4×4 Self-Drive Adventure

Create your own adventure as your tackle the trails of Guyana

14 Days

Price From

US$ 4630/person

About this trip


Jump behind the wheel of a Europcar VW Amarok four-wheel-drive vehicle and head into Guyana's rugged interior along the county's only north-south road connecting Georgetown to Brazil; along the way taking in many of the highlights of Guyana.

Start in historic Georgetown with a market and city tour. Fly across endless rainforest into the heart of the country to visit Kaieteur Falls, the tallest single-drop waterfall in the world. The adventure truly begins as you drive to your first location, the one million-acre Iwokrama Rainforest Reserve for jungle hikes, boat trips, the Iwokrama Canopy Walkway, and the chance to see the elusive Jaguar. Stay in the Makushi village of Surama before going into the savannahs in search of Giant River Otters, Giant Anteaters and taking part in the Black Caiman research project at the indigenous community of Yupukari.

Follow our most popular tour – the Guyana Nature Experience - but at your own pace.

Self-driving

Kaieteur Falls

Iwokrama Canopy Walkway

Indigenous Community

Giant Anteater

Guianan Cock-of-the-rock

Itinerary


Expand all

Day 1 - Arrival in Guyana. Overnight Cara Lodge.

Pickup and transfer from the airport to Cara Lodge.

Day 2 - Historical Georgetown City Tour and flight to Kaieteur Falls. Overnight Cara Lodge.

Enjoy a guided tour of Georgetown, the chief port, capital and largest city of Guyana situated on the right bank of the Demerara River Estuary. The city was designed largely by the Dutch and is laid out in a rectangular pattern with wide tree-lined avenues and irrigation canals that criss-cross. Most of the buildings in the city are wooden with unique Guyanese-colonial architecture dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries. A few of these that should not be missed is the residence of the Prime Minister, Statehouse built in 1852 and St. Georges Cathedral which is one of the world’s tallest free-standing wooden buildings. Close by is the Town Hall, a splendid example of Gothic architecture, the Victoria Law Courts, St. Andrews Kirk and Stabroek Market, the largest and oldest market of its kind in the Caribbean built in 1881. No tour of the city is complete without a stop to hand-feed West Indian Manatees in the National Park and a visit to the Georgetown Botanical Gardens which is home to over 100 species of birds including the range-restricted Blood-coloured Woodpecker, White-bellied Piculet and Festive Parrots. The garden is also home to the Georgetown Zoo which has evolved into a wildlife rehabilitation centre with over 90% of its population being rescued animals.

Day 3 - Drive through the rainforest. Trail walks and Caiman night spotting. Overnight at Iwokrama River Lodge.

This morning pick up your VW Amarok 4x4 vehicle and start the exciting journey through the heart of Guyana to the Iwokrama Rainforest Reserve, which is a vast wilderness of one million acres. The first 60 miles is on tarmac to Linden, which is a good place to refuel the vehicle and yourself before the road becomes more challenging as you travel deeper into the rainforest. You will be driving past tiny settlements in the forest and eventually crossing the Essequibo River on a small vehicle barge to reach Iwokrama. Explore the trails around the lodge with an Iwokrama Guide. Iwokrama is home to many bird species including some Guiana Shield endemics and the forest is also the habitat for many mammals and you may see Red-rumped Agouti and various species of monkey including Red Howler, Black Spider, Wedge-capped and Brown Capuchins. Three neotropical species in the Iwokrama forest of high interest are the White-winged Potoo, Rufous Potoo, and Rufous-winged Ground-cuckoo.

Day 4 - Indian House Island boat tour, Turtle Mountain hike, rapids and petroglyps. Overnight at Iwokrama River Lodge.

Making an early start, we’ll embark on the Essequibo River and circumnavigate nearby Indian House Island, before returning to the lodge for breakfast. Leave the lodge by boat, birdwatching along the way, for the hike to Turtle Mountain. A well-maintained trail winds through the forest before an exhilarating climb up the mountain to its summit at 935ft (approx. 360m). It takes 1 3/4hrs to walk up the mountain, but the effort is more than worth it for the breathtaking views over the forest canopy when you get there and chances of Green Aracari, White Bellbird or a fly-by of one of five types of eagles. This trail is also a great location for seeing Black Spider and Red Howler Monkeys. If you think this hike may be too strenuous you can take an alternative boat trip to Stanley Lake to search for Giant River Otters and Black Caiman.

Day 5 - 4x4 through rainforest with opportunity for Jaguar. Iwokrama Canopy Walkway. Overnight Atta Rainforest Lodge.

Explore the trails or have a look for the resident Black Caiman, affectionately known as Sankar, near the landing before breakfast and departure. This morning you drive through the heart of the Iwokrama forest at your own pace and with excellent opportunities for wildlife and it is one of the best places to see the elusive Jaguar. No promises, but many have been lucky! This road is the only north-south access in Guyana and links the country to Brazil. Even so, traffic is only very occasional and wildlife is often seen along the road, such as Agouti, Tayra, Tapir and Black Curassow. Along the road, we will watch for the myriad of bird species that frequent the forest edge, including Crimson and Purple-necked Fruit-crow and Gray-winged Trumpeter.

Day 6 - Bird watching from the canopy walkway, wildlife spotting, nature trail walks. Overnight at Atta Rainforest Lodge.

Before dawn, we will head to the canopy walkway where we can birdwatch easily and from this treetop vantage, you can sometimes see Red Howler and Black Spider Monkeys. The walkway has four suspension bridges leading to three platforms, the highest of which is over 30 metres above the ground, and these will allow great looks at a range of canopy species, many of which you would struggle to see well from the forest floor. 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, you stand a good chance of seeing this bird, as well as the more widespread Purple-breasted Cotinga. Apart from the Iwokrama Canopy Walkway itself, you can enjoy wildlife and birdwatching walk on the trails around the area. For those interested in botany many of the trails have the key tree species marked. Many bird species, stunning insects, noisy amphibians, and playful primates make the surrounding forest their home. Deer, Tapir and Agouti are also regular visitors to the lodge. Serious birders will want to search the undergrowth for the rarely seen Rufous-winged Ground-cuckoo.

Day 7 - Guianan Cock-of-the-rock lek and the indigenous community of Surama. Overnight at Surama Eco-Lodge.

Head off in your VW Amarok from Atta Rainforest Lodge through the rainforest, with great wildlife opportunities, to Corkwood in the Iwokrama Forest where there is a comparatively short trail to hopefully see the amazingly brilliant Guianan Cock-of-the-rock. This trail is through interesting and pristine rainforest and your guide can explain how the plants are used for medicine and other purposes. Continue the journey to the community of Surama.

Day 8 - Surama Mountain hike and Burro Burro River boat trip. Overnight at Surama Eco-Lodge.

Rise before dawn for a walk across the savannah and then climb up Surama Mountain for incredible views across the village and savannah to the Pakaraima Mountains. This is not a technical climb but can be arduous, especially after rain, and not for everyone. Your guides will happily offer alternative activities if you prefer not to do this climb.

Day 9 - Nature trail, birdwatching and cashew nut roasting. Overnight at Rock View Lodge.

Enjoy dawn breaking across the rainforest. You can choose from a forest walk to look for wildlife and birds or relax around the lodge before breakfast and departure. The journey today starts from Surama through rainforest before it abruptly ends as you enter the Rupununi savannahs, a vast tropical wetland to your destination of Rock View Lodge in Annai.

Day 10 - Dawn mountain hike, Giant River Otters, Victoria Amazonica and Black Caiman spotting. Overnight at Karanambu Lodge.

At dawn take a hike in the foothills of the Pakaraima Mountains on the Panorama Trail where you might see Cinereous Mourner, Finsch’s Euphonia, Reddish Hermit, Rufous-bellied Antwren, Green-tailed and Yellow-billed Jacamar. The views across the savannah and villages as the sun rises are spectacular. Return to the lodge for breakfast before driving yourself to Karanambu Lodge. This journey reveals stunning vistas across the savannah to the mountain ranges, passing through creeks and bush islands.

Day 11 - Search for Giant Anteater, explore the savannah and river . Overnight at Karanambu Lodge.

This morning we may make an early start to reach an area of rolling grasslands, which is home to a population of Giant Anteaters. With luck, we shall locate one of these six-foot long animals excavating its breakfast from one of the red termite mounds that stud the savannah. The Giant Anteater, also known as the ant bear, is a large insectivorous mammal native to Central and South America. It is recognizable by its elongated snout, a bushy tail, long fore-claws and distinctively coloured pelage. It feeds primarily on ants and termites, using its fore-claws to dig them up and its long, sticky tongue to collect them. Though giant anteaters live in overlapping home ranges they are mostly solitary except during mother-offspring relationships, aggressive interactions between males, and when mating. Mother anteaters carry their offspring on their backs until weaning them.

Day 12 - Black Caiman research project and Yupukari village. Overnight at Caiman House Field Station.

In the event you did not see a Giant Anteater the previous morning, there is time to travel out to search the savannah again. Or explore the Rupununi River in search of wild Giant River Otters, Black Caiman and Arapaima, making a boat journey along quiet stretches of the river. Return to the lodge for breakfast before departure. After breakfast, we say our goodbyes and drive your vehicle over gently rolling rises which offer lovely vistas to the nearby indigenous village of Yupukari and Caiman House.

Day 13 - Drive to Georgetown. Overnight at Cara Lodge.

This morning you will need an early start to drive back along the trails and road to Georgetown. Return your Europcar VW Amarok 4x4 and transfer to hotel.

Day 14 - Depart

Pickup and transfer to the airport for your departing flight. Breakfast included.

Trip Information


Length of trip 14 days / 13 nights
Tour suitability Persons of reasonable fitness level who enjoy wildlife, nature, culture and pristine environments.
Minimum # of persons 2
Maximum # of persons 10
Minimum age recommended 8 Years
Language English
Transportation Self-drive through Guyana using 4-wheel drive a VW Amarok
Accommodation Guests are accommodated in a mix of a heritage house hotel, rainforest and savannah lodges, and indigenous community lodges.
Meals included 13 breakfasts, 10 lunches, and 11 dinners

Guyana


Climate

Current time

Timezone

Religions

    Languages

      Currency

      • Guyana dollars

      Kaieteur Falls Dinner at Backyard Cafe
      Self-drive through Guyana Black Caiman research
      River trips Giant River Otter conservation
      Wildlife spotting Community-owned and operated lodges
      Bird watching Culinary tour
      Culture Historical Georgetown city tour
      Mountain hikes Trail walks

      AIRLINES
      Caribbean Airlines
      American Airlines
      LIAT
      Copa Airlines
      Suriname Airways
      Aruba Airways
      Jet Blue

      VISA
      The following countries do not need a visa: Commonwealth countries, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the USA. Visa requirements should be checked as requirements can change at any time.

      Wilderness Explorers can assist in obtaining permission for a visa on arrival at an additional fee. However, the granting of visas remains at the discretions of the Ministry of Citizenship.

      YOUR SAFETY
      Our number one priority is your safety and welfare. We always get the question is Guyana safe? Like any big city, Georgetown has areas that are to be avoided by visitors. But we only use hotels that have good standards and are safe. Most of the time in Georgetown you will be accompanied by our experienced guides and drivers who live in the city. During your free time if you want to visit a bar or restaurant in the evening we recommend a taxi, which is inexpensive. Your hotel will be happy to call one for you.

      Once out of Georgetown and into what we call the interior, it is a different scenario. You will be in areas with small villages where everyone greets you with a smile and you will be perfectly safe. Some lodges don’t even have locks on the doors as there is no need. There will always be an experienced guide close by to accompany you on your excursions and bring the rainforest and savannah to life and share their knowledge and experience.

      Generally, you will find the Guyanese people extremely friendly and only too willing to help you enjoy their country.

      VACCINATIONS
      Malaria - Many of the areas you visit in Guyana’s interior will have no malaria. However, it is recommended to take malaria Prophylactics as a precaution on some trips. Please consult your physician before your departure. All beds in the interior have mosquito nets, and on camping trips, hammocks with specially fitted mosquito nets are provided. It is advisable to use insect repellent and wear long sleeves and long trousers at night. The mosquitoes are often more prevalent at dusk and dawn.

      Yellow Fever - A Yellow Fever vaccination certificate is required for travellers coming from or transiting from a country with risk of Yellow Fever transmission. Vaccination must be undertaken at least 10 days before travel to, or through Suriname. Suriname recognizes the Yellow Fever vaccination certificate is valid for life starting 10 days after vaccination. Children over 1 year of age are required to have a vaccination certificate. Travellers should carry their vaccination card (Yellow Fever) with them at all times.

      CLOTHING
      In the interior wear casual, comfortable clothing. A shirt with a collar helps protect you from the sun, and a hat and sunglasses are vital. During the day shorts and shirt are fine. In the evening you would want long trousers and a shirt with long sleeves. There is no need to dress up in the interior. You can leave any travel or city clothes in your city hotel or with our office when you are travelling around the interior.

      Footwear - Comfortable walking shoes or boots and sandals.

      AUTHORITY ON TOUR


      At all times the decision of the company or its representative will be final on all matters likely to endanger the safety, well being and enjoyment of the tour. Clients must at all times strictly comply with the laws, customs, foreign exchange and drug regulations of all countries visited. Should the client fail to comply with the above or commit any illegal act when on tour or, if in the company’s opinion, the client behaviour causes or is likely to cause danger, distress or annoyance to others we may terminate that client’s travel arrangements without any liability on the company’s part.


       


      TRAVEL DOCUMENTS


      The client must be in possession of a valid passport (valid 6 months past the return date), visa (where necessary), permits and certificates including vaccinations certificates, insurance policies required for the journey – the client accepts responsibility of obtaining these. Any information or advice given by the company on visas, vaccinations, clothing, special equipment, baggage, climate, etc. is given in good faith but without responsibility on the part of the company. 


       


      CONDITION RESTRAINTS 


      You have selected a tour that is, in part, in remote areas. This adds to the adventure and opportunity to enjoy a true nature experience. However, due to the nature of the terrain, weather, road conditions, and other elements beyond our control, some elements of tours may have to be altered. Times of some activities may need to change or even cancelled due to the conditions. If an activity is cancelled it will be replaced with an alternative activity that is more appropriate for the conditions. Advance notice will be given for any changes where possible, although at times changes may be made whilst the tour is in progress. 


       


      WILDLIFE SIGHTINGS 


      With any trip involving wildlife, it is impossible to guarantee a sighting, but each trip is designed around known habitats. Wilderness Explorers will make every effort to ensure a sighting, but cannot be held responsible if no sighting is made due to the wildlife itself, weather, or any other elements beyond our control.


       


      LOCAL CULTURE


      Many of the areas to be visited are remote and cultures of the people most likely different from what you are accustomed to. These communities welcome visitors under the conditions that their customs, habits and rituals are respected at all times. Wilderness Explorers will endeavour to provide appropriate guidance to visitors as to correct behaviour whilst in these communities. The company reserves the right to cancel a visitor’s tour, at any time, should their behaviour be inappropriate and offensive to the local communities.


       


      ACCEPTANCE OF RISK & RESPONSIBILITY 


      Nature and adventure travel is by character, an activity that requires travelling in areas that are often remote and the terrain difficult. Whilst every precaution is taken to ensure the comfort and safety of our customers, these trips do have elements of risk. By taking part in this tour you acknowledge that there are inherent risks and that you are fully aware of the conditions of travel, accommodation and activities offered. You accept that Wilderness Explorers, its staff and sub-contractors cannot be held liable for any accident, illness or similar occurrence. You hereby accept all such risk and release the company from all claims and causes of action arising from any injuries or damages resulting from these inherent risks. 


       


      FORCE MAJEURE


      The company will do its best to minimise the effects of matters outside its control but cannot accept liability of these matters which include political disputes, industrial action, refusal of visas, border closures, unforeseeable climate, delayed or cancelled flights etc. 


       


      TRAVEL INSURANCE


      It is the client’s responsibility to obtain adequate personal travel insurance. This insurance should, at a minimum, cover personal accident, medical expenses and repatriation expenses. It is recommended that the coverage extends to include loss of effects, curtailment, cancellation and all other expenses which might arise as a result of loss, damage, injury, delay or inconvenience occurring to the client. 


       


      PAYMENT 


      All rates are quoted in US dollars, unless otherwise stated. Rates are correct at the time of publishing, but are subject to change without notice. Due to fluctuating world fuel prices, internal airfares cannot be guaranteed and the rate is therefore subject to change. Every effort will be made to maintain the quoted rate. A deposit of 20% is required to confirm any booking and balance of payment is due 30 days before commencement of the trip.


       

      CANCELLATION BY THE CLIENT


      Any cancellation by the client must be in writing and acknowledged by Wilderness Explorers. The date on which the correspondence is received will determine the loss of any monies applicable. 


      • Cancelled more than 90 days before arrival - full refund, less any money transfer fees. 


      • Cancelled 60 to 90 days before arrival - 5% administration fee. 


      • Cancelled 41 to 59 days before arrival – 20% 


      • Cancelled 31 to 40 days before arrival - 50%.


      • Cancelled 2 to 30 days before arrival or no show - 100%.


       


      RESPONSIBILITY


      All services are organised by Wilderness Explorers. Notice is hereby given that all arrangements made on behalf of customers are made by the organisers on the sole condition that the organisers shall not be held responsible for any injury, death, accident, delay, loss, damage or irregularity which may be occasioned through acts of any company and /or persons engaged in carrying out the arrangements and Wilderness Explorers acts as an agent for transport companies, hotels and other contractors and shall not be liable for any injury, damage, loss, delay or irregularity that may occur, including, but not limited to, any defect in a vehicle or any other form of conveying a traveler, acts of God, detention, delays or expenses arising from quarantine, strike, riots, theft, force majeure, civil disturbance, government restrictions or regulation, accident by aircraft, boat, bicycle, motor vehicle or any other form of transport or in any hotel, resort, ranch, guest house, camp or other form of accommodation. 


       


      SEVERABILITY


      In the event that any term or condition contained herein is unenforceable or void by operation of law or as being against public policy or for any other reason then such term or condition shall be deemed to be severed from this Agreement or amend accordingly only to such extent necessary to allow all remaining terms and conditions to survive and continue as binding.

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      Price From

      US$ 4630/person