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Discovering The Hidden Guianas

Highlights

Paramaribo - Danpaati River (SURINAME) - Kourou - Guiana Space Centre - Devils Island - Cayenne (FRENCH GUIANA) - Georgetown - Kaieteur Falls - Lodges (GUYANA)

REF :

WE-001

Dates

Prices*

Single Supp

5th Feb, 9th Apr, 7th May, 4th Jun, 23rd Jul, 13th Aug, 8th Oct, 5th Nov 2022

£5,985 / $7,485

£ 940 / $1,175

*Price per person based on twin/double share

Full Itinerary

AY 1: PARAMARIBO, SURINAME.

Arrival into Suriname. Time at leisure to explore.


DAY 2: PARAMARIBO - DANPAATI RIVER LODGE (B, L, D).

This morning departure towards the village of Atjoni. Join a motorized canoe and navigate up the Upper Suriname River, famous for its breath-taking rapids. Reach Danpaati River Lodge located in a remote and tranquil oasis. Relax and unwind at the lodge surrounded by the dense rainforest. End the day with an exciting river cruise looking for caiman lying on the riverbanks. Return to the lodge and overnight.


DAY 3: DANPAATI RIVER LODGE (B, L, D).

Today, take a guided tour to one of the 12 villages affiliated with Danpaati. Observe the wonderful local traditions brough from their African ancestors. Following the tour visit the museum dedicated to the cultural heritage of the Saramak Maroon population where you will discover the Maroon’s history, ancient traditional and crafts. Return to the lodge for lunch. In the afternoon enjoy the nature and some of the secrets of the rainforest during a walk in the woods. Spend the rest of the day relaxing with a massage or maybe try fishing or experience sailing in one of the dugout canoes. This evening the after-dinner entertainment is a traditional and cultural dance show. The locals will perform the Seketi, Awasa and Bandamba dances for you.


DAY 4: DANPAATI RIVER LODGE - PARAMARIBO (B, L).

Morning at leisure to enjoy the beautiful surroundings. Depart by dugout canoe to Atjoni and continue to Paramaribo by road for your overnight stay.

Evening optional excursion: Sunset Dolphin Tour – Depart from Nieuw Amsterdam Pier on the boat and enjoy the cool breeze and drinks whilst the captain searches for a pod of dolphins. See them play and jump close to the boat. End the evening at a former plantation with snacks whilst experiencing the stunning sunset over the Commewijne River.


DAY 5: PARAMARIBO (B, L).

Being today with a guided tour of Paramaribo, the capital city of Suriname. Visit the prominent historic locations downtown and be impressed by the unique architecture. Learn about the former “Fort Zeelandia” the Presidential Palace, Independence Square and much more. The monumental buildings are a true representation of the colonial history of Suriname. Continue the tour to the Commewijne district, located east of Paramaribo. Along the way see former abandoned colonial plantations, and make a stop at plantation Peperpot, one of the oldest plantations in Surinamese history and still in its original state. On this plantation you can still see coffee and cocoa plants along with the ancient factory, manager’s residence, and a kampong (workers living area). Spot many birds that are renowned at Peperpot. Before lunch, at a typical Javanese restaurant, stop at the mini museum of Marienburg, a former sugar plantation. Continue onto the outdoor museum of Fort Nieuw Amsterdam. The large fortress was built as a defence for the crop fields that were situated along the upper parts of the Commewijne and Suriname Rivers. At the end of the tour return to Paramaribo.


DAY 6: PARAMARIBO - KOUROU IN FRENCH GUIANA (B, L).

Early departure today for the cross-border journey. Travel along Suriname’s coastal road to Albina border station where formalities rarely take more than a few minutes. You will then board a ferry to cross the Marioni River heading for French Guiana. Upon arrival at St. Laurent du Maroni your guide will be on hand to ensure smooth formalities at the customs and immigration. Guyane Francaise is a Department of France, so technically you have entered the EU. You will feel this from the near perfect road conditions, new cars an espresso on tap nearly everywhere, and the currency is the Euro. Continue to the Centre Spatiale Guyanaise (Guiana Space Centre) for a tour which includes covering the mammoth facility by coach, the assembly buildings, launch pads and control centres. 


DAY 7: DEVILS ISLAND - CAYENNE (B, L).

Commonly referred to as Devils Island, it is one of three islands that makes up Salvation Islands, located seven miles from the mainland. The islands are full of history and go as far back as 1792 when it was original a transit point for explorers, then slaves and later political prisoners and convicts. Take a catamaran to the first stop, Île Saint-Joseph, which was known as the silent island as inmates were not allowed to speak to anyone during their time there. Île Royale is the island with the oldest buildings, featuring an old church, officers’ quarters, and today a restaurant, café, and accommodation. Ironically the actual Devil’s Island is inaccessible due to the dangerous shoreline conditions. This was the island where the prison’s best-known inmate, Alfered Dreyfus, was famously secluded and where Papillon said he was able to escape of a coconut raft. You will spend most of the day on Île Royale to explore. You may even spot a sea turtle among the rocks by the dock upon your departure. Evening at leisure.


DAY 8: CAYENNE - PARAMARIBO (B).

Early morning to explore Cayenne then mid-morning transfer to St. Laurent du Maroni, via St Joseph’s Church at Iracoubo. The entire inside of the church was hand painted by a convict from a nearby penal colony. Upon arrival at St. Laurent du Maroni enjoy a mini city tour and briefly visit the well-preserved Transportation Centre. The facility once served as the arrival station where convicts were processed to the various penal colonies in French Guiana. One of the most famous inmates was Papillon, whose initials are carved in one of the cells.

Continue through immigration and then cross by Pirogue to Albina and onwards to Paramaribo.


DAY 9: PARAMARIBO - GEORGETOWN (B, L).

Early flight to Georgetown. Upon arrival your host, guide and culinary master, Chef Delven Adams will guide you around Bourda Market, the largest of the four markets in Georgetown. Meet some of the venders who Chef buys from daily. Visit the fish market, the meat section, and the haberdashery section - where you can find anything from thread to bolts and all kinds of fabric. A stop at the bush medicine stall is always educational! Chef will make his purchases with your suggestions of what you would like to try. Continue a city tour of Georgetown with a guide to learn about the history and stories from the city. Some interesting sights you will see include Stabroek Market, St. George’s Cathedral, National Museum and pay a visit to a pond in the gardens or the National Park, to feed the endangered West Indian Manatees.

Lunch is at the Backyard Café, which is Chef’s own backyard turned into an exclusive hidden gem. Chef will welcome you to join him prepare a wonderful meal with produce purchased at the market in the morning. Or you can sit and relax with a unique blend of juice or a cold beer, taking in the atmosphere. Following the tasty lunch visit the Botanical Gardens, home to an extensive collection of tropical flora, and the zoo which has become a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centre with many species of tropical wildlife.

After a drive through the heart of the city, join the afternoon commuters using the old ferry telling to board the river taxis, used to cross the Demerara River. Your guide will give a brief history of the famous buildings along the waterfront. Continue along the river to see the Demerara Harbour Bridge, once the longest floating bridge in the world at 1,851m long. As the sun sets over the river see stunning birds including flocks of Scarlet Ibis and three kinds of Egrets as they fly across the sky to settle into the Mangroves for the evening. Transfer to the hotel for the night.


DAY 10: GEORGETOWN - KAIETEUR FALLS (B).

Today take a scheduled flight over the Demerara and Essequibo Rivers, and hundreds of miles of tropical rainforest. Land at Kaieteur Falls, the world’s highest free-falling waterfall. Situated in the heart of Guyana on the Portaro River, the Falls was first seen by a European in 1870. The drop of 741 feet is 5 times the height of Niagara Falls. Spend some time discovering the unique microenvironment and you may even see the famous flight of the Kaieteur Swifts or Makoaima Birds which nest under the vast shelf or rock carved over millions of years by the black water of the Potaro River. Return flight to Georgetown later in the day.

Optional Excursion- Birding in Georgetown’s Botanical Gardens – 3 hours. Depart hotel at 05:45 hrs.


DAY 11: IWOKRAMA RIVER LODGE - ATTA RAINFOREST LODGE (B, L, D).

Morning departure to the airport. Fly to Fair View Airstrip and transfer to Iwokrama River Lodge.

Following a briefing depart the lodge by boat, birdwatching along the way, for the hike to Turtle Mountain. The climb will exhilarate you and once you reach the 935ft / 360m summit the views of the forest canopy are breath-taking, and worth the 2-hour trek. From this height you will get the chance to see Green Aracari, White Bellbird or a fly-by from one of the five types of eagles. The trail is also great for seeing Black Spider and Red Howler Monkeys. An alternative boat trip to Stanley Lake to search for Giant River Otters and Black Caiman, if the trek is too strenuous for you.

Return to the lodge for lunch then transfer along the trail that is one of the best places to see the elusive Jaguar. Many have been lucky enough to see them along the way. This road is the only north-south access in Guyana and links the country to Brazil. The journey ends at the Atta Rainforest Lodge, home of the Iwokrama Canopy Walkway.

The walkway has four suspension bridges leading to three platforms, the highest is over 30 metres above ground. These are great lookouts at a range of canopy species, many of which you would struggle to see from the floor.

Atta Rainforest Lodge is just 500 metres from the base of the Canopy Walkway offering traditional Amerindian hospitality. Spend time in the garden with a wonderful collection of Heliconia flowers that attracts hummingbirds. Evening at leisure.


DAY 12: ATTA RAINFOREST LODGE - SURAMA ECO LODGE (B, L, D).

Experience the dawn chorus from the tree top vantage point and sometimes see the Red Howler and Black Spider Monkeys. Enjoy the wildlife, birdwatching and nature around the trails and you may even spot deer, tapir and agouti who are regular visitors to the lodge.

After breakfast depart to Corkwood in the Iwokrama Forest. See the amazingly brilliant Guianan Cock-of-the-rock. The trail is through pristine rainforest and the guide will explain how the plants are used in medicine and other purposes.

Continue to Surama, an Amerindian community. The village is set in five square miles of savannah ringed by the forest covered Pakaraima Mountains. Meet the inhabitants who are mainly from Macushi tribe and still observe many old traditions.

Receive a warm welcome at the Surama Eco Lodge, and after settling in take an escorted short walk to observe the forest and bird life. In the afternoon with your guide, visit the village, local school, medical centre and some of the local houses. Enjoy the evening observing the wildlife after dark.


DAY 13: SURAMA ECO LODGE (B, L, D).

Rise before dawn for a walk across the savannah and climb the Surama Mountain for incredible views across the village and savannah to the Pakaraima Mountains. Alternative activities available if you prefer not to climb.

Return to the lodge for lunch followed by a three mile walk across the savannah and through the rainforest to the Burro Burro River. Take the opportunity to spot Giant River Otters, Tapir, Tayra, spider monkeys and much more, whilst your guide paddles you down the river. Return to the lodge for the evening.


DAY 14: SURAMA ECO LODGE - GEORGETOWN (B).

Experience dawn breaking across the rainforest. Choose from a forest walk or relax around the lodge before breakfast.

Transfer to the airstrip for your flight to Georgetown. Upon arrival transfer to your hotel. Rest of the day at leisure.


DAY 15: DEPART GEORGETOWN (B).

Time at leisure until your transfer for your flight or extend your stay.


WHAT’S INCLUDED

Accommodation - 14 nights in minimum 3-star hotels.

Meals - As specified in the itinerary (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner).

Luggage - One normal suitcase and one handbag per person included for hotel porterage.

Transfers - all airport transfers from arrival on Day 1 to final day (assuming specific group flights booked).

Tours (with local bilingual English-speaking guides).  Kaieteur National Park fee, Iwokrama Forest User Fee, Iwokrama Canopy Walkway fee.

SURINAME: Danpaati River Cruise, Danpaati guided village tour & museum, lodge activies & evening entertainment, Paramaribo city tour, Peperpot Plantation, Museum of Fort Nieuw Amsterdam. 

FRENCH GUIANA: Île Saint-Joseph excursion, St. Laurent du Maroni mini city tour, Guiana Space Centre. 

GUYANA: Georgetown city & Bourda Market tour, Botanical Gardens, Demerara River cruise, Kaieteur Falls day trip, Turtle Mountain trek, Iwokrama Canopy Walk, Surama village experience, Surama Mountain & Savannah walks.


WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED

International flights and airport taxes to join the tour.

Internal flights within the Guiana’s.

Day 4 - Optional Dolphin Tour US $120.00 per person on Day 4.

Day 10 - Optional Birding in Georgetown’s Botanical Gardens – 3 hours US$65.00 per person.

Day 14 - Optional Traditional Guyanese 7 curry dinner at Backyard Cafe US$60.00 per person

Tips for local guides / drivers.

Early Check-in / Late Check-out.

Travel Insurance.


NOTES

  • Day 6 - Space launch schedules are closely-held secret, so schedules maybe amended at short notice. The tour is offered in French, and your guide will translate as often as possible.

  • Free baggage allowance on internal flights in Guyana is 9kg. Additional weight is charged extra.

  • Check required group internal flights at time of booking.

  • Tour prices are based on shared group services (not private services).

  • Passport copies required 30 days prior to arrival for all passengers.

Itinerary

DAY 1:  Arrival - Paramaribo in SURINAME

DAY 2:  Paramaribo - Danpaati River Lodge

DAY 3:  Danpaati River Lodge

DAY 4:  Danpaati River Lodge - Paramaribo

DAY 5:  Paramaribo

DAY 6:  Paramaribo - Kourou in FRENCH GUIANA - Guiana Space Centre

DAY 7:  Devils Island - Cayenne

DAY 8:  Cayenne - Paramaribo

DAY 9:  Paramaribo - Georgetown in GUYANA

DAY 10:  Georgetown - Kaieteur Falls

DAY 11:  Iwokrama River Lodge - Atta Rainforest Lodge

DAY 12:  Atta Rainforest Lodge - Surama Eco Lodge

DAY 13:  Surama Eco Lodge

DAY 14:  Surama Eco Lodge - Georgetown

DAY 15:  Depart Georgetown (or extend your trip)

Interests
Antiques & Bric-à-brac
DISCOVERING THE HIDDEN GUIANAS
Extensions for this tour

Contact us for available tour extensions

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15 days, 14 nights

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£5,985 / $7,485
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