Travel to Iwokrama in search of the largest eagle in the world, the Harpy Eagle.

We visit the wild, pristine and little known interior of Guyana for a birdwatchers’ dream.

With limited distribution and now on the endangered list the eagle still has a refuge in Guyana.

An active Harpy Eagle nest has been located in a relatively easily accessible location offering great views of this magnificent bird.

More on Harpy Eagle & Iwokrama tour

You will also have the opportunity to trek into lovely rainforest to visit a Guyanan Cock-of-the-rock lek.

The brilliant orange of the male is a sight to see, especially if you are lucky enough to experience their mating rituals.

And with more than 800 species, the country is full of birdwatching opportunities.

You can also add additional days and visit Karanambu Ranch to see Giant River Otters, Black Caiman and Giant Anteaters, the Iwokrama International Centre and the famous Kaieteur Falls.

With any trip involving wildlife it’s impossible to guarantee a sighting, but all trips are taken to known active sites where previous sightings are confirmed.

Trip Highlights

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  • Look for the largest eagle in the world - the Harpy Eagle.

  • Plenty of bird species to see, including the Cock-of-the-rock and its lek.

  • Visit the famous Iwokrama Research Centre.

  • Travel deep into pristine rainforest of Guyana.

We especially enjoyed our time at Iwokrama given that there were so many options of things to see and do.

L. Cushion, Guyana

Full Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Guyana. Georgetown, transfer to hotel

Arrive in Guyana and transfer to Georgetown.

Overnight at Cara Lodge.

Day 2: Flight to Annai. Transfer to Surama. Overnight Surama Guest House (B,L,D)

Transfer to Ogle Airstrip for a flight over rainforest and savannah to Annai. Lunch at Rock View Lodge before transfer by 4×4 to the Amerindian community of Surama. The village is set in five square miles of savannah and surrounded by the densely forested Pakaraima Mountains. Surama’s inhabitants are mainly from the Macushi tribe and still observe many of the traditional practices of their forebears.

On arrival in Surama you receive a welcome from a village counsellor and settle into your accommodation. A local guide will escort you for a short walk on trails to observe the forest and bird life.

As the afternoon cools your guide will take you on a tour of the village. Visit the local school, medical centre and church along with some of the village houses.

Tonight enjoy an educational walk to observe wildlife and experience the mystique of the forest after dark.

Overnight at Surama Guest House.

Day 3: Hike and birdwatching around Surama (B,L,D)

After an early breakfast a one and half hour hike takes you to the site of the Harpy Eagle nest.

Spend the day observing the nest for views of the adults and chick. This can be enjoyed with observations of other birds and wildlife in a stand of Green Heart trees with a picnic lunch in the forest.

Return to the village in the late afternoon and stay overnight at the Surama Guest House.

Day 4: Surama Mountain, birdwatching, Burro Burro river, overnight at Carahaa Camp (B,L,D)

Rise before dawn for a walk across the savannah and a gentle climb up Surama Mountain in the cool morning air. This is the best time to observe bird life along the trail.

Breakfast will be served at a point overlooking the village, whilst looking for Pearl Kite, White-tailed and Savannah Hawk with a wide panorama of savannahs and the rounded peaks of the Pakaraima’s.

Return to village for lunch and then in the cool of late afternoon take a three mile walk across the savannah and through the rainforest to the Burro Burro River.

Tonight overnight in a hammock at Carahaa Landing Camp.

Day 5: Morning river paddle boat. Afternoon Iwokrama Forest. Overnight at Atta Rainforest Camp (B,L,D)

Soon after daybreak we’ll set out on the river for a quiet and skillfully guided paddle, hearing the voices of many birds singing in near darkness in the forest, and seeing many of them later when the light grows stronger.

We’ll also search the banks for such mammals as Giant River Otter, Tapir, Tayra, Black Spider Monkey and many more species. Return to village for lunch before departing Surama by 4×4.

Travel along the trail where there is a good chance to see the elusive Jaguar. The Iwokrama forest is rapidly gaining an international reputation for its healthy jaguar populations that seem not to be troubled by the appearance of curious humans. No promises, but many have been lucky!

Eventually we reach the Iwokrama Canopy Walkway. Here you will be able to experience the rainforest from the vantage of 30 metres up in the canopy.

The Iwokrama Canopy Walkway is a series of suspension bridges and decks of up to 30 metres in height and 154 metres in length, located in the Iwokrama Forest. It gives visitors a new view of the mid and upper canopy of the forest and allows wildlife to be relatively free from human intrusion. The forest around the walkway contains some important flora and fauna. Among these are endangered and protected species such as the jaguar, the bullet wood tree, greenheart and the waramadan (endemic in Guyana only to the Iwokrama Forest).

Overnight at Atta Rainforest Camp.

Day 6: Wowetta Amerindian village. Rock View Lodge Annai (B,L,D)

This morning welcome the dawn chorus from the tree-tops. After breakfast transfer by 4×4 to the Amerindian village of Wowetta and then trek along 5kms of well maintained trail through virgin rainforest to a Guianan Cock-of-the–rock lek with over 30 birds.

It is an exciting experience to view Guyanan Cock-of-the–rocks (Rupicola Rupicola) in their natural habitat. You have the opportunity to see them nesting in caves, performing their mating dance on the lek, bathing in pools and perched in trees for perfect viewing.

The tour is a community based project managed by the indigenous community of Wowetta. In the late afternoon we’ll set out for the drive to the Rupununi and Rock View Lodge in Annai, its northernmost community. The Rupununi Savannah is to Guyana what the Gran Sabana is to Venezuela, an extensive area of grassland with termite mounds and scattered or riparian woodland.

The birdlife here is markedly different from that of the rainforest. Rock View Lodge is located where the savannah meets the forest-covered foothills of the Pakaraima Mountains. With its tropical gardens and flowering trees, the lodge resembles an oasis in the savannah, and attracts many species of birds, particularly nectar feeders and frugivores.

Nearby patches of light forest are home to certain ant birds and flycatchers, and of course the grasslands support an avifauna of their own.

Overnight at Rock View Lodge.

Day 7: Choice of morning activity. Afternoon Georgetown city tour. Overnight Cara Lodge (B,L)

This morning you can birdwatch in the magnificent gardens, join the vaqueros on horseback as they round up the cattle, hike along the foothills of the Pakaraima Mountains or explore nearby Amerindian villages.

After lunch, fly back to Georgetown. Enjoy an afternoon Georgetown city tour to see its extraordinary wooden architecture and to shop in its exciting markets and craft shops.

We’ll conclude at the extensive and beautiful Botanic Garden, where, if we are lucky, the trip’s ornithological finale will be Blood-coloured Woodpecker, an astonishingly colourful Veniliornis found only in the Guiana’s and even there almost wholly limited to the narrow coastal plain.

Overnight at Cara Lodge.

Day 8: Transfer to airport, tour ends (B)

Transfer to the airport for your departing flight.

Prices From $3,219 / £2,730 per person

Enquire about booking

What's Included?

Airport transfer, double or twin accommodation (one single for odd sized groups), camping equipment, meals as indicated, local bar at Rock View Lodge, internal flights, all road and river transport, local guides, hotel tax,activities as described, Iwokrama Forest User fee, Iwokrama Canopy Walkway User fee.

What's Not Included?

International flights (we can look for these) Items of personal nature, alcoholic drinks except where mentioned above, departure tax.


Being mainly rainforest, and because much of the trip takes place in the rainforest, you will sleep in beds surrounded by mosquito nets. Rooms are comfortable and spacious but please note that in remote locations, such as Karanambu and Surama, insects can enter the rooms at night. Your guide will give any advice or help if you are concerned.

Sleeping within the rainforest and savannah is a fantastic experience, and comes as second nature after a day or two.


Hammock camps

A real experience! A shelter houses a number of hammocks, all covered with mosquito nets and clear of the forest floor.

Protected from insects, enjoy a night of truly sleeping in the rainforest.

Communal toilets, and shared, covered social areas for meals, all buildings made using local materials and in the traditional fashion.


Rainforest and savannah lodges

Guyana has only a handful of lodges in its rainforests and savannahs, and most of these are small and remote establishments with fewer than a dozen beds. Some – like RewaSurama, and Maipaima – are run by the local Amerindian villagers who turn your visit into something like a homestay experience.

Others – like Karanambu – are captained by British expats who have carved out a slice of unexpected comfort in an otherwise rugged environment.

Others yet – such as Caiman House, Atta Rainforest Lodge, and Iwokrama River Lodge – have a strong science and nature focus and provide amply comfortable hospitality as well as a chance to learn about the vivid surrounding ecosystems.

Running water and at least a few hours of electricity are available at each lodge, and amenities are always clean and comfortable.

While no one comes to Guyana looking for a luxury travel experience, welcome creature comforts are on offer at the charming colonial boutique Cara Lodge in Georgetown as well as the storied Pegasus on the city’s northwest corner.

Meanwhile, Baganara Island on the Essequibo delights visitors with a host of recreational and relaxation opportunities. Georgetown’s newest international-class hotel, the Georgetown Marriott, opened its doors in 2015.

Tour Staff

A variety of expert guides may accompany on this tour, all of whom have many years’ experience and plenty of enthusiasm to make sure your trip is a great one.

Below are a few of the guides.


Wally Prince: Unrivalled expertise and experience leading tours and teams in Guyana.

Wally is one of the most sought-after guides for professional birders, documentary teams, and scientific expeditions visiting Guyana. He served for seven years as the guide coordinator, resident wildlife biologist, chief trainer, and operations manager at Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation and Development. He has identified more than 700 of the 800+ bird species recorded in Guyana and is intimately familiar with their habitats, behaviours, vocalisations, and mating rituals. He grew up wandering through Guyana’s lush and biodiverse interior.


Gary Sway: Amerindian, Expert Naturalist

Gary Sway is a Macushi Amerindian from the village of Surama. Having grown up in the rainforest he has a great understanding and affinity for his natural surroundings and the wildlife. He has been a guide at Surama Eco-lodge for nearly 15 years and is well loved by those who have explored and seen the rainforest through his eyes. Gary is also an experienced birding guide and has represented Guyana at the Bird Expo in Columbus Ohio, USA. His patience and keen eye means great rewards for those birding with him. In his spare time Gary is a leading player in the Surama Makushi culture group.


Nadir (Carlos) Allie: Guide, Bird Expert

Nadir (Carlos) Allie was originally from the west coast of the ancient county of Berbice. His family were rice farmers, but Carlos did not want to follow this path, and moved to Georgetown to learn his father’s profession and became a tailor. From an early age Carlos always had a love and passion for birds. He never joined the other boys in trying to shoot them with a slingshot, preferring to rescue and care for the injured ones.

In Georgetown, through his love of birds he became friends with Andy Narine and together they formed the Guyana Amazon Tropical Birds Society (GATBS). Through GATBS, Carlos was able to get involved in many different projects including bird counts for some of the interior lodges, and also collecting information on the avifauna of Guyana for a new Guyana bird list. Over the years Carlos has become an experienced bird guide, leading tours to Guyana’s top birding locations especially along the coastlands where he was born and continues to live. Carlos loves to share his passion and love of birds with visitors and locals whenever he gets the opportunity. He is especially fond of leading tours of the Botanical Gardens in Georgetown.


Almost all dietary requirements can be catered for – please enquire in advance as we have to organise supplied.

Whilst on tour the food is of a very good standard with fresh beef, chicken and fish and plenty of vegetables and fruit.

On camping trips/in remote areas, use is made of dried and salted produce, supplemented by fishing.

The blend of different ethnic influences – Indian, African, Chinese, Creole, English, Portuguese, Amerindian, North American – gives a distinctive flavour to Guyanese cuisine.

Try dishes such as Pepper Pot, meat cooked in casareep (bitter casava) juice with peppers and herbs. Garlic pork, a specialty at Christmas.  Curry and Roti is popular everywhere. Seafood is plentiful and varied, as is the wide variety of tropical fruit and vegetables. Try casava and yams.

Rum is the most popular drink and Guyana blends some of the worlds best. There are many inexpensive rums that are an excellent rum with mixers. The better rums such as Banks Extra, Banks XM 10 Year and DDL’s 12 year old King of Diamonds are smooth rums and great straight or on the rocks. DDL’s 15 year old El Dorado was voted the best rum in the world in 1999, 2000 and 2001, and is as smooth as a good brandy. The local Banks Beer is a good beer.

The water from the tap is brownish in colour, which is from the tannin in the water, and not polluted. However, it is recommended that bottled water, which is readily available, is used for drinking. Remember to drink plenty of it to prevent dehydration as it does get humid in Guyana.

Activity Level

You need to be have a reasonable level of walking fitness to hike the mountain walks, altough the walks are not mandatory.

Most days you will walk for a couple of hours, spotting wildlife. The humidity can make a short walk feel a lot harder than it is, and take on board lots of water.

The trip is open to anyone who wants to experience the rainforest and who wants to be active and interesting without it being demanding or without time to relax.

In the rainforest, we wake early, around 06.00-08.00 as most animals are active before the heat of the day kicks in. We breakfast, either on the hoof or back at the hotel, and enjoy a trip during the morning.

Transport could be by dug out canoe, 4×4, light Cessna plane or on foot. Guyana is a fantastic place to travel around as adventure awaits on every corner.

After lunch, we undertake another activity, or move to new lodgings, settle in, and then head out at dusk to see the wildlife once more.

Night walks are possible in some areas – or you may choose to relax – then it is dinner and time to recount the day’s highlights.

Enquire about booking

Practical Information

Introduction to Guyana

Guyana is the only English-speaking country on the South American continent and has a Caribbean feel. 

It is a destination for the nature lover looking for an off-the-beaten-path destination with many attractions. Guyana offers pristine rainforest, abundant wildlife, jaguars and the mighty Kaieteur Falls.

Start your adventure in the melting pot that is the country’s capital – Georgetown. Here Hindu, Muslim and Christian cultures blend in harmony.

Head off to visit the breathtaking Kaieteur Falls – the  world’s highest single-drop waterfall.

Then the interior beckons. Jungle and Savannah await. With luck you might spot the Cock o’ the rock or a harpy eagle.

Bigger mammals such as the ant eater might surprise you or if incredibly lucky the mighty jaguar. Travel by road or river and stay in rustic but comfortable lodges – all with an authentic Guyanese welcome.

Guyana will be an unforgettable adventure.  

Geography of Guyana

Guyana has five natural habitats to discover, the most famous of which is is its dense rain forest.

This ‘jungle’ is also known as the Forested Highland Region and is in the south of the country, and is very sparsely populated.

The majority (around 90%) of Guyana’s population lives in a marshy plain on the Atlantic coast, known as the low coastal plain.


Most of the country’s mineral deposits (bauxite, gold, diamonds) are found a little further inshore in that is called the white sand belt.

The south west of the country gives way to a desert savannah which then becomes an interior savannah.

From here, the grasslands and mountains of the interior highlands start to rise towards the borders with Brazil and Venezuela.

This is the largest of Guyana’s geographical areas and consists a series of plateaus, flat-topped mountains, and savannahs.

The Pakaraima Mountains dominate the western part of the interior highlands and include Mount Roraima, Guyana’s highest peak at 2,772m (9,094 ft) on the Venezuelan border.


The largest expanse of grassland, the Rupununi Savannah, covers about 15,000 square kilometres in southern Guyana.

Guyana has three large rivers, the Essequibo at 1,010km(628 miles), the Courantyne River (which forms a natural border with Suriname) at 724kms (450 miles), and the Berbice – 595kms (370 miles).

Weather in Guyana

Guyana is a hot and humid country. February and March are prime times to visit, along with Aug-Jan. Read our guide to Guyana’s weather for more.

The mean shade temperature is 27°C, while maximum is 31°C and the minimum is 24°C. The heat is greatly tempered by cooling breezes from the sea.

There are two wet seasons in the north of the country, from May to June, and from December to January.

The south and the Rupununi region receive one wet season from May to July.

All wet seasons may extend into months either side.

Rainfall averages 2,300 mm a year in Georgetown.

Visas for Guyana

British nationals do not need a visa for Guyana for stays of 30 days or less. Extensions can usually be obtained from the Ministry of Home Affairs in Georgetown.

The Guyanese authorities are very severe on visitors who overstay or abuse the conditions of their stay.

You will also need a valid passport with at least 6 months remaining validity.

Non UK residents please check with the Guyanese embassy or consulate in your country of residence.

Kit list

Good kit is vital for every trip.

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Guyana is a hot and humid country.

Take sunscreen, sun glasses and a hat to Guyana.

It can rain at any time, so always have a poncho/waterproof jacket handy.

Give plenty of thought to kit selection, and try to keep weight down.

Passenger/s traveling on internal flights in Guyana are allowed a free baggage allowance of 20lbs/9.1KG exceeding this weight passenger/s will incur a cost of GY$150.00 (price subject to change) equivalent to US$ 0.77cents per pound. Please note that additional baggage allowance is subject to availability and cannot be confirmed until day/time of check-in by the airline.  We can book excess weight on your behalf but it is subject to being within the payload of the aircraft and at the discretion of the airline. We understand you may want more than 20lbs/9.1KG of baggage and wish to have guaranteed excess baggage/weight and so an alternative is to pre-book an extra seat on the flight which will afford you 175lbs/79.4KG for you to use individually or for your group. 

Below is a more detailed guide.


Detailed kit list

  • Good binoculars.
  • Camera and film / memory cards (take at least twice the amount you think you will need!).
  • Tight-weave, light weight long trousers.
  • Quick dry socks.
  • Rain suit or long poncho (100% waterproof – test before you leave home).
  • Long-sleeved tight-weave shirts.
  • T-shirts.
  • A warm jumper – it can feel cold on some boat journeys.
  • Water bottle (2 litres approx.) & purification tablets.
  • Sun cream (high factor, min. 30+) and lip salve.
  • A broad-brimmed hat that will not come off on windy boat-rides.
  • Shorts.
  • Sunglasses with UV filter.
  • A pair of trainers.
  • Ankle high hiking boots.
  • Insect repellent.
  • The original and a photocopy of your passport.
  • Yellow fever inoculation certificate.
  • A large, bright head torch, spare batteries and bulb.
  • Cash (small denomination bills, USD or GBP sterling) for souvenirs at the lodge, alcoholic beverages, etc.
  • Daypack (at least 30 litres). Comfortable and with waterproof lining or cover.
  • Personal first-aid kit to include: painkillers, plasters (band-aids), moleskin, antibiotic cream, general antibiotics (ask your GP), after-bite (tiger balm), anti-diarrhoea tablets, throat lozenges, re-hydration salts & personal medication.
  • Towel & wash-kit.
  • Wet Wipes/antiseptic hand-wash cream.
  • Head-lamp (plus spare bulb and batteries).
  • Penknife.
  • Travel alarm clock.
  • Plastic bags – ‘Zip-loc’ & tough bin liners.
  • Book, e-book, mp3 player/ipod or other to help pass the time.
  • Extra snacks i.e. cereal bars or favourite chocolate bars.


Miscellaneous others

  • Money belt.
  • Passport.
  • U.S. dollars / GBP sterling cash, mixed-denomination notes, undamaged and unmarked.
  • ATM cash/credit card.
  • Any inoculation certificates.
  • Personal & medical insurance certificates.
  • Presents e.g. Postcards from home.
  • Comfortable clothes for travel, smart clothes for Georgetown

Vaccinations for Guyana

We strongly suggest that everyone planning to travel to Guyana visits their local doctor/travel clinic prior to departure for the latest vaccination information.


Recommended vaccinations

  • Up-to-date diphtheria and polio.
  • Tetanus or tetanus booster. (These three are effective for ten years.)
  • ‘Havrix’ for Hepatitis A. The course of two injections protects you for ten years. Gamma globulin is cheaper butless effective.
  • Typhoid vaccine is recommended by some doctors although it will not provide total protection and being careful about what you eat and drink is your best defence. It is given in two shots, four weeks apart and lasts for three years. Unless at exceptional risk, people over the age of 35 who have received four or more courses of typhoid immunisation need no more.
  • A pre-exposure rabies vaccination is worth considering if you are going to be in contact with animals or morethan 24 hours away from a reliable source of vaccine. Hikers are at some risk from rural dogs, certain of which carry rabies, and those visiting coastal or rainforest areas could be exposed to rabid bats.
  • Yellow fever. Not effective until ten days after inoculation; not recommended for pregnant women. This is also effective for ten years.
  • Anti-malarial protection (if going on a jungle trip below 1,500 metres; not needed for higher altitude). It is important that you follow the prophylactic regime carefully. Atovaquone/proguanil OR doxycycline OR mefloquine is usually advised for those visiting risk areas. In the UK, contact the Malaria Reference Laborator. North Americans should contact the Centers for Disease Control.
  • Zika. Spread by mosquito bikes and also a risk of sexual transmission. People planning pregnancies / pregnant women are advised against all travel to areas reporting Zika. If you develop any feverish illness whilst travelling or on return medical attention must be sought quickly.
  • Dengue Fever. There is no vaccine and prevention is through avoidance of mosquito bites. The mosquito that spreads dengue bites during the day and is more common in urban areas. Symptoms include fever, headache, severe joint, bone and muscular pain – hence its other name ‘breakbone fever’.

Guyana Festivals

23 February 

Festival: Mashramani / Republic Day  

Music and arts comeptitions with float parade in Gerogetown 

Location: Gerogetown and Nationwide. 


March ( variable)  

Festival: Phagwah 

A Hindu spring festival of Colour which is celebrated by all Guyanese using water and powders in a rainbow of colours. 

Location: Countrywide 


March/April ( variable)  

Festival: Easter Monday  

Traditional day for family picnics where the skies are filled with hundreds of kites symbolising the rising of Christ. The Easter Weekend is also the time for the Annual Rupununi Rodeo! 

Location: Countrywide  


1st August 

Festival: Virgen de los Treinta y Tres 

Emmancipation Day commemorates the abolition of slavery in Guyana in 1834 and there is an annual festival held in the National Park in Georgetown where you can learn about the traditional African music, art, foods, dancing, games and culture on the whole with a focus on the history on Emmacipation. 

Location: Georgetown 


October / November ( variable)   

Festival: Diwali 

Diwali is the Hindu Festival of Light which symbolizes the triumph of good over evil  and is celebrated for 2 nights with a Grand lighted Motorcade in Georgetown on the first night and with the lighting of hundreds of ‘Diyas’ on the second night. 

Location: Contrywide 



Flight advice

Andean Trails can book all your international and domestic flights for this trip and for UK passengers; we have full ATOL bonding and can book flights with most airlines.

International flight prices are variable and usually can only be guaranteed at the time of booking. If you would like to upgrade to business or first class, or even arrive at an earlier date/depart at a later date we can also arrange this for you.

Typically, you fly to a country’s capital city and then overnight there or make a connecting flight (if available) to your next destination.


Flight connections

Please contact us for flight advice especially if you do make a connection on the same day. It is important to purchase a through ticket and not separate tickets for connections, so that you are covered for any delays. Passengers with separate tickets that are delayed run the risk of having to buy an entirely new ticket to continue their journeys.

Please note all airline schedules are subject to change and are out of our control.



Almost all flight tickets are now e-tickets. Any that are not will be handed to you on arrival in South America – this is most common for flights on smaller planes in Amazon areas such as Guyana/Bolivia.

The final travel instructions we send you some 2-3 weeks before departure will list the latest flight times, flight numbers etc as well as list your e-ticket numbers and booking reference code (6 characters i.e. GB75RK). This is what you will need to check in with.


How do I check in?

Depending on the airline, we can reserve some seats for you at the time of booking your international flights with us.

If we cannot reserve seats at the time of booking, you have to wait for online check in to open (usually 24-72 hours before departure).

To check in online you will need to go to the website of the airline you are travelling with, and have your e-ticket number/booking reference to hand. Click check in online, enter your details, and choose your seat.

Some flights will allocate seats at the check in desk at the airport and some may not allocate seats at all.


Help flying via the USA (ESTA form).

The United States (USA) has an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) which all travellers to and via the USA must complete BEFORE travel to/via its airports and shores.

More information can be found on their ESTA website.

Passengers who have not completed the form will be denied boarding.

Before you begin this application, make sure that you have a valid passport and credit card available.

This application will only accept the following credit cards: MasterCard, VISA, American Express, and Discover (JCB, Diners Club).

ATOL holiday protection

Andean Trails has two decades of experience of dealing with South America holidays.

We pay a fee to the CAA for every licensable passenger we book since we hold an Air Travel Organiser’s Licence granted by the Civil Aviation Authority. In the unlikely event of our insolvency, the CAA will ensure that you are not stranded abroad and will arrange to refund any money you have paid to us for an advance booking.

We also offer ATOL (Civil Aviation Authority) protected holidays to give our customers peace of mind when booking and travelling.

When you buy an ATOL protected air holiday package from Andean Trails Ltd you will receive a Confirmation Invoice from us confirming your arrangements and your protection under our Air Travel Organiser’s Licence number 6275.

You can read more about ATOL, who is covered and what protections you have if not ATOL-covered, on our ATOL page.


What is ATOL?

The CAA’s ATOL scheme offers protection to your money and your holiday if you book with us. Not everybody is covered (see ‘Who is covered?’ for more), as you must purchase an ‘air package holiday’ with Andean Trails to be protected.

And  ‘air package holiday’ is defined as including a flight and some ground services (hotel, transfer, trek etc). This is also known as an ‘ATOL-protected holiday’.


Who is covered?

To be covered by ATOL, you must book a flight and some ground services with us and be from the UK. If you are from the UK and only book ground services and no flights, you are not covered by ATOL (see below for more on how non-ATOL clients are covered).

If you are outside the UK and buy flights with us, you will be ATOL protected IF any of the flights booked with Andean Trails touches/stops in the UK at any point during your holiday package booked with us.

If you buy your flights elsewhere, please check with that agent if you are ATOL protected. Be careful with online flight purchases and make sure you know what protection you have, if any, before paying for flights.

Not all holiday or travel services offered and sold by us will be protected by the ATOL scheme. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking.

For land only holidays not involving any air travel, in accordance with “The Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992”, all UK passengers booking with Andean Trails Ltd. are fully protected for the initial deposit and subsequently the balance of all money paid to us, arising from cancellation or curtailment of travel arrangements due to the insolvency of Andean Trails.


I’m not ATOL covered, what protection do I have?

If you are not ATOL covered, any payments you make to us go to a Trust account.

We can only access this money once your tour has been completed, meaning that if anything happens to Andean Trails Limited while you are on holiday, then your money is secure and you can either complete the trip or be able to make it home.

If you pay for your holiday with a credit card, some offer payment protection – please check with your cardholder.

You also should have cancellation protection written into your insurance (which we recommend you have at the time of booking) in case you need to cancel.

Security in Guyana

Most visits to Guyana are trouble-free, however, like anywhere you need to take precautions, especially in the capital of Georgetown.


  • In Georgetown, crime levels are high. You should take sensible precautions to protect yourself and your belongings.
  • Take sensible precautions to protect yourself and your belongings.
  • Try to avoid showing obvious signs of wealth.
  • Take extra precautions to safeguard your passports, money, tickets, mobile phones and other valuables.
  • You should be particularly vigilant when leaving local banks to ensure that you are not being followed.
  • In Georgetown, avoid the Tiger Bay and Albouystown areas and take care in Sophia, all of south Georgetown, Buxton and Agricola.
  • Take particular care in the Stabroek Market area of Georgetown.
  • A number of assaults have taken place in the Botanic Gardens. Birding enthusiasts should be particularly vigilant. If possible go with an organised group and avoid taking valuables with you.
  • If you walk along the sea wall, avoid the more deserted stretches and walk at times when other walkers are most likely to be about (around 5pm to 6pm).

Food and drink in Guyana


Foo-foo                         Deep fried plantain cakes.

Split pea soup               Pea based soup with bacon strips, split peas, animal fat, chicken stock, yams, peppers and eddoes.

Guyanese style rice      Local take on Chinese fried rice.

Roti                              An unleavened bread-type food, made with flour, rolled thin, and cooked on a tava.

Metem                          Thick soup made with ground provisions (cassava, sweet potato–totally different from our sweet potato, eddoe and plantains) and a thick broth made with coconut milk.



Metagee                       Yam, plantain, breadfruit, cassava and salted meat or fish in a creamy coconut milk with extra tomatoes, palm oil, hot chilli, garlic and onions.

Pepperpot                     Meat stew with cassava extract and hot pepper sauce.

Cookup Rice                A one-pot meal with rice and usually peas/beans cooked with coconut milk . Often served with some type of meat.

Channa                        Chickpeas with onions and peppers.

Chow Mein                   Guyanese take on the Chinese dish.



Salara… Red Cake       Coconut Swiss style roll.

Pone                             Cassava and coconut squares.

Sawine                          Vermicelli and dried fruits that are cooked in milk flavoured with cinnamon, nutmeg and other spices and extracts

Pine tart                       Pastries filled with pineapple jam

Fat top                         A layer of coconut milk on top of a layer of cornmeal cake.



Banks                           Locally produced cask and bottled lager.

Papaw Milkshake         Papaya milkshake

Mauby                          Bark-based fruity and spicy root beer.

Pineapple Wine            Fermented pineapple, mace, sugar and dried fruit mixture.

Peanut Punch               Peanut butter, milk and sugar mixed to form a smooth thick liquid.

Money matters

Currency & Money Exchange

Guyana’s monetary unit is the “Guyanese Dollar”.

Most of your transactions will be in Guyanese dollars, especially in the interior, but US dollars and GBP sterling (English notes only) are often accepted, too. Make sure they small denomination, unmarked and undamaged bills. Try to take 5s, 10s and 20s.

It’s best to take cash into the country to change because while a credit card may help in an emergency, you cannot count on using it for most purchases.

ATM debit/credit cards can sometimes be used in Georgetown’s hotels and restaurants (with fees), but not in the interior.

Georgetown also has some ATM (‘hole-in-the-wall’) machines but not all accept foreign cards and there are no ATMs in the interior.

Cash can be exchanged in hotels, banks and cambios (businesses that specialise in exchanging). Cambios normally offer the best exchange rate. Ask your tour leader for help in finding the best cambios to use.

Ask for small notes as obtaining change outside towns and cities can be difficult. Count your Guyanese dollars carefully before handing over your US dollars/sterling, and look out for forged notes.

Exchange rate: USD 1 = 210 Guyanese dollar (approx.), June 2018.

Guyanese banknotes: 20, 100, 500, 1,000 dollars

Guyanese coins: 1, 5, 10 dollars

Eating and drinking

Guyana’s diverse population is reflected in its very varied cuisine.

When in the interior, you will eat at lodges as there are no other options. Georgetown offers a variety of eateries.


Local café/restaurant

Beer/soft drink: USD 2

Lunch: USD 8-12

Coffee: USD 2


Tourist style restaurant

Beer/soft drink: USD 3-5

Main dish: USD 15 upwards

Coffee: USD 2

Plugs and voltages


Guyana uses 127 volts, with a frequency of 60 Hz.

Most cameras, phones and computers are dual or multi voltage and probably won’t need a convertor – please check before leaving.

Some items you may bring, such as hairdryers, may need a convertor. They may short if you use them without the correct convertor.



Guyana mainly uses two-pin, flat-pronged Type A plugs, but you may also find Types B, D and G.

Type A plug

Type A plug

Type B plug

Type B plug







Type D plug

Type D plug

Type G plug (UK)

Type G plug


Dialling codes

The international code for Guyana is +592.

There are no regional codes in Guyana.




Free Wi-Fi can be found in Georgetown – hotels, restaurants etc. There are also internet cafes available.

Responsible Travel - our ethos

Andean Trails believes in Responsible Travel and actively supports several community projects.

Please see Our Advice and Our Ethos for more, and learn about the Projects We Support.

We operate the Inca Trail, our treks and tours with local firms.

We make sure that on our tours and Inca Trail we employ local staff, who are paid fair wages.

With the Inca Trail, We provide free life insurance to all of our porters. Tented accommodation and meals are provided for all trekking staff as well as foam mats, sleeping bags and rain ponchos. We have also provided the staff with trekking shoes. We ensure our porters carry a maximum of only 20kg. We offer them backpacks and they generally use back supports.

Clean burning fuel is used to cook the meals on the Inca Trail and porters carry gas stoves and butane bottles. We use biodegradable detergents when washing the cooking and eating utensils. If any part of our tour or trek is operated by another company, we try to ensure that high standards are maintained.

Our additional support helps the Huchuy Yachaq project which supports children and families in one of the poorest communities in the district of Cusco.

Responsible Travel - travel tips

Responsible Tourism – Code of Conduct:

  • Find out about your destination – take some time before you go to read about the cultural, social and political background of the place and people you are visiting.
  • Go equipped with basic words and phrases in the local language – this may open up opportunities for you to meet people who live there.
  • Buy locally-made goods and use locally-provided services wherever possible – your support is often vital to local people.
  • Pay a fair price for the goods or services you buy – if you haggle for the lowest price your bargain may be at someone else’s expense.
  • Be sensitive to the local culture – dress and act in a way that respects local beliefs and customs, particularly at religious sites.
  • Don’t undermine the local economic systems – we recommend you don’t give gifts, especially sweets as there are few dentists in the Andes. Much better to spend time chatting, playing and showing postcards of home. If you would like to donate clothes and shoes etc we are more than happy to do so through the relevant channels. Your tour leader can do this for you and some of the projects we support can be visited.
  • Ask permission before taking photographs of individuals or of people’s homes – and remember that you may be expected to pay for the privilege.
  • Avoid conspicuous displays of wealth – this can accentuate the gap between rich and poor and distance you from the cultures you came to experience.
  • Make no promises to local people that you can’t keep – be realistic about what you will do when you return home.
  • Minimise your environmental impact – keep to footpaths and marked routes, don’t remove any of the natural habitat and reduce the packaging you bring.
  • Don’t pollute local water courses- use biodegradable products, and wash basins.
  • Slow down and enjoy the differences – you’ll be back with the familiar soon enough.

Our environmental policy

All our activities are governed by our respect for the environment and the people who live in it. We aim to make a positive impact both in the UK and in the Andean countries we work in (Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina).

We agree with the principals of sustainable development and specifically promote environmentally aware tourism in the Andean countries, in order to preserve the heritage of the people who live there and to help protect their environment.

In the UK we use recycled paper where possible, recycle what we can and attempt to keep waste to an absolute minimum.

Throughout South America we work together with local people, paying them a fair price, and putting money into the local economy. We do this by using local agents, local trek staff and experienced and qualified local mountain and cultural guides who have an in-depth knowledge of their own country. Our porters on the Inca Trail are fairly paid, carry a maximum load of 20kg and are supplied with tents and food. In other areas we use donkeys or horses to carry loads.

We use locally owned services such as hotels and restaurants, wherever possible. We buy fresh local produce for all of our treks from markets in each departure town. We use public transport whenever possible and feasible.

We have ongoing contact with the teams that we work with and also with local families in the areas we trek through, developing relationships with them and donating goods such as clothes and shoes to their communities, through appropriate local agencies. We also support local Peruvian charities, specifically NIÑOS in Cusco, and CARE in the Huaraz area, plus Huchuy Yachaq.

If you have any suitable (warm) clothes and shoes that you would like to donate to Peruvian children please take them with you and give them to your tour leader, who will ensure they go to a suitable organization.

When out on tour we encourage learning about the countries we travel in, the local culture of the teams we work with and the areas we pass through. Our guides hold informal talks with groups to inform about and discuss with them all aspects of local life. This helps understanding of the area and appreciation of the people who live there.

Our group sizes are kept to a maximum of 16 people, and we encourage smaller groups where possible. This minimises the negative impact we make on the local people, the wildlife and the environment, and increases the quality time spent in contact with the local people and environment.

When trekking we adhere to a responsible tourism code of practice and are also involved in ongoing training of our trek staff.

Health and Safety

A full Health and Safety document will be sent to you at the time of booking and before you travel.

You can also read it on our website, or contact us for more information.

Travel Insurance

It is a condition of booking any of our holidays that you have comprehensive travel insurance to cover you for trip cancellation (by you), activities involved and destination. This cover should include repatriation costs, air ambulance and helicopter rescue.

We work with Travel Nomads, who offer insurance solutions to people in more than 140 countries across the world.

Should you decide not to purchase this insurance, you must provide us with details of your alternative insurance with or before your final payment.

And lastly...

Many of our tours travel through remote areas.

We believe our clients should be aware that the remoteness of some of our tours so very special could also cause certain problems.

Thus, whilst we endeavour to minimise the chances of anything unexpected happening, it has to be noted that no itinerary can or should be rigidly adhered to.

This is the very nature of adventure travel and we expect our clients to be prepared for delays and slight alterations in our programmed events.

Also, shared tours may include travellers from all over the world whose native language is not English.

Atta rainforest lodge, Guyana

Get up into the trees like monkeys at Atta Lodge, for some up close and personal wildlife viewing.

The major attraction here is a 154m/505ft long canopy walkway, with four platforms some up to 30m into the canopy.

An array of birds and animals you struggle to see from the forest floor soon zoom into view.

Among these are endangered and protected species such as the jaguar, the bullet wood tree, greenheart and the waramadan (endemic in Guyana only to the Iwokrama Forest).

The lodge provides comfortable accommodation with 8 private rooms, three home-cooked meals per day, and ample opportunities to explore the surrounding rainforest by foot, canoe, or 4X4.

Caiman House, Guyana

You’ll need to keep quiet in your kayak as you help researchers from Caiman House search and tag black caiman at night time.

By staying here, you’ll get an inside look at the work of those trying to protect this endangered species.

You can help to collect the data of any captured caiman – some reaching up to 12 feet in length! – before they are released back into the wild.

Caiman House is once-in-a-lifetime and thrilling part to any tour of Guyana, especially for wildlife enthusiasts who can also look out for snakes, frogs, bird spiders and more


Georgetown, Guyana

The Atlantic gateway to Guyana, Georgetown is a fascinating mix of people, history fusions.

The ex-British colony contains influences from Amerindians, Asia, Brazil and more, making it a lively and welcoming destination.

The Natural History Museum is well worth a visit, as well as the world’s largest wooden cathedral and the thrumming market.

English is widely spoken and friendly local people are normally up for a chat about the unique atmosphere of Georgetown.

Iwokrama Field Station , Guyana

Deep into Guyana’s enormous rainforest lies Iwokrama, a one million acre wilderness full of wildlife.

Birds, trees frogs and the elusive puma live in the forests, whose verdant canopy you can enjoy from the Turtle Mountain vantage point.

The area is protected and known as Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation, with the full involvement of the local people.

You can see their history in the Amerindian petroglyphs close to some rivers, a fascinating insight into how animals and humans have coexisted for centuries in this pristine rainforest.

Kaieteur Falls, Guyana

Flying over the jungle canopy, the views confirm that there are no other falls in the world with the magnitude of the sheer drop existing at Kaieteur.

Being so remote, you can walk right up to the flowing water, which gushes 822 feet into a deep and forested gorge.

Look for Golden frogs, unique to a tiny area, living in bromeliads growing in the warm, humid air.

Most likely your group will be the only souls in this remote location, adding to its incredible appeal.

Karanambu Ranch, Guyana

Famous for rescuing orphaned giant river otters, Karanambu also represents the spirit of travel of old.

An outpost, miles from civilisation, there’s a warm welcome and great wildlife.

See the giant Victoria Regis water lily bloom at dusk, or cruise the river looking for giant otters and caiman.

If you wake early enough, you may be able to find a giant anteater snaffling around for a treat.

Sadly, Diane McTurk is no longer with us, but the ranch continues to write its own chapters in the history of conservation.

Roraima Mountains, Guyana

Rumoured to have inspired parts of Conan Doyle’s Lost World book, ‘Tepuys’, or table top mountains, after visiting, it’s easy to see why.

From the sabanna that links Guyana’s western front with Venuzuela, the Tepuys rise dramatically.

They provide unique eco-zones for many species and the lunar-like surface is home to species found nowhere else on earth.

Waterfalls, rapids and rainforest criss-cross the various faces and sections of the Tepuys, making Mount Roraima one of the most acclaimed sights in South America.

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