One of Guyana’s hidden gems, Maipaima is a truly rare experience in the Kanuku Mountains
Exceptional Amerindian hospitality and access to the stunning Jordon Falls makes the effort to reach Maipaima worthwhile
Maipaima EcoLodge is nestled amidst the towering rainforests in the Kanuku foothills of central Guyana. A community-run project of Nappi Village, the EcoLodge is a secluded gem that warmly welcomes a select few visitors each year. Its one of those places that is difficult to reach but oh-so rewarding for those who make the effort. The excellent hospitality, unspoiled nature, rich wildlife, a dizzying array of birds, and a chance to see the rarely-visited Jordan Falls make all the effort worthwhile. For those who like to get off the beaten path to find nature at its rawest and most lush, Maipaima is just the answer.
Accommodation is offered in one of two thatch benabs, each of which encloses two guest rooms with attached bathrooms. A central benab provides a common dining area as well as a wide verandah ideal for spotting birds, monkeys, and other passing wildlife. Conditions here are very rustic, focused less on facilities and more on the ample natural surroundings. Electricity is only available for a few hours each day by generator power, and there is no phone, internet, or radio access here. Nonetheless, Maipaima’s chefs are famous throughout the Rupununi for turning out remarkably great meals. More than one visitor has peeked in the kitchen disbelieving that such varied menus could be produced from such a small space!
From Maipaima the primary excursion is a one-day hike to Jordon Falls. Five hours of moderate hiking brings guests to something resembling a movie set constructed to portray “tropical paradise.” It’s just that good. Hammock camps are set up at the falls to accommodate a leisurely afternoon of swimming and napping, with overnight camping supported by the full-service Maipaima team. Those who prefer to stay closer to the lodge can explore the nearby bat cave, hiking trails, Cock-of-the-Rock lek, or take a dip in the stream that runs along the lodge border. Local villagers are on hand to demonstrate traditional sculpture with balata, a rubber-like substance harvested sustainably from area trees.