Welcome to
Iwokrama Rainforest Reserve

The Iwokrama Rainforest Reserve covers 3,710 square kilometers (almost a million acres) – an area so massive that it is hard to imagine its complete span. It is called the ‘Green Heart of Guyana’ for being the largest continuous woodland area and home to the best of nature – exotic wildlife including some of Guyana’s ‘giants’, as well as a diversity of bird and plant life. The Essequibo runs along the forest, livening up the ecosystem with an abundance of marine life. This was once the land of Makushis, where they hunted, fished and gathered food. History lovers will be happy to see scenes from their lives, depicted in petroglyphs around the region. Little-disturbed stretches of this virgin forest can be explored from different eco-lodges in the forest. Iwokrama’s biodiversity makes it one of the best wildlife destinations of South America.

Getting To And Around

Iwokrama Reserve is accessible via a short flight from Georgetown or road from any major town in Guyana via the Linden-Lethem Road.

Air

The closest airstrip to Iwokrama lies in the Fairview Village, which falls in the middle of the Georgetown to Lethem overland route. Multiple flights can be chartered during the day which allows for quick transfers. If you are short on time, Trans Guyana Airways offers a day trip that combines Iwokrama with Kaieteur Falls.

Road

Regional buses, private minibuses and 4x4 vehicles are the best way to travel the 6 to 8-hour long journey from the capital city of the country, Georgetown. This journey is longer than a quick flight but is the best way to see the rainforest up close and personal.

THINGS TO SEE AND DO

Wildlife Spotting & Birding

The field station found at the Iwokrama River Lodge is a good base to hire naturalists and go on walking trails or boat rides to spot capybaras, giant river otters, and arapaima. If you’re lucky, it’s possible to spot sloths bears, Harpy Eagles, and even jaguar. The easiest wildlife to spot is the resident black caiman, Sankar, who hangs around to greet you as you approach the lodge. The night-time trips to spot the nocturnal ‘creatures of the night’ are even more exciting in the thick forests when the sounds of the jungle seem more menacing, and caiman eyes shine like diamonds in the waters. Birders come with long checklists, often with Crimson Topaz, Crimson Fruitcrow, Great Jacamar, Golden-sided Euphonia, Violaceous Trogon, Buff-throated Woodcreeper, Guianan Red Cotinga, and Black-headed Parrots on their short lists. With roughly 500 species, Iwokrama has been identified as one of the best birding destinations of the world.

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Indian House Island Boat Tour

An early morning tour is highly recommended to circumnavigate this small island. You will hear the jungle come alive with the sounds of red howler monkeys and scores of birds. The area around the island is also a nesting site for giant river turtles during the dry season.

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Fairview Village

Fair View is the only indigenous community located inside the vicinity of the forest and was once the hub of cattle-rearing and balata trading. The village is home to approximately 200 families of Makushi Indigenous Peoples who are happy to take visitors around the village.

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Kurupukari Falls, Toro Falls, Petroglyphs & Stanley Lake

Use Fairview Village as the base to explore a number of sights close by.

  • Only a ten-minute walk or a short boat ride from Fairview lies the Kurupukari Waterfall. On the same trip, one can also see the 6000-year-old petroglyphs, which were made by the current resident’s ancestors. The petroglyphs are essentially line drawings chiselled on rock face that depict daily life. There are some other sights close by too.
  • Stanley Lake is surrounded by dense forests, and is home to howler monkeys, jaguars and other iconic animals of the Iwokrama forest. The waters are soothing to the eyes as well as offer re wards of spotting giant river otters, giant river turtles and arapaimas.
  • It is said that the cool blue waters of the Toro Falls once sustained the ancient Makushi people when they first came to Iwokrama. The 30-foot falls lie south of Fairview Village and offer an idyllic location to take a is dip into after hiking the nature trails.
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Turtle Mountain Camp

The 950-foot-high mountain gets its name from a lake of the same name that lies at the base. A boat ride to the trailhead and an invigorating 90-minute hike rewards with expansive, cliff-side views of swathes of green all around. Expect unique bird life, small mammals, and pristine rainforest along the hike.

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Iwokrama Mountain Trail

Avid trekkers will love this 12.5 kilometre rigorous and often times steep hike set in the wilderness dotted with creeks, waterfalls and thick vegetation. At an elevation of 3000 feet atop the mountain, trekkers will experience the cooling breeze and stellar views. This complete jungle immersion allows close proximity to wild animals and birds and is ideal for any nature lover.

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Atta Rainforest Lodge & Canopy Walkway

The comfortable, well-appointed, and conveniently-located Atta Rainforest Lodge make it a regular stopover on the Linden-Lethem Road. The highlight of this property is the canopy walkway. The 154-meter state-of-the-art canopy walk offers a unique experience of being eye level with the birds. A series of suspension bridges and decks up to 30 meters off of the ground allow an alternative view of the treetops and their fascinating occupants.
Timings: Dawn to dusk (depending on your tour schedule); Entry Fee: US$25 per person for the canopy walkway tour.

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Sport Fishing

The Essequibo, Burro Burro and Siparuni Rivers that run through the Iwokrama Rainforest Reserve are hot spots for sport fishing enthusiasts. The peacock bass or lukanani, piraiba, and banana fish are the most popular species to fish for along these rivers. All visitors need to adhere to catch and release fly fishing, which is why the fishing is so good here. Paraiba Lodge is a great base for fishing.

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SAVE Travel

The Iwokrama International Centre for Rain Forest Conservation and Development illustrates how tropical forests can be used as a living laboratory for scientists and researchers and conserved and sustainably used for ecological, social and economic benefits.

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