Lodge, our home for two nights, where the Annai savannah meets the forest-covered foothills of the Pakaraima Mountains. Our lodge’s tropical gardens and flowering trees attract a spectacular variety of nectar feeders and frugivores. Amazonian tropical, amethyst woodstar, white-chinned sapphire, long-billed starthroat and several hermits patrol the grounds. Nearby patches of forest are home to Amazonian scrub flycatcher, rufous-browed peppershrike and a variety of antbirds, which we search for during our afternoon naturalist-guided walk. At dusk, as nightjars and nighthawks tumble over the grasslands, look for the Nacunda nighthawk and white-tailed nightjar. (B,L,D)

Day 6 – Wednesday

Rupununi Savannah: Surama Village & Burro Burro River

Our 4x4 transports us to the Amerindian village of Surama, where these members of the Macushi tribe still observe many of their traditional practices. This remote village is situated on a small savannah, deep in the rainforest and surrounded by forest clad hills. One of the warm locals leads our escorted tour of the village, allowing us to visit the school, medical center, church and village homes. After lunch, we make our way to the Burro Burro River. Aboard a skillfully guided paddleboat, enjoy a quiet afternoon listening to the songs of forest birds. Search the banks for giant river otter, tapir, tayra and black spider monkey before returning to Rock View Lodge. (B,L,D)

Day 7 – Thursday

Rupununi Savannah / Georgetown, Trinidad / Asa Wright Nature Center

At dawn, hike through the foothills of the Pakaraima Mountains on the Panorama Trail, where our guide may point out cinereous mourner, Finsch’s euphonia, reddish hermit, rufous-bellied antwren, and green-tailed and yellow-billed jacamar. The views across the savannah and villages as the sun rises are spectacular! Say good-bye to our friends in Guyana and board scheduled flights to Georgetown, Trinidad. The continental origin and proximity of Trinidad to South America, along with its varied habitats, has resulted in an extremely diverse biota. Species lists for this island are impressive, including 97 native mammals, 400 birds, 55 reptiles, 25 amphibians, and 617 butterflies, as well as over 2,200 species of flowering plants! No other area in the West Indies can match this spectacular species diversity. Trinidad is 50 miles long by about 37 miles wide, and dominated by the Northern Range, which rises to about 3,000 feet and was historically covered by tropical rainforest. Here, in this lush part of this beautiful island, we find the magical Asa Wright Nature Center. Asa Wright is a hotspot for birding in the neotropics, and the sounds of myriad songbirds fill the air. See a variety of colorful tropical birds including such gems as the bay-headed tanager and the tufted coquette hummingbird. Enjoy a leisurely walk along trails graced by tropical flowers in search of manakins and bellbirds, whose haunting calls are synonymous with the sounds of the rainforest. Even while relaxing on the center’s veranda can be an ornithological adventure — white-chested emerald, white-necked jacobin, copper-rumped, green honeycreeper, purple honeycreeper and great kiskadee among the species that can be easily seen. (B,L,D)

Day 8 – Friday

Asa Wright Nature Center

Awake to the raucous noise of the crested oropendola and a host of other exotic sounds. Begin with a naturalist-guided tour of the trails traversing this rich wildlife sanctuary. On our introductory walk, look for violaceous trogon, channel-billed toucan, chestnut woodpecker, white-bearded manakin, bearded bellbird, and turquoise and bay-headed tanager. The Nature Center is situated in a typical valley of Trinidad’s Northern Range, where traditionally coffee, cocoa and citrus plantations were located and today many of these plants are maintained. Natural secondary growth has taken over and festooned the abandoned plantation vegetation with vines and epiphytes to produce an effect of being deep in a tropical rainforest.

According to the time of year you travel to Trinidad and Guyana with International Expeditions, different afternoon excursions will be offered while at the Asa Wright Nature Center to coincide with the best wildlife viewing for that season. (B,L,D)

January & October Guyana Tour Groups

Explore the Aripo savannah, the last remaining savannah on the island of Trinidad. This sensitive ecosystem has been a nature reserve since 1934, and is home to 260 species of birds and 243 species of flora, many of which are rarely seen anywhere else in Trinidad. Colonies of bats can be seen roosting in the abandoned US WWII military bunker.

April Guyana Tour Groups

Travel to Matura Beach to watch nesting leatherback sea turtles. Leatherback sea turtles are the world’s largest sea turtle and third largest reptile. During the spring and summer, females haul themselves onto the beaches of Trinidad to lay eggs in the sand. You have the unique opportunity to visit Matura Beach and observe the turtles as well as research going on at the time.

Day 9 – Saturday

Asa Wright Nature Center

This morning visit Dunston Cave, home of the most accessible colony of oilbirds in the world. Oilbirds are the only nocturnal, fruit-eating birds in the world. Explore the famous Caroni Marsh for an opportunity to observe neotropic cormorant, anhinga, osprey, striated heron, white-cheeked pintail, bicolored conebill and red-capped cardinal could be among the new species seen here. This mangrove forest is home to several species of mangroves, showing classic examples of plant adaptation in this unique brackish water environment. The highlight of our day will be watching the spectacular flight of scarlet ibises returning to their mangrove roosts at dusk — one of the nature’s most dramatic moments. Returning to the boat dock, search the mangrove-lined channels for the mysterious sounding common potoo before returning to the Asa Wright Nature Center. (B,L,D)

Day 10 – Sunday

Asa Wright Nature Center / Port of Spain / U.S.

After breakfast, transfer to the airport in Port of Spain for flights home. (B, Meals aloft)

Departures

Pricing Information

All prices are in US dollars and do not include international airfare, unless otherwise noted.

Prices displayed are based on the lowest season base price and assume double occupancy. Prices are shown in U.S. dollars and may or may not include administrative fees, taxes, meals, airfare (where applicable) and Single Supplements. Cancellation penalties, blackout dates and other restrictions may apply.

Options and Extras

Tour Notes

What kind of weather can I expect during travel to Guyana and Trinidad?

GuyanaGuyana’s proximity to the equator means it has two seasons…rainy and dry. The rainy season is from May to August and light rains toward the end of December. Because Guyana is rainforest, there is a chance of rain even during the dry season...during which showers are a welcome relief from the heat. Guests can expect hot and humid conditions anytime in Guyana, with temperatures cooling at night.

TrinidadThe rainy season in Trinidad is June through October, though rain is heaviest June through August. Because Trinidad is rainforest, there is a chance of rain even during the dry season…during which showers are a welcome relief from the heat. Guests can expect hot and humid conditions anytime in Trinidad, with temperatures cooling at night.

Are visas required for travel to Guyana and Trinidad?

No visas are required to enter Trinidad or Guyana; however, you must have a passport valid for at least six months after your planned departure date.

What vaccinations are required for my Guyana and Trinidad expedition?

Proof of yellow fever vaccination is required if entering Trinidad or Guyana from an area where yellow fever is present. Yellow fever is present in both Trinidad and Guyana so proof of yellow fever vaccination is required for this trip. The CDC recommends that all travelers to Trinidad and Guyana be up-to-date on vaccinations for measles/mumps/rubella (MMR), diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus (DPT), poliovirus, hepatitis A, hepatitis B and typhoid; however you should consult your physician for recommendations about health abroad

How much luggage can I bring on my adventure to Guyana and Trinidad?

Because we will be flying aboard small planes for our internal flights, there is a very limited luggage allowance of 20 pounds per person.