Explore the curious intersection of Europe and South American on this brief jaunt into French Guiana. You'll explore the Kourou Space Center where the European Space Administration launches its Ariane-5 rockets as well as the new Russian Soyuz launch platforms. Then spend a remarkable day exploring the 18th century ruins of the prisons on Iles du Salut, known as "Devils Island."
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.
Arrive in Cayenne. Meet and greet by our local representative and transfer to your selected hotel in Cayenne.
Situated in the center of Cayenne between the central market and famous 'Place des Palmistes', Hotel Ker Alberte is an authentic creole house which has been transformed into a boutique hotel. It provides a harmonious alliance between tradition and modernity with 15 luxurious rooms which have been decorated with the colors of the Amazon to give guests a real feel of Guiana.
Overnight at Hotel Ker Alberte in a Comfort Room, breakfast included.
This afternoon take a city tour of Cayenne, which is the administrative and commercial center of French Guiana. It is a typical creole town with about 50,000 inhabitants, half of the entire population of the country. The Fort Cépérou, the Place Léopold Heder, the hotel of the Jésuites, the Place de Grenoble, the Place des Palmistes, the colonial hospital, the Franconie Museum, the town hall and the city center are the gems of Cayenne. We will also visit the traditional market, full of exotic odors, as well as an opportunity for shopping. Return to your hotel. Lunch included.
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-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.
Your tour begins 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 at will through the cell blocks, dormitory buildings, and other structures while taking photographs or simply soaking in the powerful ambiance. 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.
Lunch is included. Return to Kourou by Catamaran and transfer to your hotel.
The Hotel des Roches rests on a tiny finger of sand jutting into the Kourou River where it meets the Atlantic Ocean. The tower adjacent to the hotel, Dreyfus Tower, was a communication link to the Iles du Salut: its rocky perch serves as a perfect place to relax during sunset.
Overnight in a Standard room at Hotel Des Roches, breakfast included – 2 nights.
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Cacao (H’mong village in the jungle, 60km from Cayenne), visit the market, the village and plantations. Lunch included.
After breakfast transfer to the Center Spatiale Guyanaise (Guyana 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 motorcoach tour which criss-crosses the center's mammoth facility, including stops at various assembly buildings and control centers. The entire tour is offered in French, but your guide will supply translations as often as possible.
Lunch is included. Afternoon transfer by vehicle for the Suriname border via St. Laurent de Maroni and cross by small boat. Transfer to 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 favored hotels with numerous eco-friendly features. Located within a 5-minute walk of the historic center of Paramaribo and the tantalizing city life, rooms offer either a breath taking view of the Suriname river or a beautiful view of our lovely garden. The hotel is simply ideal for guests who want to visit Suriname to relax and unwind.
Overnight in a Standard Room at Eco Resort Inn, breakfast included.
You will be met at your hotel and transferred to the airport.
We had wonderful time, good weather, excellent guides, excellent food (except second day’s lunch box). The trip was very well organized for our needs and ability with a good pace for us. Thanks again and hopefully we’ll be able to plan another trip to South America in the future.
- Rachel E, Nov 2017