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“UNWELCOMING”

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Caiman House Field Station
Ranked #1 of 1 Yupukari B&B and Inns
GreenLeadersGold level
Panama
Level Contributor
31 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“UNWELCOMING”
Reviewed 30 April 2014

You don't expect luxury in the wilds of Guyana but you do expect a nice friendly welcome, basic but comfortable and clean accommodation and enough food. This place offered none of these. We stayed in a room in the main lodge and it wasn't much better than the guest cottages. The food was the worst we tasted in Guyana and in very short supply - one evening I got no dinner at all. No staff member seemed interested in remedying this. If it were not for the nice river trips, I would give this place a "terrible" rating.

Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
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2 Thank Avechaser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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32 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
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  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (8)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Metuchen, New Jersey
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 October 2013

As part of a group, the singles among us were shunted to the workers' quarters next to garbage burning. Three of us shared the bathroom 40 feet away where the toilet did not always flush. No privacy in the room. I had little boys peeking in the first afternoon. The Japanese call their whaling research as do the Amerindians at Caiman House. There is no scientific agency overseeing the so-called data collection. Collection only happens when there are tourists to pay to watch. I was offered the opportunity to sit on the caught caiman to have my picture taken. "Taken" is the operative word!

Room Tip: There are only 4 real guest rooms.
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank judsterab
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Greenwich, Connecticut
Level Contributor
858 reviews
93 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 329 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 October 2013

I was with a large birding group and unfortunately was placed in the guest cottages outside the main lodge. The three attached rooms shared a shower and toilet in a separate building outside about 40 feet away. There was no privacy so everyone could see your bathroom activities thru screens. The garbage for the lodge had been burned in piles by the cottages. There was cow poo everywhere. My room had bat in it. And not a mirror could be found. I peeked in the main lodge and it was far superior.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled solo
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Helpful?
3 Thank Reasonable50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Southampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
32 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 September 2013

Caiman house had the difficult task of being the last stop on a 10 day trip around the rainforest but ended on a real highlight. Fully integrated with the local village with expert excellent guiding being provided by the Amerindians. There are usually a number of researchers on hand at dinner time to discuss the local and national issues which were very informative. Probably the best guides in the area, even arranging a fishing trip early in the morning from a dug out canoe with a handline which is a must for any fisherman.

Room Tip: All accommodation located in a single house 2 ground floor and 2 upstairs - make sure upstairs take...
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Daveb412
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oakham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
93 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 April 2013

We only stayed here 1 night of an 11 night stay in the rainforests of Guyana but it was an activities packed 2 days mostly revolving around the river. The stay included a night trip on the river with Kenneth, our guide. We had excellent views of a wide variety of birds and wildlife including boas, boat billed herons, giant river otters and of course various caiman. Our trip included observing the research team catch a caiman to determine its' growth, health and movements. We were told that they would catch the first caiman they came across but in the event the animal was a magnificent 3.1m, 300lb male. They were very professional and tried to disturb the animal as little as possible during the taking of measurements. This animal had been chipped and had been captured several years previously and so comparative data was available to show the growth between events. I must say I was a bit dubious about whether this activity was for me but in the event I found it surprisingly informative.
We also had a morning trip in a dugout canoe, again with Kenneth where we saw a large variety of birds including the beautiful agami heron.
The accommodation was of a good standard and the food was fine but not quite as good as we had found in other lodges. However, the staff were exceptionally friendly and we had a lovely time here before returning to the airstrip for our flight back to Georgetown. We were really sad to leave the area as we had such a fabulous time in each of the places we stayed.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Steve_an_Jean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chardon Ohio
Level Contributor
176 reviews
60 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 224 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 March 2013

We only spent one night at the Caiman House and we wish we would have planned another day or two. We stayed after a 5-day river trip arranged by Rupununi Trails…so we arrived by River. It was about a mile walk to the lodge, slightly up hill, on a crushed stone path. It was a really hot afternoon and we had to carry our gear; so we were pretty spent when we got to the lodge. They quickly got us some ice cold juice drinks that really hit the spot…especially since we had not had anything cold in nearly a week. If you arrive by car you can pull right up to the entrance. The lodge is located in an Amerindian village and is run by the tribe.

The lodge itself is made up of a few different buildings all of them with thatched roofs and a couple are two stories high…very photogenic. Check-in is in a multi-purpose building that serves as the hub of activity for the lodge. There is an area with some hammocks and couches for lounging. This is the area where there are a couple lap tops to check your email and where the Wi-Fi is the strongest. There are many books about the animals and plants in the area to read and even the financial books for the village. The rest of the building is filled with the open layout kitchen / bar and the dining table. The food was good here, but we only had one dinner and one breakfast. Our dinner was served family style with the staff and other guests. The only other guest when we were there was a researcher. For dinner we had soup and beef with potatoes and other vegetables. Breakfast was eggs, sausage, bacon, fruit, and fresh bread and jams. After dinner, they offered us complimentary rum drinks and had other things available for purchase including cold bottles of beer.

The entire place has good electricity from solar power and satellite internet that is slow but workable. They have a thatched-roofed pavilion where you can sling a hammock for the night and they also have rooms. The building with the guest rooms in two stories with a handful of rooms on the perimeter and a common sitting area in the center. This area is full of books to read and is where they display the craft items that are for sale. There is also a large deck off the second floor to sit on and watch the sun set or the stars at night. It puts just about at tree top level. There is also a ground level front porch with hammocks to relax in. Our room was on the bottom floor and had a door that opened off the common area and a door out into the yard. We had two beds; one single and a queen…both had mosquito nets. We used the single bed to store our gear and there were a few shelves to put things you access frequently. The walls are made of brick that is mined down by the lake. Our room had its own bathroom with flush toilets and cold water shower and a sink. The cisterns that hold the water are black so the water temperature is not too bad. There are outlets in the room to charge your gadgets and overhead lights…but no alarm clocks, phones, TV, etc. The grounds are well landscaped and there are tons of great flowers.

They have many organized activities and you are free to wander around the village and the nearby oxbow lake. We were scheduled to go on the nighttime caiman catch and release trip. The water level in the lake was unusually high for the dry season and would make catching caiman very difficult. While they were willing to take us, they advised that it may not be worth the money. As an alternative, we chose to go on a very early morning canoe trip in a dugout canoe. They also offer a nighttime and/or a daytime hike with a guide. Our guide for the canoe trip was from the village and he did the paddling and we just went for the ride. He was knowledgeable about the birds and wildlife and told us about the village and the research they do. We were out for a couple of hours and then headed back to the lodge for breakfast. We saw snakes, bats, caiman, frogs, and lots of birds…make sure you take your binoculars. There is also a small brick making pit by the launch point and it is cool to see how they are made. You can walk here on your own if you do not take the tour. The tour was relatively expensive…around $80 per person, but the money goes to supporting the tribe. Make sure you walk to the left side of the guest house to the small cement turtle pond to see the baby turtles. While looking at the pond…turn around and you will see Tupperware containers buried in the ground with mesh over them. Those are full of turtle eggs they are protecting until they hatch.

We found the small staff to be very friendly and would recommend a visit here as long as you know that it is not the Ritz…but nicer than most places this remote. They coordinated with the airline on when our plane would arrive and drove us to the nearby airstrip (about 30 min) at Karanambu Ranch for our flight back to Georgetown

Room Tip: Second floor steps are a little steep.
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Bobo185
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 February 2013

Caiman House was the last lodge we visited on our trip to Guyana, and what a way to end our vacation!

This well-run lodge in Yupikari is a busy hub in the the center of the village. The guest house was very nice and comfortable. The food was excellent, and the staff was helpful and friendly. Our guide, Marcellus, as well as Stefano and Camilla, the two young people he was training, took us on a wonderful nighttime river tour to observe the "night critters" in the rain forest, and then we met up with the caiman researchers for the unforgettable experience of watching them capture and subdue a large caiman and then weigh, measure, mark, and insert a GPS tag in the animal. We arrived back at the lodge for a 10:00 pm dinner and the perfect end to a fantastic vacation.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
1 Thank mmunsey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Caiman House Field Station

Property: Caiman House Field Station
Address: Main Road, Yupukari Region 9, Guyana
Region: Guyana > Rupununi > Yupukari
Amenities:
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Yupukari
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Caiman House Field Station and Guest House, centrally located in the Macushi village of Yupukari, is a nonprofit community-owned and operated social enterprise. Revenues from visitors, including a US-accredited Study Abroad semester, support the internet-enabled Yupukari Public Library and two conservation/research investigations, into the Black Caiman (Melanosuchus niger) and the Yellow-Spotted Sidenecked River Turtle (Podocnemis uniphilis). Featuring 6 charming and comfortable, handcrafted rooms with en suite bathrooms (and three additional rooms with shared bathrooms) Caiman House hosts up to 14 and also offers hammock or camping options for larger groups. Guests are invited to explore the nocturnal life of the Rupununi River on our "Creatures of the Night" tour, with the chance to see boat-billed heron, Common Potoo, the Black Caiman, Amazon Tree Boas and other wildlife active at night on the river, or assist the local research team as they capture, mark and release black caiman. Early-morning experiences include the legendary El Dorado savannah and wetlands via 4*4 vehicle to spot giant anteater, or paddling a dugout canoe on our Awarikru Adventure, where one may meet giant river otters, capuchin monkeys and a wide range of local birds, including white-banded swallow and green ibis. Avid birders often visit us to see the Crested Doradito, Agami Heron and Finsch's Euphonia. Additional experiences include hikes in the savannah "bush islands" and gallery forests; sunset floats to watch unfolding giant waterlilies, Wattled Jacana and Purple Gallinule; fishing in the river, ponds and lakes - bring your own gear, or learn local hand-line methods. Guests often choose dry season (September to April) but visitors in rainy season are treated to spectacular flooded-forest excursions, shimmering savannah vistas and the range of seasonal avian visitors. Caiman House is equipped with 100% solar power and internet 24hrs a day, safe drinking water, and a local team of hosts and guides. Caiman House links easily with visits to Karanambu (40 minutes overland from airstrip), Surama, Rewa, Nappi, Dadanawa, or as a start or end to more adventurous tours with Rupununi Trails or Rupununi River Drifters. ... more   less 

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