Experience the 3-Guianas

Discovering the Hidden Guianas

Explore French Guiana, Suriname and Guyana
15D/14N Starting at $7550 per person

The Guiana Shield is a 1.7 billion-year-old Precambrian geological formation in northeast South America and is one of the regions of highest biodiversity in the world.

The Shield has 1400 vertebrate species and 1680 bird species. The Shield is overlain by the largest expanse of undisturbed tropical rain forest in the world. Join us as we explore the 3-Guianas: Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana.

Kaieteur Waterfall

Marvel at Kaieteur Falls, the highest single drop waterfall in the world and discover one of the greatest untouched rainforests left.

Explore the interior of Guyana from remote jungle lodges.

This region is home to endangered species such as jaguar, giant anteater, giant river otter, tapir and so much more.

Tour the capital cities: Georgetown, Paramaribo, Cayenne.

Devils Island French Guiana

In French Guiana:

  • Explore Devil's Island, the infamous French penal colony located off the coast of French Guiana.  
  • In Kourou you will visit the Guiana Space Center.

 

Lost World Adventures itineraries can be tailor-made according to your plans and preferences: budget, hotel selections, travel dates, optional excursions, length of trip, etc.

Day 1: Paramaribo, Suriname

We will pick you up at the J.A. Pengal International airport and transfer you to the hotel.

The Torarica Hotel and Casino is located along the Suriname River, near the very heart of the bustling city life and historic center. Torarica is the ideal location for business, relaxing getaways and family holidays and offers everything the modern traveler looks for in a perfect holiday experience. Overnight at Torarica Hotel breakfast included. 

Day 2: Paramaribo to Danpaati River Lodge

This morning we start our nature and cultural experience as we depart from Paramaribo after travelling a distance of approximately 190 km you arrive at the port of Atjoni where we join a motorized canoe. Our 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 pool surrounded by a hardwood yoga deck, and easy access to one of the few portions of the Suriname 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, and unbeatable views across the river and into the dense surrounding Rainforest.

Our day comes to an end with an exciting cruise on the river, looking for caiman lying on the river banks. Overnight at Danpaati River Lodge in a standard room. All meals included today.

Day 3:  Danpaati River Lodge

Today we will visit one of the 12 villages that are affiliated with Danpaati. We will have a guided tour through the village and you will be introduced to the wonderful traditions brought from Africa by their ancestors. After the tour we will 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 you will learn about the Maroon’s history, and their ancient traditions and crafts. After the tour we return to the lodge for lunch.

In the afternoon, we will discover some of the secrets of the rainforest during our walk in the woods. Afterwards you could choose to enjoy a massage done in a combination of traditional and Western techniques. Possibilities to explore the surrounding area are available; fishing or taking the dugout canoe around the island.

After dinner you can enjoy 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. 

Overnight at Danpaati River Lodge. All meals included today.

Day 4: Danpaati River Lodge to Paramaribo

This morning we still have some time to enjoy the beautiful surroundings and take pictures. After saying goodbye to the staff, we depart by dugout canoe from Danpaati to Atjoni. From Atjoni we will continue our journey back to Paramaribo by vehicle.

Overnight at Torarica Hotel. Breakfast and lunch included today.

Optional service (not included in package price):
Sunset Dolphin Tour
Transfer to the pier at Nieuw Amsterdam where we will be picked up for the Sunset Dolphin tour. While having a drink we enjoy the cool breeze and river views, meanwhile the captain searches the horizon for the dolphins. Normally we see them swim by in groups of up to 20. Sometimes they’re very curious and if we are lucky they will jump and play close to the boat.

After having enjoyed this playful company we part for former plantation Johan and Margaretha where we will enjoy freshly made local snacks like barra, baka bana or eggroll while experiencing the beautiful sunset. All this takes place in a relaxing atmosphere on a wooden deck near the waterfront of the Commewijne River. After the sun has set we will get back on board, pour another drink, and slowly make our way back to Leonsberg. Transfer back to Paramaribo to your hotel.

Day 5: Paramaribo

Paramaribo, the capital city of Suriname, has been placed on the UNESCO “World Heritage” list of historical monuments since 2002. You will take a guided tour, by car and on foot, along the most prominent historic locations in downtown Paramaribo. The guide will tell you about the former “Fort Zeelandia”, the Presidential Palace, the Independence Square and many other monuments. The 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 Palm Gardens, we will visit the Waka Pasi boardwalk making sure to visit the ice cream kiosk to try some tropical flavors like passion and jamoon. You will also enjoy other interesting sites such as a mosque right next to a synagogue.

We proceed to the Commewijne district which is situated to the east of Paramaribo across the Suriname River. The tour takes us along the former colonial plantations, most of which are now abandoned. We make a 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 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, we make a stop at the mini-museum of Marienburg, a former sugar plantation before enjoying a delicious lunch in a typical Javanese restaurant (warung) in Tamanredjo. We then 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 defense for the plantations that were situated along the upper parts of both rivers. After the tour we will transfer you by car or bus to Paramaribo.

Overnight at Torarica Hotel. Breakfast and lunch included today.

Day 6: Paramaribo to Kourou, French Guiana

After breakfast 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 the Albina border station. Formalities here rarely take more than a few minutes, and soon we find ourselves on the Ferry crossing the Maroni River headed for French Guiana or "Guyane" as it is called locally.

Arrival at St. Laurent du Maroni is relatively uncomplicated, and our French guide will be on hand to help us navigate the usual customs and immigration formalities. Guyane Francaise is a Department of France, so you have entered the EU. Evidence of this connection to the “1st world" is immediately evident: the roads are in near perfect condition, and espresso coffee and chocolate croissants are on tap nearly everywhere, and the Euro is the currency. We will continue our journey to Kourou. Visit the Center Spatiale Guyanaise (Guiana Space Center) for a tour.

Launch schedules are a closely held secret so our schedule today may be amended on short notice. The usual tour includes a motor coach tour which criss-crosses the center’s mammoth facility, including stops at various assembly buildings, launch pads and control centers. The entire tour is offered in French, but your guide will supply translations as often as possible. Hotel Atlantis is a modern business hotel on the edge of Bois Devil Lake with air-conditioned rooms, telephone, Wi-Fi, satellite television and refrigerator. The spacious open lobby includes a patio overlooking the pool, lake and tennis courts. The trendy restaurant offers French and Creole cuisine and has an excellent selection of wines.

Overnight at Hotel Atlantis. Breakfast and lunch included today.. 

Day 7:  Devils Island and Cayenne

What is commonly referred to as “Devils 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 motorized catamaran towards our first stop, Île Saint[1]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 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.

You will spend most of the day on Ilse Royale. Visit the children’s cemetery behind the old hospital which was used for the children of the guards. Land was at a premium so only the children were buried. The inmates were buried at sea to encourage the sharks as a deterrent to prisoners wanting to swim off the island. Make sure to be back at the dock by about 3:30pm as the boat leaves promptly at 1600hrs. There are plenty of shady trees with benches under which you can catch a cool breeze. Keep an eye out for sea turtles that like to scavenge among the rocks by the dock.

Return to Kourou by Catamaran and transfer to Cayenne and to your selected hotel. Hotel Central is located in the heart of Cayenne close to the historic Palmistes Square just a short walk from the shopping streets and the business district.

Overnight at Central Hotel. Breakfast and lunch included today.

Day 8:  Cayenne to Paramaribo

Early morning to explore Cayenne before mid-morning transfer to the border of St. Laurent du Maroni. On our way we will 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 where we will pay a brief visit to 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. 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. Continue thorough immigration formalities and then cross by Pirogue to Albina and onwards to Paramaribo.

Overnight at Torarica Hotel, breakfast included. 

Day 9: Paramaribo - Georgetown

Pick up from your hotel in Paramaribo and transfer to the local airport Zorg-en-Hoop for departing to Georgetown. (Airfare not included in package price)

Pickup and transfer from Eugene F. Correia International Airport to Georgetown. This morning we will be doing a market and city tour. Our host, guide and culinary master, Chef Delven Adams will guide us around Bourda Market, the largest of the four markets in Georgetown. We will first stop at the Guyana Store which has all the locally packaged products before heading over to the market where we will meet some of the vendors who Chef buys from daily.

We will visit the fish market, the meat section and the haberdashery section - where one can find anything you can think of from thread to bolts of all kinds of fabric. A stop at the bush medicine stalls is always educational. Heading outside you can see, touch and taste a variety of local fruits and vegetables unique in this part of the world. Chef will make his purchases with your suggestions of what you would like to try and will then head home to start preparing while we continue on a tour of the city of Georgetown with an experienced guide who will give you the history, rumor and facts on Georgetown and its citizens.

During your visit to Georgetown there are a number of interesting sights that should not be missed such as Stabroek Market - once described as a “bizarre bazaar, and St. George’s Cathedral which is one of the world’s tallest free standing wooden buildings. Other historic buildings along this promenade are the Public Library, City Hall, the Victoria Law Courts and St. Andrews Kirk. Visit the National Museum, which contains a broad selection of our animal life portrayed in taxidermy including an amazing extinct giant sloth. The Walter Roth Museum of Anthropology houses a wonderful collection of artefacts and explains Amerindian history and lifestyle in a beautiful colonial wooden building that is worth a visit on its own. We will also pay a visit to a pond either in the gardens or the National Park, to feed the endangered West Indian Manatees.

After our city tour we will go to the Backyard Café for lunch. This, as the name suggests, is a backyard that Chef has turned into an exclusive little hidden gem of a restaurant. You can just sit under the arbor and sip unique blends of juice or enjoy a cold beer, while taking in the sounds and smells of a delicious meal in the making. Once he is ready, we will start eating our way through the courses, remember to pace yourself as you will want to try it all.

After lunch we will visit the Botanical Gardens, home to an extensive collection of tropical flora, and the Zoo which has become a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation center that houses over one hundred different species of tropical wildlife.

This afternoon we will take a drive through the heart of the city to the Stabroek Market area. Here you will join the afternoon commuters using the river taxis which are used to cross the Demerara River. The river taxis are an alternative route to using the Demerara Harbor Bridge. We will slowly cruise along and across the Demerara River while your guide will give you a brief history of the famous buildings along the waterfront. We then continue our trip to see the Demerara Harbour Bridge, once the longest floating bridge in the world at a total length of 1,851m long. We will cross under the bridge and tie up the boat near a mangrove that is the nightly roost of about nine different kinds of birds. As the sun sets over the river we will have a cold drink and snacks or cutters as we call them here in Guyana while we enjoy flocks of brilliant Scarlet Ibis, Snail Kites, Herons and three kinds of Egrets as they fly across the sky and settle into the Mangroves for the evening.

Soon after the sun sets you return to the ferry stelling while enjoying the city and ship lights from the river. Overnight in a deluxe room at Grand Coastal Hotel. Breakfast and lunch included today.

Day 10: Kaieteur Falls and Georgetown

Pickup and transfer to Eugene F. Correia International Airport. Depart on a scheduled flight over 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. 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[1]rock nesting close by. The lucky visitor may also see the famous Kaieteur Swifts or

Makonaima Birds which nest under the vast shelf of rock carved over millions of years by the black water of the Potaro River. Re-board your plane for the return flight to Georgetown. 

Pickup and transfer from Eugene F. Correia International Airport to Georgetown. Overnight in a deluxe room at Grand Coastal Hotel, breakfast included.

Optional service: Birding in Georgetown’s Botanical Gardens (not included in package price):
Early morning pickup and transfer to the extensive Georgetown Botanical Gardens where, if we are lucky, we will have views of the Blood-colored Woodpecker. This colorful Veniliornis is found only in the Guianas and even there almost wholly limited to the narrow coastal plain. The gardens host Snail Kite, Gray Hawk, Pearl Kite, Carib Grackle, Red-bellied and Red-shouldered macaws and the rare festive parrot. We will walk on trails in the back of the gardens and may see Yellow-chinned Spinetail, Black crested Antshrike, Silver-beaked Tanager, Buff-breasted Wren, Golden-spangled Piculet and Ashy-headed Greenlet.

Notes on Kaieteur Falls flight:
Flights to Kaieteur Falls are operated on chartered aircraft and all flights have a minimum passenger restriction. Therefore, any booking to Kaieteur and Orinduik Falls is subject to a minimum of 12 passengers being available to travel. In most cases we are able to fill flights, especially if scheduled for a weekend. However, in the rare case that we cannot meet the required numbers we will reschedule the trip to another day during your stay, if this is possible. Wilderness Explorers retains the right to reschedule a flight as a first option. If we cannot reschedule the flight Wilderness Explorers will guarantee a flight, with a minimum of 2 passengers, to Kaieteur Falls only. If a flight is cancelled due to circumstances beyond our control, such as weather, we will endeavor to reschedule the flight during your itinerary. If this is not possible then a full refund on the flight will be made.

Day 11: Iwokrama River Lodge and Atta Rainforest Lodge

Pickup and transfer to Eugene F. Correia International Airport. Board scheduled flight for journey over hundreds of miles of tropical rainforest to land at Fair View Airstrip.

Pick up from Fair View Airstrip and transfer to Iwokrama River Lodge.

After your orientation you will 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). 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 vehicle 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. The journey concludes at the Atta Rainforest Lodge home of the Iwokrama Canopy Walkway.

The Iwokrama Canopy Walkway is situated near the southern boundary of the Iwokrama Reserve. The walkway has four suspension bridges leading to three platforms, the highest of which is over 30 metres above the ground.

Another area where we will want to spend some time is the clearing around the lodge, as this is one of the best places to see another of Guyana’s “must see” birds, the Crimson Fruitcrow. The clearing is also a reliable site for Black Curassow as there is a large and growing family party which has become habituated to people and regularly passes through the clearing.

Atta Rainforest Lodge is 500 metres from the base of the Canopy Walkway, offering comfortable private-room accommodation with ensuite bathrooms, delicious home-cooked meals, and traditional Amerindian hospitality. The main building is open sided with views across the gardens to the towering forest on all sides and houses the bar, dining area and kitchen. The Gardens have a wonderful collection of Heliconia flowers that attract over ten different hummingbirds. Overnight at Atta Rainforest Lodge. All meals included today.

Day 12: Atta Rainforest Lodge

Before dawn we will return to the canopy where we can birdwatch easily and 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. Serious birders will want to search the undergrowth for the rarely seen Rufous-winged Ground-cuckoo.

As darkness falls on the canopy walkway, you may see the White-winged Potoo. Night walks are also possible and something interesting or new always seems to pop on to the scene including one of the six different cats to be found along the transnational road near the lodge.

Overnight at Atta Rainforest Lodge. All meals included today.

Day 13: Atta Rainforest Lodge to Surama Eco-lodge

Welcome the dawn chorus from the canopy walkway and then return to the lodge for breakfast before departure.

Transfer from Atta Rainforest Lodge 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-the-rock. This trail is through interesting and pristine rainforest and the guides can explain how the plants are used for medicine and other purposes. Continue to the community of Surama.

The Indigenous 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. The villagers of Surama are mainly from the Macushi tribe. The Surama Eco Lodge is owned and operated by the entire community. The Village Council serves as the Board of Directors and through consultation, they decide how the profits from the tourism business are to be spent to benefit the entire community.

On arrival in Surama you will receive a warm welcome and settle into your accommodation. A guide will escort you for a short walk on trails to observe the forest and bird life.

As the afternoon cools take for a three-mile walk across the savannah and through the rainforest to the Burro Burro River. This is the best time to observe bird and wildlife along the trail. Your guides will then paddle you on the river for opportunities to observe Giant River Otters, Tapir, Tayra, Spider Monkeys and many more species.

Tonight, enjoy an educational walk to observe wildlife and experience the mystique of the forest after dark. Make sure to bring your flashlights to look for the eyeshine of the creatures of the night. 

Overnight at Surama Eco-lodge. All meals included today.

Day 14: Surama Eco-lodge to Georgetown

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.

Pickup from Surama Eco Lodge and transfer to airstrip for a scheduled flight to the Eugene F. Correia International Airport.

Pickup and transfer to your hotel.

Overnight in a deluxe room at Grand Coastal Hotel, Breakfast and lunch included today.

Optional 7-Curry Dinner (not included in package price):
Seven curry is a staple at all Indo-Guyanese weddings and religious functions. It is served in a freshly picked lotus lily leaf with rice and seven different curries. Traditionally the curries are all vegetarian. Most commonly served are pumpkin, bagee (spinach), catahar (breadnut), potato/channa (chick peas), boulanger (eggplant), eddoe and dhal. You hold the leaf with the curries in one hand, and use your other to eat the food. Definitely a challenge to eat gracefully, but so much fun and delicious!

Day 15: Depart Guyana

Pickup and transfer to Cheddi Jagan International Airport for your departing flight.

 

Price from $7,550.00 per person, based on double occupancy
Days 15
Nights 14
Includes:

Price based on small-group scheduled departure. minimum of 2 travelers.

  • Airport transfers
  • Accommodations
  • Meals as listed
  • Limited local bar at Karanambu Lodge
  • All road and river transfers
  • Internal flights in Guyana
  • Activities and excursions as described
  • Local guides
  • Taxes
  • Iwokrama Forest User Fee
  • Iwokrama Canopy Walkway fee
Excludes:
  • International airfare, including between Guyana and Suriname
  • Personal items
  • Alcoholic beverages (except at Karanambu Lodge)
  • Tips for guides and drivers

"I had a wonderful time."

Wonderful and interesting adventures, great places to stay, terrific guides and drivers.

- Glenn S, Oct 2018

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