Surama: the Eco-Lodge
Accommodation at Surama Eco-Lodge is simple, basic, clean, and comfortable. Set at the western edge of the main village, Surama Eco-Lodge is perched atop a meadow facing a thick forest wall, creating a perfect opportunity to view birds, monkeys, and even the occasional jaguar. The majestic Pakaraima Mountains, often shrouded in mist, rise above the canopy and strike a brilliant contrast against the pure forest air.
Other than the full-time lodge manager, the staff of our lodge is comprised of village residents who spend part of their week tending to the lodge and the hospitality needs of visitors. You will be treated like a guest in our home, enjoying food prepared by local villagers and getting to know the ways of our world as each day of village life passes right in front of your room.
We have four octagonal guest benabs (cottages) built in the traditional grass-roof Makushi style. These four benabs surround the main community benab. Each benab can sleep up to three adults and has a private bathroom with flush toilet, shower, and sink. The benab is screened-in to reduce mosquitos, but mosquito nets are also provided for each single bed. Solar power provides limited lighting in the room. Bed sheets and towels are supplied and refreshed every other day, or upon request.
Our new Guest Cabin building sits slightly away from the main community benab and features four rooms, each with a double bed. Solar power provides lighting in each room and the common areas. Each guest room in the cabin building features a shower, flush toilet, and sink. Every bed has a mosquito net. Bed sheets and towels are supplied and refreshed every other day, or upon request. A shared back patio faces the forest and is a perfect spot for a cup of coffee at sunrise.
Hammocks can be slung in the wide-open upstairs area of the main Community Benab building. Guests should give the hammock a try for at least one night of their stay at Surama. It takes some getting used to, but you’ll find it is much cooler than a closed-in room on a bed mattress. All of us Makushi sleep in hammocks! We can put a mosquito net over your hammock so you can rest comfortably in the breeze without worrying about night time insects. You’ll wake up with a stunning view of the Pakaraimas, serenaded by howler monkeys and the calls of thousands of birds greeting the new day.
The main benab has two levels. Downstairs you’ll find our small administrative office and the kitchen, along with an open-air dining area with casual picnic-tables where you will share good food, drink, and story telling with your fellow guests. Upstairs you’ll find our gift counter, a large sun deck, and an open space that is often used for village meetings, cultural performances, even the occasional session of yoga. It’s the perfect spot to grab a cool drink at the end of a day and watch the sun set below the rainforest canopy.
Less than one-hour’s walk from the main Eco-Lodge brings you to the edge of the Borro Borro River and one of our very favorite spots: Carahaa Landing. We’ve built some grass-roofed buildings here as well as a brand new elevated, open-air structure where you can cook, eat, and camp while enjoying all the wildlife and exploration that the river offers. The camp offers a base for a night walks and day break canoe floats with the opportunity to observe giant river otters, tapir, tira, spider monkey and many more species. Fishing for pirinas, piras haimaras and cat fishes is also easily done here. Sling a hammock under a tree for a good night’s rest. This is the perfect jumping-off point for excursions up to Rock Landing, Caronparo Landing, and points beyond. Other than the flowing river, there is no running water and no electricity at Carahaa Landing. This is our common border with Iwokrama International Centre for Conservation and Development.
Upstream from Carahaa Landing is our first outpost camp, Rock Landing. Depending on water levels, it can take one to three hours to get here, and it may be necessary to occasionally lift your canoe over the rocks if there isn’t enough water in the river. The facilities here are similar to Carahaa Landing: a few thatch-roof buildings provide basic shelter where you can cook and eat. Most guests sling a hammock (with mosquito net) and sleep under the stars.