The best kept secret in South America, the Caribbean, and maybe the world
What if there was a country in which over 85% of the land was covered in forests and had a less than 1% deforestation rate? What if this same country contained massive waterfalls, pristine jungles, and more biodiversity than any other place its size in the world? What if, in addition to the natural wonders, this country had a vibrant culture and spoke English as the official language, yet received less than half the annual number of tourists as Haiti? Sounds too good to be true? Soon, it just may be. When the world discovers what Guyana has to offer, expect the untouched to become touched by development.
1,263 known species of amphibians, birds, mammals, and reptiles, and 6,409 species of plants - plus many more that have yet to be discovered - call Guyana home. Within these forests you can expect to find amazing animals, including the world's largest snake (anaconda), venomous snake (bushmaster), otter (giant river otter), caiman (black caiman), freshwater turtle (giant river turtle), and freshwater fish (arapaima), as well as the Americas' largest cat (jaguar), eagle (harpy eagle), and bat (false vampire bat). The dense jungles are also home to tapirs, ocelots, giant anteaters, margays, jaguaroundis, howler monkeys, spider monkeys, blue and gold macaws, capuchins, pumas, sloths, piranhas, freshwater stingrays, electric eels, cabybaras, agoutis, screaming pihas, and tarantulas that are heavier than small mammals. Entymology enthusiasts will never be bored (more than 90% of the species found in Guyana are insects) and bird watchers will enjoy some of the best birding on the planet with over 800 species sighted within the country!
If you love nature, adventure, and true exploration, Guyana is for you. Come and see the world's biggest single-drop waterfall, walk among the treetops along suspension bridges, and have a true cultural experience - with welcoming people that see few tourists - before word gets out!
Highlights of TREE Guyana Expeditions
- Marvel at the 741-foot high and 333-foot wide Kaieteur Falls, the largest single drop waterfall in the world
- Walk along more than 500 feet of suspension bridges that sit at over 100 feet high in the treetops at the Canopy Walkway
- Go upriver monitoring the mighty Essequibo River
- Hike to the top of Turtle Mountain and enjoy the panaormaic views of the entire rainforest!
- Go bird-watching with some of the best birding guides in the Amazon
- Spend the night in a hammock under a tarp in the jungle (for those brave enough!)
- Explore the Iwokrama forest trails and enjoy the serene ecolodges in absolute tranquility
- Learn about the impacts of tourism and the promise of sustainable ecotourism in Guyana, and learn about the world-renown conservation efforts of the Iwokrama International Center for Rainforest Conservation and Development (IIC)
- Learn about the trees, animals, and ecological connections of Guyana's flora and fauna
- Go searching for jaguars and caimans at night; search for monkeys and tapirs during the day
- Experience the real contemporary culture of the Amerindian villages and in the capital of Georgetown, with some of the most authentic locals you will ever meet
- Enjoy delicious Guyanese food, a unique combination of Creole and Indian dishes such as roti, curry chicken, chana, cook-up rice, pepperpot, cheeserolls, cheeseflaps, and bake!
- Rountrip airfare (for full package trips only)
- Airport pick-up, drop-off, and all in-country transportation
- All meals and snacks
- All excursions, park entry fees, and guide fees
- All necessary equipment for excursions
- Expert-led discussions on sustainability and conservation
- Participation in local initiatives
- Immersion in local culture
- Country orientation
What´s Not Included:
- Travel/medical insurance (necessary for participation)
- Alcoholic beverages (TREE policy prohibits alcoholic beverages for anybody under legal drinking age and/or on school-associated trips)
Sample Expedition Itinerary
Day 1: Try not to be alarmed as you fly over dense, intact forest before descending into the Cheddi Jagan International Airport in Georgetown. Get acquainted with your surroundings as we explore the famous Stabroek Market and St. George's Cathedral, the latter of which is the tallest wooden building in the world.
Day 2: Hop aboard a plane and get out at Kaieteur National Park. Look out across the 300+ foot Potaro River as it plunges nearly 750 feet over the edge in one massive, uninterrupted flow. Take pictures on a massive rock that is so perfectly situated it will make you question nature. Return to Georgetown after getting a taste of the lush Guyanese forests and get a taste of Guyanese rum shops, a unique cultural norm (for adults), or Guyanese vendor food, a delicious experience (for everyone).
Day 3, 4, 5, 6, & 7: Arrive at Iwokrama International Center for Conservation and Development (IIC), a combination eco-lodge and research center at the heart of the vast Iwokrama forest reserve. During our stay here we will walk along the tops of the trees, hike Turtle Mountain for unparalleled panoramic views, explore jungle trails, search for your favorite animals, go birding, and explore the mighty Essequibo River. While exploring everything the Iwokrama forest has to offer we will be constantly learning about biodiversity, ecological connections, and conservation strategies that the IIC employs. If you want to be active, we can take a day trip into the Rupunnuni Savanah and visit Amerindian villages in a beautiful pocket naturally devoid of forest. If you want to relax in the serene environment the rainforest provides, take a few hours or even an entire day to lounge in a hammock at the rustic riverside lodges. If you are feeling extra adventurous we offer extended boat trips down the Essequibo, and we can even spend the night at Apoteri village (only accessible by boat) or camp in the elements with nothing more than a hammock, mosquito net, and tarp - one night or two, depending on how you feel about the jungle.
Day 8: Depart from the Iwokrama reserve and stop just short of Georgetown to explore pristine creeks that have been untouched by development. Enjoy watching the sunset before heading back to the city for one last night of Guyanese food, rum (if adult), jokes, and stories.
Day 9: Say goodbye to one of the most unique remaining countries on earth as you depart from the CJIA in Georgetown.