Discovering The Hidden Guianas

Explore South America's Wild Coast of Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana

15 Days / 14 Nights

Price From

US$ 5995/person

for groups of 2

About this trip


Explore the Wild Coast of South America on our best selling, small-group scheduled departure tour. Travel across the Guiana Shield, a 1.7 billion-year-old Precambrian geological formation in northeast South America, which is one of the regions with the highest biodiversity and cultural diversity in the world.

Making your way across Suriname, French Guiana and Guyana, you will marvel at Kaieteur Falls, the highest single-drop waterfall in the world and discover one of the greatest untouched rainforests remaining on the planet. The Guiana Shield is home to endangered species such as the Jaguar, Giant Anteater, Giant River Otter, Tapir and so much more. Spend time learning about the cultures of the region with visits to Indigenous and Maroon communities. Be amazed at the Space Center in French Guiana and relive the story of Papillion at Devil's Island. This really is an untouched and totally unique part of South America.

Three countries, one tour

Kaieteur Falls

Maroon culture

Devil's Island

Indigenous culture

UNESCO World Heritage Site

Itinerary


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Day 1 - Arrival in Suriname. Overnight Eco Torarica.

Thursday - Pick up and transfer from the airport to Eco Torarica. (Check in time 1700hrs, Check out time 1300hrs)

Day 2 - Transfer to Danpaati River Lodge. Overnight Danpaati River Lodge.

Friday - This morning we start our nature and cultural experience as we depart from Paramaribo by road for the village of Atjoni. At the port of Atjoni board a motorised canoe and our skilled captain will navigate the way up the Suriname River, which is famous for its breathtaking rapids, to Danpaati River Lodge.

Day 3 - Maroon village tour, Saamaka Museum and canoe river trip. Overnight at Danpaati River Lodge.

Saturday - Today we will visit one of the 12 villages that are affiliated with Danpaati River Lodge. We will have a guided tour through the village to experience the unique traditions brought from Africa by their ancestors.

Day 4 - Time to relax in the rainforest before boat and road trip to Paramaribo. Overnight at Eco Torarica.

Sunday - This morning enjoy the beautiful surroundings before saying goodbye to Danpaati and taking a boat to Atjoni, and then continue our journey back to Paramaribo by vehicle.

Day 5 - Paramaribo city tour and Commewijne plantation tour. Overnight at Eco Torarica.

Monday – Explore Paramaribo by vehicle and on foot, viewing the most prominent historic locations and enjoying the vibe of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your experienced guide provides extensive information as you visit Fort Zeelandia, the Presidential Palace, Palms Garden, Independence Square and many other monuments. Stroll along the Waterkant, overlooking the Suriname River, with the magnificent array of planter’s houses and close-by the unexpected positioning of a mosque right next to a synagogue. Later we proceed to the Commewijne district which is situated to the east of Paramaribo across the Suriname River. The journey takes us past the former colonial plantations, most of which are now abandoned. We make a stop at Plantation Peperpot, a former coffee and cocoa estate and one of the oldest in Suriname being established by the English and already existing prior to Suriname being conquered by the natives from Zeeland under command of Abraham Crijnssen in 1667. On the plantation you can still see coffee and cocoa plants as well as an ancient shed and factory, the manager’s residence and a kampong (workers’ living area). Peperpot is also renowned for the many birds which can be spotted on the grounds.

Day 6 - Transfer to Kourou in French Guiana for a tour of the Guyana Space Center. Overnight at Hotel Atlantis.

Tuesday - We make an early start to comfortably pace ourselves through the journey. The first leg of our travels takes us eastbound along Suriname's coastal road to Albina border station. Formalities here rarely take more than a few minutes, and soon we find ourselves crossing the Maroni River headed for French Guiana or "Guyane" as it is frequently (and confusingly) called locally.

Day 7 - Excursion to Devil's Island and then transfer to Cayenne. Overnight at Central Hotel.

Wednesday - What is commonly referred to as “Devil's Island” is really a triangle of three islands - Îles du Salut, or the Salvation Islands - seven miles off the coast of Kourou. After breakfast at the hotel, we set sail aboard a fine motorized catamaran towards our first stop, Île Saint-Joseph. The islands played a central role in French history as far back as 1792 when they were first employed as a transit point, first for explorers, then slaves and later for political prisoners and convicts. Île Saint-Joseph is the southernmost island and was known as the silent island as inmates were not allowed to speak with other inmates or the guards. Papillion claimed to have spent two years in solitary on St Joseph. It was called the ‘man-eater’ for obvious reasons. Île Royale is the site of the oldest buildings on the islands, featuring an old church, administration buildings, officers' quarters, and today, a good restaurant, café and lodging facilities. Ironically, the actual Île du Diable (Devil's Island) is inaccessible to visitors due to dangerous shoreline conditions. This is the island where the prison's best-known occupant, Alfred Dreyfus, was famously secluded and where Papillion said he was able to escape on a coconut raft.

Day 8 - Tour of St. Laurent and the Transportation Camp. Travel back to Paramaribo. Overnight at Eco Torarica.

Thursday - There is time early this morning to explore Cayenne on your own before a mid-morning transfer to the border town of St. Laurent du Maroni. On our way, we will make a brief stop in St. Joseph’s church in Iracoubo, where the entire inside of the church was hand-painted by one of the convicts from a nearby penal colony.

Day 9 - Fly to Guyana. Market & Georgetown City Tour and Demerara River Sunset Tour. Overnight at Grand Coastal Hotel.

Friday - Transfer to the airport for departing flight at 0730hrs to Georgetown, arriving at 0745hrs. (ticket not included in the final rates below) This morning become a local and join Chef Delven Adams who will then lead you through the labyrinth of Bourda Market, discovering it's deepest corners including the fish, meat, fruit and vegetable marketplaces. You have the chance to meet Delven's preferred stall holders and taste their produce. There are also fascinating bush medicine stalls, providing concoctions for every kind of ailment. We then head off for a guided tour of Georgetown, the chief port, capital and largest city of Guyana situated on the Demerara River Estuary. Georgetown was designed largely by the Dutch and is laid out in a rectangular pattern with wide tree-lined avenues and irrigation canals that criss-cross the city. Most of the buildings in the city are wooden with unique Guyanese-colonial architecture dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries. A few of these that should not be missed is the residence of the Prime Minister, Statehouse built in 1852 and St. George's Cathedral which is one of the world’s tallest free-standing wooden buildings. Close by is the Georgetown Town Hall, a splendid example of Gothic architecture, the Victoria Law Courts, St. Andrews Kirk and Stabroek Market, the largest and oldest market of its kind in the Caribbean built in the year 1881.

Day 10 - Kaieteur Falls tour. Overnight at Grand Coastal Hotel.

Saturday - Morning free to relax. This afternoon take a scheduled flight over the Demerara and Essequibo Rivers and hundreds of miles of unbroken tropical rainforest to land at Kaieteur Falls, the world’s highest free-falling waterfall. Kaieteur which was first seen by a European on April 29, 1870 is situated in the heart of Guyana on the Potaro River, a tributary of the Essequibo. The water of Kaieteur flows over a sandstone conglomerate tableland into a deep gorge - a drop of 741 feet or 5 times the height of Niagara Falls. There are no other falls in the world with the magnitude of the sheer drop existing at Kaieteur.

Day 11 - Fly to Iwokrama River Lodge and hike Turtle Mountain. Travel to Iwokrama Canopy Walkway. Overnight at Atta Rainforest Lodge.

Sunday - Flight over hundreds of miles of tropical rainforest to land at Fair View Airstrip and transfer to Iwokrama River Lodge. Depart the lodge by boat, birdwatching along the way, for the hike to Turtle Mountain. A well-maintained trail winds through the forest before an exhilarating climb up the mountain to its summit at 935ft (approx. 360m). It takes 1 3/4hrs to walk up the mountain, but the effort is more than worth it for the breathtaking views over the forest canopy when you get there and chances of Green Aracari, White Bellbird or a fly-by of one of five types of eagles. This trail is also a great location for seeing Black Spider and Red Howler Monkey. If you think this hike may be too strenuous you can take an alternative boat trip to Stanley Lake to search for Giant River Otters and Black Caiman. Return to the lodge for lunch and then transfer by 4 x 4 along the trail that is one of the best places to see the elusive Jaguar. No promises, but many have been lucky! This road is the only north-south access in Guyana and links the country to Brazil. Even so, traffic is only very occasional and wildlife is often seen along the road, such as Agouti, Tayra, Tapir and Black Curassow. The journey concludes at the Atta Rainforest Lodge home of the Iwokrama Canopy Walkway.

Day 12 - Guianan Cock-of-the-rock, Surama village tour and nocturnal trail walk. Overnight at Surama Eco-Lodge.

Monday - Before sunrise return to the canopy where you will welcome the dawn chorus. From this tree top vantage you can sometimes see Red Howler and Black Spider Monkeys. Apart from the Iwokrama Canopy Walkway itself you can enjoy wildlife and birdwatching walks on the trails around the area. For those interested in botany many of the trails have the key tree species marked. Many bird species, stunning insects, noisy amphibians, and playful primates make the surrounding forest their home. Deer, Tapir and Agouti are also regular visitors to the lodge.

Day 13 - Surama Mountain hike and Burro Burro River excursion. Overnight at Surama Eco-Lodge.

Tuesday - Rise before dawn for a walk across the savannah and then climb up Surama Mountain for incredible views across the village and savannah to the Pakaraima Mountains. This is not a technical climb but can be arduous, especially after rain, and not for everyone. Your guides will happily offer alternative activities if you prefer not to do this climb.

Day 14 - Return to Georgetown. Overnight at Grand Coastal Hotel.

Wednesday - Enjoy dawn breaking across the rainforest. You can choose from a forest walk to look for wildlife and birds or relax around the lodge before breakfast and departure.

Day 15 - Depart Guyana.

Thursday - Pickup and transfer to the airport for your departing flight.

Trip Information


Length of trip 15 Days / 14 Nights
Tour suitable for Persons of reasonable fitness level who enjoy wildlife, nature, culture and pristine environments.
Minimum # of passengers 2
Maximum # of passengers 12
Minimum age recommended 8 Years
Language of guides English
Transportation Transportation on this journey includes cars, mini bus, light aircraft, 4x4 vehicles and boats.
Accommodation Guests are accommodated in a mix of a heritage house hotel, city hotels, rainforest and savannah lodges and indigenous community lodges.
Meals The tour includes 14 breakfasts, 9 lunches and 5 dinners
Countries Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana
Language spoken in country English, Dutch, French
Start Location Suriname
End Location Guyana

Guyana


Climate

Current time

Timezone

Religions

    Languages

      Currency

      • Guyana dollars

       

      Kaieteur Falls UNESCO World Heritage Site
      Space Centre Maroon culture
      Devils Island Iwokrama Canopy Walkway
      Mountain hikes Indigenous culture
      Boat trips Community-owned and operated lodges
      Wildlife spotting Culinary tour
      Bird watching Historical Georgetown city tour
      Trail walks

      AIRLINES
      Caribbean Airlines
      American Airlines
      LIAT
      Copa Airlines
      Suriname Airways
      Aruba Airways
      Jet Blue

      VISA
      The following countries do not need a visa: Commonwealth countries, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the USA. Visa requirements should be checked as requirements can change at any time.

      Wilderness Explorers can assist in obtaining permission for a visa on arrival at an additional fee. However, the granting of visas remains at the discretions of the Ministry of Citizenship.

      YOUR SAFETY
      Our number one priority is your safety and welfare.

      Suriname
      Paramaribo is a small friendly city. Normal travel precautions for any city are advised. The downtown area is very quiet at night and not worth visiting. Restaurants and bars tend to be out of the city centre, with many focused around the Uitgangs Centrum area near the hotels we use. Uitgangs Centrum is buzzy and quite safe in the evenings.

      Once out of the city and into the rainforest it will be isolated with just small villages and you will be perfectly safe. Surinamese people are very friendly and enjoy meeting visitors.

      French Guiana
      French Guiana is actually a department of France and so in safety terms much the same as being in France. Expect to see gendarmes and even French military (guarding the spaceport and on manoeuvres) and European standard roads. Cayenne is a tiny, sleepy city and normal travel precautions for any city are advised.

      Guyana
      We always get the question is Guyana safe? Like any big city, Georgetown has areas that are to be avoided by visitors. But we only use hotels that have good standards and are safe. Most of the time in Georgetown you will be accompanied by our experienced guides and drivers who live in the city. During your free time if you want to visit a bar or restaurant in the evening we recommend a taxi, which is inexpensive. Your hotel will be happy to call one for you.

      Once out of Georgetown and into what we call the interior, it is a different scenario. You will be in areas with small villages where everyone greets you with a smile and you will be perfectly safe. Some lodges don’t even have locks on the doors as there is no need. There will always be an experienced guide close by to accompany you on your excursions and bring the rainforest and savannah to life and share their knowledge and experience.

      Generally, you will find the Guyanese people extremely friendly and only too willing to help you enjoy their country.

      VACCINATIONS
      Malaria - Many of the areas you visit in Guyana’s interior will have no malaria. However, it is recommended to take malaria Prophylactics as a precaution on some trips. Please consult your physician before your departure. All beds in the interior have mosquito nets, and on camping trips, hammocks with specially fitted mosquito nets are provided. It is advisable to use insect repellent and wear long sleeves and long trousers at night. The mosquitoes are often more prevalent at dusk and dawn.

      Yellow Fever - A Yellow Fever vaccination certificate is required for travellers coming from or transiting from a country with risk of Yellow Fever transmission. Vaccination must be undertaken at least 10 days before travel to, or through Suriname. Suriname recognizes the Yellow Fever vaccination certificate is valid for life starting 10 days after vaccination. Children over 1 year of age are required to have a vaccination certificate. Travellers should carry their vaccination card (Yellow Fever) with them at all times.

      CLOTHING
      In the interior wear casual, comfortable clothing. A shirt with a collar helps protect you from the sun, and a hat and sunglasses are vital. During the day shorts and shirt are fine. In the evening you would want long trousers and a shirt with long sleeves. There is no need to dress up in the interior. You can leave any travel or city clothes in your city hotel or with our office when you are travelling around the interior.

      Footwear - Comfortable walking shoes or boots and sandals.

      Included

      Not Included

      Airport transfers Items of personal nature
      Double or twin accommodation International flights
      Meals as listed Alcoholic drinks
      All road & river transfers Departure tax
      Internal flights Visas
      Activities as described GUMAIR flight from Suriname to Guyana
      Local guides
      Value Added Tax
      Kaieteur National Park Fee
      Iwokrama Forest User fee
      Iwokrama Canopy Walkway Fee
      AUTHORITY ON TOUR
      At all times the decision of the company or its representative will be final on all matters likely to endanger the safety, well being and enjoyment of the tour. Clients must at all times strictly comply with the laws, customs, foreign exchange and drug regulations of all countries visited. Should the client fail to comply with the above or commit any illegal act when on tour or, if in the company’s opinion, the client behaviour causes or is likely to cause danger, distress or annoyance to others we may terminate that client’s travel arrangements without any liability on the company’s part.

      TRAVEL DOCUMENTS
      The client must be in possession of a valid passport (valid 6 months past the return date), visa (where necessary), permits and certificates including vaccinations certificates, insurance policies required for the journey – the client accepts the responsibility of obtaining these. Any information or advice given by the company on visas, vaccinations, clothing, special equipment, baggage, climate, etc. is given in good faith but without responsibility on the part of the company.

      CONDITION RESTRAINTS
      You have selected a tour that is, in part, in remote areas. This adds to the adventure and opportunity to enjoy a true nature experience. However, due to the nature of the terrain, weather, road conditions, and other elements beyond our control, some elements of tours may have to be altered. Times of some activities may need to change or even cancelled due to the conditions. If an activity is cancelled it will be replaced with an alternative activity that is more appropriate for the conditions. Advance notice will be given for any changes where possible, although at times changes may be made whilst the tour is in progress.

      WILDLIFE SIGHTINGS
      With any trip involving wildlife, it is impossible to guarantee a sighting, but each trip is designed around known habitats. Wilderness Explorers will make every effort to ensure a sighting, but cannot be held responsible if no sighting is made due to the wildlife itself, weather, or any other elements beyond our control.

      LOCAL CULTURE
      Many of the areas to be visited are remote and cultures of the people most likely different from what you are accustomed to. These communities welcome visitors under the conditions that their customs, habits and rituals are respected at all times. Wilderness Explorers will endeavour to provide appropriate guidance to visitors as to correct behaviour whilst in these communities. The company reserves the right to cancel a visitor’s tour, at any time, should their behaviour be inappropriate and offensive to the local communities.

      ACCEPTANCE OF RISK & RESPONSIBILITY
      Nature and adventure travel is by character, an activity that requires travelling in areas that are often remote and the terrain difficult. Whilst every precaution is taken to ensure the comfort and safety of our customers, these trips do have elements of risk. By taking part in this tour you acknowledge that there are inherent risks and that you are fully aware of the conditions of travel, accommodation and activities offered. You accept that Wilderness Explorers, its staff and sub-contractors cannot be held liable for any accident, illness or similar occurrence. You hereby accept all such risk and release the company from all claims and causes of action arising from any injuries or damages resulting from these inherent risks.

      FORCE MAJEURE
      The company will do its best to minimise the effects of matters outside its control but cannot accept liability of these matters which include political disputes, industrial action, refusal of visas, border closures, unforeseeable climatic events, epidemics and pandemics, delayed or cancelled flights etc. Wilderness Explorers may change, modify, rebook or cancel a trip for defined force majeure events

      TRAVEL INSURANCE
      It is the client’s responsibility to obtain adequate personal travel insurance. This insurance should, at a minimum, cover personal accident, medical expenses and repatriation expenses. It is recommended that the coverage extends to include loss of effects, curtailment, cancellation and all other expenses which might arise as a result of loss, damage, injury, delay or inconvenience occurring to the client.

      PAYMENT
      All rates are quoted in US dollars unless otherwise stated. Rates are correct at the time of publishing, but are subject to change without notice. Due to fluctuating world fuel prices, internal airfares cannot be guaranteed and the rate is therefore subject to change. Every effort will be made to maintain the quoted rate. A deposit of 20% is required to confirm any booking and balance of payment is due 30 days before commencement of the trip.

      CANCELLATION BY THE CLIENT
      Any cancellation by the client must be in writing and acknowledged by Wilderness Explorers. The date on which the correspondence is received will determine the loss of any monies applicable.

      • Cancelled more than 90 days before arrival - full refund, less any money transfer fees.
      • Cancelled 60 to 90 days before arrival - 5% administration fee.
      • Cancelled 41 to 59 days before arrival – 20%
      • Cancelled 31 to 40 days before arrival - 50%.
      • Cancelled 2 to 30 days before arrival or no show - 100%.

      RESPONSIBILITY
      All services are organised by Wilderness Explorers. Notice is hereby given that all arrangements made on behalf of customers are made by the organisers on the sole condition that the organisers shall not be held responsible for any injury, death, accident, delay, loss, damage or irregularity which may be occasioned through acts of any company and /or persons engaged in carrying out the arrangements and Wilderness Explorers acts as an agent for transport companies, hotels and other contractors and shall not be liable for any injury, damage, loss, delay or irregularity that may occur, including, but not limited to, any defect in a vehicle or any other form of conveying a traveller, acts of God, detention, delays or expenses arising from quarantine, strike, riots, theft, force majeure, civil disturbance, government restrictions or regulation, accident by aircraft, boat, bicycle, motor vehicle or any other form of transport or in any hotel, resort, ranch, guest house, camp or other forms of accommodation.

      SEVERABILITY
      In the event that any term or condition contained herein is unenforceable or void by operation of law or as being against public policy or for any other reason then such term or condition shall be deemed to be severed from this Agreement or amend accordingly only to such extent necessary to allow all remaining terms and conditions to survive and continue as binding.

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      Discovering The Hidden Guianas


      Thu Oct 1, 2020 - Thu Oct 15, 2020

      Limited Space Available

      Price From

      US$ 5995.00/person

      for groups of 2

      Thu Nov 12, 2020 - Thu Nov 26, 2020

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      US$ 5995.00/person

      for groups of 2

      Thu Mar 11, 2021 - Thu Mar 25, 2021

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      for groups of 2

      Thu Apr 8, 2021 - Thu Apr 22, 2021

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      US$ 5995.00/person

      for groups of 2

      Thu Oct 14, 2021 - Thu Oct 28, 2021

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      US$ 5995.00/person

      for groups of 2

      Thu Nov 18, 2021 - Thu Dec 2, 2021

      Space Available

      Price From

      US$ 5995.00/person

      for groups of 2