3 Guianas: Guyana, Suriname & French Guiana
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On this wildlife and natural history tour you will enjoy a taste of Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana and their most famous sights. Discover the rainforest, Guyana's natural wonder; Kaieteur Falls; the colonial architecture and forts. Visit Karanambu and learn about Diane McTurk's program to rehabilitate giant otters to their habitat. Venture into the wild on a river trip and encounter the abundant wildlife, which roams free in the Rupununi savannahs. Be amazed at the rich cultural mix of South America and the Caribbean.
Itinerary
Day 1: Arrival
Arrive in Guyana, South America's only English speaking country. Guyana is a gem waiting to be discovered. It is known as the land of many waters and the giants of the world, among them are: the mighty Essequibo River, giant arapaima fish, the enormous Harpy Eagle, the Anaconda, giant otters and jaguars. You will be privately transferred to your hotel.
Overnight at Status Hotel


Day 2: Kaieteur Falls Excursion and City Tour
Morning departure from your hotel to the airport for our chartered flight to Kaieteur Falls. Kaieteur National Park is situated on the Guiana shield, a plateau that is one of the world's oldest and remotest geological formations. The national park is located within one of the largest and most biodiverse rainforests in the world. The park is home to the tiny golden frog which spends its entire life in the large tank bromeliads as well as White-chinned and White-collared Swifts, red and green macaws, and the the morpho hecuba butterfly, among other species. This natural wonder has a sheer drop of 741 feet (225 meters) and is 5 times the height of Niagara Falls. After a fascinating tour of Kaieteur Falls, we return to Georgetown and enjoy a city tour.

Georgetown has many historical monuments. Wide tree-lined avenues and beautiful Gothic and Elizabethan architecture are found scattered everywhere. Fine examples are the elegant St. George's Cathedral, picturesque City Hall, St. Andrew's Kirk, Victorian Law Courts, Stabroek Market and the Parliament Building. On the tour you will come across the Umana Yana, a conical palm thatched hut, the Prime Minister's residence and State House, Walter Roth Museum, National Museum, Botanical and Zoological Gardens. (Meals: breakfast, lunch)
Overnight at Status Hotel

Day 3 & 4: Karanambu Ranch
This morning you will transfer to the airport for a flight over the rainforest and savannah to Karanambu Ranch in Rupununi. Your host Diane McTurk is famous for her work with rehabilitating orphaned giant otters to the wild. Typically there are two guided excursions each day — one early in the morning and another late in the afternoon and into the evening. As well as being the coolest times to be out, these are usually the best times to see the birds and animals. Trips may be on the river by boat, on the savannahs by Land Rover or along forest trails on foot to the different ponds in the area. Activities usually include:
  • Searching for wild otters along the river and among the ponds
  • Tracking a giant anteater across the savannahs
  • Sipping rum punch while watching the giant Victoria Amazonica lily blossom before your eyes
  • Boating through the flooded forest in the wet season
  • Enjoying the flora and fauna along the walking trails among the forest ponds
  • Spotting all sorts of amazing animals when they come out of hiding at night
Birdlife is rich and varied, both on the savannah and along the rivers and ponds. Possible exciting encounters include Black-chinned Antbird, Striped Woodcreeper, Blue-backed Manakin, Pale-bellied Tyrant-Manakin, Slate-headed Tody-Flycatcher and Bicoloured Wren. Water birds include Rufescent Tiger-Heron, Ringed and Amazon Kingfishers, Purple Gallinule, Agami Heron and Wattled Jacanas walking on water lilies. We will travel along the Rupununi River, scanning the banks for Crestless Curassow, Sunbittern, Boat-billed Heron and Pale-legged Hornero, Jabiru Stork, the Great Egret, Agami Heron and the Great Blue Heron, as well as different species of Kingfishers, Green Ibis, Snowy Egrets, Boat-bill Heron, the Purple Gallinule and the Wattled Jacana. (Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Day 5: Transfer to Sloth Island Reserve
Morning flight to Georgetown and transfer to the town of Parika, driving over the Harbor Bridge, which is the longest floating bridge in the world. The bridge crosses the second largest river in Guyana—the Demerara River. Continue your journey by boat along the Essequibo River, Guyana’s largest river, which is 20 miles wide at its widest point. Continue to Sloth Island and spend 2 nights/3 days. Sloth Island has recently recorded 188 species including the Puff Bird, Manikins, Toucan and Parakeets. (Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner)
Day 6: Sloth Island/Mazaruni River
Today, after breakfast, you will explore the trails of Sloth Island to search for howler monkeys, sloths and some of the 188 birds which adorn the rainforest at Sloth Island. Afterwards, you can canoe to nearby Amerindian villages or enjoy fishing at night. A short visit to the Mazaruni River will reveal the first Dutch settlement in Guyana—Kyk-overal. The afternoon will be spent at Parrot Island where thousands of parrots come to roost. (Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner)
Day 7: Return to Georgetown
Morning nature walk before departing for Georgetown in the afternoon. (Meals: breakfast, lunch)
Day 8: Guyana/Suriname
Morning departure for flight to Paramaribo, capital of Suriname. Suriname is a former Dutch colony with a fascinating mix of cultures. Its European influences are evident in the architecture and spoken language. On arrival transfer to your hotel.
Day 9: Paramaribo/French Guiana
Your bilingual driver/guide will transfer you to the Albina border 93 miles (150 km) where you will go through Immigration formalities, then ferry to French Guiana. Continue to Kourou. (Meals: breakfast)
Day 10: Boat Trip to Ile Du Salut
After breakfast, journey by ferry to île Royale. You will not be able to go to Devil's Island, but will be able to see it from the Auberge. Devil's Island was made famous by Henri Charriere's book Papillon. You will visit the ruins of the penal settlement at île Royale and learn about the Dreyfus Affair. Weather permitting, sail to île Joseph where most prisoners were kept. Return to your hotel in the afternoon. (Meals: breakfast)

Day 11: Arianespace Centre
Transfer to Arianespace Centre. The 3-hour tour starts at 8:00 a.m. A shuttle bus shuttle will take you to the main installations. Continue to Paramaribo, Suriname. Transfer to hotel for overnight. (Meals: breakfast)
Day 12: Paramaribo City Tour and River Tour
Paramaribo is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Shaded, tree-lined avenues, seventeenth-century Dutch wooden structures with synagogues, Muslim mosques and Christian churches coexist peacefully side by side. Continue by private boat up the Commenwijne River where you will pass fishing villages and former colonial plantations of which most are no longer active. Visit the open-air museum at Niew Amsterdam and Marienburg, the oldest former sugar plantation in Suriname. Return to your hotel about 5:00 p.m. for overnight. (Meals: breakfast, lunch)
Day 13: Joden Savanna & Maroon Village Tour
Depart hotel at 8:00 a.m. Transfer to Joden Savannah, a former Jewish settlement inhabited by Jews who fled the inquisition in Europe around 1650. Remnants of the oldest synagogue in the Americas as well as the ruins of a graveyard are still evident. Now cleaned and maintained by the Jewish community, this area houses a simple cottage, which is used as a museum. Here, visitors find information about this unique, historic graveyard in the forest of Suriname. Your trip continues with a visit to the Maroon village of Kalsscreek for a visit with the descendants of West African slaves.
Day 14: Departure
Transfer to airport for your return flight.

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