Tour Cost: From USD $1895
Group Size: Groups up to 12 people can be accommodated
Difficulty Level: Rigorous rainforest trekking and camping.
Recommended for: Fit travellers looking to get close to nature and camp riverside in one of the most beautiful and remote corners of South America.
Departures: Arrive in Suriname on Saturday for a (shorter) day programme; Wednesday for a (longer) day programme. Customized departures are possible with chartered aircraft.
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The perfect accompaniment to a Suriname journey is a few days in neighboring english-speaking Guyana where you can experience the remarkable Kaieteur Falls. Most international air itineraries will accommodate flying in to one country and departing from the other.
Optional Paramaribo activities can be arranged such as kayaking on the Surinaam River, a walking tour of Fort Nieuw Amsterdam across the river from the city, a stroll through the Indian quarter to catch a Bollywood film, a sunset tour to watch the Surinaam pink dolphins, a romantic garden bed-and-breakfast getaway, or perhaps a lesson in Javanese or traditional Surinamese cuisine! We can even fly you to the top of Table Mountain in a chartered helicopter for a white tablecloth champagne lunch, if that's your style. Just ask.
The daily programme varies depending on participant interest, group size, weather, river conditions, and village activities. Most tours will resemble - but not exactly match - the general programme described here. Personalized or privately guided tours may be arranged on-site, sometimes at extra cost. Tour cost may vary from the standard price due to trip variations and group size. All tours can be customized to meet your specific needs - call, email, or web chat us for more info!
Every Wilderness Explorers client gains access to an exclusive trip-preparation website full of packing tips, reading guides, multimedia tours and an endless supply of practical advice to make sure you are prepared for the journey of a lifetime.
Kasikasima by River
Day 1 - Arrive in Suriname
International arrivals are at the Pengel International Airport about 90 minutes outside of the city centre, while regional arrivals (e.g. from Guyana) will land in the center of Paramaribo at the Zorg en Hoop municipal airstrip. You will be met by our representative and transferred by vehicle to the hotel. The day and evening is free for you to shop, explore, dine, and get your bearings in a new timezone. Optional activities can be arranged such as kayaking on the Surinaam River, a walking tour of Fort Nieuw Amsterdam across the river from the city, a stroll through the Indian quarter to catch a Bollywood film, a sunset tour to watch the Surinaam pink dolphins, or perhaps a lesson in Javanese or traditional Surinamese cuisine! Your hotel is perfectly located for walking exploration of this intriguing, multicultural city.
Day 2 - Paramaribo City Tour
Breakfast is buffet-style at the hotel this morning, overlooking the pool and central Paramaribo. The view of this city's distinct architectural style will help explain why Paramaribo was placed on the Unesco World Heritage List of historical monuments in 2002. Paramaribo is a city consisting of various population groups, cultures and religions. Bustling city life fills the streets lined with historical buildings built in the former colonial style, alternating with modern hotels and office buildings.
We'll start our city tour this morning with a magnificent view of Paramaribo from the famous Wijdenbosch bridge over the Surinaam River. We continue to the old inner city of Paramaribo for an in-depth visit to the ancient building complex of Fort Zeelandia. We continue by foot to Independence Square with its grassy malls surrounded by historical buildings. Then we drive past some of the most prominent historical buildings of Paramaribo and then finish our tour in the early afternoon at Waterkant along the Surinaam River, a favorite meeting place for many Surinamese. Optional guided activities may be arranged for the afternoon, or you can take time to wander around on foot to explore the narrow streets on your own. (B,L)
Day 3 - Fly to Palumeu, trip briefing
Today we head by car to the Zorg en Hoop airport for our flight out to Palumeu in the remote southern stretch of Suriname's rainforest. A few minutes after take-off you can see the aluminum company at Paranam in the distance to your left. Here, alumina is being extracted from bauxite for export. After that, you fly over the Johan Adolf Pengel international airport, popularly called ‘Zanderij’. Next, you will soon see the enormous Brokopondo hydro-lake beneath (approx. 1,600 km2), as well as Brownsberg Nature Park.
The gaps in the rainforest canopy which you will see from the air are the result of gold panning activities. South of the hydro-lake along the Upper Surinaam River lie several Saramaccan villages. The road endings are clearly visible from above. From Pokigron and Atyoni, transportation is only possible by dug-out canoe or by airplane. The airstrips at Laduani, Botopasi and Dyumu are easily spotted from the air. The last 10 minutes of the flight, the Suriname River slides out of view but you can still see a few mountain tops of which the pointed Roosevelt peak (on your left side) is most remarkable. Just before landing, you can see the imposing Mount Kasikasima to the south. Our plane dips low, skimming rainforest fog and mist, makes a final pass over the river, touches down on the grass airstrip and pulls up directly in front of the welcome benab
where you'll be welcomed to the lodge and shown to your guest cabin. Here's a quick look at what you'll see.
Settle in, enjoy some freshly squeezed passion fruit juice or a cold beer on the covered dock at the river's edge, practice your hammock mounting and dismounting skills (it's not as easy as it looks!) and start to adjust your inner clock to the slower, saner pace of the rainforest. And, rest up! Tomorrow the big adventure really begins. (B,L,D)
Day 4 - Set out by river towards Kasikasima
Set out at dawn in traditional Saramaccan canoes on the Tapanahony River. We float south towards Kamakabari making occasional stops as needed for lunch and nature calls. Our pace will be determined by weather, the size of the group, and whether we are on the short or long version of the itinerary. Regardless, we make camp in the late afternoon where you can relax in the river, tie up your hammocks for the night and after the evening meal you will experience your first ‘jungle sleep’ with the roar of the red howler monkeys and rushing water to soothe your slumber. (B,L,D)
River Camp on Tapanahony River
Day 5 - Approaching Kasikasima
Conditions today will be considerably more challenging than yesterday as we take on the untamable rapids at Trombaka. Here, we cross over into another boat with all goods and baggage after which the trip is continued. Upon arrival at the base camp near the impressive Sawaniboto rapid at the foot of the mountain, we unload and relax riverside after a long but rewarding day. (B,L,D)
River Camp on Tapanahony River
Day 6 - Climbing Kasikasima
The climax of the trip, the climb to one of the peaks of Kasikasima, demands a lot from your physical condition. But this (literal) highpoint is definitely worth the effort. The Amerindian people have a lot of respect for this place which figures prominently in their traditional mythology. Once on the plateau, you will understand why. Apart from the breath-taking view over the rainforest, you can also see for hundreds of miles around. It's a stunning and incredibly rewarding day. (B,L,D)
River Camp on Tapanahony River
Day 7 - Return to Palumeu (short programme) or extended rainforest & river excursions (long programme)
Depending on which programme your tour has arranged, we will either make a rapid return to Palumeu or spend several additional days exploring the nearby rivers and rainforest whilst visiting with this remote jungle's Amerindian inhabitants. We strongly urge visitors to opt for the longer version of this tour since it permits a remarkably close-up opportunity to interact with a friendly and welcoming indigenous people living much as their ancestors have for centuries. Our well-travelled guests consistently report that the long Kasikasima tour is one of the most memorable and exhilerating experiences they have ever enjoyed, and we're sure you'll take away a lifetime of memories too.
In the case of the shorter program, we arrive late back at Palumeu, enjoy showers and a good meal, and recount the excitement and challenge of the past few days. Visitors staying at Palumeu will be envious of your deep-jungle aventure and want to hear your stories of river rapids, wild animals, and stunning scenes. (B,L,D)
Day 8 - Visit Amerindian village, return to Paramaribo
As always, fresh coffee and tea is delivered at sunrise. This morning we will make an abbreviated visit to the adjacent Amerindian village at Palumeu before an early lunch. Mid-day the Palumeu staff will bid you a fond farewell in their traditional Amerindian manner then we'll hop aboard our Cessna Caravan or DeHaviland Twin Otter for the hour-long flight home. Our plane may also pick up passengers from Kajana village, near Awarradam, enroute.
Tonight we are on our own to refresh ourselves at the comfortable hotel and head out for a night on the town. It may come as a bit of culture shock after our time in the rain forest, but Paramaribo's night life can be quite exhilarating and exuberant, with bars, restaurants, and casinos open all night long. If you're looking for something extra special or have a particular interest, let us know and we'll help you plan an unforgettable final evening in Suriname. (B,L)
Day 9 - Depart Suriname
Most international flights depart before noon and you'll be driven to the airport with plenty of time for check-in formalities. If you're headed on to Kaieteur Falls in Guyana you'll depart from the Zorg-en-Hoop municipal airport, while those making their way to French Guiana will take an early-morning one- to two- hour drive drive to Albina on the Moroni River before crossing over to France. Other international flights depart from Pengel International Airport.
We offer numerous options for extended exploration around Paramaribo, including two- and three- day trips to Galibi to observe the leatherback turtle nesting beaches, day trips to local swamps and tidal areas with extraordinary birdwatching opportunities, deeper exploration into historic plantations and fortresses, and privately curated/guided tours to visit local artists, musicians, and cultural programmes that are not commonly available to casual visitors. Interested in art? A romantic bed and breakfast getaway? Let us know about your particular interests and we can assemble a customized extension or provide the introductions that will make your Suriname journey even more memorable. (B)