Discovering the Hidden Guianas Group Tour
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
15 day tour
Including flights and transfers
Prices from
£5895

Tour Highlights

  • Waterfalls, Wildlife & Lodges of Guyana
  • Culture & Historic Settlements of Suriname
  • French Guiana's Modern Space Centre & Historic Prison Islands
  • A Melting Pot of Cultures
  • Excellent Wildlife Opportunites
  • Spectacular Kaieteur Falls
I'm enquiring about: Discovering the Hidden Guianas Group Tour

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I'm enquiring about: Discovering the Hidden Guianas Group Tour

Discovering the Hidden Guianas Group Tour

Guyana

The Guiana Shield made up of Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana is a 1.7 billion-year old Precambrian geological formation in the northeast of South America and one of the most biodiverse areas in the world. Home to 1400 vertebrate species and 1680 bird species, it is overlain by the largest expanses of pristine rainforest in the world. On this tour, marvel at Kaieteur Falls, the highest single drop waterfall in the world and discover one of greatest untouched tropical forests left. Spot jaguar, giant anteater, giant river otter, tapir and more. Learn about the cultures of the region and visit local Amerindian and Maroon communities. Visit French Guiana’s Space Centre and relive the story of Papillion at Devil’s Island.


Day 1
Day 1
Thursday – Suriname
Depart the UK today and fly to Paramaribo via Amsterdam.
 
You will be met at the JA Pengal International airport and transferred to your hotel in Paramaribo. Formerly a statuesque townhouse, the Eco Resort Inn has been lovingly renovated while maintaining the authenticity of its exquisite colonial architecture. It has been transformed into the most charming lobby of one of Paramaribo’s most favoured hotels with numerous eco-friendly features. Located within a 5-minute walk of the historic centre of Paramaribo and the tantalising city life, rooms offer either a breath-taking view of the Suriname River or a beautiful view of the lovely garden. The hotel is simply ideal for guests who want to visit Suriname to relax and unwind.
 
Overnight at Eco Resort Inn
Day 2
Day 2
Friday - Suriname
This morning start your nature and cultural experience as you depart from Paramaribo. Travel approximately 190 km to reach the village of Atjoni. At the port of Atjoni board a motorised canoe, where skilled personnel will navigate their way up the Upper Suriname River, which is famous for its breathtaking rapids, to the Danpaati River Lodge.The Danpaati River Lodge is an exceptionally remote and tranquil oasis in the heart of nature, welcoming adventurous visitors in search of an escape from modern stresses and distractions. The lodge features a welcoming and breezy lounge facing the river, a large pool surrounded by a hardwood yoga deck, and easy access to one of the few portions of the Surinam River where it is actually safe to swim. Accommodations are in spacious A-frame style cabins with carefully appointed amenities including fresh coffee service in the mornings, mosquito nets, and unbeatable views into the thick, surrounding nature. The day comes to an end with an exciting cruise on the river, looking for caiman lying on the river banks.
 
Breakfast, lunch and dinner
 
Overnight at Danpaati River Lodge
Day 3
Day 3
Saturday - Suriname
Today visit one of the 12 villages that are affiliated with Danpaati. Enjoy a guided tour through the village where you will learn about the unique way of life of the local population and the wonderful traditions brought from Africa by their ancestors. After the tour visit the Maroon museum Saamaka which is dedicated to the cultural heritage of the Saramak Maroon population. Pikinslee is located 30 minutes by boat from Danpaati. In the museum learn about the history of the Maroon’s, their ancient traditions and crafts. After the tour return to the lodge for lunch. In the afternoon, discover the secrets of the rainforest during a guided walk in the woods. Afterwards, time is at leisure. You could choose to enjoy a massage done in a combination of traditional and Western techniques. Alternative possibilities to explore the surrounding area are available; fishing or taking the dugout canoe around the island. After dinner watch a traditional and cultural dance performance. Traditional dances such as the Seketi, Awasa and Bandamba will be performed by the local population. Your guide will explain the cultural significance of each dance.
 
Breakfast, lunch and dinner
 
Overnight at Danpaati River Lodge
Day 4
Day 4
Sunday - Suriname
This morning you still have some time to enjoy the beautiful surroundings and take pictures. Depart by dugout canoe from Danpaati to Atjoni. From Atjoni continue the journey back to Paramaribo by vehicle. There is an optional sunset dolphin tour.
 
Breakfast and lunch
 
Overnight at Eco Resort Inn
Day 5
Day 5
Monday - Suriname
Paramaribo, the capital city of Suriname, has been placed on the UNESCO “World Heritage” list of historical monuments since 2002. On a guided tour explore the most prominent historic locations in downtown Paramaribo and discover its unique architecture. Learn about the former “Fort Zeelandia”, the Presidential Palace, the Independence Square and many other monuments. The monumental buildings are a true representation of the colonial history of Suriname. After a stroll pass the Waterkant, along the bank of the Suriname River and through the Palms Garden, also enjoy other interesting sites such as a mosque right next to a synagogue.
 
Proceed to the Commewijne district which is situated to the east of Paramaribo across the Suriname River. The tour takes you along the former colonial plantations, most of which are now abandoned. Stop at plantation Peperpot where the old coffee and cocoa factory, deputy-director’s house and the old office are located. This former plantation is one of the oldest plantations in Surinamese history. Peperpot was established by the English and already existed before Suriname was conquered by the natives from Zeeland under command of Abraham Crijnssen in 1667. This is one of the last plantations still in its former original state. 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 renowned for the many birds which can be spotted.
 
From Peperpot, stop at the mini-museum of Marienburg, a former sugar plantation before enjoying a delicious lunch in a typical Javanese restaurant (warung) in Tamanredjo. Continue to the confluence of the Commewijne and Suriname Rivers at Nieuw Amsterdam. Here we will visit the outdoor museum Fort Nieuw Amsterdam. The large fortress was built as a defence for the crop fields that were situated along the upper parts of both rivers.
 
Breakfast and lunch
 
Overnight at Eco Resort Inn
Day 6
Day 6
Tuesday - Suriname to French Guiana
With an early start, the first leg of the journey will take you eastbound along Suriname's coastal road, a throughway that is intermittently getting a much-needed facelift, to Albina border station. Via a Ferry crossing the Maroni River, head for French Guiana or "Guyane" as it is frequently (and confusingly) called locally.
 
Arrival at St. Laurent du Maroni is relatively uncomplicated, and your French guide will be on hand to help navigate the usual customs and immigration formalities. French Guyana is a Department of France, so technically you have entered the EU upon landing here. And, evidence of this connection to the "1st world" is immediately evident: every car seems to be a late-model Mercedes, Volkswagen or Peugeot, the roads are in near perfect condition, espresso coffee is on tap nearly everywhere, and the Euro is the currency of choice.
 
Continue your journey to Kourou. Visit the Center Spatiale Guyanaise (Guyana Space Center). Launch schedules are a closely-held secret so the schedule today may be amended on short notice. The usual tour includes a motor coach tour which criss-crosses the centre’s mammoth facility, including stops at various assembly buildings and control centres. The entire tour is offered in French, but your guide will supply translations as often as possible.
 
Breakfast and lunch
 
Overnight at Hotel Atlantis.
Day 7
Day 7
Wednesday - French Guiana
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 a breakfast buffet at the hotel, we set sail aboard a fine motorised catamaran towards the 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.
 
Île Saint-Joseph is the southernmost island and is home to the most striking incarceration facilities that made up this notorious penal colony. 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 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.
 
Begin the tour on Île St. Joseph which can be easily circumnavigated on foot in less than 2 hours. The prison buildings here are quite well preserved, and you can meander through the cell blocks, dormitory buildings, and other structures while taking photographs or simply soaking in the powerful ambience. The countless scenes of nature slowly but relentlessly reclaiming the land here are really quite remarkable... you'll lose count of how many tree roots you see growing out of one cell door and curving around to enter an adjacent cell. If your walking tour wraps up early, there are plenty of shady trees under which you can catch a cool breeze, or you can dip your toe in one of the shallow tide pools on the north side of the island.
 
Return to Kourou by Catamaran. Transfer to Cayenne and to your hotel. This evening you can explore the capital city of Cayenne at your leisure.
 
Breakfast and lunch
 
Overnight at the Central Hotel.
Day 8
Day 8
Thursday - French Guiana - Guyana
After breakfast transfer to the border of St. Laurent de Maroni. On the way make a brief stop in St Joseph’s church, in Iracoubo. The entire inside of the church was hand painted by one of the convicts from a nearby penal colony.
 
Upon arrival of St. Laurent enjoy a mini city tour of St. Laurent du Maroni and make a brief visit to the well-preserved transportation Centre. The facility once served as the process to the various penal colonies in French Guiana. Starting in the mid-18th century the majority of convicts were transported to French Guiana and served their various convictions. They then had to spend the same amount of time here as their sentence before gaining their freedom. This was a way to try to populate the colony. One of the most famous inmates was Papillion whose initials are carved in one of the cells. A hard-to-miss curiosity just offshore is the British steamer Edith Cavel shipwreck, so overgrown with trees and shrubs that it could be mistaken for a natural island. It partially sank in bad weather in 1924.
 
In the afternoon, fly to Georgetown, the capital of Guyana.
 
Breakfast
 
Overnight at Grand Coastal Hotel
Day 9
Day 9
Friday - Guyana
Today accommpanied by a host, guide and culinary master, visit the Bourda Market, one of the four largest markets in Georgetown. Meet the vendors, see, touch, taste a variety of fruits and vegetables unique to this part of the world. Stop at the fish market and learn about the fish found in Guyana's unique coastal waters. In the haberdashery section discover beautiful African prints and every type of fabric you could imagine. In the large open air market, try all the different fruits, many of which are part of the Guyanese culture and unlikely to be seen elsewhere. After the market trip, the chef will head home to prepare you the most delicious local meal while you head off on a tour of Georgetown.
 
Georgetown the chief port, capital and largest city of Guyana is situated on the right bank of the Demerara River Estuary. It was chosen as a site for a fort to guard the early Dutch settlements of the Demerara River. The city of 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. No trip to Georgetown would be complete without a visit to the Botanical Gardens and zoo. The Botanical Gardens house one of the most extensive collections of tropical flora in the Caribbean and are laid out with ponds, canals, kissing bridges and bandstand. Over 100 species of Guyanese wildlife can be observed at the Zoo including a wide variety of birds.
 
After the tour, enjoy your freshly cooked lunch before an afternoon cruise on the Demerara River. As the sun sets over the river you may witness the flock of brilliant Egrets and Scarlet Ibis as they fly across the skies and settle into the Mangroves for the evening.
 
Breakfast and lunch
 
Overnight at Grand Coastal Hotel
Day 10
Day 10
Saturday - Guyana
This morning there is an optional bird watching tour in Georgetown's Botanical Gardens. Late morning, you will fly to Kaieteur Falls, the world's highest free-falling waterfall.
 
Kaieteur Falls 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, one of the worlds natural wonders, 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. Amerindian legend of the Patamona tribe has it that Kai, one of the tribe’s chiefs (after whom the falls is named), committed self sacrifice by canoeing himself over the falls. It was believed this would encourage the Great Spirit Makonaima to save the tribe from being destroyed by the savage Caribishi. Kaieteur supports a unique micro environment with Tank Bromeliads, the largest in the world, in which the tiny Golden frog spends its entire life and the rarely seen Guiana Cock- of-the rock nesting close by. Lucky visitors may also see the famous flights of the Kaieteur Swifts or Makonaima Birds which nest under the vast shelf of rock carved by the centuries of water, hidden behind the eternal curtain of falling water.
 
In the afternoon, fly back to Georgetown.
 
Breakfast and snacks
 
Overnight at Grand Coastal Hotel
 
Day 11
Day 11
Sunday - Guyana
Today fly over hundreds of miles of tropical rainforest to get to Iwokrama River Lodge. On arrival, depart the lodge by boat, birdwatching along the way to 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 Monkey and Red Howler Monkey and if you are very lucky even a Jaguar. This pristine forest offers huge buttress trees and the endemic Greenheart, a highly sought after hardwood. 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. Lunch is served back at the lodge.
 
In the afternoon, transfer by 4WD along the trail that is one of the best places to see the elusive Jaguar. The Iwokrama forest is rapidly gaining an international reputation for its healthy jaguar populations that seem not to be troubled by the appearance of curious humans. No promises, but many have been lucky! The Iwokrama Canopy Walkway is situated at Mauisparu, near the southern boundary of the Iwokrama Reserve in central Guyana. The walkway has four suspension bridges leading to three platforms, the highest of which is over 30 metres above the ground, and these will allow great looks at a range of canopy species, many of which you would struggle to see well from the forest floor.
 
Your day concludes at Atta Rainforest Lodge, just 500m from the base of the Canopy Walkway. The lodge is completely surrounded by tropical rainforest. The clearing around the lodge is one of the best places to see another of Guyana’s “must see” birds, the Crimson Fruitcrow. This species is seen here on a reasonably regular basis, as it often comes to feed in some of the nearby trees. The clearing is also a reliable site for Black Curassow as there is a family party which has become habituated to people and regularly passes through the clearing. With reasonable luck, you should be able to add this bird to the impressive list of species you will see around the lodge and walkway.
 
Breakfast, lunch and dinner
 
Overnight at Atta Rainforest Lodge
Day 12
Day 12
Monday - Guyana
Before dawn return to the canopy where you will welcome the dawn chorus. From this tree top vantage you can sometimes see Red Howler Monkeys 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 keytrees species marked. Many bird species, stunning insects, noisy amphibians, and playful primates make the surrounding forest their home and you can be fairly certain to spot some extraordinary wildlife without even trying too hard. Deer and agouti are also regular visitors to the lodge.
 
After breakfast, transfer by 4WD through the rainforest to Corkwood in the Iwokrama Forest. Here there is a comparatively short trail to hopefully see the amazingly brilliant Guianan Cock-of-therock. This trail is through interesting forest and the guides can show the use of the plants.Then continue the journey to the community of Surama. The Amerindian community of Surama is located in the heart of Guyana. The village is set in five square miles of savannah which is ringed by the forest covered Pakaraima Mountains. Surama’s inhabitants are mainly from the Macushi tribe and still observe many of the traditional practises of their forebears. This isolated and idyllic location offers an escape from the concrete jungle to a serene and peaceful existence with nature. The guides have lived their entire lives in the rainforest, and have an incredible understanding of nature and how to utilise its resources.
 
On arrival in Surama you will receive a warm welcome from local staff and settle into your accommodation at the Surama Eco-lodge. A local guide will escort you for a short walk on trails to observe the forest and bird life. As the afternoon cools your guide will take you on a tour of the village. Visit the local school, medical centre and church along with some of the village houses. Tonight enjoy an educational walk to observe wildlife and experience the mystique of the forest after dark.
 
Breakfast, lunch and dinner
 
Overnight at Surama Eco-Lodge
Day 13
Day 13
Tuesday - Guyana
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. Return to village for lunch and then take a three mile walk across the savannah and through the rainforest to the Burro Burro River. Your guides will then paddle you on the Burro Burro River for opportunities to observe Giant River Otters, Tapir, Tira, Spider Monkeys and many more species. Return to village for sunset.
 
Breakfast, lunch and dinner
 
Overnight at Surama Eco-Lodge
Day 14
Day 14
Wednesday - Guyana
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. You will then be transferred to the airstrip for a flight back to Georgetown. There is the option this evening for a Guyanese 7 curry dinner, a wonderful Guyanese tradition.
 
Breakfast
 
Overnight at Grand Coastal Hotel
 
Day 15
Day 15
Thursday - Guyana - Suriname - UK
Today you will be taken to the airport to take a flight to Paramaribo and then connect onto your international via Amsterdam.
 
Breakfast

Pricing Information & Dates

15 day tour, from £5895 per person
Price Includes:
  • Flights
  • Accommodation
  • Transfers
  • Guide
Price Includes
International flights including from Georgetown to Paramaribo, airport transfers, double or twin accommodation, meals as listed, all road and river transfers, internal flights in Guyana, activities as described, local guides, VAT, Kaieteur National Park fee, Iwokrama Forest User Fee, Iwokrama Canopy Walkway fee
Price Excludes
Alcohol, tips, spending money, departure tax, visa if applicable, optional activities
Price Notes
2019 dates:
Thursday 26th Sept - Thursday 10th October
Thursday 7th Nov - Thursday 21st Nov

To apply for your Suriname visa. (please ensure you make a copy of your passport Bio graphic page, the page with the entry stamp and your international flight tickets and fill out the application form)
***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 prior to travel to Suriname. Suriname recognizes the Yellow Fever vaccination certificate as valid for life starting 10 days after vaccination. A vaccination certificate is required for children over 1 year of age. Travellers should carry their vaccination card with them at all times while travelling in Suriname.***

Passenger/s travelling on GUMAIR flights in Guyana are allowed a free baggage allowance of 33lbs/15KG exceeding this weight passenger/s will incur a cost of GY$268.00 equivalent to US$ 1.30cents per pound. Please note that additional baggage allowance is subject to availability and cannot be confirmed until day/time of check-in by the airline. We can book excess weight on your behalf but it is subject to being within the payload of the aircraft and at the discretion of the airline.

Passenger/s travelling on internal flights in Guyana are allowed a free baggage allowance of 20lbs/9.1KG exceeding this weight passenger/s will incur a cost of GY$188.10 (price subject to change) equivalent to US$ 0.98cents per pound. Please note that additional baggage allowance is subject to availability and cannot be confirmed until day/time of check-in by the airline. We can book excess weight on your behalf but it is subject to being within the payload of the aircraft and at the discretion of the airline.

Tour Route Map

  1.   Guyana's Interior
  2.   Kaieteur Falls
  3.   Georgetown

Image Gallery

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