Off-The-Grip Arapaima Jungle Adventure
If you’re the kind of angler that loves exotic, off-the-grid adventure fishing, then fishing for massive arapaima in the South American jungles of Guyana should definitely be added to the list! Arapaima is the largest, scaled freshwater fish on the planet, and this is one of the few places where these dinosaurs can be hooked and landed on a fly. In fact, this entire area (controlled and operated by the Amerindians of Rewa Village) has been designated fly fishing-only, creating what is hands-down the healthiest and most productive arapaima fishery in the world.
Anglers base out of Rewa Eco Lodge, located near the confluence of the Rewa and Rupununi Rivers in the heart of the Guyanan jungle. The lodge features spacious private cabanas, a main dining and bar area, a dock and deck area, and access to the nearby Amerindian village of Rewa. With a maximum capacity of only four anglers per week, each guest usually has his/her own private cabana. Each cabin features two full-sized beds draped with netting, desks, a large front deck, hammock, rod racks, and a private, outdoor bathroom and shower area complete with running water and flush toilets.
Anglers also have the option of an up-river camp – something that we highly recommend in order to access great water and avoid long boat rides during the later part of the week. The Rewa staff has set up a deluxe “out camp” site complete with hammocks strung with mosquito netting, showers, a toilet, a full kitchen area, a covered dining area, and even a generator and lights. The camp location also features a freezer to guarantee the coldest beer in the jungle!
Both the eco-lodge location and the up-river jungle camp are very comfortable, and the Rewa staff has gone to great lengths to ensure that guests enjoy their time in the jungle. The lodge is run by the village, and in fact, the entire operation is a Costa-sponsored Indifly conservation project that was initiated in 2013. The village of Rewa staffs every position at the lodge, including guides, chefs, boatmen, bartenders, housekeepers and more. The end result is a team of people that take great pride in delivering excellent customer service and a jungle experience that is second to none.
Food and Beverages
Breakfast and dinners are usually served in the main dining area at Rewa Eco Lodge – a large, outdoor sitting area with a massive palapa roof structure. Breakfast features eggs, pancakes, a variety of fruits, breakfast meats, baked goods and plenty of coffee and juice. Dinners always feature several meat and chicken dishes, vegetables, and different regional dishes. Lunches are usually served near the fishing areas each day, and it is typical to fish in the morning before taking a mid-day break in a cool, shady area with tables set up, a large meal served, and hammocks strung for an afternoon siesta. All of the meals served are quite good, and special requests can usually be accommodated.
Typical Length of Stay
The standard package for the Guyana arapaima program is 7 nights and 6 days of fishing, with one night on each end typically spent in the Guyanan capital of Georgetown. Most packages run Saturday to Saturday. Contact Yellow Dog for specific trip dates and availability.
Non-Angling Activities and Options
Rewa Eco Lodge and the Guyanan arapaima program operates in a remote, off-the-grid, fishing-focused jungle region. It is not the ideal location for non-anglers and is best suited to those who are there to fish. That said, the wildlife, birds and butterflies are amazing, and visits to nearby villages, boat rides up and down the rivers, and jungle hikes can all be arranged.
Internet / Communications
Satellite Wi-Fi is available at Rewa Eco Lodge, although the coverage can be spotty and bandwidth is limited. There is a satellite phone at the lodge for emergency use.
Georgetown, Guyana = (-04 GMT)
How To Get There
Anglers access Rewa Lodge by first flying into Georgetown, the capital of Guyana and home to the country’s only international airport. The airport is the Cheddi Jagan International Airport in Georgetown, Guyana (Airport Code: GEO), serviced by Caribbean Airlines (offering direct flights from JFK and Miami) and Suriname Airways (flying from Miami). Once you arrive in Georgetown it is common to spend the night and depart for the lodge the following morning aboard a private charter flight to the jungle. The charter takes approximately 1.5 hours and is included in the total package price. Yellow Dog is happy to assist with airline reservations and hotel details in Georgetown.
Arrival and Departure Details / Times
A typical week at the lodge is Saturday to Saturday. You will want to arrive into Georgetown (GEO) the day or evening before, where you will overnight in the city and depart for the lodge the following morning. We usually recommend the Cara Lodge in downtown Georgetown, although there is a new Marriot Hotel that recently opened.
U.S. citizen travelers will need a valid U.S. passport to enter and depart Guyana. Upon arrival, Guyanese immigration generally grants U.S. visitors a stay of thirty days. Passports must have at least six months of remaining validity. Visas are not required. Citizens of other countries should contact Yellow Dog or the Guyanese Embassy at 2490 Tracy Place NW, Washington, DC 20008, telephone (202) 265-6900.
Yellow Dog works directly with and recommends Kanna Travel. They can assist with airline tickets, hotels, transfers and all travel logistics for every destination that we offer. Contact them at 855-739-3139 or [email protected] for more details on airfare ticketing, travel services and trip insurance.
While this trip is definitely not for everyone, it is ideal for those anglers that love to combine adventure travel, technical fishing and the opportunity to catch one of the most exotic and interesting fish on the planet. Arapaima are quite literally freshwater dinosaurs. Found in few places on the planet, the arapaima is the largest, scaled freshwater fish in existence, known for reaching weights of over 700 pounds and lengths of more than ten feet long. The waters that are controlled by Rewa Village are home to impressive numbers of large arapaima, and the fact that the local guides and the Indifly conservation project have worked hard on researching, protecting and understanding these amazing fish has resulted in a very legitimate and successful fly fishing program.
Arapaima fishing is never a numbers game, and if an angler can land a handful of these beasts over the course of a week, then that is considered a good week. If you can envision a stealthy, colorful and incredibly intelligent jungle tarpon, then you have a general idea of what arapaima are all about. They are without a doubt the apex predator of their freshwater ecosystem, dominating the area’s rivers and ponds that they share with piranha, payara, crocodiles, and numerous other species. It takes stealth, patience, accuracy, and skill to land these huge fish, but when your line finally comes tight and a 200-pound fish explodes out of the water only feet from your boat, you will immediately understand the draw of jungle arapaima fishing!
Most fish that are caught on the fly in Guyana are anywhere from 100 to over 200 pounds. The average length of the fish is six to seven feet. Anglers fish from the bow of small, aluminum fishing boats or wooden dugouts, depending on the waters being fished. It is typical to run up or down the Rupununi River to access trails that lead into isolated jungle ponds – home to some of the largest fish in the region. The Makushi Indians of Rewa Village form an entire “fishing support team” each day dragging boats, coolers and other equipment into each pond ahead of the guides and anglers. Once an access point is reached by river, anglers then hike into the ponds to access the boats and equipment that are already waiting for them. These easy walks along jungle trails are anywhere from five to 30 minutes in length.
Anglers can expect to fish large streamers (many of which imitate peacock bass and other fish species) on 12-weight rods. It is recommended that you bring at least two 12-weight set-ups: one with a tropical floating line and another with an intermediate line. The guides will help rig each set-up and make sure that you are prepared to do battle with these huge jungle dinosaurs.
Boats and Equipment
All fishing for arapaima is done from either aluminum fishing boats (similar to shallow-water john boats) or large, wooden dugout canoes. While the lodge does offer high-end Loomis rods and Nautilus reels that can be rented and used on location, it is recommended that anglers bring their own equipment when possible. Flies are available for sale at the lodge. We recommend that anglers adhere to the packing and equipment lists provided by Yellow Dog.
Remember that Yellow Dog’s services are completely free! When you book a trip with Yellow Dog, you never pay more than when you book directly with the lodge or outfitter.
7 Nights / 6 Fishing Days = $7600 per person
- In-country charter flights from Georgetown to Rewa Eco Lodge
- All transfers between the Georgetown Airport, local hotels, and the domestic air terminal
- Lodging in a single occupancy cabin at Rewa Eco Lodge
- All meals while at Rewa Eco Lodge
- Bottled water, juice, coffee and non-alcoholic beverages
- All daily guided fishing (two anglers per boat)
- Laundry services at lodge
- Internet and Wi-Fi access at Rewa Eco Lodge
What’s Not Included:
- International airfare to Georgetown, Guyana (GEO)
- Rods, reels, flies and terminal tackle
- Gratuities for guides and lodge staff
- Hotel overnights in Georgetown
- Meals, taxis, personal expenses and bar tab in Georgetown
- Guyanan departure taxes
- Global Rescue and Trip Insurance Coverage (required)
Trip Insurance (Required)
Guests should be aware that even though Guyana is a safe country, you will be in very remote areas for the duration of your trip. Guests are required to be in good health and sound medical condition prior to and during their trip. Yellow Dog and the Rewa Arapaima operation must be made aware of every guest’s personal, special, medical or dietary requirements prior to and throughout the trip. Guests are also required to purchase BOTH general trip insurance and Global Rescue coverage for all Guyana trips booked through Yellow Dog.
Trip Deposit Information
A 50% deposit (per angler) of the total package cost for each trip is due to Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures (YDFA) within 10 days of booking to secure the reservation. Guides and dates cannot be held or reserved without a deposit. YDFA reserves the right to charge a handling fee of $100.00 per person for date changes after the initial reservation has been made. Full payment is due 90 days prior to departure.