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Holidays

Discovering the Hidden Guianas

Guyana, Suriname
Culture
Guided Group
LEISURELY LEISURELY

Explore one of the last untouched rainforests and immerse yourself into one of the most biodiverse wildernesses on the planet

Trip Code: DHG
Holiday Grades

Our Holiday Grades Explained

To show the relative difficulty of our holidays, each trip is graded on a scale of 1 to 12, with 12 being the most challenging. Although we have tried to make our grading system as clear as possible, it cannot take into account your personal interests, abilities or experience. If you have any questions about the nature of a particular trip or its suitability for you, please read the 'Is this holiday for you?' section or contact us.

 1 - 3 LEISURELY
1 - 3 LEISURELY

Suitable for most people in good health, holidays at this grade include only limited amounts of activity.

View leisurely holidays
4 - 6 MODERATE
4 - 6 MODERATE

Suitable for reasonably fit individuals, such as weekend walkers and cyclists. There can be the occasional more difficult day.

View moderate holidays
7 - 9 CHALLENGING
7 - 9 CHALLENGING

Physically challenging holidays, where you need to be prepared before you go.

View challenging holidays
10 - 12 TOUGH
10 - 12 TOUGH

Our toughest holidays, involving many long days, often in isolated areas. A high level of fitness and previous wilderness and mountain experience is essential.

View Tough holidays

Discovering the Hidden Guianas

Highlights
  • An eclectic world of river dolphins, spaceports, pristine rainforest, penal colonies and the land of the lost jaguar
  • Fly over the spectacular Kaieteur Falls, five times the height of Niagara Falls
  • Visit Maroon and indigenous communities to learn about their fascinating culture 
  • Savour a rich culinary heritage with an exclusive chef's tour of bustling vibrant markets
  • A multi-country adventure through French Guiana, Guyana and Suriname - featured in The Sunday Telegraph

At a Glance
  • Group Size 2 to 12
  • 15 day discovery holiday uncovering the hidden gems of the three Guianas with canoe journeys and scenic flights
  • Join In Paramaribo / Georgetown

Accommodation & Meals
  • 13 Breakfasts
  • 10 Lunches
  • 5 Dinners
  • 9 nights Hotel
  • 5 nights Ecolodge
Overview

WL BestTrip LogoThere are only four great, pristine rainforests left on the planet and one of them, the Iwokrama, is explored on this unique journey with KE to the three least visited countries in South America. More than 80% of Suriname, French Guiana and Guyana is covered with dense jungle, much remaining uncharted. Along with the mangroves, savannahs and coastline, these natural habitats play host to some of the richest biodiversity ever recorded. This incredible itinerary showcases the breath-taking diversity of these three unique countries.


There is a good chance we can observe giant river otters, capybaras and caiman in tannin-rich rivers, whilst in the shadows of the forest floor we may spot tapirs, giant anteaters and for the very fortunate, the elusive jaguar. We'll see monkeys, macaws and toucans above, whilst around our feet some of the world's rarest orchids flourish. This richness in flora and fauna is matched by the fascinating human story of these lands; a melting pot of ethnicities from all corners of the world. Sense the ghosts of history as you wander through atmospheric, abandoned plantation houses that once belonged to Dutch settlers in Suriname. Take a boat journey to visit the deserted penal colony at Devil’s Island in French Guiana and learn about some of its more infamous guests, banished far for home. Remote jungle airstrips hidden deep in Guyana provide the intrepid adventurer with access to isolated communities and eco-lodges, whilst other areas can only be reached with motorized canoe or rugged 4x4 vehicles. For many, the enduring memory will be an unforgettable flight over Kaieteur Falls, the highest single-drop waterfall in the world at over five times the height of Niagara Falls.

explore international

Explore International. This holiday is part of our Explore International range. Participants on these trips can book through KE or through one of our international partners. This helps us to gather together sufficient numbers of like-minded adventurers to get your holiday up and running quickly. Led by an English-speaking guide, the cosmopolitan nature of these groups can be an important part of the experience!

Over 80% of land in Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana is covered in dense, impenetrable rainforest. Infrastructure remains relatively undeveloped and roads are few and far between. An adventurous approach to travel is essential as we use light aircraft to access jungle airstrips, 4x4 vehicles to follow bumpy tracks and canoes to navigate rivers that flow from deep with the rainforest. The curious traveller, however, will be rewarded with the opportunity to observe wildlife in pristine and unspoiled rainforest, filled with bewildering biodiversity. Places rich in history provide the human story of these three countries, from the impact of colonial expansion on the indigenous people right up to cutting edge space travel. There are a number of short walks on this holiday in hot and humid conditions, but all have an alternative if you fancy a different type of activity, such as wildlife spotting on the river. In the cities, hotels are selected for their comfort and situation. In the jungle and savannah regions we stay at a number of small, remote lodges. Many of these are run by indigenous communities and are akin to a homestay experience. Others have a strong science and nature focus and will offer a chance to learn about eco-systems and biodiversity. All will be comfortable, some with unexpected luxuries. All offer unparalleled access to the flora and fauna of the region.

Why KE?

Concealed by untamed jungle and very little infrastructure, this region has remained an undiscovered and enigmatic destination. For over 25 years, our expert team has been facilitating intrepid frontier travel deep into the heart of the three Guianas. We use light aircraft, dugout canoes and 4x4 vehicles to access remote locations during this stunning holiday. Packed with unique and memorable experiences, there is no itinerary quite like it. From Devil’s Island to the land of the lost jaguar, this is truly the trip of a lifetime.

Starts and ends in Paramaribo for your convenience.

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Itinerary

Arriving in to the capital Paramaribo, we are met by our guide or KE representative who will arrange our transfer to the group hotel. After checking in, we are free to unwind and relax from the long flight. The historic inner city was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status in 2002, thanks to a unique fusion of Dutch architecture and indigenous wood construction techniques and materials. Little has changed over the centuries and the white-painted wooden edifices still dominate the skyline thanks to a lack of high-rise development. The city has a fascinating history, settled first by the Dutch in 1613 yet gradually abandoned over the course of the following 50 years. It was revived by English settlers before being retaken by the Dutch during the Anglo-Dutch war of 1667. In 1975, Suriname eventually achieved independence from the Dutch and Paramaribo became the capital of a new sovereign country.

Accommodation

Hotel

Our adventure starts in earnest this morning, driving for around 3 hours through jungle and savannah habitats to reach Atjoni, a bustling river port serving remote Maroon communities hidden upriver. Boarding a motorised canoe, our skilled guides navigate their way up the dark and sinuous Upper Suriname River. Our senses are soon enveloped by the rainforest as we leave civilisation behind. Our eco-lodge is situated in an exceptionally remote and tranquil oasis in the heart of the Amazon rainforest. The lodge enjoys easy access to one of the few portions of the Suriname River where it is safe to cool off in the tannin-rich waters. Our cabins are comfortably equipped and you may wish to do nothing more than spend an hour or so resting in your hammock overlooking the river, serenaded by the forest chorus. Later, we will take a nocturnal canoe paddle to spot caiman lurking on the water's edge.

Accommodation

Ecolodge

Meals

B L D

Today we have the rare privilege of visiting a Maroon village, supported by the Danpaati Lodge. The Maroons were originally enslaved African slaves who managed to escape deep into the jungle from their harsh existence working in the plantation fields. They cohabited with the indigenous people they encountered and Maroon tribes began to emerge. We are able to observe many African customs and rites, including healing traditions using medicinal herbs, and learn how African and European languages developed into an idiosyncratic Creole tongue. Sensitive to the nature of these communities, visits are kept brief and in small groups. After lunch, we visit the Saamaka Museum where we learn how the Maroon managed to survive and thrive in the jungle. Our guide will take us for an afternoon walk into the rainforest to identify some of the endemic plants that are used for food and medicine. There is the option of relaxing at the lodge and enjoying a massage should you wish to pamper yourself. Following dinner, we are entertained with a traditional cultural performance, the stories and historical contexts interpreted by our guide.

Accommodation

Ecolodge

Meals

B L D

In the morning we still have some time to enjoy our beautiful surroundings before departing back downriver to Atjoni and onwards to Paramaribo. In the early evening, we take a special dolphin-spotting tour aboard a boat at sunset. Drinks and snacks will be served as the captain searches the surrounding waters for dolphins. They are often spotted swimming playfully with the boat in pods of up to 20. We sail on to Plantation Johan and Margaretha. Here, in the grounds of this former plantation village, we can try freshly-made local snacks like barra, baka bana or eggroll. Towards the end of the experience, we watch the sunset over the Commewijne River before boarding our boat and heading back to Paramaribo.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L

Today we have a guided tour of the UNESCO World Heritage city of Paramaribo. The old city centre is filled with interesting buildings and monuments including Fort Zeelandia, the Presidential Palace and Independence Square. We cross the Commewijne River to the eastern area of Paramaribo where former plantations lie, long abandoned. Chief amongst them is Plantation Peperpot, where it is still possible to wander around old plantation buildings and worker barracks, now home to an abundance of birdlife. Amongst the remains of the plantation is an old coffee factory where we can learn about the traditional production process. After Peperpot, we visit the museum of Marienburg, another former plantation, where we will be treated to a traditional Indonesian lunch. Reflecting the history of the Dutch empire, it isn't uncommon to find Indonesian food, such as satay or rijsttafel on the menu. The tour continues exploring fortified buildings before returning to Paramaribo.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L

We start early, driving eastwards along the roughly-surfaced coastal road to the border town of Albina. Crossing the River Maroni, enter French Guiana at the port of Saint Laurent du Maroni. French Guiana is an Overseas Department of France so, technically, you have entered the EU upon landing here. Evidence of a European lifestyle is immediately evident: every car seems to be a late-model Mercedes, Volkswagen or Peugeot; the roads are in near perfect condition and you pay for your espresso with Euros. Echoing the paradoxes and contradictions of this region, French Guiana is one of the wealthiest corners of South America thanks in part to the presence of the Center Spatiale Guyanaise, primary launch site for the European Space Agency. Launch schedules are a closely-held secret so our schedule today may be amended at short notice. It is possible to take a tour of the facilities, allowing us to visit the launch sites for the Ariane, Vega and Soyuz rockets. The tours are in French but will be translated by our guide. Afterwards, we will check into our hotel in cosmopolitan Kourou.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L

The Iles du Salut, also known as the Salvation Islands, lie seven miles off the coast of French Guiana and make for a compelling adventure. These small, volcanic islands played a central role in French history when as far back as 1792 they were utilised as a transit point; first for explorers, then slaves and later for political prisoners. We board a motorised catamaran and set sail towards our first stop, Ile Saint Joseph. Exploring Ile Saint Joseph is all the more poignant, knowing this was the island chosen for the solitary confinement cells. The evidence of nature slowly and relentlessly reclaiming its territory here is really quite remarkable: tree roots grow from cell doors, snaking around to enter adjacent cells. Ile Royale is home to the oldest buildings on the islands, featuring an old church, administration buildings and officers' quarters. Today it plays a role in the European Space Agency launch programme as an optical and infra-red rocket tracking site. The Ile 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 incarcerated. Upon our return to the mainland, we transfer to Cayenne and spend the evening exploring the vibrant city at leisure. The capital is a bewildering meeting point of the Caribbean, South America and Europe. Streets are lined with colonial wrought-iron balconies and faded, sun-bleached louvers clad the walls. Here you can choose from an incredible range of cuisines; Brazilian, French, Creole and Vietnamese restaurants all vie for your attention.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L

This morning we have some time to explore further the atmospheric streets of Cayenne, before setting off for the border with Suriname. We will stop at Iracoubo to stand in awe before the stunning frescos inside Saint Joseph's church. The entire inside of the church was ornately hand-painted, over the course of six years, by a convict called Huguet whilst serving a sentence at a nearby penal colony. At Saint Laurent du Maroni, we pay a brief visit to the well-preserved Camp de la Transportation. The facility once processed exhausted inbound convicts from all corners of the French Empire before allocating them to various penal facilities in the country. One of the most famous inmates was Henri Charriere. Known more famously as Papillon, immortalised by Steve McQueen in the eponymous film, his moniker can still be seen carved into a wall in his former cell. We cross the river border into Suriname by pirogue and continue to Paramaribo where we settle into our hotel.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

This morning we have an early flight to Georgetown, Guyana. After settling into our hotel we are joined by renowned chef, Delven Adams, for a unique guided tour of the food markets of Georgetown. Seafood stalls display their sparkling fresh produce and we see endless varieties of rice, dried pulses and demerara sugar in all its forms, from dark brown molasses to golden crystals. African prints and textiles add glorious pops of colour and peddlers sell homemade remedies and concoctions for every ailment that ever existed. We visit fruit and vegetable stalls featuring the best of Guyana's rich produce. Try several different varieties of bananas, or sample more unfamiliar seaside grapes, sapodillas, dunks, jamoon or gineps. Beware the wiri wiri pepper; these little chillies look just like red cherries but pack a punch similar to the scotch bonnet or habanero! Delven will make his purchases and then return to his kitchen to prepare a gourmet lunch whilst we continue our guided tour. The foundations of Georgetown were laid down by Dutch settlers, originally as a fort to guard the entrance to the Demerara River Estuary and the surrounding plantations. Painted wooden buildings grandly line the streets of the capitol, surrounding St. George's Cathedral, one of the world's tallest freestanding wooden buildings. After a busy morning we arrive at the Backyard Café for lunch. Our host, Delven, has turned this spot into a little exclusive gem of a restaurant and uses open fires and smokers to cook dishes including his famous garlic fish. Kick back with a cold beer and soak up the atmosphere under the arbour in style as Delven works his magic. After our gastronomic experience, we walk off our indulgences through the bustling Stabroek Market and take a river taxi to gain an alternative view of Georgetown's waterfront on the Demerara River.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L

There is an optional early morning birding tour of the Georgetown's Botanical Gardens. Here, we can observe an astonishing variety of birdlife, much of which is unique to this corner of the South American continent. It is possible to see blood-coloured woodpecker, snail kite, grey hawk, pearl kite, carib grackle and red-bellied macaw amongst the smaller yellow-chinned spinetail, black-crested antshrike, silver-beaked tanager or buff-breasted wren. The spectacular flight to Kaieteur Falls takes us over the Demerara and Essequibo Rivers and across hundreds and hundreds of miles of unbroken rainforest. The extraordinary Kaieteur Falls are the world's highest free-falling waterfalls and it is from the air that we first set eyes upon their majesty and splendour. The waters of Kaieteur flow across a high table of land before thundering down into a deep gorge, well over 200m below. Even the highest single drop at Niagara Falls is five times smaller. We land nearby and can walk extremely close this natural spectacle. This unique environment supports diverse flora such as tank bromeliads, within which the tiny golden frog resides. The rarely-seen Guianan cock-of-the-rock is known to roost close by and can be spotted by those with a keen eye. We may even see the famous flights of Kaieteur swifts which nest under the vast rock shelves hidden behind the curtain of falling water. After soaking up the splendour and atmosphere here, we fly back to Georgetown.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

We take a flight over uninhabited and untamed jungle, to land at a remote jungle airstrip in the heart of the Iwokrama Forest. On arrival, we take a boat to get to the foot of Turtle Mountain and follow the path winding its way up through the forest before breaking out at the summit, at 360m. The panoramic views across the jungle canopy are breath-taking and well worth the effort. With luck, we may spot a harpy eagle or a king vulture flying past. It is also a great location for observing spider monkeys play or listening to the red howler monkey's guttural roar. If any of us find this idea too strenuous, we can take a boat trip through the maze of flooded forest and oxbow pools known collectively as Stanley Lakes, searching for giant river otters and black caiman. After lunch at a nearby eco-lodge, we transfer by 4x4 vehicles through the rainforest, stopping off along the way to observe wildlife. This rough road is the only North-South connection in Guyana, eventually terminating at the Brazilian border. Traffic is very rare and as such wildlife is often seen along the roadside, including agouti, tayra, puma, tapir and black curassow. The forest here is famous for its healthy jaguar population and it is on this journey we are afforded the best chance of spotting this elusive predator. Arriving at our eco-lodge accommodation, we ascend the Iwokrama Canopy Walkway, consisting of suspension bridges and platforms 30m above the ground for an intimate perspective on this elevated habitat. Our eco-lodge has open-sided communal areas which gives us an immersive rainforest backdrop for our evening time.

Accommodation

Ecolodge

Meals

B L D

Ascent

300 M

Descent

300 M

Time

4hrs

Distance

4 KM

We welcome dawn on an early morning canopy walk. From our treetop vantage point, we watch bewildering numbers of birds rise up into the sky, commuting from their roost to their feeding areas. Spider monkeys and howler monkeys leap from branch to branch around us, crashing through the branches and leaves. By the time we have returned to the lodge for breakfast, we will be full-to-bursting with memories of exotic birds, stunning insects and playful primates.

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.

Accommodation

Ecolodge

Meals

B L D

We drive towards Surama, making a stop at Corkwood. Here, we visit a lek site where with luck we can observe the dazzling Guianan cock-of-the-rock mal. Surama is an indigenous settlement located on the edge of the rainforest, where it meets the savannah and foothills of the looming Pakaraima Mountains. We can observe many ancestral and traditional practices and learn how the indigenous community harness the natural resources that surround them. We receive a warm welcome at the locally run eco-lodge and stretch out our legs on a trail walk in the surrounding forest.

As the heat of afternoon sun ebbs, we take 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.

We return to our eco-lodge, where this evening we enjoy an educational walk to observe wildlife and experience the mystique of the forest after dark.

Accommodation

Ecolodge

Meals

B L D

Ascent

350 M

Descent

350 M

Time

6hrs

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.

We transfer to the Rupununi airstrip for our scheduled flight back to Georgetown and relative civilisation. We can look down at this seemingly impenetrable and wild territory, knowing we have uncovered some of its magnificent secrets on this remarkable adventure. In the evening, we have the option of a special meal to celebrate our return from the rainforest. At the Backyard Café we can sample Chef Delven Adam's take on a Guyanese tradition: the seven curry, a staple at all Indo-Guyanese weddings and religious events. 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!

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

Transfer to Georgetown Airport for flight home.

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Essential Information

We've compiled some of our Frequently Asked Questions to help you learn more about this amazing trip.

  • A professional English-speaking local leader
  • Airport transfers (on group arrival and departure days)
  • Airport transfers between Zorg-en-Hoop and JA Pengal International
  • All land transport and internal flights involved in the itinerary
  • International return flight between Suriname and Guyana
  • All accommodation as described
  • Meals as described in the Meal Plan
  • Excursions as per the itinerary

  • Travel insurance
  • Tips for local guides and trek staff
  • Airport departure taxes
  • Some meals as detailed in the Meal Plan
  • Optional activities (Georgetown Botanical Gardens and special seven curry meal)
  • Miscellaneous personal expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc.

The group will meet at the hotel in Paramaribo.

A single transfer is provided to / from the airport at the start /end on the first/last day of the land only itinerary.

Hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation.

Where there is a wide range of dining options it is sensible to leave this choice to you. While staying in Paramaribo, Kourou, Cayenne and Georgetown, dinner is not included in the holiday price. There is a total of 5 dinners and 10 lunches which are included in the holiday price. You should budget $20 - $35 dollars per meal per person (including wine and/or soft drinks).

It is not recommended to drink untreated water from the taps. You should take purification tablets or a filter bottle (such as a Water-To-Go bottle) to treat your water. We do not encourage the purchasing of single use plastic bottles.

These three countries have an incredible variety of cuisine, reflecting their rich colonial history. In Suriname, the Dutch influence has brought distinct Indonesian flavour, such as the classic Rijsttafel and Nasi Goring rice dishes. If you like seafood, you may wish to sample some Telo met Bakkeljauw (fried cassava and saltfish). In French Guiana, creole food is served with a French twist and other nations are represented, such as Vietnam and China. Specialities include Bouillon d’Aoura, a delectable dish of smoked fish, crab, prawns, vegetables and chicken, served with aoura fruit. Yucca and roti are traditional accompaniments. Guyana similarly has a rich heritage including a strong cultural association with the Caribbean and proudly claims many dishes including Pepperpot (an Amerindian meat stew with cassava and hot pepper sauce) and Metagee, (a stew of meat or fish, garlic, plantain, chilli and coconut milk). Fresh fruit and vegetables are in abundance, and fish is an important part of the national diets. Ginger beer and freshly squeezed fruit juice are the refreshments of choice, and the locally produced rum is second to none.

Whilst we can cater for vegetarians, albeit sometimes with a more limited choice, we cannot always provide special diets.  Due to the nature of some of the trips that we operate and the countries in which we operate them, it can be very hard (and sometimes impossible) to cater for a wide range of dietary choices and you may have to supplement your diet with food/snacks from home.  If you have specific dietary requirements please do speak to our sales team and they will be able to advise you whether or not we will be able to offer your specific choice.  Please note that we are unable to provide separate menus and cannot accept liability for any problems arising from special dietary requirements or intolerances.

The group will have a total of 9 nights in a comfortable Tourist class hotels. This is 3 nights total in Paramaribo, 1 in Kourou, 1 in Cayenne and 4 in Gerogetown. In addition there are 5 nights in remote eco-lodges. This is 2 nights in Danpaati, 1 night in Iwokrama and 2 nights in Surama.

Additional nights are available at the beginning and end of the holiday. Details of your first night's hotel together with an emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation.

This holiday uses both scheduled and chartered flights to access remote corners of the three Guianas. These flights are subject to baggage restrictions. 

Internal flights have a strictly enforced baggage allowance.

The group will be accompanied by professional and qualified English-speaking local guides from Day 1 to Day 14. Note that there will be different leaders for the different sections of the trip. On the final day of departure the group will not be accompanied by a leader, once back in Suriname.

A minimum of around £500 per person (or equivalent in US dollars or Euros) should be allowed for tips, soft drinks, snacks, non-included meals and miscellaneous expenses. Alcoholic drinks, souvenirs and optional activities are additional so you may wish to budget for these.


You can choose to take your money in pounds sterling, dollars or euros. There will be the opportunity to change money into local currency on arrival at the airport and your local leader will advise the best places to change money en-route and at borders. Additionally, you will be able to get currency from bank ATMs in many of the towns that we will visit. Credit cards are useful and it is a good idea to carry one in case of emergency.

 

Optional activities:

 

Please note that optional actitivities are prices are in USD and are booked and payable locally. Please note that these prices are correct at time of writing, but are subject to change without warning. Optional activities taken outside the KE holiday are at your own risk.


Birding excursion at the Georgetown Botanical Gardens $48 per person

Established in 1878, and widely considered to be one of the treasures of Georgetown, this 185 acre estate is laid out on the land of an abandoned cane sugar plantation. Here we will have a fabulous opportunity to see the blood-colored woodpecker. This astonishingly colorful Veniliornis is found only in the Guianas and even there almost wholly limited to the narrow coastal plain. The gardens also host snail kite, grey hawk, pearl kite, Carib grackle and red-bellied macaws. We will walk on trails transecting the gardens and may see yellow-chinned spinetail, black-crested antshrike, silver-beaked tanager, buff-breasted wren, golden-spangled piculet and ashy-headed greenlet. 


Special Guyanese seven curry dinner with chef Delvin Adams at the Backyard Cafe in Georgetown $45 per person

Seven curry is served at all Indo-Guyanese weddings and religious festivals. 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!

Tipping is not expected but is appreciated, and you may wish to do as as a way of saying ‘thank you’ to you leader and local team. Tipping is entirely voluntary and should be dependent on good service. We advise you to tip as a group. For full groups we advise around $40-50 per person total. In restaurants 10% is more than adequate. When staying at lodges, it is recommended to tip the lodge manager who will distribute as necessary to their team.

Please note that optional actitivities are prices are in USD and are booked and payable locally.


Birding excursion at the Georgetown Botanical Gardens

($48 per person)

Established in 1878, and widely considered to be one of the treasures of Georgetown, this 185 acre estate is laid out on the land of an abandoned cane sugar plantation. Here we will have a fabulous opportunity to see the blood-colored woodpecker. This astonishingly colorful Veniliornis is found only in the Guianas and even there almost wholly limited to the narrow coastal plain. The gardens also host snail kite, grey hawk, pearl kite, Carib grackle and red-bellied macaws. We will walk on trails transecting the gardens and may see yellow-chinned spinetail, black-crested antshrike, silver-beaked tanager, buff-breasted wren, golden-spangled piculet and ashy-headed greenlet. 


Special Guyanese seven curry dinner with chef Delvin Adams at the Backyard Cafe in Georgetown

($45 per person)

Seven curry is served at all Indo-Guyanese weddings and religious festivals. 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!

 

Our holidays are normally designed with minimal 'down time' at the start of the trip, but having a day or two at the beginning will have the additional benefit of allowing you time to get over the stress of a long journey or travelling across time zones, leaving you refreshed and ready for your holiday. We can easily arrange for you to have additional nights and airport transfers.

For this holiday you should take one piece of luggage, which should be a soft bag such as the KE kit bag and a daypack. Due to a more restrictive baggage allowance on the Suriname to Guyana flight, baggage should not weigh more than 15kg. For all flights to and from Kaieteur Falls and Iwokrama airstrips in Guyana, the maximum allowance for hold baggage is 9.1kg. This weight allowance is strictly enforced and excess baggage will be charged. Excess baggage availability cannot be confirmed until check in. For international flights please check your baggage allowance with your airline.

Whilst flying internally in Guyana, you can securely store your excess baggage at our local agent's office.

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required, and you should have at least 2 blank pages for each country that you visit.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Please ensure that you check for the latest advice before travel. For the most up to date information on entry requirements, please visit the UK Government website.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR THOSE TRANSITING THROUGH THE USA

You will require an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation), and you must get this before boarding any US-bound aircraft or ship, or entering on a land border. The fee is USD$21 and you should apply for it at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/. With the ESTA complete, the majority of British Citizen passport holders can enter the US under the Visa Waiver Programme, VWP. You will be required to have a passport with an integrated chip. Note that if you have travelled to Cuba, Iran, Syria or North Korea since March 2011* you will have to apply for a visa rather than the Visa Waiver Programme (* a full and up to date list of countries can be found on the US government website here.)

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR THOSE TRANSITING THROUGH CANADA

All citizens (except for USA citizens) will require an eTA (Electronic Travel Authorisation), and you must get this before boarding any Canada-bound aircraft or ship, or entering on a land border. The fee is CAD$7 and you should apply for it at http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/eta-start.asp

 

French Guiana is an Overseas Department of France (département d’outre-mer). If your passport describes you as a British Citizen you will not need a visa to enter French Guiana. Other British passport holders should check the current entry requirements on the website of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and if necessary confirm with the nearest French Diplomatic mission.

British and US nationals do not need visas to visit Guyana. Visitors generally have 30 days to remain in Guyana which is strictly enforced. Extensions can be obtained from the Ministry of Home Affairs in Georgetown.

As of July 2022, citizens of all countries will be allowed to travel visa-free to Suriname for the purposes of tourism. For each entry, each visitor pays an "Entry Fee" of USD$25 or EUR€25 (+an $/€8 handling fee). As this itineray enters Suriname more than once, the entry fee is payable for each entry.

Visas for Suriname and the entry fee payment are only available via the official website. The entry fee should be paid online via VFS Global on the working days 24 hours prior to the departure date.

Passports should be valid for a minimum period of six months from the date of entry into Suriname. 

If you have a severe allergy please inform the KE office before you travel. We will do all we can to help, but we cannot guarantee an allergy free environment on KE trips. You will need to carry your own treatment for the allergy with you, as 'adrenaline auto-injectors' are not carried as standard by KE leaders and staff. You should inform your leader on arrival of your allergy, and let them know where you keep your adrenaline pen.

Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Zika virus has been confirmed as active in this country. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. The mosquitoes that transmit ZIKV are unlikely to be found above 2,000m altitude. For more information, visit the website of the National Travel Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) at https://travelhealthpro.org.uk

 

VACCINATIONS

You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you specific require any vaccinations or other preventive measures. You should be up to date with routine courses and boosters as recommended in the UK e.g. diphtheria-tetanus-polio and measles-mumps-rubella), along with hepatitis A and typhoid. Malarial prophylaxis are required. There is risk of yellow fever and you must carry a current vaccination certificate. On holidays to more remote areas you should also have a dentist check up. A good online resource is Travel Health Pro.

Suriname

The official currency is the Surinamese dollar (SR$), although you will often see prices quoted in Euros or US Dollars. Credit cards are not widely accepted outside major towns. In Paramaribo some of the ATMs will accept international credit and debit cards and dispense Surinamese Dollars; Republic Banks being the most reliable. You can expect to pay a fee if paying by credit card. If you are bringing currency with you, bring US dollars or Euros; Sterling can’t be exchanged.

French Guiana

ATMs can be found in the bigger towns and currency exchange is available in Cayenne. Credit cards are widely accepted and you can access cash using your Visa or MasterCard at ATMs which are part of the Plus and Cirrus networks. As a department of Franch, French Guiana uses the Euro.

Guyana

Credit card use is growing in Guyana, but it still a relatively cash-based economy. Scotia Bank's ATMs accept most foreign Visa and Mastercards and are the most reliable. Should you wish to pay in cash it is wise to carry US Dollars in small denominations.

 

Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana are located just north of the Equator. As such the climate is tropical, hot and humid throughout the year. It is relatively drier and slightly warmer from July to November and experiences higher levels of precipitation from December to June. The temperatures are high all year round. Temperaturs rarely fall below 20c and are often above 30c.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office's ‘Travel Aware campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas. The 'Travel Aware' website provides a single, authoritative source of advice for all kinds of travellers and we recommend that prior to travel, all KE clients visit the official UK Government website at travelaware.campaign.gov.uk and read the FCDO Travel Advice for their chosen destination. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCDO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCDO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

KE do not encourage the use of single use plastic items. We are ensuring that our agents all over the world are working together to reduce the problem and educate those around them. We are leading by example in our KE office by reducing our plastic use.

Wild Coast: Travels on South America's Untamed Edge by John Gimlette

French Guiana: The Bizarre and the Beautiful by Donna Mulvenna

Space in the Tropics: From Convicts to Rockets in French Guiana by Peter Redfield

Papillon by Henry Charriere

The Guyana Story: From Earliest Times to Independence by Odeen Ishmael

Maroon Societies: Rebel Slave Communities in the Americas by Professor Richard Price

 

Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana ITMB, 1:850,000, ISBN 9781553414025

It is an essential condition of joining a holiday with KE Adventure Travel that you have a valid travel insurance policy to cover the cost of medical treatment and to protect the value of your holiday in the event of cancellation.  When taking out insurance please ensure the policy you choose covers you for the activities and altitude included in your itinerary.

For appropriate insurance cover we recommend Campbell Irvine Direct.  Please go to our Travel Insurance page for further information and to get a quote.

IMPORTANT: Please refer to Baggage Allowance for information on the limited weight allowance for this trip. Excess baggage not required for the internal Guyana flights can be left in secure storage in Georgetown.

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum. Please note that there are baggage weight restrictions on the internal flights.

YOU SHOULD BRING THE FOLLOWING ITEMS:

  • Hiking boots
  • Sandals or lightweight trainers
  • Socks & underwear
  • Trekking trousers
  • Shorts
  • Baselayer shirts
  • Shirts / T-shirts / Tops
  • Lightweight waterproof jacket
  • Lightweight waterproof overtrousers
  • Sunhat
  • Sunglasses
  • Daypack 35-45 litres (with rain cover)
  • Dry bags
  • Headtorch and spare batteries
  • Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)
  • Water bottles 1 Litre (2 pint) x2 (we encourage re-filling water bottles rather than single use plastic)
  • Water purification tablets
  • Washbag and toiletries
  • Antibacterial handwash
  • Insect repellent (DEET)
  • Small travel towel
  • Small padlock (to lock your KE trek bag)
  • Basic First Aid Kit, including: Antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), painkillers, plasters and blister treatment, and re-hydration salts (Dioralite). Glucose tablets and multi-vitamin tablets are also a good idea.

THE FOLLOWING ITEMS ARE OPTIONAL:

  • Trekking poles
  • Mosquito net (in most establishments the windows have netting, however it is prudent to bring one as well)
  • Travel clothes
  • Flipflops for casual wear and evenings
  • Swimwear
  • Binoculars
  • Umbrella & poncho
  • Pen-knife (note: always pack sharp objects in hold baggage)
  • Repair kit – (eg. needle, thread, duct tape)
  • Camera
  • Binoculars
  • Reusable cloth bag for shopping (to avoid plastic bags)

 

Cotswold Outdoor Red PantonMany of the Equipment items listed above are available from Cotswold Outdoor - our 'Official Recommended Outdoor Retailer'. When you book a holiday with KE you will receive 12.5% discount voucher from Cotswold Outdoor and other retailers.
>> Find out more

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