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Guyana lies at the point where theCaribbean meets South America onits North Atlantic seaboard.Although little known, it is nonetheless awonderful country, blessed with unspoilednatural beauty and great rivers, waterfallsand unexplored rainforest. Truly a timelessparadise, Guyana is a land of immensebiodiversity. Here, Jaguars still roam theforests; rivers hold Giant River Otter, BlackCaiman and Arapaima (the world's largestfreshwater fish) . and Harpy Eagle andGuianan Cock-of-the-rock thrive amongstan avifauna of over 700 species. Our holiday begins with a transfer by boatto Arrowpoint Nature Resort, an idylliclodge set within the Amerindian reserve ofSanta. The lodge is surrounded by a varietyof interesting habitats, including openmarshland, scattered stands of MorichePalm and tall sandbelt forest. There is agood trail system here (which we will bemaking full use of this afternoon) andadditionally there is an attractive option ofbirding by canoe along the more peacefulstretches of water upstream. Sungrebesand Sunbitterns frequent the creeks, whileRed-shouldered Macaws nest in theMoriche Palms in front of the lodge. From here our adventure will continue withan extended tour of Guyana's remoteinterior. A morning flight takes us to themajestic and breathtaking Kaieteur Falls.Situated in the heart of Guyana on thePotaro River, a tributary of the Essequibo,Kaieteur was first seen by Europeans in1870. With a sheer drop of 228 metres, thefalls are five times the height of Niagara,and their pounding waters create aneternal rainbow over the mist-coveredboulders of the gorge. There is no waterfallin the world discharging so much waterover such a great drop! Nearby, the table-top summit of a tepuis(the classic 'LostWorld-like' table-top mountain typical ofthe region), on which our plane lands,supports an amazing ecosystem which wewill explore, hoping to encounter a maleGuianan Cock-of-the-rock in full display!With a backdrop of rolling, grass-coveredhills, this is one of the most stunninglocations in Guyana's remote interior. We continue south to Annai, the Rupununi'snorthernmost Amerindian community, fromwhere we transfer to Iwokrama Rainforestand, later, the local community of Surama.From the research station at Iwokrama, wewill make a pre-dawn visit to a 'canopywalkway', set deep within the IwokramaRainforest, to enjoy the dawn and itsassociated peak period of bird activity. Ourviewing platform high in the forest canopyoffers views across the treetops and accessto birds rarely visible from the ground,possibly including the magnificent HarpyEagle. Here we awake to the roar of RedHowler Monkeys and the calls of toucans.Rainforest mammals, though neverconspicuous, are well represented atIwokrama and, with luck, we may encounterthe impressive Black Spider Monkey andshaggy Guianan Saki, as well as a BandedTamandua, Kinkajou, or even the elusiveJaguar. Iwokrama is rapidly gaining aninternational reputation for its healthyJaguar population and we will certainly beon the look out for this most impressive ofSouth American cats. Large macaws arestill wonderfully common, and we should betreated to daily flights of Blue-and-yellow,Red-and-green and Scarlet Macaws.Next we drive to Rock View Lodge at Annaiwhere we will have time to enjoy all thecomforts that our luxurious accommodationhas to offer, as well as to explore thePakaraima foothills and enjoy theirpanoramic views across vast savannahs.A boat transfer then takes us to arguablythe highlight of the tour, Karanambu Ranch,where endless rainforest dramatically givesway to a rolling savannah that is sliced byrivers and broken by hills which risesuddenly from the plains. This is theRupununi Savannah, a vast land of hugeskies and sun-scorched plains, interruptedby patches ofscrub and riparianwoodland, swamps and lakes, togetherwith a scattering of Amerindian villagesand cattle ranches. Karanambu is anisolated cattle ranch and former home ofDiane McTurk, famous for her workrehabilitating orphaned Giant River Ottersto the wild. Here we will explore the mazeof lagoons along the Rupununi River withDiane's family, in search of Giant RiverOtters, Red Howler Monkeys, Capybaraand Black Caiman. The quiet backwatershere are home to the legendary Arapaima,the largest of all scaled freshwater fish.Lakes and ponds are crammed withJabirus, egrets, herons and otherwaterbirds, and blanketed by theenormous pads of the Victoria amazonicawater lily, Guyana's national flower. On onemorning we may make an early start toreach an area of rolling grassland which issometimes home to a population of GiantAnteaters. With luck, and with the help ofthe vacquerosriding barefoot in thestirrup, we will locate one of these 2-metrelong animals excavating its breakfast fromone of the red termite mounds that studthe savannah. Finally, a little culture in colonialGeorgetown, together with a visit to theBotanical Gardens where the astonishingBlood-coloured Woodpecker is apossibility, will round off what is likely to bean unforgettable tour.Guyana - A Timeless ParadiseAn exciting 17-day holiday in search of the birds, mammals and other natural history amongst thepristine rainforests, rivers and savannahs of a little-known and unspoiled South American country.Monday 5th November - Wednesday 21st November 2012 Cost: £4,695Sunday 10th November - Tuesday 26th November 2013 Cost: £4,795Outline itineraryDay 1Fly Georgetown.Day 2/3Arrowpoint NatureResort.Day 4/6Kaieteur Falls andIwokrama River Lodge.Day 7Atta Rainforest Lodge.Day 8/9Surama Eco Lodge.Day 10/11Rock View Lodge.Day 12/14Karanambu Ranch.Day 15Georgetown.Day 16Depart Georgetown.Day 17Arrive London.Accommodation A mixture of the best availablehotels and lodges, some a littlebasic, most with private facilities.FoodIncluded in the price, except forevening meals in Georgetown.Allow £30.GradingA. Easy day walks only.FocusBirds, mammals and a little culture.LeaderRon Allicock.Single room supplement£430 (where available).Web quick search: GUY01206Call now or visit your free Trip ItineraryATLANTIC OCEAN VENEZUELA BRAZIL SURINAM GUYANA KARANAMBUROCKVIEWIWOKRAMAFIELD STATIONMOUNT RORAIMA SURAMAKAIETEURFALLSGEORGETOWN ARROWPOINTKaieteur FallsGiantAnteater

Peru epitomises what, for many of us,are those unique characteristicswhich make South America sofascinating: a profoundly rich history andculture; wonderfully varied geography andtopography, including some of the mostspectacular scenery and biodiverseecosystems on Earth; and, of course, an immense bird list comprising over 1,700 species!This tour focuses on three of the mostrewarding sites in southern Peru. First, we visit the country's most importantmarine nature reserve along the Pacificcoast, then the south-eastern rainforestand isolated macaw clay-lick on the remote upper Tambopata River. Finally, we visit South America's best known andmost spectacular archaeological site, Machu Picchu. We start from Lima, heading south alongthe Pan-American highway through someof the driest deserts on earth. Calling in atthe small fishing village of Pucusana forlunch and a boat trip, we should arrive atParacas in the late afternoon. The nextmorning, weather permitting, we will offerthe chance to fly over the famous NascaLines in a light aircraft whilst others mayprefer to continue exploring the habitatsaround the peninsula in search of suchspecialities as Coastal Miner, PeruvianThick-knee and Peruvian Shear-tail. TheBallestas Islands and the Península deParacas make up La Reserva National deParacas, the most important wildlifesanctuary on the Peruvian coast. During amorning excursion on a small launch wehope to see Humboldt Penguin, PeruvianPelican, Peruvian Booby, Peruvian Tern andthe beautiful Inca Tern amongst theSouthern Sea Lions and many other birds. Back in the capital, a domestic flight takesus high over the majestic Andes and downinto the Amazon Basin and the jungleboom-town of Puerto Maldonado. A 4-hourmotorised canoe journey takes us up theTambopata River to a comfortable junglelodge, our base for one night. From herewe strike out upstream, away fromcivilisation, and stay beside one of nature'smost spectacular sights; at dawn the nextday, with dry weather, we hope to seehundreds of Scarlet, Red-and-green andBlue-and-yellow Macaws descending ontoan almost vertical bank of red clay to takeadvantage of the high mineral and saltcontent of the soil. It should be a sight tobehold, and one of the highlights of ourholiday. Our days will be spent on the trailsthat take us through superb virginfloodplain rainforest as we search for innerforest birds, such primates as Red Howler,Dusky Titi, Brown Capuchin, SquirrelMonkeys and, with luck, the endangeredBlack Spider Monkey. The lowlandrainforest ecosystem is a fascinating oneand there is so much to learn. For thosewishing to do so there are clear rainforeststreams to bathe in and, on red-letter days,the sighting of a Brazilian Tapir or a GiantRiver Otter is not out of the question. Ahandful of our groups in recent years havealso had magnificent views of Jaguar. After two nights we descend to the junglelodge for one night, before flying to Cuscoin the heart of the Andes for the final leg of the trip.Our first afternoon will wisely be spentacclimatising to the altitude in Cusco with agentle city tour. Next, we will enjoy a dayexploring the area, including a visit to theHuacarpay lakes. We will look out forCinnamon, Speckled and Puna Teal,Andean Negrito, Wren-like Rushbird, Many-coloured Rush-tyrant, BeardedMountaineer and Cinereous Harrier. Moving around to the north of Cusco andthe Pisac ruins, we hope to see Chestnut-breasted Mountain-finch and BeardedMountaineer amongst a fine selection ofAndean birds. We will be free in theevenings to explore some of Cusco'svaried restaurants and perhaps samplesome of the local culinary specialities. We will next undertake one of the world'sclassic hikes. Five easy-paced days on thefamous Inca Trail will allow ample time foracclimatisation, some rewardingbirdwatching and stunning scenery enroute to the World Heritage site of The LostCity of the Incas, Machu Picchu. Far toomany people visit this spectacular area ona day-trip from Cusco and miss out on thetime needed to fully appreciate this uniquelocation. Ours will be an experience neverto be forgotten. Finally, we must take the train along theUrubamba Valley back to Cusco, where we stay overnight before our return to Lima and, after a city tour, our onwardflight to London. *Although our early October tour is ourdedicated 'non-trek' departure, non-trekkers are also welcome on the otherdepartures, where alternatives can bearranged.Peru - Macaws & Machu PicchuAn 18-day holiday combining Peru's most important marine nature reserve, the ancient Inca capital of Cusco, the classic trek through the Andes to Machu Picchu, and one of the world's finest wildlife spectacles: an isolated macaw clay-lick on the upper Tambopata River in the south-eastern rainforest.Wednesday 12th June - Saturday 29th June Cost: £3,995Thursday 12th September - Sunday 29th September Cost: £3,995Wednesday 2nd October - Saturday 19th October Cost: £4,095*(*This tour is a non-trekking departure, visiting Manu cloudforest instead of the Inca Trail)Book direct on 01962 733051or see page 284 for Booking InformationPISCOCUSCOMANUTAMBOPATAMACHUNATIONAL PARKPARACASPICCHU& BALLESTASISLANDSPACIFICOCEANPERULIMABOLIVIACHILE ECUADORCOLOMBIABRAZILPUERTOMALDONADOOutline itineraryDay 1Fly Lima.Day 2Coastal Peru; Paracas.Day 3Nasca Lines.Day 4Ballestas Islands.Day 5/8Tambopata rainforest.Day 9/10Cusco.Day 11/15Inca Trail to MachuPicchu.Day 16Machu Picchu and trainto Cusco.Day 17Lima.Day 18 Arrive London.AccommodationA mixture of comfortable lodges andhotels, most with private facilities,and fully serviced camping.FoodAll included in the price exceptevening meals in Cusco. Allow £50.GradingEasy day walks only, though IncaTrail is fairly strenuous (Grade B+).FocusBirds, mammals and culture.LeaderPepe Moscoso, Percy Avendaño,Andy Smith or Byron Palacios, pluslocal guides.Single room supplement£495.ExtensionsMany optional extensions areavailable. Some suggestionsinclude Lake Titicaca, theGalápagos and Arequipa and theColca Canyon. Please call for ourhelp and suggestions.Web quick search: PER04(non-trek PER06)207Red-and-green MacawsMachuPicchuBlue-and-yellow Macaws