This is the ideal itinerary for those who would like to have a taste of the awesome nature of South America, as well as seeing some of the best that the islands have to offer. There are some amazing trips included but also plenty of time to relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. Accommodation is very comfortable throughout and travelling is done at a leisurely pace.
Arrive in Guyana, where you will be met and transferred to Georgetown for two nights at Cara Lodge.
After breakfast enjoy a mid-morning Georgetown City Tour. You will see wonderful colonial architecture, which has survived since the early days of the Dutch, French and British. You will visit the famous Stabroek Market, once described as a ‘bizarre bazaar’, which contains every conceivable item from household goods to gold jewellery. The elegance of the city is still apparent, with its wide tree-lined avenues and historic buildings, including colonial homes sporting the unique ‘Demerara shutters’, entirely built from tropical hardwood. You will marvel at Saint George’s Cathedral, one of the world’s tallest free standing wooden buildings, built in 1892 with a roof made of English oak and sides of Greenheart. A visit to The Botanical Gardens, which houses one of the most extensive collection of tropical flora in the Caribbean is also included. Over 100 species of Guyanese wildlife can be observed at the adjacent Zoo, including a wide variety of tropical fish and birds. Lunch will be at a local restaurant.
In the evening you can take an optional tour to the Roy Geddes Musical Museum for a cultural evening and local dinner. Roy is Guyana’s most famous steel pan player and maker. He will demonstrate how steel pans are made and discuss their history and a rendition of pop, rock, soca, classical and jazz numbers of the pans.
After breakfast you will be taken to the Ogle airstrip for a flight over the Demerara and Essequibo Rivers and hundreds of miles of unbroken tropical rainforest to land at Kaieteur Falls, the world’s highest free-falling waterfall. At 228 meters, Kaieteur is nearly five times the height of Niagara Falls. Here we hope to find White-chinned and White-tipped Swifts swirling over the gorge, and the astonishingly colourful Guianan Cock-of-the-Rock.
Re-boarding the plane, you will travel on to Baganara Island Resort, a haven of 187 acres of lush green foliage and colourful tropical flowers, where you will spend the next three nights. Five miles south of Bartica, it is the gateway to the unspoilt rainforest of Guyana and is at the junction where the great Essequibo and Mazaruni River meet.
You can answer the call of the wild along the jungle walk, where you’ll find many different species of flora and fauna or you can try your hand at a variety of other outdoor activities including canoeing, fishing, water skiing, volleyball, table tennis, riding wave runners, or simply sunbathing and swimming.
After breakfast enjoy a boat trip to Bartica, Kyk-over-al and Marshall Falls, where you can bathe in a natural Jacuzzi. Hike through the forest to two smaller waterfalls, both perfect for a jungle swim. On your return visit Kyk-Over-Al, the ruins of a Dutch fort and Bartica, the hub of the mining community in the north west of Guyana. The town is a hive of activity as the miners pass through on the way to their claims further in the interior. The township is located at the junction of the Essequibo and Mazaruni Rivers and most travel is done by boat. The stelling (wharf) and market are two colourful and exciting locations. At Bartica the pioneer atmosphere is still strong and it is often compared to a Wild West town. You will then head back to Baganara and as dusk draws in, you will travel to Parrot Island to view hundreds of parrots as they fly in to roost on this island.
After Breakfast depart the resort by boat down the Essequibo River, stopping to visit Fort Island to see the ruins of the old Dutch Fort, before continuing on to Rod en Rust, at the mouth of the river. From here, you will travel by bus along the coast to Georgetown, breaking the journey at the quirky Guyana Heritage Museum which is full of unusual memorabilia from around Guyana. This is a beautiful private home that has been turned into a museum and you will be welcomed by your Guide, Gary Serrao, and some members of his staff. On returning to Georgetown, you will overnight at Cara Lodge once again.
Morning transfer to airport for departing flight to Trinidad and transfer to the world famous Asa Wright Nature Centre for four nights. Surrounded by pristine rainforest, with superb views across the Arima Valley, this is a non-profit making Wildlife Sanctuary and a world-class destination for birdwatchers. Over 170 species have been recorded at this former coffee, cocoa and citrus plantation, many of which can be seen from the wonderful verandah of the Lodge. A network of well marked trails meander through the 200 acre conservation area and there are natural pools for bathing.
The day will begin with a guided tour of the various trails. Later on you may explore them on your own, take a dip in a refreshing natural pool or simply enjoy watching the birds from the magnificent verandah. Later in the day, there will be a trip to Caroni Bird Sanctuary, an extensive area of mangrove swamp and lagoon where you will take an evening boat tour to see the breathtaking sight of flocks of stunning Scarlet Ibis returning to their roosting areas.
This morning, there will be a walking trip to visit Dunston Cave, where you can see the most accessible colony of Oilbirds in the world.
Today there will be a full day excursion to Nariva on the Atlantic East Coast, which is home to more than 200 species of birds as well as a variety of small mammals including anteaters, porcupines, monkeys, the endangered ocelot and manatee.
A short morning flight to Tobago and transfer to The Blue Waters Inn for four nights. Situated on the quiet northern point of the island with incredible views all around, this is the ideal choice for nature lovers. The hotel is secluded in the privacy of its own stunning bay and provides immediate access to some of the very best diving and bird watching in Tobago.
Newton George, our Tobago guide, will take you on a walk along the Gilpin Trace of the Tobago Forest Reserve, which is the oldest protected rainforest in the Western hemisphere and a haven for 210 bird species. There will also be an opportunity to visit the Argyll Falls or the Northern coastline.
A full day round the island tour with your guide, which will include visits to various sights of natural, cultural, historical or birding interest with lunch in a local restaurant.
You will depart from the beach in front of your hotel by glass-bottom boat to Little Tobago Bird Sanctuary. You will cross pristine coral reefs on the way and there will be a chance to snorkel at Angel Reef and see the world’s largest Brain Coral. Depending on the time of year, you will explore the island for nesting colonies of many sea birds.
A last free day to enjoy the idyllic location before it is time to transfer to the airport for evening flight back to the UK.
Arrive back in London early in the morning.