Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana
Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana Tour – Discovering The Hidden Guianas – a 15 day Small Group Tour.
The Guianas comprise the three countries of Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana and when combined they offer a unique tour of Latin America.
Experience the former penal colonies of the Iles du Salut and the Guyana Space Center in French Guiana, marvel at the spectacular wildlife of Guyana with its pristine rainforest and magnificent Kaieteur Falls, while the striking wooden buildings of Paramaribo, the melting pot of cultures including the Maroon people, and its rich colonial history make Suriname a worthy partner.
Fall in love with this off the beaten track area of South America.
On this trip through the three countries, we start off in Suriname and travel into the rainforest at Iwokrama to gain a unique perspective of the forest from its amazing canopy walkway. We will also visit the Amerindian village of Surama to learn more about the lives of Guyana’s indigenous people.
In neighbouring Suriname we explore the unique capital of Paramaribo with its superb colonial architecture, and look for Caimen on the banks of the river. We also visit old plantations for an insight into the country’s history, and visit Maroon villages more reminiscent of Africa than South America.
French Guiana, an overseas region of France adjoining Suriname and Brazil, makes up the third of the Guianas, known for the Isles du Salut and the Ariane Space Centre.
The Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana tour combines three countries to make for a unique journey within this region of South America.
Day 1 – Paramaribo
Start the Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana tour when you arrive in Paramaribo, Suriname’s capital, and transfer to hotel accommodation. Overnight Eco-Resort Inn or similar. No meals nor guided arrangements included today.
Day 2 – Paramaribo - Danpaati
Today we drive south from Paramaribo to Atjoni, boarding a motorised canoe to travel along the upper Suriname River to Danpaati River Lodge. We pass the villages of Maroons, people of African heritage, while traversing remarkable forest landscapes. The lodge is situated on an island in the middle of the rainforest. On arrival there’s time to swim in the pool or the river or just relax in the forest environment. In the evening we head out on the river again in search of caiman lying on the banks. Overnight Danpaati River Lodge or similar. (BLD)
Day 3 – Danpaati
Today we visit one of the twelve villages affiliated with Danpaati to learn about the history and customs of the Maroon people. In the afternoon we take a guided walk to discover the medicinal uses of forest plants. The rest of the day is free to relax, perhaps taking a dugout canoe around the island or even borrowing a rod for some fishing. Overnight Danpaati River Lodge. (BLD)
Day 4 - Danpaati – Paramaribo
This morning is free to relax at the lodge until lunchtime. In the afternoon we depart by motorised canoe for Atjoni, continuing by road to Paramaribo. Overnight Eco-Resort Inn or similar. (BL)
Day 5 – Commewijne Plantations
After breakfast we drive east of Paramaribo across the Suriname River to the Commewijne district. The route passes through former colonial plantations, most of which are now abandoned. At Peperpot Plantation many of the old 19th century structures are preserved, including the coffee and cocoa factories, the deputy-director’s house and administrative office. The plantation is one of the oldest in Suriname, established by the English before Suriname was conquered by the Dutch in the mid-17th century. Afterwards we travel to Marienburg, a former sugar plantation, where we visit the museum before taking lunch in nearby Tamanredjo. Later we continue to the confluence of the Commewijne and Suriname Rivers at Nieuw Amsterdam. Here we visit the outdoor museum of Fort Nieuw Amsterdam, a large fortress built to defend the upper reaches of both rivers. Overnight at Eco-Resort Inn. (BL)
Day 6 - Paramaribo – Kourou (French Guiana)
Today we make an early start, driving along the coast road to the border post at Albina. Immigration and customs are normally very efficient, and we’ll soon be boarding the Maroni River ferry and crossing into French Guiana. We continue by road to Kourou to join a tour of the Guiana Space Centre. This is a highlight of the Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana tour. The Space Centre excursion is conducted in French but our guide will provide translations as often as possible. Afterwards we check-in to hotel accommodation in Korou. Overnight Hotel Atlantis or similar. (BL)
Please note: Launch schedules at Guiana Space Centre are a closely guarded secret so the visit schedule may be subject to change at short notice.
Day 7 - Devils Island – Cayenne
What is commonly known as Devil’s Island is actually a triangle of three islands. After breakfast we take a motorised catamaran to Ile Saint Joseph and nearby Ile Royale, landing and exploring on foot. Ironically Devil’s Island itself is currently closed to visitors due to dangerous shoreline conditions. Later we return to Kourou by catamaran and drive to Cayenne for the night. The evening is free to relax or explore French Guiana’s capital independently. Overnight Central Hotel or similar. (BL)
Day 8- Paramaribo
Enjoy some time to explore Cayenne on your own before transferring by road to St Laurent de Maroni, making a brief stop at the church of Saint Joseph in Iracoubo, to see the interior which was hand painted by one of the convicts from a nearby penal colony. On arrival in St Laurent enjoy a mini city tour making a brief visit to the well preserved Transportation Centre. The facility was the processing centre for the majority of convicts being sent to the penal colonies in French Guiana. Having served their original sentences the convicts were then obliged to serve the same length of time here in an attempt to populate the colonies- perhaps the best known inmate was Papillon. Just offshore lies the wreck of the British steamer Edith Cavel which sank in bad weather in 1924- it is now so overgrown with vegetation that it looks like an island. Make the return journey by pirogue to Albian and continue to Paramaribo. Overnight at Eco Resort or similar. (B)
Day 9 - Georgetown
This morning we join chef, Delven Adams, from the famous Backyard Café as he shops for fresh produce, ingredients for our lunch later today. While he heads back to the restaurant, we tour the city, visiting the cathedral of St George, the Avenue of the Republic, Stabroek Market and the zoo. After a memorable lunch we head to the waterfront and take a water taxi for a cruise along the banks of the Demerara River. We’ll hear a brief history of the area, continuing to the Demarara Harbour Bridge, once the longest floating bridge in the world. Returning to the shore as the sun sets, we may see egrets and scarlet Ibis as they make their way to roost in the mangroves. Overnight Grand Coastal Hotel. (BL)
Day 10 - Kaieteur Falls
It’s a very early start today for a visit to the Botanical Gardens where we walk along its trails in search of the many bird species, including the Guianas’ endemic blood-coloured woodpeckers. After breakfast we return to the airport and board a flight over the Demerara and Essequibo Rivers and hundreds of kilometres of unbroken rainforest to the remote airstrip at the top of Kaieteur Falls. The world’s largest single drop falls by volume see the entirety of the Potaro River plummet 226m into the gorge below. We have around two-hours to view the falls before returning to Georgetown in the evening. Overnight Grand Coastal Hotel or similar. (B)
Please note: On occasion the visit to Kaieteur Falls may need to be re-scheduled.
Day 11 – Georgetown – Iwokrama
Today we again take a flight from Georgetown, over apparently endless rainforest, to Fair View Airstrip, from where we transfer by 4WD to Iwokrama Forest. One of the world’s few remaining pristine rainforests, Iwokrama contains a breathtaking diversity of species, offering the best opportunity to see jaguar in the wild. We take a boat trip to the trailhead to hike the summit of Turtle Mountain for spectacular views over the forest canopy. The area is home to red howler and black spider monkey, and five different eagle species. Those who feel the walk may be too strenuous may take an alternative boat ride to Stanley Lake in search of giant river otters and black caiman. Later, we take lunch at Iwokrama River Lodge before exploring one of the best trails for jaguar sightings. Encounters can never be guaranteed, but with luck we may see Guyana’s most elusive carnivore. The road is the only north to south access in Guyana and links the country to Brazil. However, there is very little traffic and wildlife such as agouti, tayra, puma, tapir and black curassow are all possible sightings, along with myriad bird species. Later we head to the 33m-high Iwokrama Canopy Walkway for a different perspective on the rainforest. Overnight Atta Rainforest Lodge. (BLD)
Please note: It is important to read the notes on luggage under ‘Preparing for your Tour’
Day 12 - Surama
This morning we listen to the dawn chorus from the canopy walkway and look out for red howler and black spider monkeys. Afterwards we drive through the rainforest to Corkwood before setting off for the Amerindian village of Surama. We stop en route in an area known for sightings of one of Guyana’s most spectacular birds, the cock-of-the-rock. Arriving in Surama, there’s a guided tour of the forest and the village, with an opportunity to visit houses, the community church, the medical centre and the local school. In the evening we head out to experience the forest at night before returning to basic accommodation at the nearby lodge. Overnight Surama Eco Lodge. (BLD)
Day 13– Surama Mountain
Rising before dawn, we walk across the savannah in the cool morning air to climb Surama Mountain. Though not a technical climb the ascent can be demanding, and for those who prefer, alternative activities are available with local guides. After lunch at the village, we walk the five kilometres to Burro Burro River for a canoe trip where we hope to see giant river otter, tapir and spider monkey. Overnight Surama Eco Lodge. (BLD)
Day 14 – Georgetown
This morning there’s time for a final forest walk in search of wildlife and birds before breakfast. Afterwards we drive to Rupununi airstrip for a scheduled flight across swathes of tropical rainforest to Georgetown. Overnight Grand Coastal Hotel. (B)
Please note: It is important to read the notes on luggage under ‘Preparing for your Tour’
Day 15 – Tour ends in Georgetown
Today the Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana tour ends after breakfast when you transfer to meet onward flights. (B)
Dates & Price.
To join the Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana Tour, flights from London to Paramaribo, returning from Georgetown, start from around £1100 per person. Please contact us for a quotation.
Single supplement is from £625
Minimum Group Size
This group tour operates subject to a minimum group size of 2 travellers.
Extra night accommodation pre and/or post tour in Suriname costs from £40 per person, per night sharing a twin/double room and £63 per person in a solo occupancy room. Extra night accommodation pre and/or post tour in Georgetown costs from £87 per person, per night sharing a twin/double room and £157 per person in a solo occupancy room.
Please note that the prices quoted above are for the category of accommodation and hotel used for this particular tour. Depending on the hotel eventually confirmed there may be some difference in the rate advertised by the hotel, and the prices available through Undiscovered Destinations. It should be noted we will not apply a surcharge should more expensive accommodation be used. At the same time in the event that a lower rate is available for the confirmed hotel we are unable to offer a refund.
Airport transfers are included in the Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana tour if you are booking pre and/or post tour accommodation at the hotel mentioned in our tour dossier.
Yellow Fever Certificate
You will need proof of Yellow Fever immunisation when entering Suriname.
Want to see details of your itinerary on a map?
Download the full tour dossier for this trip here.
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- Arrival and departure transfers
- Domestic flights
- Transport throughout
- All accommodation
- Services of English speaking local guides – please note that you will have a different guide in each place on the itinerary, rather than the same guide throughout the trip
- Meals as listed (B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner)
- Entrance fees for sites listed as part of the itinerary
- International flights
- Any airport taxes
- Travel Insurance
- Tips (discretionary)