On the north-eastern coast of South America and one of the few Caribbean countries that is not an island, Guyana has preserved the vast majority of its rainforest in pristine form, replete with all the creatures, big and small, who call it home. This presents an opportunity for firsthand exploration found in few other places on earth. No touts, no tour bus traffic jams, even postcards and souvenirs are in short supply. When you visit Guyana, you encounter something that’s hard to find these days: a magnificent, untrammelled place.
As South America’s only English-speaking country, Guyana also offers something less dramatic but equally valuable to the curious traveller – opportunities to engage directly with the people
Kaieteur Falls is the world’s highest single drop waterfall, located on the Potaro River in the Kaieteur National Park, Guyana. Its first, single drop, is 226 metres high. It then flows over a series of steep cascades that bring the total height to 251 metres. Kaieteur is among the most powerful waterfalls in the world with an average flow rate of 663 cubic metres per second.
For comparison, Kaieteur Falls is about four times higher than the Niagara Falls Canada, and about twice the height of the Victoria Falls, on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The Iwokrama Forest is a vast wilderness of nearly one million acres – a protected area and homeland of the Makushi people. A unique blend of technology, ancient culture, and traditional knowledge, Iwokrama fulfils its mandate and promise to the world.
From the Iwokrama Lodge you can retrace the footsteps of the Makushi people, wander extensive trails and discover the flora, fauna and Amerindian history so special to this tropical region. With an unparalleled abundance of wildlife, the Iwokrama Forest is an extraordinary destination for naturalists, birders and for those seeking an authentic retreat to the rainforest.
Guyana, one of the last largely unexplored frontiers in South America, is a land where everything is on a supersized scale; aside from its giant trees and epic waterfalls, it is home to many of the continent’s – and often the world’s – biggest creatures. Among them are the Giant River Otter, one of the largest otters of the world’s 13 otter species, which used to range throughout South America’s tropical lowland rainforests and wetlands but is now endangered; Giant Anteater that can grow to more than 2m long and, when cornered, able to fight off a puma or jaguar; Arapaima, at more than 3m long and weighing up to 180kg, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish; Harpy Eagle, the biggest and most powerful raptor in the Americas; and Anacondas and Jaguars, respectively the largest reptile and feline in the western hemisphere.
Giant flora are well represented by Guyana’s many huge trees, as well as by the Victoria Amazonica lily that is featured on the country’s coat of arms, with leaves 3m across and a submerged stalk 7-8m long.
Georgetown has beautiful tree-lined streets combined with interesting Dutch and Victorian architecture from its days as a colony, it is the capital of Guyana. Georgetown lies below the high-tide level, protected by a seawall with a series of canals crisscrossing the city. Georgetown, originally called Stabroek, was the ideal location for a European presence in the Caribbean; rich in timber, bauxite, gold and diamonds and sugar cane. The Spanish, Dutch, French and English all tried to lay claim.
Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba
Sacred Valley, Peru
Haciendas ‘estates’ are found across much of South America and may have been plantations, cattle or sheep ranches. Most date from the 18th & 19th centuries and offer guests an opportunity to glimpse the world of the land barons and their famed horsemen. These beautiful colonial residences, set in extensive gardens or on wide farmland, retain their original style and ambiance, with high beamed ceilings, open fireplaces, and spacious rooms filled with antique furnishings.
Iwokrama River Lodge
In the rainforests and jungles of Guyana choose from a small range of eco-lodges – from a comfortable retreat among the forest, to a complex of thatched cabañas in a lakeside location on a private reserve, to remote and rustic cottages offering a truly authentic experience. All lodges are eco-conscious and dedicated to conservation management and preservation of their environment.
Amazon River, Peru
Often the best way to observe dramatic scenery or experience the wonders in a world of amazing flora and fauna is by boat. And if you are looking for a voyage that will also offer the comfort of excellent facilities, there are several exclusive and sophisticated vessels that will fulfil your wish.
South America Travel Centre can look after all aspects of your holiday, including flights and travel insurance.
We start by asking you what your interests are and where you are interested in, when, for how long, what standard and style of accommodation. Once we have a good understanding of just what you’re looking for, we can begin to create a holiday to meet your time and budget requirements and, most importantly, that will deliver interest and enjoyment in an experience to exceed your expectations.
Please book early. Many of the hotels and lodges we recommend are relatively small. This exclusivity combined with high demand means they can be booked out up to 6-8 months in advance.
If you’re thinking of travelling during any major holidays like Christmas, New Year and Easter, or during any festivals, our advice is simply to book as early as you can, even 12 months or more, and we can add flights as soon as they become available.
Australian citizens do not require a visa to enter Guyana You will need to hold a valid passport and have a return ticket when you arrival.
It is strongly recommended that all travellers to Guyana be vaccinated for yellow fever before commencing their trip.
Vaccinations are advised for common diseases like Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid as well as Influenza. There are no compulsory vaccinations.
We advise you to consult a Travel Doctor specialist prior to departure to assess any health risks in relation to your medical history and travel plans.
We have access to a wide range of airfares and have excellent relationships with our key airline partners. Our two main airline partners in Latin America are LATAM Airlines, QANTAS Airlines and Air New Zealand. We can also arrange internal flights for you within Latin America.
Irrespective of whether you book directly with us or with your preferred travel agent, we’ll request the details of all of your fights to ensure if there are any changes your transfers and other arrangements are adjusted accordingly.
Warm year-round. Best time September to April
Each pickup/drop off was on time. My guides were very friendly, had great English, and were passionate about what they did. All hotels were faultless. I would have to say that Andrea from Buenos Aires was the best guide of a fantastic bunch. Andrea was there to greet me on my first arrival into BA, took me to the ferry for my trip to Colonia and made sure I was checked in, and was there to pick me up. She was also there to send me on my way to Ushuaia at the ungodly hour of the morning and pick me up again after the cruise, to sending me on my way the next day to Iguazu. I was most impressed at the efforts the guides went to in order to streamline the check-in process at the airport, making sure I got to the immigration area. I have never seen or experienced such attentiveness or helpfulness. Thank you for putting this trip together for me, it was the best trip that I have been on, and I have done some out there trips. From the hotels, to the destinations, the ground arrangements, everything went off without a hitch. I truly appreciate what you did to make this trip amazing.
Our trip was absolutely outstanding thank you so much for your incredible efforts in what was such an incredibly short turn around. We are so grateful, it was the most amazing trip and every day was as good as the other! Anyone who has asked about our trip or has mentioned they are travelling or wanting to travel to South America I have put them straight onto South America Travel Centre. Thank you for all of your prompt responses, quick turn around and thorough knowledge, understanding, expertise and advice. Your service was second to none. It was outstanding and we are truly grateful. Please pass on our gratitude to the wider team as well for helping pull a once in a lifetime experience together for us in three days! We are so thankful for the afterhours and overtime you put in also, we couldn’t have had the amazing trip that we did at such late notice without you.
Being in our late 70 and having only travelled with groups, never on our own, we were a little apprehensive not speaking Spanish how well we would manage? I have nothing but praise for the service we received from South America Travel Centre. We were met at every destination by a knowledgeable person not always able to speak English but well able to take us to hotels, return us to bus stations and air ports, and check us in. Those who spoke English told us about their town the best places to eat. A wonderful holiday expertly organised and every little detail taken care of. Thank you South America Travel Centre.