Covering 80% of the country, yet with only 2% of the population, Guyana’s rainforest is some of the best-preserved in the world. There is a real chance of seeing wildlife that would be endangered elsewhere, such as jaguar, eight monkey species, armadillos, tapirs and red-rumped agoutis.
In the forest zone the Iwokrama reserve is home to South America’s largest fish (the Arapaima), eagle (the harpy) and cat (the jaguar).
Several of the small Amerindian villages are discovering how small-scale tourism can benefit local people and provide a real interchange between cultures, one of the best examples of which is the Makushi community of Surama.
Our preferred accommodation
Lodge/Hosteria - Essequibo RiverA small lodge on the banks of the Pokerero Creek, with a small beach in front. The staff are welcoming and serve good food which is eaten on outside picnic tables. There is a small indoor sitting area.
Lodge/Hosteria - IwokramaThe Atta lodge is a comfortable lodge within the Iwokrama Forest Reserve, a short walk from the Iwokrama canopy walkway. Surrounded by pristine forest and built in collaboration with local communities using natural materials the lodge features a bar, a sitting area and good local food is served.
Lodge/Hosteria - IwokramaThe Iwokrama International Centre for Rain Forest Conservation was formed when the government of Guyana, together with the then Commonwealth Development Corporation, set aside a 370,000 hectare (nearly a million acres) area of almost pristine rainforest for preservation. The name comes from the Makushi word for ‘place of refuge’, as they fled to these mountains after an invasion from the north by the Caribs. It is hoped that the project will act as an example of how sustainable use can preserve the present biodiversity while also benefiting local communities.
Lodge/Hosteria - Surama villageJust south of Iwokrama and on the northern edge of the Rupununi. The villagers’ houses are dotted around the edges of a small savannah, there is a primary school for about 50 children and a small zoo which occasionally houses animals being studied by overseas researchers.
Lodge/Hosteria - Essequibo River1 hour by boat and 1 hour by car from Georgetown, a simple lodge with a wonderful location on the river.