Join us on a fantastic adventure tour to Guyana, South America’s hidden gem. This unspoiled wilderness, off the radar for many of our travelers, offers an amazing experience — birds and mammals simply abound! The substrate here is the ancient granitic Guianan Shield, which, along with the Brazilian Shield to the south of the Amazon River, forms the primeval geologic heart of South America. Tropical rainforest has grown here for millions of years, slowly adapting to differing soil conditions as nutrients leached from the soils. Today Guyana still holds breathtaking and unending forest, myriad rivers, and expansive savannah. This Guyana nature tour also takes a bit of time to explore the vibrant, multi-cultural urban center at Georgetown, and its well-known botanic gardens.

  • “Destination and itinerary were far more astounding than I had imagined they could be. The number of amazing birds overwhelmed my memory banks. Every day there were fabulous birds, but the Rupununi River trip was a standout with the Sungrebe, the Rufescent Tiger-Heron, and the Sun Bittern, the Spotted Puffbird, and Green-tailed Jacamar. On and off the river that day we saw many parrot and macaw species. I was thrilled to see Jabiru and Maguari Storks.” — Jean Eaton, 2023 Traveler
  • “It was an awesome trip. We saw some amazing birds, including my top 3 goal birds, Hoatzin, Cock-of-the-rock, and Scarlet Ibis. The two guides were fantastic. I always felt safe, the lodging was comfortable, and there was plenty of good food!” — 2023 Traveler
  • “We had a 12-day birding adventure in Guyana that visited a wide variety of habitats and during which our group saw about 300 different species. We had excellent guides, great food, good accommodations, and felt we got great value for the cost.” — 2023 Traveler
  • “The Kaieteur Falls were breathtaking, and we were fortunate to have good views of the amazing male Cock of the rock.. we were close to him, and he stayed around!” — 2023 Traveler
  • “Guyana has a great variety of tropical habitats to visit and our tour did a good job of sampling them. From coastal rural to highland plateau to deep rain forest, riparian, and open savanna we hit them all. Our excellent in-country guide knew all the birds instantly. The two boat tours were fantastic! On each of them we saw many species and were close to the birds.” — 2023 Traveler

Tour Highlights

  • Broaden your horizons and visit one of the few remaining untamed places on the planet
  • See members of the odd cotinga family: brilliant Guianan Cock-of-the-rock, wine-and-white Pompadour Cotinga, and elfin Dusky Purpletuft … the birding here is incredible!
  • Relax in cozy casitas at Surama Village ecolodge, where the Mukushi tribe are very proud of their ecotourism efforts
  • Witness rare predators—six of South America’s elusive wild cats patrol the forests here
  • Watch for the majestic Crimson Topaz Hummingbird, Red Howler Monkey, and Amazonian Motmot
  • Float down a river in search of Giant Otter, Jabiru, up to five species of kingfisher, Harpy Eagle, and Green-tailed Jacamar
  • Experience the jaw dropping Kaieteur Falls, travel with local expert guides, and find rare and iconic species
  • Support locals who are extremely committed to conserving their forests and wildlife

Trip Itinerary

Itineraries are guidelines; variations in itinerary may occur to account for weather, road conditions, closures, etc. and to maximize your experience.

Thurs., Feb. 27      Arrivals in Guyana | Georgetown

Arrive today at Cheddi Jagan International Airport on the outskirts of Georgetown, a coastal colonial city. Georgetown is a modern capital city and the chief port of Guyana. Along tropical, tree-lined streets, the city sports a fascinating mix of British, French, and Dutch colonial architecture.

Guests are met at the airport and transferred to the lovely Cara Lodge.

Cara Lodge is a bit of a splurge, and a long-standing tradition for our trips to Georgetown. Built in the 1840s and originally consisting of two houses, the hotel is one of the oldest wooden buildings in Georgetown. It has a long and romantic history … over the years it has hosted many dignitaries, including England’s King George V, who stayed at the house in 1923 and planted the sapodilla tree in the front garden to mark the occasion.

Please note: We have an early departure tomorrow morning. If you are considering a late-arriving flight, you may want to come in a day early to both enjoy this lovely hotel and to rest up from your travels. You will be met at the airport and transferred to the hotel regardless of which day you choose to arrive. Meals are at leisure today, those arriving in time for dinner can gather informally.
Accommodations at the delightful and relaxing Cara Lodge.

Fri., Feb. 28        Mahaica River in Search of Iconic Hoatzin | Botanic Garden

This morning, after coffee and tea service, we leave our hotel early to head eastward along the Atlantic coast, making a few stops along the way to check the mud flats for Scarlet Ibis as they set out to feed at dawn. We continue towards the community of Mahaica where we take a boat trip along the river. Among our targets is Guyana’s iconic national bird, the bizarre and primitive Hoatzin, which is found in abundance on this river system. We also look for a host of other species including the Rufous Crab Hawk, Black-collared Hawk, Black Hawk-Eagle, Long-winged Harrier, Barred Antshrike, Silvered Antbird, Striped Cuckoo, Little Cuckoo, Green-tailed Jacamar, Golden-spangled Piculet, Mangrove Rail, Mangrove Cuckoo, and a host of other interesting species. It’s wonderful to be on the water, but by mid-morning it is hot (thus the need for an early start). We return to the home of our local guide and boatman for an amazing and delicious full breakfast of Indian specialties—a field meal that you will not forget!

We then return to Georgetown for a rest, with stops along the way along the coast. Depending on the water level, we may be able to check the shoreline for Least, Semipalmated, and Western Sandpipers, Whimbrel, Black-belled and Semipalmated Plovers, Short-billed Dowitcher, Tricolored Heron, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Little Blue Heron, Magnificent Frigatebird, Royal, Gull-billed, and possibly Yellow-billed Tern, and Brown Pelican.

In the afternoon, after it cools down a bit, we visit the Georgetown Botanical Gardens, an area of parkland with open grass, scattered trees, bushes, and several ponds and wet areas. Raucous parrots and colorful macaws pass overhead as Wattled Jacana tread the lotus plants and water lilies. While the gardens are not elaborate, large trees provide habitat for the Guianas-endemic Blood-colored Woodpecker and other species such as White-bellied Piculet, the gorgeous Spotted Tody-Flycatcher, Rusty-margined Flycatcher, Southern Beardless- and Yellow Tyrannulet, Lesser Kiskadee, Black-capped Donacobius, Yellow Oriole, Yellow-chinned Spinetail, Wing-barred Seedeater, Straight-billed Woodcreeper, and plenty of Snail Kite. In the tree tops, we hope to see Red-shouldered Macaw, Orange-winged, Yellow-crowned, and Mealy Amazons, and with luck the Festive Amazon, a parrot species in serious decline due to the illegal pet trade. If the trees are flowering, we search for hummingbirds like Black-throated Mango and Glittering and White-bellied Emeralds. Coming and going to the gardens we see some of the city’s colonial architecture.
Accommodations at Cara Lodge, Georgetown (B,L,D)

Sat., Mar. 1       Off to the Wilds! Kaieteur Falls | Surama Village & Eco Lodge

After breakfast at our hotel, we drive to nearby Ogle Airport to take a chartered flight over unspoiled pristine forest to Kaieteur Falls, the world’s highest free-falling waterfall, impressive in its remote setting. Time permitting, we may stop at the coastal mudflats for one last chance at shorebirds, ducks, herons, and egrets. Though Venezuela’s Angel Falls is greater in total height, its filamentous drop occurs by stages, whereas Kaieteur is a single massive, thundering cascade up to 100 meters wide, created as the Potaro River makes a sheer drop of 228 meters—nearly five times the height of Niagara Falls. It’s quite possible that we are the only people viewing it, and pending good weather conditions, we land to see it up close, also viewing birds.

Near the falls, we hope to find White-chinned and White-tipped Swifts swirling over the gorge, and perhaps we are lucky enough to spot Orange-breasted Falcon hunting for its favorite prey, the swifts. There is also a Guianan Cock-of-the-rock lek here, so we have a good chance at our first look at this brilliant species. Along the trail, look carefully to find the rare Golden Rocket Frog that lives in water held in the giant tank bromeliads.

We spend about two hours at the falls, then our flight continues to Surama Village airstrip from which we are driven to Surama Eco Lodge in the heart of Guyana’s beautiful savannah and rainforest. We arrive in time for a late lunch before birding the trails around the lodge and visiting a nearby Great Potoo roost. At dusk we look for Lesser and Least Nighthawks, White-tailed Nightjar, and a few owls.

Tonight, we settle into our simple but comfortable casitas with private bath and open-air ventilation through large windows; mosquito netting keeps you comfortable in your bed. Views overlook the savannah to the encircling mountains — stunning. Meals feature local foods prepared by a well-trained culinary staff … a treat so far out in the wilds!
Accommodations at Surama Eco-Lodge (B,L,D)

Sun., Mar. 2       Surama Eco-Lodge | Harpy Eagle Trail | Village Life

Don’t be surprised if you are awakened by the dawn calls of Spectacled Owl or Slaty-backed Forest-Falcon and Little Chachalaca. No matter, as we are up early to bird, then take a short drive to the Harpy Eagle trailhead. This trail winds its way through beautiful primary forest where Red-and-black Grosbeak, Golden-sided Euphonia, Orange-breasted Falcon, Blue-and-yellow and Scarlet Macaws, Ornate Hawk-Eagle, Cream-colored Woodpecker, Yellow-billed Jacamar, Tiny Tyrant-Manakin, Cinnamon Attila, Black-headed Antbird, Amazonian Antshrike, Ferruginous Antbird, Rufous-winged Ground Cuckoo, and possibly Guianan White-faced Saki Monkey reside. We arrive at the view point where in some years, a Harpy Eagle pair is attending their nest; they are always in the area, here and near the river corridor. We can hope that they are present today!

Back in the village we learn about community conservation efforts. Visit the local school and perhaps the community building for the Guyana Wildlife Club. It was here in the pastoral setting of mountain and savannah that Charles Waterton passed through in 1812. He journeyed in search of the secrets of the useful Wourali poison known as Curare. Waterton was so impressed by this spot that he wrote in his memoirs, “The finest park that England boasts falls short of this delightful scene.”

Surama’s inhabitants are mainly from the Macushi tribe and still observe many of the traditional practices. Our guide takes us on a village tour, an experience most find far more enjoyable than they expect — it’s inspirational how the local people relate to nature and how they see their place in this modern world. We visit the local school, medical center, and church, along with some of the village houses.

As the afternoon cools, a local guide shares knowledge of nature and birding on trails to seek out resident mammal and bird life. See the forest through the eyes of your indigenous guide and learn about the medicinal plants and their uses in the Amerindian culture. The whole experience here is unique.

Tonight we enjoy another walk to observe wildlife and experience the mystique of the forest after dark. We hope to locate Tawny-bellied Screech-Owl, Black-banded Owl, as well as Tropical Screech-Owl, Lesser Nighthawk, White-tailed Nightjar, and both Great and Common Potoos.
Accommodations at Surama Eco-Lodge (B,L,D)

Mon., Mar. 3     Surama Eco Lodge | Burro Burro River

Morning here is a treat … imagine waking so close to the wilds. However, just a step away is fresh coffee and breakfast.

During our stay here, we hope to encounter Red-legged Tinamou, Painted Parakeet, Dusky Parrot, Lilac-tailed Parrotlet, Pale-tailed Barbthroat, Rufous-throated Sapphire, Great and Paradise Jacamars, Black-spotted Barbet, Golden-spangled Piculet, and Chestnut-rumped Woodcreeper. The South American clan of antbirds is well-represented here—we look for Northern Slaty-Antshrike, Rufous-bellied, Spot-tailed, and Todd’s Antwrens, Dusky, White-browed, White-bellied, Ferruginous-backed, Rufous-throated, and Guianan Warbling Antbirds, and other birds including Helmeted Pygmy-Tyrant, Lemon-chested and Ashy-headed Greenlets, and Finsch’s Euphonia. Hopefully it won’t be too long before our attention is drawn to the far-carrying, growling song of the bizarre, social lek displaying Capuchinbird. The skilled local guides sometimes know of the territories of these canopy-dwelling birds, their bald heads and strange hump-shouldered appearance an unforgettable sight if we are lucky enough to spot them.

To find all these gems, we might choose to explore the surrounding habitats on trails, or we can venture out in small boats on the Burro Burro River for a quiet and skillfully-guided paddle, hearing the voices of many birds singing, and with luck coming down to the shore. We also search the banks for mammals like Giant River Otter, Tapir, Tayra, Black Spider Monkey, and more. The Burro Burro River trail is known for reliable sightings of Blond-colored Woodpecker, Rufous-winged Ground Cuckoo, Red-legged Tinamou, Guianan Puffbird, Fiery-tailed Awlbill, and Blue-throated Piping-Guan. We count ourselves extremely fortunate if we succeed in getting good looks at some of these more elusive species.

Back in the village, the dining room’s upstairs bar boasts views all around (as well as cold sodas and beer). Local crafts and artwork are displayed here as well. We gather here ahead of dinner to recap our bird list, enjoy the sunset and each other’s company.
Accommodation at Surama Eco-Lodge (B,L,D)

Tues., Mar. 4     Atta Rainforest Lodge | Canopy Walkway | Iwokrama Forest

This morning we depart Surama to head to nearby Atta Rainforest Lodge where we spend the next two nights surrounded by pure nature, with no sounds but the noise of the forest. But first, en route, we walk a trail to a Guianan Cock-of-the-rock lek where we hope to have another opportunity to see this beautiful bird as it displays ahead of nesting. We then continue on to Atta for lunch and a well-deserved cold beer or cold drink of your choice.

After a rest, we spend the afternoon birding on the main road through the Iwokrama Forest, just a short distance away. The road has little traffic and makes an ideal place for us to wander at a birder’s pace. The trees are impressive, their height deceiving as we sort through mixed flocks. Thankfully a number of large, loud, and colorful species exist here, including several species of parrots and macaws. We look for Spangled Cotinga, as well as Blue-backed Tanager, Swallow-wing, Black-chinned, Scale-backed, and Gray Antbird, Guianan Streaked Antwren, Amazonian and Mouse-colored Antshrike, Reddish Hermit, Tiny Tyrant Manakin, Rose-breasted Chat, Black and Red-throated Caracara, Violaceous Trogon, Golden-winged Parrot, and Yellow-green Grosbeak. While birding along the road, we also keep watch for the elusive Jaguar and Tapir, which are difficult to find but most possible to see at dawn and dusk.

Beside a small wetland we could find Dwarf Caiman, Uniform, Ash-throated, and Russet-crowned Crakes, and Zigzag Heron — all of which are difficult. This is a good night birding route, and there are possibilities for White-winged, Rufous, Great, Common, and Long-tailed Potoos, plus Spectacled and Crested Owl.
Accommodations at Atta Rainforest Lodge (B,L,D)

Wed., Mar. 5      Atta Rainforest Lodge | Canopy Walkway

At dawn, we visit the canopy walkway to look for passing flocks of canopy-dwelling species. Time is spent looking for Todd’s Antwren, Spot-tailed Antwren, Short-tailed Pygmy-Tyrant, Guianan Toucanet, Green Aracari, Painted Parakeet, Screaming Piha, Black-headed Parrot, Guianan Puffbird, Dusky Purpletuft, Paradise Tanager, Opal-rumped Tanager, Golden-sided Euphonia, Purple and Green Honeycreepers, Black-faced Dacnis, and Black Nunbird. The rest of the morning we spend on the grounds, taking in all we can see.

The grounds of Atta Rainforest Lodge are wonderful and support some great post-lunch leisurely birding. This wonderful area is famed for its variety of colorful cotingas and if we can locate a few fruiting trees we are in for an avian spectacle with possibilities of Pompadour, Spangled, Purple-breasted, and Guianan Red-Cotinga, as well as White Bellbird. Within the forest that surrounds the lodge we can look for Red-legged and Variegated Tinamous, Gray-winged Trumpeter, Cayenne Jay, Amazonian Barred Woodcreeper, Red-billed Woodcreeper, Helmeted Pygmy-Tyrant, Ferruginous-backed Antbird, Waved, Chestnut, and Red-necked Woodpeckers, as well as Black Spider Monkey and White-faced Saki Monkey.

This is one of the best places to see another of Guyana’s “must see” birds: the outrageous Crimson Fruitcrow. This species is seen here on a reasonably regular basis; it often comes to feed in nearby trees. The clearing is also a reliable site for Black Curassow — there is a family party that has become habituated to people and regularly passes by. With reasonable luck, we should be able to add this bird to the impressive list of species we hope to see around the lodge and walkway. Few places in the world rival this experience, with nature so abundant and right outside the door.

A 20-minute walk along a very good trail takes us to Atta's celebrated Canopy Walkway. The trail leads partially up a steep hillside, and from it we step onto a series of suspended walkways and decks, each anchored to a giant rainforest tree. This nearly-level system of walkways carries us to vantage points up to 35 meters high, which overlook the surrounding canopy. From these decks, we train our binoculars and scope on any wildlife we find. Among the 134 bird species recorded at the walkway are Painted Parakeet, Rufous-throated Sapphire, Guianan Puffbird, Green Aracari, Waved Woodpecker, Pygmy Antwren, Guianan Streaked-Antwren, Dusky Purpletuft, Purple-breasted Cotinga, Guianan Toucanet, Pompadour Cotinga, Buff-cheeked Greenlet, Caica Parrot, and a host of other canopy specialists. From this treetop vantage you can sometimes see Red Howler Monkey and Black Spider Monkey, too.
Accommodations at Atta Rainforest Lodge (B,L,D)

Thurs., Mar. 6       Black Manakin of the White Sand Forest | Rock View Lodge

This morning as we leave Atta, we walk a trail through a white sand (dry) forest, looking for specialties like Black Manakin and Bronzy Jacamar. There are some fascinating plants along the way and open skies make for good raptor views.

On our drive to Rock View Lodge, we bird the savannahs and along forest edges. We may find Grassland Sparrow, Wedge-tailed Grassfinch, Yellow-crowned Elaenia, White-throated Toucan, Fork-tailed Palm Swift, and at dusk White-tailed Nightjar, Least Nighthawk, Lesser Nighthawk, Tropical Screech Owl, and Northern Tawny-bellied Screech Owl.

Our host at Rock View Lodge is a local character and very welcoming … the whole place is an oasis. On the grounds we look for Pale-breasted Thrush, Sooty-capped Hermit and tanagers in the fruiting trees. A short walk takes us up to a viewpoint of the surrounding savannah and local airstrip.
Accommodations at Rock View Lodge (B,L,D)

Fri., Mar. 7       Birding the Northern Rupununi Savannahs

The Rupununi savannah is an extensive flatland that projects south to the border with Brazil. It hosts extensive tropical grasslands and areas with scattered trees (savannah) as well as shrubs and scrubby vegetation. Ecologically speaking, it is part of a series of savannahs separating the forest of two immense biomes, the Orinoquian and the Amazonian. Despite its apparent homogeneity, there are various microhabitats where highly specialized birds are found. For this reason, we invest our morning checking wetlands and scrubby vegetation where we might come across a Pinnated Bittern, Jabiru, or Wood Stork in the muddy bank of a pond, while in tall grasses we may find the cute Bearded Tachuri and Crested Doradito. In the meantime, White-tailed Goldenthroat can be seen visiting flowering plants near or inside shallow wetlands while the widespread Burrowing Owl stands in areas that never get flooded. We also explore the short seasonal grasses for pairs of Buff-necked Ibis or the dull Yellowish Pipit that may be singing there. Apart from the birds, this extensive area is a good bet to look for Giant Anteater. Other open country birds we might come across include Aplomado Falcon, Pearl Kite, White-tailed Hawk, Double-striped Thick-Knee, Maguari Stork, Azure Gallinule, and Jabiru. After a good morning of birding in open country, we enjoy a packed lunch before making our way back to our lodge. During the afternoon, after a rest, we enjoy time birding around the lodge property before dinner.
Accommodations at Rock View Lodge (B,L,D)

Sat., Mar. 8      Across the Rupununi Savannah in Search of Sun Parakeet

The day begins with our enjoying a very early breakfast ahead of a morning drive to Karasabai, an Amerindian village in the foothills of the Pakaraima Mountains, where the astonishingly beautiful Sun Parakeet is found. This area is a good example of a bird conservation project hosted by a local community. Once almost wiped-out of the region by intense trapping for the pet trade, the population of the parakeet has begun to rebound under the protection of the Karasabai community. We plan to spend some time learning from the local community about this successful conservation program. We also look for the distinctive subspecies of White-bellied Piculet and Yellow-hooded Blackbird, which may soon be elevated to full species status. Hooded Siskin, Toco Toucan, and Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl are also present. After lunch at the community hall, we bird our way back across the savannas to Manari Ranch, near the outskirts of Lethem, looking for open country birds including Aplomado Falcon, Pearl Kite, White-tailed Hawk, Double-striped Thick-Knee, Maguari Stork, Azure Gallinule, and Jabiru. As we arrive to the comfort of Manari Ranch, we make time to relax and enjoy an early dinner. At dusk we watch the skies for Lesser, Least, and Nacunda Nighthawks leaving their roosting sites for their foraging grounds.
Accommodations at Manari Ranch (B,L,D)

Sun., Mar. 9     Takatu & Ireng Rivers | Gallery Forest

Our last day in the field again finds us on the road before dawn, driving to a dry scrub forest along the Takutu and Ireng Rivers, which form Guyana’s southwestern boundary with Brazil. We spend much of our time looking for two poorly known, very local, and endemic species: Hoary-throated Spinetail and Rio Branco Antbird. Another possibility is the spritely Chestnut-vented Conebill, which travels in small but active groups through the riverine forest. We also look for Crestless Curassow (a species that can be difficult to locate), Pearl Kite, Aplomado Falcon, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, White-throated Kingbird, and Flavescent Warbler. Lunch is back at Manari Ranch. During the afternoon, we spend time birding near the environs of the ranch. At the end of the day, we enjoy a cool drink in the breezeway of the ranch while admiring the coming and going of Orange-backed Troupial, Brown-throated Parakeet, and Red-shouldered Macaw in the giant mango trees nearby.
Accommodations at Manari Ranch (B,L,D)

Mon., Mar. 10      Manari Ranch | Fly to Georgetown

Our final morning we enjoy an early breakfast and then spend time birding and exploring near Manari Creek, where Giant River Otter are possible, as well as Giant Anteater. Our time of departure depends on the timing of the flight schedule, but there is plenty of time to pack and clean up during the early morning.

We then depart Lethem on the afternoon flight back to Georgetown’s Ogle International Airport on a scheduled flight that takes about 90 minutes. Soak in the vast expanse of green, Guyana’s tropical rainforest.

We have a chance to clean up, enjoy the luxury of air-conditioned rooms, and a final dinner at our hotel in Georgetown. Dinner is at your leisure tonight since your guide does not travel back with you to Georgetown. There is someone to meet you at the airport, however, and you can order drinks and dinner as you wish — on your own or joining others from the group, and pay with credit card at the end of your stay.
Accommodations at Cara Lodge Hotel (B,L)

Tues., Mar. 11      Departures from Georgetown

Today you depart Guyana. We arrange to transfer you to the airport in good time for your check in time and departure.

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Cost of the Journey

Cost of the 13-day journey is $6890 DBL / $7190 SGL, per person, from Georgetown, based on double occupancy. The cost includes meals as specified in the itinerary (see Georgetown days), group airport transfers, in-country transport including flights, professional guide services including local guides, park and program entrance fees, and miscellaneous expenses. Tour cost does not include: round-trip transportation from your home city to Georgetown, Guyana, optional activities, or items of a personal nature such as laundry, porterage, telephone charges, maid gratuities, or beverages from the bar.

Travel Details

Please plan to make air travel plans only after the minimum group size has been met. We will send you a confirmation email as soon as the trip has been confirmed.

Arrival and Departure Airport: Cheddi Jagan International Airport (GEO)

Arrival Details: February 27, 2025 at your leisure (a time convenient for you)

Departure Details: March 11, 2025 at your leisure (a time convenient for you)

Travel Tips: Note the airport is about an hour drive from our hotel in Georgetown, so if you arrive late, clear immigration and customs, it can be several hours until you check in. Therefore, if you use the late arriving flights, we encourage you to come in a night early to rest up and recalibrate your time clock. We do host an optional arrival day afternoon field trip to some local birding sites for those that arrive in time, and a welcome dinner. On the hind end, we fly back from Lethem, arriving in the afternoon with plans to overnight at Cara Lodge. You may fly out that evening, remember you need to check in 2.5-3 hours ahead and have an hour’s drive to the airport, but you can make those later flights. We will leave your hotel room in place for you to shower, freshen up and repack – pretty necessary in this hot climate! 

Items of Note

Moderate, but adventurous, due to travel to remote locations, with potential heat and humidity. As in all tropical countries, we plan to rest during the hottest hours of most days. Participants should be able to walk on uneven terrain up to 3 miles.

A flexible attitude and sense of adventure is always appreciated by the group. Guyana is still on the frontier of ecotourism and there may be some adventures! We think it’s well worth it to explore some of the most fabulous tropical forests on the planet, and we balance that with the lovely Cara Lodge in Georgetown at the start and end of the tour.

Browse below for trip reports and species lists from past versions of this and other tours from this destination.

Guyana

  • Bryan Shirley

    Bryan Shirley graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in Japanese/International Economics. He lived in Japan for 3 years when he was 20 and fell in love with the language and culture and has been guiding and birding there ever since. Besides guiding in Japan, he regularly leads tours for Japanese birding groups around the US and other countries. When not guiding he has been involved with various DWR and USFWS projects such as relocating Sage Grouse, breeding bird surveys, and bird-related projects for private environmental consulting firms. He also has volunteered his time to serve as president of Utah County Birders and organizes the annual Audubon Christmas Bird Counts for Provo and Payson, Utah where he currently resides. He currently is a member of the Utah Bird Records Committee.

    Other trips with Bryan Shirley

Map for Guyana: Unspoiled Wilderness

Essential Information +

This information is important for being prepared for your journey; we want you to have Read more

This information is important for being prepared for your journey; we want you to have the best experience possible. If you only read one section, this one is key!

Ahead of Your Tour

  • Make sure your passport will be valid at least six months AFTER the date of your scheduled return to the U.S. No visas are required for U.S. citizens for stays of this tour's duration in Guyana. If you are from another country, please contact the Embassy of Guyana website for guidelines.
  • Please check current CDC recommendations for travel to Guyana and consult with your doctor about general medical preparedness and travel vaccinations you should have as precaution for travel. See the “General Health and Inoculations” section below. 
  • Travel insurance in case of serious medical emergency is strongly recommended. Full health coverage and repatriation is available through Allianz Travel Insurance.
  • Plan your flight reservations arriving into and departing from Cheddi Jagan International Airport (GEO). Send a copy of your itinerary to the Naturalist Journeys office please.
  • Soft sided luggage/duffel bags are easiest for packing the vans. Pack essential medications in your carry-on luggage, as well as one day of clothing and optics in case of luggage delay.

Arrival into Cheddi Jagan International Airport (GEO) in Georgetown, Guyana

Please note. If you are delayed in travel, please FIRST call the number of our Guyana operator. As a backup, contact our office or the Naturalist Journeys staff cell (both numbers are on your emergency contact list).

Upon arrival at Cheddi Jagan International Airport (GEO), you will pass through immigration, get your baggage, and then go through Customs.

We will coordinate your pick-ups close to your departure with operators and guides once we have all travelers’ completed travel information. Please make sure we have both your ARRIVAL and DEPARTURE information, so they can plan this. It is imperative that we have your correct TRAVEL information; we appreciate if you email us a copy of your flight reservation. Our ground operator will monitor your most updated flight information.

At the airport, you will be met by our partner company and brought to the first hotel. If you are arriving early, you can settle in and enjoy the hotel amenities, rest up for your journey, and if you wish explore some of Georgetown. Note that many flights arrive around midnight, so if the prospect of only a few hours of sleep does not sound good you will need to arrive the previous night.

Please do note that while Georgetown has interesting architecture, there is also a lot of poverty and rural people coming to the city to find a way to make a living, often without success. Georgetown is a location to use caution – leave any expensive jewelry behind, and keep track of your belongings, and do not go out after dark, in daytime we strongly recommend a city tour or outing be done only with a guide.

Please check the Travel Details section of this tour for additional information and updates.

Departures from Cheddi Jagan International Airport (GEO) in Georgetown, Guyana

On the last day of the tour, we will arrange transportation to the Cheddi Jagan International Airport for you. You have to be at the airport about three hours ahead of your scheduled flight on this return so we do not advise booking early morning flights; late morning is fine.

Please check the Travel Details section of this tour for additional information and updates.

Passports, Visas & Documents

You must have a passport that is in good condition and is valid for six months AFTER your scheduled return to the U.S. You should have at least one blank page per stamp. The blank pages need to say “Visas” at the top; pages marked “Amendments and Endorsements” will not be accepted. If you do not travel on a US passport, please contact the Guyana embassy website for guidelines. Information for U.S. citizens can be found at:

travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Guyana.html

At the time of writing, a tourist visa is not required for stays of this tour's duration, but you will need proof of a return ticket. The necessary entry documents will be distributed by your airline while in flight or provided for you upon arrival. We advise that you bring your eContact list of hotels for use at immigration as well. Also, things change. It is advisable to recheck requirements 60-90 days in advance of your tour.

As a precaution for lost or misplaced documents you carry on your person during travel, we highly recommend you keep hard and digital backup copies on your phone (either photo or PDF scan), as well as a hard copy left with your emergency contact at home. The recommended important documents to copy include, but are not limited to; your passport ID page, travel visa, the front and back of your credit card(s), the airline barcode on your luggage. This will greatly expedite getting new ones if necessary – we hope everyone will always keep travel documents close so that losing them will not be an issue.  

General Health & Inoculations Information - Be Prepared!

We will share your health information with your guide. This information will be kept confidential but is very important as we want to be best prepared in case of medical emergency.

Vaccinations: Bring copies of your current vaccination records with you. Although at the time of writing there were no required vaccinations to enter Guyana (unless you are traveling from or have traveled through a yellow fever infected area - see below), the CDC recommends that all travelers be up to date with routine vaccinations and basic travel vaccines (such as Hepatitis A and Typhoid) before traveling to any destination.  A helpful (USA) website for planning is the Center for Disease Control (CDC) for Guyana or by phone (800) CDC-INFO (800-232-4636). Please check with your doctor for vaccine recommendations at least 8–10 weeks before departing on your trip.

Mosquito born illness: Travelers can reduce their risk of disease by protecting themselves from mosquito bites by using protective clothing, insect repellant and prophylactics where applicable.

  • Yellow fever recommendations or requirements
    • CDC recommends vaccination for all travelers ≥9 months old. 
    • Guyana entry requirements: Yellow fever vaccination certification is "required for travelers ≥1 year old arriving from countries with risk for YF virus transmission (see Countries with risk of yellow fever virus (YFV) transmission); this includes >4-hour airport transits or layovers in countries with risk for YF virus transmission."
    • Note: If you are overnighting in Trinidad, you may need proof of this vaccination to enter the country. 
  • Malaria:
    • CDC recommends that travelers going to certain areas of Guyana take prescription medicine to prevent malaria. Depending on the medicine you take, you will need to start taking this medicine multiple days before your trip, as well as during and after your trip. Talk to your doctor about which anti-malarial medication you should take. Protective clothing and insect spray lower the risk as well.
  • Dengue Fever
    • There are occasional reports of Dengue Fever in lower elevation areas, for which there is no vaccine. Dengue fever, Zika, and other diseases are contracted by mosquito bites so be sure to use mosquito repellant containing DEET or Picaridin. 

 

Prescriptions: It is a good idea to pack any meds you take regularly in your carry-on luggage.  Bring an extra pair of glasses or contact lenses. Bring an adequate supply of any prescription medications you use, a copy of the prescription and a list of generic names of your medicines as “back-up” in case it is necessary to purchase drugs while abroad. You’ll want to keep medications in their original, labeled containers. 

Allergies: To be prepared for environmental triggers to allergies or breathing difficulties, please bring your allergy and/or asthma medication(s).  If you have severe allergies talk to your doctor about carrying an EPI pen and notify your guides. It is also recommended to carry with you an up-to-date record of known allergies, chronic medical problems and Medic Alerts so that, if necessary, emergency treatment can be carried out without endangering your health.

Common Ailments: We recommend that you bring a travel-sized first aid kit and a supply of standard over-the-counter medications for prevention or treatment of common ailments (such as diarrhea, constipation, stomach upset, cough, congestion, head or body aches, insect bites and sunburn); as well as ointments, moisturizer, sunscreen, oral rehydration salts, band-aids, moleskin for blisters, cotton swabs, nail clippers, and tweezers, etc.

Altitude sickness: If high altitude will be encountered on your trip, it can affect some and, if there is a concern, be prepared. The most general symptoms are headache and occasionally fatigue and dizziness. You’ll want to take it easy, particularly at first. These symptoms can be reduced by resting, drinking plenty of water and taking aspirin. If you have worries about the altitude, ask your physician about medications that may be right for you.

Take extra caution packing meds for excursions during the tour: Many of the places we will visit are remote; do bring a good supply of needed medications and pay more attention than normal to your “what if” items to bring. This also applies for critical medications on day trips, in case a vehicle breaks down or flooding, tree fall, etc., prevents your return to the night’s accommodation. As in many other countries, please watch hygiene (bring antibacterial soap for hand washing or hand disinfectant).

Weather & Climate

Guyana is warm to HOT and muggy, being mainly a lowland destination of the tropics. Temperatures stay more or less in the mid 70s at night to upper 80s during the day; hotter in the savanna in summer, with high humidity. For many travelers, the heat is a challenge. Try cooling gel bandanas (great!), a hand-held old-fashioned fan, and we’ve even had people bring the smallest size “O2Cool” fans (battery model) with them! If you do bring a fan, bring plenty of batteries as there is no opportunity to purchase them away from Georgetown.

While the amount of rain fluctuates throughout the year and regionally throughout the country, it is consistent and at times quite intense – so bring a breathable rain jacket or poncho. YES, do bring an umbrella. Your raincoat can double as a layer to combine with a light jacket for some evenings.

Annoyances & Hazards

Mosquitoes can occur anywhere, therefore a supply of insect repellent is essential. At grassland or farm locations you may encounter chiggers; if so, spray your shoes with repellent, and tuck your pants into your socks, this helps a lot. When back, be sure to shower and air out your clothing. Your guide should have a good read on if it has been wet enough that chiggers are active. There can also be poisonous snakes and insects, though encountering them is rare. Do listen carefully to any advice given by your local guide. Remember the sun is strong so be prepared with proper protection.

Food & Drinks

Menus at lodges and restaurants are varied and prepared in a sanitary environment. As with any case when traveling we urge you to consider what your body is used to before you eat something. Trust your common sense when consuming food and beverages. This is the best way to avoid any unwanted problems. Ask for recommendations from your hotel or refer to a guidebook such as Frommers. Food will generally be served from a buffet or family style.

The CDC considers tap water in Guyana not safe to drink. Bottled water will be available for field trips and drinking water is provided for you to refill a bottle. One of the many ways we strive to do our part for the environment is by trying to reduce our consumption of plastics; please bring a reusable water bottle.

Packing, Clothing & Laundry

Dress is very informal and laundry services are limited. While some people will change for dinner, it is usually just to a drier or cleaner version of what they wore during the day. Again, the climate is warm to hot, so you will be comfortable in lightweight clothing. It’s best to plan on doing hand laundry in the sink if necessary.

The lodges that we use away from Georgetown are the only ones in the areas we go birding. These are BASIC compared to other destinations you may travel to for birding. Guyana is still the frontier! There will be no air-conditioning or hot water once you leave Georgetown; we predict the night you return there you will have it on full blast! There is natural air ventilation, and rooms have fans. This is how the Guyana people live, and it’s worked for them for all of time. All your rooms have a private bath and mosquito netting around the beds which you should use at night. Windows do not have screening, that is the function of the netting. Sometimes you have wildlife visitors (bats, geckos, insects), that for the most part mind their own business - speak to the staff if you have questions or concerns. You will be totally surrounded by nature in special places.

Please, pack light. We are serious about this – we move around a lot; you just do not need much to cope with tropical life! Please do not bring anything more than you must. Lay out your hopeful things to take and then do a serious paring down! 

Laundry service is available at Rock View, which is roughly halfway through the tour, so an ideal place to some done; this opportunity can reduce the number of items taken. Two packed pants and one worn (put aside for the return journey) is plenty, especially given Rock View laundry availability.

TRAVEL TIP: Imagine NOT getting your suitcase. Wear your most important shoes for the field and have one day’s clothing change (including a change of underwear!). And please, do not pack any essential medications, or your vital optics, in your checked luggage!

On our small domestic flights that bookend the trip, the published baggage regulations or Trans Guyana Airlines are as follows: The maximum combined free baggage allowances for both cabin and checked luggage is: 9kg (20lbs). Any Item of baggage exceeding the size or weight limit may not be accepted at passenger check-in. If space is available, you will be subject to excess baggage charges.

This would be impossible for most of our travelers to adhere to. However this applies to individual passengers, groups are treated differently. For our charter flight we always have fewer people on board than the seating capacity, so there is excess weight allowance. For both the charter and scheduled flights the checked luggage will be pooled for weighing and we are weighed individually with just our small carry-on. There are no bins on a Cessna Caravan so anything you take on board will be at your feet or on your lap; both the seats and foot space are small. On the charter flight our only stop is at Kaieteur Falls where we bird and sightsee for about two hours, so other than bins, camera and water little is needed. There is no stop on the return flight from Lethem.

Should there be overage with the checked luggage we pay that as a group rather than individuals. We also arrive at the airport early enough to be some of the first passengers to check in and our luggage is tallied and loaded onto carts before most others. The checked baggage is packed carefully in the luggage areas and is not subject to the rough and tumble of large commercial planes. Over the last 13 years of flying in Guyana we have never had an issue with luggage.

Spending Money

The official currency of Guyana is Guyanese dollar (GYD). We advise you carry cash and credit cards. The U.S. dollar is an accepted form of payment; however, we suggest exchanging some money into local currency. Bring crisp, unsoiled U.S. dollars in good condition in SMALL denominations ($1, $5, $10, $20) for purchases and tipping. Bring large U.S. bills ($50 or $100) that will give you the better rate when exchanging to local currency. Check an online converter tool like www.xe.com or with your bank for exchange rates.

Local vendors, particularly for crafts, and smaller food establishments, only take cash. Cash is easier when paying for drinks and tips at our smaller lodges. Little cash is required on this trip, with your largest outlay probably being guide gratuities. Using local ATMs is not advised, but you can exchange money at Cara Lodge.

Credit cards are not commonly used outside of Georgetown. We suggest you have more than one card available, if possible and you may want to bring more than one brand. VISA and Mastercard are commonly accepted; American Express less commonly and Discover is not accepted. Not every shop will accept every card. Some smaller shops and restaurants and taxis require cash, so it is always a good idea to ask before making a purchase. Also, we recommend that you advise your bank or credit card company that you will be traveling abroad to avoid questions, card freezes, or charges. If you have a choice of cards, bring one with no foreign exchange fees.

Traveler’s checks are not widely accepted. They can be difficult to exchange. We advise you do not use them.

Gratuities

Tipping is optional and completely at your discretion. If you would like to show our appreciation to your guides, lodge and hotel staff or anyone associated with this tour, it is entirely appropriate. Know that they appreciate anything you care to give and of course you can do more if you wish! Lodges normally have a box for tips that the staff share, and at hotels you would just tip the maids as you do at home. We hope that you will be pleased with all professional services.

Here is a standard suggestion for tipping on birding trips:

  • Birding tour guide: US $10.00 - $15.00 per day per guest Note: If there is more than one guide, this can be split among them, so that is a total, per person, per day
  • Tour driver if different from guide: US $5.00 - $7.00 per person/day
  • Lodge staff: US $6.00 - $10.00 per day per guest
  • Transfer (airport shuttle) driver: US $2.00 - $3.00 per person
  • Hotel & international airport bellmen: US $1.00 per suitcase

You may wish to bring small gifts for local people that you meet and enjoy (this is totally optional!). T-shirts, school supplies like pens and small notebooks, inexpensive watches and baseball caps are always popular. Your guides can pass along school supplies to a local school if you bring them. They also love any nature books/coloring books.

Cell Phones & Internet Service

If you plan on using your cell phone on this trip, please check with your wireless provider to see if your phone and service will work in your destination country. Ask for “international roaming” to be activated on your phone.

If your phone can connect to Wi-Fi, you may be able to make voice and video calls free of charge. Please contact your cell phone provider for further details. Another option when you have access to Wi-Fi is to use smartphone apps like Skype, WhatsApp or Viber to send text messages and make voice or video calls. Many smartphones, tablets and laptops come with one of these apps pre-installed or you can download for free. If bringing a laptop or tablet, get a good dustcover to protect it at all times.

Make sure if you do NOT want to use your cell phone for calling that you turn off your cellular data. You keep it in airplane mode. You could incur huge charges if you are not on Wi-Fi. You can still use it for photos, ebird and everything else not requiring cell reception and will decrease battery usage as well. Your hotel and lodges provide Wi-Fi at least in their common areas. Although it is generally a reliable service, it can be affected by adverse weather conditions due to the remote location.

Please refrain from taking or making cell phone calls in the vehicles when traveling with other passengers, unless it appears to be an emergency. This disrupts other guests; plan on cell phone call use on your own time.

Electricity

Electricity in Guyana is 240 Volts, alternating at 60 cycles per second. If you travel to Guyana with a device that does not accept 240 Volts at 60 Hertz (check the charger not the device, most accept both), you will need a voltage converter. If your appliances plug has a different shape, you may need a plug adapter. Our hotel in Georgetown and our lodges have US style outlets in the rooms. Depending on how much you plan to travel in the future, it may be worthwhile to get a combination voltage converter and plug adapter. More information can be found at www.power-plugs-sockets.com.

Time

Guyana is on Greenwich Mean Time minus 4 hours, that is one hour ahead of EST, and does not observe Daylight Savings Time. Check www.timeanddate.com before leaving home for your conversion.

Questions?

Please contact Naturalist Journeys by email at clientservices@naturalistjourneys.com or telephone at our office: (520) 558-1146 or toll free: (866) 900-1146 if you have any questions. Many thanks for traveling with us and we hope you enjoy your journey!

 

Pace & Protocols +

Pace of the Tour & What to Expect You will receive a Schedule-at-a-Glance and list of Read more

Pace of the Tour & What to Expect

You will receive a Schedule-at-a-Glance and list of hotels (our eContact List) a few weeks before your departure. This will serve as an outline for each day and alert you to any recent changes made in the schedule or to our hotels, if needed.

Our journeys are set up to follow the rhythm of nature. Our focus is on birding and nature; we offer full, well-planned field days and often get up early for that magical time around dawn. We generally follow the published itinerary, but we stay flexible to the weather, wildlife opportunities and the interests of the group. Your guide will keep you apprised of the next day’s schedule at each evening meal, noting what to bring and what to prepare for. Questions and/or concerns are welcome.

The pace of our Naturalist Journeys tours is moderate; to fully participate you should be able to get in and out of vehicles several times a day, and walk 1-3 miles over uneven terrain. It is important to participate with a flexible attitude as adjustments may be made in our schedule to make the most of our time in the field or for other purposes at your guide's discretion. We are not a “listing” bird company that drills down on target species, but at times we do wait for those special species unique to the places we visit. During the day, we take time to stop for photos and for educational opportunities to learn about conservation projects, landscapes, and geology. We appreciate other taxa as well as birds, with mammals often the biggest draw but plants and butterflies are also very popular. Our clients often lend their own expertise to the mix.

We like to make meals a fun and memorable part of the experience, too. Breakfasts are often at hotels, and we carry snacks, fruit, and water in the vans each day. Lunches are a mix of picnics in the field (weather dependent) and a chance to dine with locals at small cafes and restaurants. For dinner, we pride ourselves in our homework to keep up with the best choices for dining, choosing restaurants with atmosphere that specialize in local foods. On occasion we keep dinner simple to go back out in the field for sunset wildlife viewing or night walks. In some remote locations, our choices are limited. If you are tired, room service for dinner may be an option you can choose.

Naturalist Journeys International Trips: Guide Role

Naturalist Journeys supports ecotourism and the development of excellent local guides. Once we know our international partners and guides well, we can send out small groups working directly with these trusted partners, adding a Naturalist Journeys guide to assist the local expert when we have a group of 6-7 or more. This helps us keep your costs down while retaining tour quality. The local guide is your main guide. You can expect your Naturalist Journeys guide to be well-researched and often they are experienced in the destination, but their role is not to be primary, it is to help to organize logistics, help you find birds, mammals, and interesting other species in the field, keep reports, help facilitate group interactions, and to keep the trip within Naturalist Journeys' style. Local guides live in the countries we travel to, know the destinations intimately, and are often the strongest force for conservation in their countries. They open many doors for us to have a rich experience.

Smoking

Smoking is not permitted in any vehicle or in any situation where the group is participating in an activity together, such as a vehicle excursion or a guided walk. Please respect all designated smoking areas at hotels and restaurants.

Transportation

As a courtesy to each other, we ask that all travelers please rotate seating. On international trips we may all be in one small bus, on some trips we are in vans, particularly the roomy Sprinter Vans when available. Some areas require us to be in smaller 4-wheel drive or safari vehicles. Rotation allows you to sit with different drivers and alternate front and back seating.

Photo Release & Sharing

We take many group photos and will share photos with the group. And after your tour, we will organize a chance to share photos via Dropbox or Google Photos. Please note that this is our policy and if you prefer to be excluded, we need to know ahead of your tour.

By registering for this tour, you agree to grant to Naturalist Journeys and its authorized representatives’ permission to record on photography film and/or video, pictures of my participation in the tour. You further agree that any or all of the material photographed may be used, in any form, as part of any future publications, brochure, or other printed materials used to promote Naturalist Journeys, and further that such use shall be without payment of fees, royalties, special credit or other compensation.

Travel Insurance

You are traveling in remote areas. Naturalist Journeys strongly recommends you have full medical and evacuation insurance from a company such as Allianz, for all international travel. If you do not have medical coverage or evacuation coverage on your existing travel insurance policy or for some reason elected not to take that out, we advise getting an evacuation plan with Global RescueWorld Nomads, Medjet, Allianz (they can do evacuation only) or a similar company. These plans are typically $300-$400 for a year for multiple destinations. This coverage may be a part of a larger Travel Insurance policy but can also be purchased on its own.

Questions?

Please contact Naturalist Journeys by email at clientservices@naturalistjourneys.com or telephone our office: (520) 558-1146 or toll free: (866) 900-1146 if you have any questions. Many thanks for traveling with us and we hope you enjoy your journey.

 

Packing List +

Please Pack Light! Soft luggage is much easier for us to pack into a van than Read more

Please Pack Light!

Soft luggage is much easier for us to pack into a van than a hard sided piece, so if you have the choice, please use your soft luggage. Be sure to have your name and address on the inside of the bag, as well as on the luggage tag. It is our hope that you can pack in one checked bag that does not exceed 45 pounds. Be sure to pack your personal medication, airline tickets, passport, binoculars, camera, and other essential items in your carry-on bag. You will want a day pack for field trips, so this is an ideal carry-on. Please reconfirm your airline’s baggage weight and size restrictions about a week or so before departure.

On our small domestic flights that bookend the trip, the published baggage regulations or Trans Guyana Airlines are as follows: The maximum combined free baggage allowances for both cabin and checked luggage is: 9kg (20lbs). Any Item of baggage exceeding the size or weight limit may not be accepted at passenger check-in. If space is available, you will be subject to excess baggage charges.

This would be impossible for most of our travelers to adhere to. However this applies to individual passengers, groups are treated differently. For our charter flight we always have fewer people on board than the seating capacity, so there is excess weight allowance. For both the charter and scheduled flights the checked luggage will be pooled for weighing and we are weighed individually with just our small carry-on. There are no bins on a Cessna Caravan so anything you take on board will be at your feet or on your lap; both the seats and foot space are small. On the charter flight our only stop is at Kaieteur Falls where we bird and sightsee for about two hours, so other than bins, camera and water little is needed. There is no stop on the return flight from Lethem. Should there be overage with the checked luggage we pay that as a group rather than individuals. We also arrive at the airport early enough to be some of the first passengers to check in and our luggage is tallied and loaded onto carts before most others. The checked baggage is packed carefully in the luggage areas and is not subject to the rough and tumble of large commercial planes. Over the last 13 years of flying in Guyana we have never had an issue with luggage.

Laundry service is available at Rock View, which is roughly halfway through the tour, so an ideal place to some done; this opportunity can reduce the number of items taken. Two packed pants and one worn (put aside for the return journey) is plenty, especially given Rock View laundry availability.

Guyana is warm to HOT and muggy, being mainly a lowland destination of the tropics. Temperatures stay more or less in the mid 70s at night to upper 80s during the day; hotter in the savanna in summer, with high humidity.

Dress is informal throughout the trip and dressing in layers is the best way to be comfortable. Lightweight long-sleeved shirts and long pants make ideal field clothing as they are more protective from sun, vegetation and insects. But if you like to wear them by all means bring shorts. Jeans are not recommended as they are hot and take a long time to dry when wet. Choose comfortable clothing you don’t mind getting dirty or muddy and is quick drying.

Note on clothing colors and insect repellent: We recommend muted colors of tan, brown, khaki, grey or green, as they are spotted less easily than white or bright colors, though camouflage clothing is not recommended. It is possible to purchase field clothing permeated with insect repellent such as the Craghoppers Insect Shield collection. Another approach is to purchase Permethrin spray (online or from REI) to treat your field clothing and socks before your departure.

Clothing & Gear

  • Lightweight long pants (2-3 pair)
  • Shorts (optional)
  • Lightweight long-sleeved shirts (3-4)
  • T-shirts or equivalent (remember you may be buying some there anyway!)
  • Comfortable clothes for evening (a cleaner version of your field clothes or a skirt, sundress, etc.)
  • Personal underclothing and pajamas
  • Socks – lightweight and easy to wash and dry
  • Comfortable walking shoes (such as tennis shoes)
  • Lightweight hiking boots or high side shoes. Please note that forest trails will be on uneven terrain and may be muddy – good tread and support are essential
  • Sandals for evenings, travel days, and to wear on boats (optional, Teva style are great)
  • Lightweight jacket
  • Waterproof breathable raincoat or poncho
  • Bathing suit (optional)
  • Hat with broad brim
  • Bandana (gel bandanas work well to keep you cool)
  • Field vest (optional), a great source is Big Pockets

Equipment & Miscellaneous

  • E-ticket verification
  • Passport, visa (if required), travel insurance info, money & credit cards.
  • A secure pouch to carry the items above on your person (such as a secure, under-clothing document pouch)
  • As a backup: copies of all the above (phone and/or paper) packed in a separate location than on your person, plus a set given to your emergency contact at home as a backup. For passport, copy of the  ID and entry stamp pages.
  • Binoculars
  • Camera and extra batteries/memory cards, lens cleaning supplies and your
  • instruction manual downloaded onto phone
  • Umbrella – compact and not brightly colored (a great option for occasional rain as you can keep
  • using your binoculars)
  • Small daypack or fanny pack for carrying your field gear
  • Walking stick – we find many travelers appreciate a walking stick on trails; recommend collapsible models that will fit in your suitcase (optional)
  • Small flashlight or headlamp with fresh batteries. Please note that if you like to read at night, lighting in lodges is often poor in the rooms and you may want to bring a book light, headlamp or flashlight for this purpose.
  • Alarm clock or use your phone
  • Sunscreen/lip balm
  • Sunglasses with neck strap
  • Insect repellent (something containing DEET, Picaridin or similar; for chiggers, sulphur powder if available)
  • Toilet articles
  • Spotting scope and tripod (optional, and although local assistant guides may carry this for you do not expect it)
  • Tablet or laptop for personal use and/or transferring photos, USB cord and charger (optional)
  • Chargers for cameras and/or phones
  • Electrical converter if required by your chargers and adapter plugs
  • Water bottle with filter (LifeStraw, SteriPen) to reduce plastics (optional - purified water will be available at lodges and in the van)
  • Notebook or journal and pen (optional)
  • Field guides (optional)
  • Sink plug (often not available, a flat universal one is easiest to use)
  • Washcloth (not provided in most smaller lodges)
  • Earplugs (if hotel noise or roommates snoring may bother you; optional)
  • Laundry soap if you plan to hand wash articles of clothing
  • Rechargeable power bank (optional)
  • If you are taking several devices with chargers a travel surge protector power board can be useful

 

WE DO NOT RECOMMEND TRAVELING WITH PRECIOUS OR VALUABLE JEWELRY – don’t tempt anyone and don’t bring things you’d regret losing - your mind will be at ease!

Medical & First Aid Items

  • Personal medications
  • Personal first aid kit and medications for general ailments (Imodium or Lomotil, antihistamine cream or tablets, eye drops, etc.)
  • Motion sickness preventatives if likely to be needed on drives, small planes etc.
  • Copy of eyeglass prescription, copy of medical prescriptions, and any medical alerts
  • Heath insurance and vaccination information (kept in personal pouch with other travel documents)
  • Extra pair of eyeglasses or contacts
  • Band-Aids, moleskin to protect against blisters
  • Antibacterial hand disinfectant

 

Suggested Reading List +

  There are many titles of interest for Guyana. The following are a few that we Read more

 

There are many titles of interest for Guyana. The following are a few that we have enjoyed that can get you started.

Top Picks

Birds of Northern South America: An Identification Guide, Vol. 2: Plates and Maps

Birds of Northern South America: All Birds Guianas, a smartphone app based on the book Birds of Northern South America.

Merlin App – Guyana Pack. A phone-based birding app from Cornell University Laboratory of Ornithology. Before departing the U.S., download the app for free, then from within the app, download the “pack” for Guyana.

The Bradt Travel Guide Guyana

General Reading

GUYANA: A Comprehensive Guide To Exploring The Hidden Gems, Rich Cultures, Pristine Wilderness, Rainforests, And Majestic Waterfalls Of South America's Best-Kept Secret

Field Guides

Birds of Northern South America: An Identification Guide, Vol. 2: Plates and Maps

Birds of Venezuela

Birds of Guyana, Caribbean Natural History Series

A Field Checklist of the Birds of Guyana.  Michael J. Braun, Davis W. Finch, Mark B. Robbins and Brian K. Schmidt. Publication 121 of the Biological Diversity of the Guianas Program, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution.  ONLINE: http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.602.4582&rep=rep1&type=pdf

Checklist of the Birds of Northern South America

Neotropical Rainforest Mammals, A Field Guide

Guyana/Suriname & French Guiana International Travel Map 

Natural History

Wild Coast, Travels on South American’s Untamed Edge

The New Neotropical Companion 

Tropical Nature

Edge of the Jungle

Edges, Fringes, Frontiers: Integral Ecology, Indigenous Knowledge and Sustainability in Guyana

History & Culture

U.S. Intervention in British Guiana: A Cold War Story

Masters of All They Surveyed: Exploration, Geography, and a British El Dorado.  D. Graham Burnett

The Sly Company of People Who Care

Buxton Spice 

There is a good selection of books available for sale at visitors’ centers, and your guide will also have a selection of reference books and materials for participants to share. As an Amazon Associate, Naturalist Journeys earns from qualifying purchases, and may get commissions for purchases made through links on this page at no added cost to you.

 

Useful Links +

Learn more about your destination at these external websites, carefully researched for you. Read more

General

Guyana Overview

 

Lodges:

Cara Lodge

Surama Ecolodge

Iwokrama Atta Rainforest Lodge

Rock View Lodge

Manari Ranch

Nature, Wildlife & Biology

Birding Overview

Bird Checklist

NY Times Article “Into The Wild Lush Guyana”

Endemics

Ecoregions and Biological Diversity - Rupununi Savannah

Giants of Guyana

Harpy Eagle

Giant Anteater

Giant Otter

Jaguar Fact Sheet

Monkeys

Conservation

Guyana

Rainforest

“Lost Land of the Jaguar” - BBC Video

Jaguar

Geology & Geography

Geology of Guyana

Geography of Guyana

The Guiana Shield

History & Culture

A Brief History

Culture of Guyana

Cuisine of Guyana

Helpful Travel Websites

Cheddi Jagan International Airport (GEO)

National Passport Information Center

Homeland Security Real ID Act

Foreign Exchange Rates

ATM Locator

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

Transportation Security Administration (TSA)

U.S. Department of State International Travel Information - Guyana

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - Guyana

Canada Travel Advice and Advisories - Guyana

Travel Health Pro (UK) - Guyana

Electricity and Plugs - Guyana

Date, Time, and Holidays - Guyana


Photo credits: Banners: Sun Parakeets by Leon Moore; Kaieteur Falls by Narca Moore-Craig; Red Howler Monkey by Leon Moore; Giant Anteater by Peg Abbott; Birding Walk by Peg Abbott; Atta Canopy Walkway by Noel Snyder; Capped Heron by Peg Abbott; Banded Longwing by Narca Moore-Craig; Black-capped Donacobius by Narca Moore-Craig; Georgetown Market by Narca Moore-Craig; Guianan Cock-of-the-rock by Dave Weaver; Hoatzin by Greg Smith; Karanambu Airstrip, Naturalist Journeys Stock; Jabiru, Barry Ulman; Butterfly, NS; Rufous Crab-Hawk, LM; Black-capped Donacobius, NMC; Hoatzin, LM; Scarlet Macaw, Cliff Hensel (CH); Yellow-rumped Cacique, Noel Snyder; Kaieteur Falls, NMC; Wattled Jacana, Mike Boyce (MB); Surama Village x3, PA; Harpy Eagle, PA; Blue-and-yellow Macaw, PA; Giant Otter, Bud Ferguson, Tayra, Mukesh Ramdass; Tropical Screech-Owls, MB; Lesser Nighthawk, Sandy Sorkin (SS); Atta Walkway, NMC; Purple Honeycreeper, PA; Rufous-tailed Jacamar, PA; Great Potoo, Greg Smith; Red Brocket Deer, PA; Zigzag Heron, PA; Spectacled Owls, SS; Green Aracari, CH; Green Honeycreeper, MB; Black Curassow, CH; Jabiru, PA; Group Walk, PA; Pygmy Kingfisher, PA; Spider Monkey, PA; Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks, PA; Sunbittern, PA; Capped Heron, PA; Burrowing Owls, LM; Sun Parakeets, LM;Group with Anteater, Peg Abbott; Red-necked Campephilus, Noel Snyder; Orchid, Narca Moore-Craig; Botanic Gardens, NJ Stock (NJS); Exploring by Truck, NJS; Jabiru, Noel Snyder; Guianan Cock-of-the-Rock, Dave Weaver; Boat Trip, NJS; Surama, Narca Moore-Craig; Green Kingfisher, Peg Abbott; Group at Plane, NJS; Giant Anteater, Peg Abbott; Black-capped Donacobius, Bud Ferguson; Group, NJS; Scenic Road, NJS; Birding from Ridge, NJS; Group with Lilies, NJS; Group Birding, NJS; Group, NJS.

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