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The Amerindian community of Surama benefits from an isolated and idyllic location, which provides a fascinating insight into Guyana's rainforests. The wildlife to be found here includes: tapir, spider monkey and giant river otter.

Surama's inhabitants are mainly from the Makushi tribe, whose homeland is the now-protected Iwokrama Rainforest, and still observe many of the traditional practices of their forebears.  The tiny village is the focal point of an innovative sustainable ecotourism project designed to create jobs and generate incomes for local people within the community, and thus avoid them having to move away to find work. The guides here have lived their entire lives in the rainforest, and thus have an intimate knowledge and deep understanding of this environment and how to utilise its precious resources. 

To introduce you to this world, your guide will take you on a dawn hike across the savannah and up nearby Surama Mountain, revealing fantastic vistas and a multitude of birds. Other activities include nature walks by day and/or by night in the forest, or a short hike to the nearby Burro-Burro River, followed by a paddle in a dugout canoe in search of giant river otters, tapir, tayra, spider monkey and other species. Just a short drive away is the Cock-of-the-rock Trail which, as its name suggests, is a good place to spot the Guianan cock-of-the-rock; the males of this species are particularly eye-catching due to their bright orange plumage.

The varied and contrasting habitats in the vicinity of Surama ensure you can see a diverse selection of wildlife – especially birds. Visitors are made most welcome, as ecotourism helps to preserve the forest – the very reason why most visitors come – and so provides local people with a source of income on their doorstep.

View suggested itineraries

Key info

  • Ideal for viewing: giant river otter, spider monkey, Guianan cock-of-the-rock, anaconda, tapir
  • Where: Rupununi Savannah, Guyana

Wildlife trips

This wildlife location is featured in the following itineraries:

Caribbean Wilderness

Journey to the Caribbean to explore untouched rainforest, sprawling savannahs and tropical reefs that offer a variety of captivating wildlife encounters and incredible nature experiences. This itinerary combines birding in Trinidad with the diverse wildlife and scenery of Guyana, before a few days relaxation in Tobago.

  • When to go: Sep-Apr
  • Duration inc. flights: 19 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £7,645 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Lost Land of the Jaguar

This exceptional adventure penetrates the densely forested interior of Guyana, the ‘land of many waters’. Staying in Amerindian villages and former cattle ranches, you will travel by light aircraft, four-wheel-drive vehicle, dugout canoe, and on foot, discovering the rich and colourful birdlife and searching for jaguar.

  • When to go: Sep-Apr
  • Duration inc. flights: 13 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £5,445 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Rainforests, Savannahs & Wetlands

Guyana is a tiny but wildlife rich country containing pristine rainforest. Giant river otters, caiman, extraordinary flora and lekking sites for the spectacular cock-of-the-rock, together with the spectacular Kaieteur Falls, all combine to make this tour the perfect introduction to bird and wildlife watching.

  • When to go: Nov
  • Duration inc. flights: 13 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £6,695 pp
  • Trip type: Group tour

Ultimate Guyana Nature Experience

This expertly guided group adventure takes you deep into Guyana’s pristine interior to explore its rainforests, rivers and savannahs, and see a remarkable variety of wildlife. Travelling by air, land, river and on foot you’ll stay in Amerindian villages, research stations, ranches and jungle lodges.

  • When to go: Mar-Dec
  • Duration inc. flights: 16 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £5,495 pp
  • Trip type: Group tour
Suggested accommodation is shown below. Please contact us for further recommendations.

Surama Ecolodge

Situated on the western edge of the village, Surama Lodge occupies a clearing in the savannah with picturesque views towards the rainforest and surrounding mountains. Built as a sustainable ecotourism project by and for the isolated Amerindian community, interpretative guides are on hand to accompany guests.