Last Updated on June 26, 2019 by

Planning a trip to Guyana? Here’s a detailed 10-day Guyana itinerary from my friend Giulia Cimarosti who has just returned from an epic adventure.

guyana itinerary - 10 days in guyana

Guyana: raw, wild and untamed. As cliche as it sounds, Guyana is the best-kept secret of South America. Not many have heard of it, or can point it out on a map. It is a largely unexplored nation, with vast savannas and jungles waiting to be uncovered.

Guyana sits on the Guiana Shield, probably the oldest rock formation on the planet stretching back a few billion years. 80% of the country is covered with unexplored rainforest. The pristine, untouched land is home to plenty of wildlife —  from jaguar to red howler monkeys, giant anteater to puma, black caiman, and capybara.

My 10-day Guyana travel took me deep into its wild interior — hiking through its virgin rainforests, riding through the savannah on horseback, sleeping under the stars and kayaking down the meandering rivers. Guyana impressed me with its unparalleled wildlife opportunities and pristine, virgin wilderness. Every bit of it was well worth the mud, bumpy roads and sweat.

10 Days in Guyana: My Itinerary & Tips

My Guyana Itinerary

Guyana is a mostly uninhabited, unexplored country and it’s not easy to explore it on your own, especially if you are planning a savannah or jungle adventure, hiking, kayaking and so on. You simply cannot do these things on your own.

We traveled with a British adventure outfitter, Bushmasters, who provided an excellent staff: a local guide, Ian the adventure tour leader, and two car technicians for our vehicles. Vehicles such as 4x4s and ATVs were provided by Bushmasters as well as camping equipment and food. The trip wouldn’t have been so exciting and adventurous if we hadn’t traveled with them.

Guyana Travel: My Detailed Guide & Tips

guyana itinerary - bushmasters

My Trip Details

Travel Dates: November

Season: Dry season

Weather: The weather is always hot and humid in Guyana. The best time to travel Guyana is between September and April. It is rain – or lack thereof – which makes the difference. Roads can get really muddy and traveling becomes very hard outside of the dry season. If you’re wondering what to pack for Guyana, refer to this Guyana packing list.

My Guyana Itinerary

Guyana Itinerary Day 1: Rest in Georgetown

The Cheddi Jagan International Airport (IATA: GEO) is the only international airport in Guyana, so you’ll most probably land here. After a long journey from home, it’s time to relax at your hotel in Georgetown. I wouldn’t recommend planning much for your first night here as you’ll need all the rest you can get before the big adventure!

Stay at: Roraima Duke Lodge, Georgetown

We stayed at the Roraima Duke Lodge on our first in Georgetown. They have a swimming pool, huge rooms – ours had 2 double beds – with big showers, good wifi and good food with an restaurant. There is also an outside bar area which is more informal.

Read TripAdvisor Reviews here!

guyana itinerary - monument in georgetown

Itinerary Day 2: To the Jungle

It’s time to head to the wilderness! Head to the Eugene F. Correia International Airport for your domestic flight to Lethem. The transfer takes about 90 minutes without considering traffic. Our group actually got a police escort (!) to make it on time. Make sure that your travel agency plans the transfer well in advance and on time for your next flight!

The flight from Georgetown to Lethem takes just about 1 hour. Lethem is on the border with Brazil. This is the biggest town in the Rupununi region and the hub for the vast majority of movement in and out of the savannahs.

If you sign up for an adventure tour like I did, you’ll be meeting your guide in Lethem and issued with the gear you’ll need for the coming week. Meet the ATV and 4×4 vehicles you will be driving around the savannah. Learn the basics of how they operate and how to do daily maintenance so they work at their best.

Also, the guide will provide all the food you will need for the days across the savannah. That usually includes snacks during the day and an actual K-ration meal every night, cooked over the camp fire.

guyana travel itinerary - exploring the savanna on atv

Stay at: Takutu Hotel

We stayed at the Takutu Hotel the night before starting our savannah adventure and it was the perfect place to enjoy all comforts for the “last time”: air-con, wifi working fairly well, delicious food and friendly staff. Rooms were clean, basic but equipped with a minibar, soap bars, towels and a mosquito net.

The hotel is located on one of the main roads in Lethem and has a popular bar outside to enjoy fresh juices and local beer. You may want to leave a clean outfit here for when you come back. You will thank me later!

Read Reviews here!

Itinerary Day 3: Savannah Adventure Begins!

Get ready to leave Lethem to begin your trip around the savannah of Southern Rupununi. You’ll get to do all the driving, including crossing rivers, savannah, hills and other obstacles that come your way. Take turns driving ATVs and 4x4s, all day long until the guide finds a good spot for camping along the Takatu river.

After a whole day of fun on wheels, it’s time to learn how to mount your hammock. You’ll be sleeping under the stars tonight! Don’t forget to hang all your belongings on the cords and hooks – and to shake them well before use. You don’t want to find insects or any creepy crawlies in your shoes or backpack.

What to Pack for Guyana

guyana itinerary - fun on atv

Enjoy a Night under the Stars

After setting up your hammock, enjoy the best moment of the day: jumping into the creek for a well deserved bath! You can take advantage of this moment to freshen up and to wash your clothes. Meanwhile, your guide will prepare the campfire and you can start heating up your food. It doesn’t matter what you are eating really — after a long day in the scorching heat and in the dust of the trail, it will taste like the best meal of your life!

I absolutely loved sleeping in the hammock (some might find it hard at first). I will never forget the moment when I zipped the mosquito net, turned off my headlamp and found myself gently hanging in the hammock in the complete darkness. I could hear all the different noises of the savannah — it was mind-blowing!

guyana itinerary - sleeping under the stars

Itinerary Day 3: Go Deeper into the Savannah

It’s going to be an early morning as you crawl out of your hammock at daybreak.  Head straight to the campfire for some coffee and oatmeal! Today, you’ll be heading back to the open savannah for a long day of driving.

The route will bring you to a few Wapishana indigenous villages incuding Sawarinau. It’s a good opportunity to chat with locals. I found them extremely nice and welcoming. When we were there, the mayor even came to introduce himself and tell us all about life in the village. All the villages we saw were obviously struggling — but people were always dignified and full of pride.

It’s another day of driving through the infinite landscapes of South Rupununi. Then, in the afternoon, you’ll set up camp at a beautiful spot by the creek. 

Two Weeks in Brazil: My Itinerary

guyana itinerary - meeting locals

Itinerary Day 4: Reach Saddle Mountain Ranch

After breakfast, we headed on our last drive through the savannah, reaching Saddle Mountain Ranch just before lunch time. You’ll see why Saddle Mountain was given its name — just look at its shape! 

One of the most beautiful spots in the savannah, this small (50 sq mil) family ranch still maintains the traditions of the original vaqueros. Here you will ride local style, round up cattle, lasso the calves, and help Tommy – the owner of the ranch – in branding the new borns in the corral.

guyana itinerary - horses

Dig in to Yummy Guyanese Food

The first meal at Saddle Mountain Ranch will be an explosion of taste and happiness after the days camping and eating K-rations! The food here is delicious and prepared with fresh produce and meat from the ranch. After lunch, the cowboy experience begins: wear your jeans, leather leggings and hat because you’re going horseback riding in the savannah until just before sunset! 

At night, sit outdoors under the stars! Oh did I mention the ranch doesn’t have electricity? You’ll get to enjoy the clear sky and countless stars above you, with Saddle Mountain’s shape on the horizon.

guyana itinerary - sleeping at Saddle Mountain Ranch

Stay at: Saddle Mountain Ranch

The Saddle Mountain Ranch is an actual ranch where people live taking care of cattle and horses, goats and hens, cats and dogs, and so on. At Saddle Mountain you can experience the real ranch life, feeling like a cowboy at sundown and sunset, cantering on your horse in spectacular landscapes, with Saddle Mountain always in sight. At the ranch you will also learn everything about the Rupununi Rodeo which takes place in April every year and attracts visitor from Guyana and abroad too.

guyana itinerary - horse ranch

Itinerary Day 5: Go Horse-riding 

Expect to be awoken by the sounds of roosters. Get up before sunrise to witness the spectacular colors in the sky at dawn! While the sun is still low, head out on another horse ride to explore the surrounding savanna.

A delicious and heavy breakfast will follow — with eggs, bacon, vegetables and fruit, as well as warm fried bread, coffee and fruit juices. With a full belly, it’s time to practice lassoing before going to the corral to check out the branding and castration of calves. I didn’t do it, but this is normal life at the ranch and it doesn’t stop when travelers are around.

A Two-Week Chile and Easter Island Itinerary for Adventure Seekers

guyana itinerary - horse riding

Swim in a Creek

After the dusty and hot experience at the corral, head over to a beautiful creek right outside the ranch. Clear and fresh water, palm trees all around and small fish swimming all around the creek! This place really looks like an oasis.

Enjoy another delicious lunch and you’ll have some time to relax before your last sunset horse ride. Crossing the creek on my horse just before sunset will stay in my fondest travel memories. There was silence — except for the sound of my horse’s feet splashing in the water. I had to stop for a few seconds to take it all in. 

guyana itinerary - sunset

Itinerary Day 6: Kayak back to Lethem

On your final day in the savannah, you will leave Saddle Mountain behind and head north to the border with Brazil and the Takatu River. Jump into inflatable two-man kayaks and start the paddle downstream back to Lethem.

The Takatu is a big river which eventually flows into the Amazon at Manaus. In dry season, the water level can drop a lot and huge sand bars start appearing. You’ll find yourself zigzagging through the narrow channel most of the time. Our kayak journey lasted about 2 hours before we deflated our kayaks on a sandy river bank not far from Lethem. It was time to leave the wilderness and into jump back on our car!

Going back to an air conditioned hotel was a real treat. I noticed that Lethem didn’t feel as hot as it felt like when we first arrived. Enjoy your afternoon in Lethem where there’s really not much to do in town but at least you can finally properly shower and have a drink! Leave all the camping equipment here, and the following day you will start the “comfortable” part of the trip.

guyana itinerary - takatu river

Stay at: Takutu Hotel

We stayed at the Takutu Hotel once again as it’s the best option in town. The hotel is located on one of the main roads in Lethem and has a popular bar outside to enjoy fresh juices and local beer. 

Read Reviews here!

Itinerary Day 7: Visit Kaieteur Falls

Today, it’s time to visit the most famous sight of Guyana! Jump on a 16 seater plane to get to Kaieteur Falls via the Tepui Mountains for breathtaking fly-bys in the middle of the jungle. 

Before landing at Kaieteur Falls, our pilot flew by the falls many times from different angles, so that we could enjoy the views and take photos. After this exciting experience, we landed at Kaieteur Falls and had a two-hour stop over to get up close and personal with these spectacular waterfalls.

Guyana Travel: My Detailed Guide & Tips

Reaching the two viewpoints is really quick: there is a short and easy path – admittedly not wheelchair accessible. It takes just a few minutes to reach the first viewpoint.  The first viewpoint is closer to the waterfalls and you’ll get to see the falls amidst some vegetation. The second waterfall gives you a wider view of the whole waterfalls. You’ll also see the river flowing into the canyon right before you.

For the first time in days, we met some other tourists, but they were just a handful. There is no construction next to the waterfalls, except for an old wooden guesthouse a few km away. The airstrip is also just a few minutes’ walk away. Hopefully it will stay this way forever. 

guyana itinerary - kaieteur falls

Itinerary Day 8: Explore the Essequibo River

After arriving back in Georgetown, I recommend taking a boat trip on the Essequibo River, Guyana’s longest river. Starting in the Acarai Mountains near the Brazil-Guyana border, the Essequibo flows to the north for 1,014 kilometres (630 mi) through forest and savanna into the Atlantic Ocean. 

Brazil in Photos: Waterfalls, Beaches, Street Art and Carnaval

guyana itinerary - boat trip

Visit the Forts Islands

Along the journey, you will get to visit forts built by the Dutch. One of the most interesting forts is Fort Zeelandia, a Dutch fort built in 1743 for the Essequibo colony. It is among the oldest structures in Guyana. There are also several resorts on the fort islands as well as small waterfalls where you can swim in. I recommend having lunch at one of the beautiful resorts.

After a long day on an off the boat, enjoy a delicious dinner at one of the most famous restaurants in Georgetown — Bistro on ground floor at King’s Hotel. While service is noticeably slow – remember, we are in the Caribbean! – food is simply amazing. Lobster, steak or vegetarian burger? Everything will be served with hot sauce of course! 

guyana itinerary - fort zeelandia

Stay at: The King’s Hotel

We stayed at King’s Hotel, one of the best hotels in Guyana. This was the best hotel we stayed at, modern, with a sleek style, comfortable and with an excellent location. Rooms are huge and everything is clearly recently renovated. This hotel is very well known in the city because of Bistro, its fine dining restaurant. The food there was simply amazing. A real treat at the end of an adventurous trip!

Book Your Stay here!

Itinerary Day 9: See more of Georgetown

Get a Culinary Experience 

Today you will have the opportunity to explore the city properly. The first place I recommend checking out is the local market, where you can sample locally grown produce. Delven Adams, the owner and chef of Backyard Cafe, brought us for a walk in the local market and introduced us to the street vendors. He also got us to try some fruits and herbs, and showed us the ingredients that we would need for lunch.

After the market tour, we head back to Backyard Cafe, a restaurant Delven set up in his own home.  His food was outrageously good and fresh. And it was interesting to get to know Delven, listen to his stories and learn how he’s helping the community with his business. Backyard Cafe is quickly becoming very popular in Georgetown and highly worth a visit if you want to learn more about Guyanese culinary culture!

guyana itinerary - chillies at the market

guyana itinerary - backyard cafe

See Manatees in its Central Park

After lunch, it’s time to head out and see more of Georgetown. The city center offers a variety of sights such as St George’s Cathedral, Stabroek Market, and the Parliament. There’s also the central park with manatees in its ponds, that is quite an interesting sight — though not something that might interest animal rights activists.

Also check out the “1763 Monument” dedicated to the slaves revolt, as well as the seafront which is located 2 meters below sea level and therefore protected by concrete barriers built by the Dutch. You can see most of these sights in one day.

guyana itinerary - manatee in central park

Itinerary day 10: Fly Home!

Today you will have a few last hours to enjoy Georgetown and maybe shop for souvenirs before heading home.

In 10 days, you’d have seen a little bit of everything in Guyana, experiencing what the country can offer. I hope this 10-days Guyana itinerary has been useful for you. Leave me comments below if you have any questions!

READ MORE: Guyana Travel Guide

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guyana itinerary- 10 days in guyana


Disclaimer: This trip was made possible by Guyana Tourism Authority and Blogilicious. As always, all opinions expressed above are our own.