TYPOLOGIES
DIFFICULTY

Low

MIN. AGE

12 Years

£ 7350

Discover The Mysteries Of Guyana

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 and is overlain by the largest expanse of undisturbed tropical rain forest in the world.  Join us as we explore the Guianas: Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana.  Marvel at Kaieteur Falls, the highest single drop waterfall in the world and discover one of the greatest untouched rainforests left.  This region is home to endangered species such as jaguar, giant anteater, giant river otter, tapir and so much more.  Spend time learning about the cultures of the region with visits to Amerindian and Maroon communities.  Be amazed at the Space Centre in French Guiana and relive the story of Papillion at Devils Island. This really is an untouched and totally unique part of South America.

Price: £7,350 / $8,995

Based on 2 pax. Excludes international flights. (single supplement £780 $959)

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Day by Day

We will pick you up at the airport and transfer you to your selected hotel.

 

Formerly a townhouse, that has been transformed into the most charming lobby of one of Paramaribo’s most favoured hotels with numerous eco-friendly features. The Eco Torarica is located within a 5-minute walk of the historic centre of Paramaribo and the tantalizing 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 in a standard room at Eco Torarica. (Check in time 1700hrs, Check out time 1300hrs)

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 village of Atjoni. At the port of Atjoni, we join a motorized dugout open canoe, where 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 the rain forest, and welcomes 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, 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.

Today we will visit one of the 12 villages that are affiliated with Danpaati. Pikin slee is located 30 minutes by boat from Danpaati. We will take a guided tour through the village. You will be introduced to the unique way of life of the local population and to the wonderful traditions brought from Africa by their ancestors. After the tour, we then visit the Maroon museum Saamaka which is dedicated to the cultural heritage of the Saramak Maroon population.  In the museum, you will learn about the history of the Maroons, their ancient traditions and crafts. After the tour, we return to the lodge for lunch.

 

In the afternoon, we will discover the secrets of the rainforest during our walk. Afterwards you could choose to enjoy a massage done in a combination of traditional and Western techniques.  There are also are other possibilities to explore in the surrounding area. You can go fishing or take the dugout canoe around the island.

 

After dinner you can enjoy a traditional and

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

 

Overnight in a standard room at Eco Torarica.  (Check in time 1700hrs, Check out time 1300hrs)

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 flavours 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 Marienburg, a former sugar plantation before enjoying a delicious lunch in a typical Javanese restaurant. 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 defence 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.

 

Lunch will be served at a local restaurant.

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 pirogue (dug-out boat) 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. 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.

 

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 the journey to enjoy a short tour of the capital city, Cayenne, the administrative and commercial centre 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 centre are the gems of 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 Royale.  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, 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 1530hrs 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 your selected hotel.

 

Hotel Atlantis is a modern business hotel on the edge of Bois Devil Lake with air-conditioned rooms, telephone, WiFi, 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 in a standard room at Hotel Atlantis. BL (Check in time 1400hrs, Check out time 12midday

Transfer to the Centre Spatial Guyanaise (Guiana Space Centre) 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 centre's mammoth facility, including stops at various assembly buildings, launch pads and control centres. The entire tour is offered in French, but your guide will supply translations as often as possible.

 

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.

 

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

 

Pick up from Albina to Hotel in Paramaribo.

 

Overnight in a standard room at Eco Torarica. BL (Check in time 1700hrs, Check out time 1300hrs)

Pick up from your hotel in Paramaribo and transfer to the local airport Zorg-en-Hoop for departing GUMAIR flight departing at 07:30hrs to Georgetown, arriving at 07:45hrs. (Ticket not included in the final rates below)

 

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. Dry goods like rice and of course demerara sugar are abundant. 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, rumour and facts on Georgetown and its citizens.

 

During your visit to Georgetown, there are a number of interesting sites that should not be missed such as the National Museum, which contains a broad selection of our animal life portrayed in taxidermy in beautiful old glass cases, and the Walter Roth Museum of Anthropology, which houses a wonderful collection of artefacts and explains history and lifestyle of our indigenous peoples. On this mix of vehicle and walking tour, enjoy the views of other historic buildings along this promenade such as the Public Library, City Hall, the Victoria Law Courts, St. Andrews Kirk, 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.

 

We will visit the Botanical Gardens, home to an extensive collection of tropical flora, and 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. If you are interested, Chef will welcome you to join him as he prepares a wonderful meal prepared from the fruits and vegetables we bought in the market in the morning. Or you can just sit under the arbour 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.

 

This afternoon we will take a drive through the heart of the city to the Stabroek Market area. Here we will join the afternoon commuters using the old ferry stelling to board the river taxis which are used to cross the Demerara River. The river taxis are a faster alternative route to using the Demerara Harbour Bridge.

 

We will slowly cruise along and across the Demerara River while your guide will give 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 our boat near a mangrove that is the nightly roost for a variety of birds. As the sun sets over the river we will have a cold drink and some snacks (or cutters as we call them here in Guyana) as 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 we return to the ferry stelling while enjoying the city and ship lights from the river.

 

Cara Lodge was built in the 1840s. It has a long and romantic history and was the home of the first Lord Mayor of Georgetown. Over the years, the property has been visited by many dignitaries including King Edward VIll who stayed at the house in 1923. Other dignitaries have included President Jimmy Carter, HRH King Charles III and Mick Jagger. This magnificent wooden colonial home turned hotel offers the tradition and nostalgia of a bygone era.

 

Overnight at Cara Lodge. BL (Check in time 1400hrs, Check out time 12midday)

Pickup and transfer to Eugene F. Correia International Airport.

 

From the Eugene F. Correia International Airport take a scheduled flight over the Demerara and Essequibo Rivers and 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-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 over millions of years by the black water of the Potaro River. Re-board your plane for the return flight to Georgetown.

 

Condition of Sale :

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 endeavour to reschedule the flight during your itinerary.  If this is not possible then a full refund on the flight will be made.

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. (Check in time 0730hrs, Departure 0900hrs)

 

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). 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 and Red Howler monkeys. 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.

 

After lunch transfer by 4 x 4 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, such as Agouti, Tayra, Tapir and Black Curassow.  The journey concludes at the Iwokrama River Lodge.

 

The Iwokrama Canopy Walkway is situated 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.

 

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 Iwokrama Canopy Walkway, offering comfortable private-room accommodation with ensuite bathrooms, delicious home-cooked meals, and traditional Amerindian hospitality.  The communal building houses the bar, dining area and kitchen and is open sided with views across the gardens to the towering forest, which completely surrounds the lodge.  Hammocks and outdoor benches enhance the lovely gardens which include varieties of heliconias that attract over ten different hummingbirds, close enough for the perfect photo. Overnight at Atta Rainforest Lodge.

Before dawn we will return to the canopy where we can birdwatch easily and may see Rufous-throated Sapphire, Green Aracari, Pygmy Antwren and Guianan Streaked-Antwren.  With some luck Guianan Toucanet, Pompadour Cotinga, Buff-cheeked Greenlet and a host of crown specialists may come within our view.  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. 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.

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 and still observe many of the traditional practises of their ancestors. 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 at the lodge.  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 Burro Burro River for opportunities to observe Giant River Otters, Tapir, Tira, 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.

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.

 

Vehicle transfer from Surama Eco Lodge to Lethem.

 

Scheduled flight to Eugene F. Correia International Airport.

 

Pickup and transfer from Eugene F. Correia International Airport to Georgetown.

Optional Tour:

Mahaica River Tour - Hoatzin & Coastal Shield Endemics

 

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

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