My husband and I came to Guyana for 6 days in November 2013 to start our 2.5 month trip around South America. We both agree that it was the highlight of the trip!!!
Firstly, we were on a non-Guyana type budget and Navin (from Adventure Guianas) was the only one that worked with our budget and still enabled us to see lots of the interior. After we had agreed the itinerary and cost we were asked to wire a 50% deposit. It took a long time for Navin to confirm receipt which made me nervous at the time, however after visiting Guyana we realised why...... Navin takes many of the guests himself into the interior where there is little to no internet connections and means he is not always in Georgetown. The rest we paid in USD cash in Guyana.
Here are the highlights of our itinerary and a few tips:
Arrival into Georgetown on a late evening flight. Navin organised a transfer for us, but we did note there were lots of official (and friendly) taxi drivers who wear a t-shirt so you can identify them.
Overland Trek to Kaiteur
For us, this involves a day on 4x4 type terrain partially on the road to Lethem and then you turn off, followed by a boat ride to camp. The next day was another 1/2 day boat ride followed by a hike through the rainforest to finally reach Kaiteur. It is possible to start the hike from further away meaning more time in the rainforest. We loved the camp, boat ride and hiking where we got to see a tarantula fighting a giant wasp!! And Kaiteur Falls is out of this world, so stunning and a definite trip highlight.
Overnight at top of Kaiteur Falls. The 'hostel' at the top is very welcoming with excellent food, and you can see a lot of wildlife at the top of the falls. We returned by the same route (hiking, boat and road), however it is possible to fly out (or in) to Kaiteur and many people do the hike one way.
We then travelled back to the Lethem road and more 4x4 driving to Nature View lodge with a super friendly owner called Adrian. The next morning we went to the Atta canopy walkway. Due to the river crossing opening time we only got to Atta after the dawn chorus so didn't see much. As a result I'd recommend either staying in Atta Lodge or skipping it. The people there were very friendly and knowledgable, they had a harpy eagle nest very close to the lodge and had just had the BBC out filming there. The downside is that it is very expensive to stay in Atta.
Our next stop and joint favourite was Surama Lodge. It felt very luxury compared to our previous accommodations and had a beautiful setting in the Savannah right next to the rainforest. We heard howler monkeys and saw Capuchin monkeys as well as many birds. Milner was an excellent guide who took us on the river and through the rainforest. Are also great hammocks in the lodge to chill in between activities. I think they have an airstrip there too. We met a man who had been to Karanambu lodge and had enjoyed his time there.
Our final adventure was driving through the Savannah's spotting birds on the way to Lethem, which Navin has a definate knack for although he professes he isnt a bird watcher, I think secretly he is! In Lethem Navin took us for dinner and then all the way to the border and over into the Brazil side, which he really did not have to do and we appreciated his kindness in taking us there.
In hindsight, the trip was excellent value, although Guyana is one of those places that if you push your budget you will definitely be rewarded with memories for life. I really recommend Adventure Guianas and Navin specialises in tailoring a trip to your interests and budgets. For example, the next guests were a group of fishermen that return every year for river fishing, and other groups have been dedicated to bird watching, and even viper tracking!!!! He used to work in the Kaiteur National park so knows many things about the jungle!! He also knows a lot of people in the interior which makes you feel very welcome in every place you visit.
If I was to do the trip again, Kaiteur is a must and I would take the hit cost wise and try to visit more of the interior lodges. If you do not like the idea of hours and hours in a 4x4 bumpy track then consider flying, it will hike up the cost but you will spend more time at the lodges. All tourism in Guyana is bespoke and you are likely to be the only guests at many of the places you visit. The locals are extremely friendly and welcoming, and Guyana is truly a special country. Oh.... and be prepared for 4:30/5am starts :)
Thanks Navin for a very special trip, and sorry its taken us so long to get around to writing this.
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