Explore Guyana, Suriname & French Guiana

The 3-Guianas Tour Budget Tour Package

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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 Guianas: Guyana, Suriname and an optional extension to 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

Spend a day exploring Devil's Island, the infamous French penal colony located off the coast of French Guiana.

Tour the Kourou Space Centre on your last day in French Guiana.

 

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: Georgetown

Arrive at Chedi Jagan International Airport. Formalities at this small, friendly airport rarely take very long, baggage facilities are efficient. You will be met in the arrival hall and transferred to your hotel. 

Overnight Grand Coastal Hotel, breakfast included. 

Day 2: Kaieteur Falls

Kaieteur Falls was first seen by a European on April 29, 1870 and is situated in the heart of Guyana on the Potaro River, a tributary of the Essequibo. The waters of Kaieteur, one of the world’s natural wonders, flows over a sandstone tableland into a deep gorge – a drop of 741 feet (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. The lucky visitor 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. 

Overnight Grand Coastal Hotel, breakfast included.

Optional extension to Orinduik Falls or Baganara Island Resort:

Orinduik Falls is where the Ireng River thunders over steps and terraces of solid jasper, a semi-precious stone. With a backdrop of the rolling grass covered hills of the Pakaraima Mountains, this is truly one of the most beautiful locations in Guyana’s hinterland.

Its name is derived from the Amerindian (Patamona) word, Orin, which is the name of an aquatic plant found in these falls. The Ireng River forms the border between Brazil and Guyana. In contrast to Kaieteur, Orinduik is ideally suited for swimming and you will find natural pools as the falls tumble down the steps of Jasper.

At Baganara Island Resort you will be invited to spend the afternoon just relaxing or choosing from a variety of activities such as canoeing, fishing, table tennis or volleyball to name a few; after you have enjoyed our delicious buffet lunch.

Day 3:  Rupunini - Guyana's interior

Pickup and transfer to Eugene F. Correia International Airport. Board the scheduled flight for your journey over the Demerara and Essequibo Rivers and hundreds of miles of tropical rainforest to Rupununi. Transfer to Rock View Lodge. 

Rock View Lodge is located where the savannah meets the forest-covered foothills of the Pakaraima Mountains. With its tropical gardens and flowering trees, the lodge resembles an oasis in the savannah, and attracts many species of birds, particularly nectar feeders and frugivores.

Nearby patches of light forest are home to certain ant birds and flycatchers, and of course the grasslands support an avifauna of their own. Eight comfortable ensuite rooms feature a patio and hammock for relaxing. Meals are served in the dining room under the mango trees and most of the produce is grown on the property. The pool has a lovely setting in the gardens and is a welcome respite on a hot day.

Overnight Rock View Lodge. All meals included today. 

Day 4: Pakaraima Mountains - Surama Village

At dawn take a hike in the foothills of the Pakaraima Mountains on the Panorama Trail where you might see Cinereous Mourner, Finsch’s Euphonia, Reddish Hermit, Rufous-bellied Antwren, Green-tailed and Yellow-billed Jacamar.

The views across the savannah and villages as the sunrises are spectacular. Return to the lodge for breakfast before departure. Transfer by 4×4 vehicle 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 practices 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. 

Overnight Surama EcoLodge. All meals included today. 

Day 5: The Medicinal Plants of Surama Mountain

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. 

Overnight Surama EcoLodge. All meals included today.

Day 6:  Return to Georgetown

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. Then transfer to the airstrip for our scheduled flight over hundreds of miles of tropical rainforest to Georgetown. Airport reception and transfer to your hotel.

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

Most of the buildings in the city are wooden with unique architecture dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries. For the most part the buildings have Demerara shutters and designed fretwork which trim eaves and windows. Main Street, Georgetown provides several excellent examples of old colonial homes, a prime example of which is the State House, built in 1852. The State House is set in large gardens and is painted green and white and has hosted many visiting dignitaries.

During your visit to Georgetown there are a number of interesting sights that should not be missed: the most famous being St. George’s Cathedral. The Cathedral is one of the world’s tallest free standing wooden buildings and was consecrated on 1892. The foundation stone was laid on November 23, 1890 and the building was designed by Sir Arthur Bloomfield. The story of the cathedral is told on the interior on tablets and memorials of a historical and sentimental nature: it is the tale of the history of Guyana in general and of the Diocese in particular.

At the beginning of the Avenue of the Republic stands the Public Library housed in the Carnegie Building. Other historic buildings along this promenade are the Town Hall, a splendid example of Gothic architecture, and further along are the Victoria Law Courts and St. Andrews Kirk. St. Andrew’s is the oldest surviving structure of any church in Guyana. 

The famous Stabroek Market, once described as a “bizarre bazaar”, contains every conceivable item from house hold goods and gold jewellery to fresh meat and vegetables brought to town on the river daily. The clock tower can be seen for miles around and is a famous landmark. 

No trip to Georgetown would be complete without a visit to the Botanical Gardens and zoo. The Botanical Gardens houses 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 tropical fishes and birds.

The National Museum which contains a broad selection of our animal life and heritage should not be missed, nor the Walter Roth Museum of Anthropology, which explains Amerindian history and life style.

The tour will include walking along the Avenues with an experienced guide who will give you the history, rumour and facts on Georgetown and its citizens. The group will be accompanied at all times by a vehicle, which will be used for travel between areas of interest.

During the tour there is always the opportunity to purchase that unusual gift or unique Guyanese handicrafts, or for the daring the chance to delve into the gold and diamond market.

Overnight Grand Coastal Hotel, breakfast included. 

Day 7: Paramaribo, Suriname

Transfer to the Eugene F. Correia International Airport for flight to Zorg-en-Hoop Airport in Paramaribo.

Paramaribo, the capital city of Suriname, has been placed on the UNESCO “World Heritage” list of historical monuments since 2002. You will receive a guided tour, by car and on foot, along the most prominent historic locations in downtown Paramaribo during which you will be impressed by the unique architecture.

The guide gives you extensive information 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 past the Waterkant, along the bank of the Suriname River and through the Palms Garden, you will also enjoy other interesting sites such as a mosque right next to a synagogue.

Overnight Residence Inn, breakfast included. The Residence Inn, located in Paramaribo, is renowned for its attractive location and lush green ambiance that is complemented by friendly and very helpful staff. You can enjoy exotic drinks and great dishes at the Matutu Restaurant and Bar adjacent to the pool. 

Day 8: Commewijne Tour

Today we head 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 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, 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 before continuing to the confluence of the Commewijne and Suriname Rivers at Nieuw Amsterdam.  Here we will a 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. Lunch included.

Overnight Residence Inn, breakfast included.

Day 9: Jodensavanne & Colacreek

This morning we will travel approximately 70 km to the South of Paramaribo, where on the right bank of the Suriname river, lies Jodensavanne.

A former Jewish settlement, it is named after the Jewish people who settled in this savanne area around 1650. This former Jewish villagope is where the ruins of the most ancient synagogue of North and South America lies and the graveyard can still be seen.

Nowadays, these remnants have been cleaned and a simple cottage has been set up as a museum. The tour continues to recreation park Colakreek where you have the opportunity to swim and relax in the refreshing water. The leaves falling in the water give the creek its dark color which looks like that of the Coca Cola drink, hence the name Colakreek. RLunch included.

Overnight Residence Inn, breakfast included.

Day 10: Overland to French Guiana

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, a throughway that is intermittently getting a much-needed facelift, to Albina border station.

Formalities here rarely take more than a few minutes, and soon we find ourselves in Piaka canoe crossing the Maroni River headed for French Guiana or “Guyane” as it is frequently (and confusingly) 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. French Guyana is a Department of France, so technically you have entered the EU upon landing here.

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.

We make a brief visit to the well-preserved Transportation Center here in St. Laurent. The facility once served as the transit point for slaves and indentured servants imported from overseas and destined for plantations throughout South America and the Caribbean. 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.

Continue to Kourou. 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 at Hotel Des Roches in a Standard room.

Overnight Hotel des Roches, breakfast included.

Day 11: Devil's Island (Iles du Salut)

After a breakfast buffet at the hotel we will transfer to the pier for an excursion to what is commonly referred to as “Devil’s Island” which in reality is actually a triangle of three islands – Îles du Salut, or the Salvation Islands – seven miles off the coast of Kourou.

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 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.

Guided visit of the island before lunch including museum, main buildings, children cemetery, convict building, guards horse, jails, etc.  Lunch in the Auberge des Iles. Return to Kourou by Catamaran at 1800 and transfer in bus to hotel. Lunch is included.

Overnight Hotel des Roches, breakfast included.

Day 12: Kourou Space Center and Historic Cayenne

Breakfast at your hotel. Transfer to the Centre Spatiale Guyanaise (Guyana Space Centre) for 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 centre’s mammoth facility, including stops at various assembly buildings and control centers. 

Transfer to Cayenne. This afternoon enjoy a tour of Cayenne, the capital, administrative and commercial center of French Guiana. Cayenne is a typical creole town with about 50,000 inhabitants. 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. 

Overnight Best Western Amazonia, breakfast included. Best Western Hotel Amazonia is centrally located in the main shopping area of Cayenne, convenient to restaurants and parks. Each of the 124 rooms include a fridge, room safe, direct line telephone, free Wi-Fi and flat screen television with satellite channels. Hotel facilities include a swimming pool.

Day 13: Departure

Transfer from your hotel to the Félix Eboué Airport for your departing flight. (Some schedules and itineraries may require you to transfer by land back to Paramaribo.)

 

"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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