This is a journey for those who want to see a fascinating part of South America that so many travellers have never even heard of. It visits three intriguing countries, with many similarities but substantial differences as well as a little of northern Brazil. French Guiana, Suriname and Guyana all lie along the Caribbean Coast as do the majority of their populations.
The cities of Cayenne, Paramaribo and Georgetown are all an eclectic mix of Colonial French, British and Dutch, Amerindians, Maroon (ex slave descendents) and the descendents of the indentured labourers from India, Indonesia and China. Add into this mix, the fact that, French Guiana is still part of France and uses the Euro and has some of the best and most unspoilt tropical rain-forests in the world and you have some idea of what this remarkable area is like to travel through.
So if you love exploring tropical river systems and forests, would like to visit the European Space Centre, eat a fusion of Indian, Dutch and Caribbean food, discover some of South America’s most unique architecture or visit Amerindian river settlements, then this is the trip for you. As an added bonus, we doubt you will see any other tourists or travellers!
Welcome to French Guiana!, today there is an important meeting at 18:00, please meet in the hotel reception. The rest of the day is yours to enjoy Cayenne.
Border Information - If joining the trip at Cayenne, you will fly into Cayenne F lix Ebou International Airport (IATA code: CAY)
In Cayenne we stay in a comfortable hotel.
Today we will enjoy a half day walking tour around Cayenne. The rest of the day is yours to enjoy, perhaps even take a Kayaking trip to the Ilets du pont. Depending on departure days we may choose to visit the Space station at Kourou ths morning.
Today we will head out to the town of Kourou; the site of the European Space station and the starting point for boat trips around the former penal colony on Devil s Island, one of the infamous Iles du Salut, off the coast of French Guiana. The ordeal of Frenchman Henri Charriere, who spent 12 years here, would later inspire the book Papillon.
We will camp this evening in the surrounding area.
100km / 2hrs
Today we will visit the European Space Centre near Kourou, en route to the town of Saint Laurent du Maroni.
During Turtle viewing season (March to August) we will spend tonight at Plage les Hattes, in the hope of spotting a Olive Ridley or Leatherback Turtle.
Approximate drive time - 3hrs / 190km
We will stay in a local guesthouse or sleep in hammocks if we visit Plage Les Hattes
Today we have a free day to explore the border town of Saint Laurent du Maroni, located on the Maroni river, with its interesting and dark history as an arrival point for prisoners during the 19th Century.
We continue our journey west and cross to Suriname and to the lively capital Paramaribo.
This evening we may choose to take an evening sunset boat trip in the hope of seeing some Dolphins playing in the Suriname River.
Approximate Driving Time: 145km / 3hrs
Border information: Exit French Guiana at Saint Laurent du Maroni, Enter Suriname at Saint Laurent du Maroni
In Paramaribo we stay in a locally owned hostel in dorms and twin rooms with shared bathrooms.
Today we have a full day to explore Paramaribo's historic inner city and the Commewijne area. You can easily explore the historic centre on foot, visiting Fort Zeelandia and the Suriname museum, and enjoying the fantastic architecture of Saint Peter and Paul Cathedral, one of the largest wooden buildings in the western hemisphere, or hire a bike and take a boat across the river to cycle the peaceful Commewijne Plantation Loop, visit the star shaped fort at Neiu Amsterdam. There are plenty of bars and restaurants to choose from.
This morning we leave the truck behind and set off for an unforgettable adventure into the interior of Suriname. We will travel by minibus for approximately 190km to the port at Atjoni, we then hop on a boat for approx 1hr trip along the Suriname River, deep into the rainforest where we will stay for two nights on our own private island!
Be sure to pack light for this excursion, as we can only take a small bag each with us.
We will stay in comfortable cabins and enjoy our own pool. All meals are provided during our visit, though you will need a small amount of money for drinks and tips for our local guide.
During our stay we can visit local villages, walk around the island in the hope of meeting some of its furry inhabitants and learn about the medicinal plants, try to spot Caiman on a night time canoe trip, take a dip in the river at the Ferulassi rapids - a natural Jacuzzi, and relax on the island by our pool, spot the kingfishers on the banks of the river and enjoy the tranquillity of the Amazon Rainforest.
We will stay in comfortable cabins.
All meals are provided.
This morning is free for you to enjoy how you wish, walk, swim or relax and after lunch we will transfer back to Paramaribo.
Paramaribo and its surroundings definitely deserve at least one more day for exploration. Today is yours to spend as you wish; take a boat trip to Jordensavanne, take part in a Moengo Cultural experience, go walking in the Peperpot Nature reserve or Brownsberg Nature Park, learn the art of Surinamese cookery, or take part in one of the many day tours available.
Today we will leave the bright lights of Parbo behind and head to the Bigi Pan, designated an 'Important Bird Area' for its spectacular bird life, particularly the country's largest colony of Scarlet Ibis.
We will spend the night in comfortable rooms with all meals included.
Estimated Drive: 5hrs
Today we head across the border by Ferryboat to the Guyana Capital, Georgetown.
Border information: Exit Paramaribo, Enter Guyana
In Georgetown we stay in a central located, basic but cosy, locally run hostel, with shared bathrooms in a combination of twin and dorm rooms.
Estimated Drive: 5hrs
Take a morning tour of the city, explore the old canals and great sea wall, visit incredible wooden cathedrals, the huge market and try to spot the manatees swimming in the National park's lake. Georgetown is a busy place, and feels happily free from mass tourism. Be sure to take your camera!
Today we have a second free day in the city.
Perhaps one of the greatest highlights of Guyana is the spectacularly remote and impressive Kaieteur Falls, one of the tallest single drop waterfalls in the world, and reachable only by light aircraft. Take a half day flight to the falls and then enjoy a walking tour to the Falls and search for the tiny golden rocket frogs, hiding in the tank bromeliads leaves, as well as an impressive variety of butterflies, you may also be lucky enough to spot the bright orange Guayanan Cock of the Rocks.
Today the adventure really begins, as we travel south into the Guyanan Interior. We enjoy the comforts of a tarmac road for around 120km, as far as the town of Linden, and then the dirt road begins! it's the only road that connects Georgetown to Brazil, at some times of the year it becomes impassable due to the rains, but most of the time you'll find trucks and minibuses happily bumping along the road transporting people to and from Lethem. Many people choose to fly to the jungle resorts, but as overlanders we will get to enjoy the pristine rainforest - keep your eyes peeled in case of the illusive jaguar road crossing!
Please note we will likely set off very early today in order to make the most of the cooler parts of the day.
Driving Distance: 12 hours
Today we will camp just north of the Essequibo river, with basic facilities.
This morning we will cross the River on a small barge and head deep in the Guyanan rainforest, which gives us some unique wildlife spotting opportunities in one of the most pristine and untouched eco-systems in the world. We have a variety of options for us including walking, bird watching, canoeing trips, nocturnal wildlife spotting and even a spot of swimming (if the watre is low enough).
Today we will have an opportunity to visit the Iwokrama Forest Canopy Walkway, set 30metres above the forest floor and providing a unique opportunity to experience the jungle's mid-level canopy through a series of suspension bridges and decks. Visits during dusk or dawn are best for bird spotting of Macaws and Tucans, you may even be lucky enough to see Red Howler Monkeys.
Today we leave the dense rainforest behind and head towards a village settlement in an area of Savannah, where we will take a walk in the village and a short river trip in Canoes on the Burro Burro River. Afterwards we will head to our camp, which is a little further south further into the Savannah region.
Estimated Drive: 2-3hrs
We will camp with basica facilities, all meals are included.
Today we have a free day for activities such a horse riding, hiking and further opportunities for spotting wildlife.
This is our final day in Guyana, we will head south past the town of Lethem and onto the city of Boa Vista in Brazil
(Please note that it is possible to fly from Lethem to Georgetown for approximately 150USD, for outbound international flights).
Drive time - 245km / 5 hrs
Today is the final day for passengers finishing their trip in Boa Vista. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Sales Team if you are interested in booking an extra night of accommodation in order to fully explore the area.
Border Information: if you are finishing in Boa Vista, you will most likely exit Brazil at Boa Vista-Atlas Brasil Cantanhede International Airport (AITO code: BVB)
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Trip Name: Guyanas Explorer
Duration: 21 Days
From Price: $2,490
Supplier Tour ID: ZCV1/201174
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