The Guianas Experience 2014

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.  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.  This really is an untouched and totally unique part of South America.

Pre-tour extension to witness exciting Black Caiman research

Friday:    Arrive in Guyana.  Transfer to Georgetown.  Overnight at Sleepin International Hotel. 

Saturday:  This morning transfer to the Ogle Airport for a flight to Karanambu airstrip which departs at 0800hrs. Pickup and transfer by vehicle to the Amerindian village of Yupukari and Caiman House.  Caiman House is the hub of several participatory development projects, including the introduction of classroom libraries in all three village schools and an internet-enabled public library. Visitors may have the opportunity to meet local craftspeople, including the furniture builders at Yupukari Crafters, a nonprofit venture to create village jobs and generate income to sustain educational development.  Tonight enjoy a foray on the Rupununi River from Caiman House Field Station.  As a guest you have the unique opportunity to support and participate in an ongoing field study of the Black Caiman (melanosuchus niger), the largest member of the alligator family and an endangered species. Guests will observe the capture from a separate boat, but will be offered the opportunity to assist in data collection. Caiman are weighed, measured, sexed and tagged before being released back into the river.  The research has already discovered interesting information on caimans’ nests that was previously unknown.  During periods of high water it is difficult to capture Caiman to you will have another chance to enter the nocturnal world of the Rupununi River and associated gallery forests which offer an experience, and world of wildlife entirely different than those viewed on a day trip.  Skilled guides will expertly escort visitors to meet elusive denizens of darkness by outboard powered boats, while interpreting the sights, and sounds of Guyana after dark.  Just after darkness settles on the River many creatures emerge such as black caiman (to over 12 feet), spectacled caiman, tree boas, iguanas, frogs, and many fish species( i.e arrawana, piranha). Sleeping birds (kingfishers, small perching birds) nightjars, potoos, Boat-billed Herons and other aquatic birds, bats, (harmless) spiders, insects, moths, and more can be closely approached in way not possible during the hours of light.  Less likely, but not rare inclusions for night viewing include possums, tree dwelling rodents, capybara and sleeping monkeys (esp. squirrel monkeys) amongst other mammals. Few nights pass without some unusual offering.  Overnight at Caiman House.  BLD

Sunday:  This morning we will have some time to visit the village, to learn about their way of life.  After breakfast transfer by boat to Karanambu Lodge to join the main tour.  B

PRE-TOUR EXTENSION RATES 2014

Rack Rate 2014: US$ 838.00 per person, minimum 1 person
  US$ 510.00 per person, minimum 2 persons
  US$ 450.00 per person, minimum 3 persons
  US$ 399.00 per person, minimum 4 persons
Net Rate 2014: US$ 671.00 per person, minimum 1 person
  US$ 408.00 per person, minimum 2 persons
  US$ 360.00 per person, minimum 3 persons
  US$ 319.00 per person, minimum 4 persons

Rate Includes :        
-           airport transfers
-           double or twin accommodation
-           meals as listed
-           all road and river transfers
-           internal flights in Guyana
-           activities as described
-           local guides
-           VAT

Not Included :
-           items of a personal nature
-           alcoholic drinks
-           international flights

Main scheduled tour

Saturday:  Arrive in Guyana.  Transfer to Georgetown.  Overnight at Sleepin International Hotel.

Sunday;   This morning transfer to the Ogle Airport for a flight to Karanambu Lodge which departs at 0830hrs.  This is the home of Diane McTurk, widely known for her work in rehabilitating orphaned, giant river otters. Diane and her otters have appeared on National Geographic, Jeff Corwin Experience, Really Wild Show (BBC) and the Calgary’s “Zoo World”.  Karanambu has a long history of visiting naturalists and Diane’s father, Tiny McTurk, has welcomed David Attenborough and Gerald Durrell (Three Singles to Adventure).  Late in the afternoon we will travel by boat to look for wild Giant River Otters and as dusk falls to the ponds to see the giant Victoria Regis waterlily, bloom at dusk.  On the return trip we will spotlight for Black Caiman and birds and creatures of the night.  Dinner with Diane will include stories on the history of the family and the Rupununi Savannahs.  Overnight at Karanambu Lodge. BLD
Monday:    This morning we may make an early start to reach an area of rolling grasslands, which in the past has been the home to a population of Giant Anteaters.  With luck we shall locate one of these six-foot long animals excavating its breakfast from one of the red termite mounds that stud the savannah. The remainder of the day will be spent exploring the area around Karanambu. We will undertake boat journeys along quiet stretches of river, explore seasonally flooded wetlands and lakes, and walk trails through a variety of woodland habitats. Overnight at Karanambu Lodge.  BLD
Tuesday:   After breakfast we travel slowly on the Rupununi River by boat and this should give us another excellent opportunity to look for various river-edge, wetland and open country species and we stand a good chance of seeing Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, and Swallow-wing.  Depending on the river level, this trip offers an excellent opportunity to look for Giant Otters as there are several family groups which live along this stretch of the Rupununi River.  Both Black and Spectacled Caimans also inhabit the river and several species of monkey including Red Howler, White-faced Saki and Squirrel Monkey can be found in the riverside trees.  Eventually we reach Ginep Landing, continue transfer by vehicle to the Amerindian village of Surama. The village of Surama is situated in a small savannah, deep in the rainforest and surrounded by forest clad hills.  It was here that Charles Waterton passed through in 1812 in search of the secrets of the useful Wourali poison known as Curare.  Waterton was so stunned by this spot that he wrote in his memoirs “The finest park that England boasts falls short of this delightful scene”.  Surama’s inhabitants are mainly from the Macushi tribe and still observe many of the traditional practices of their forebears. On our arrival, we will receive a warm welcome from the local people and will be shown to our basic accommodation. 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. As the afternoon cools a local guide will escort you for a short walk on trails to observe the forest and bird life.  See the forest through the eyes of your indigenous guide and learn about the medicinal plants and their uses in the Amerindian culture.  Tonight enjoy an educational walk to observe wildlife and experience the mystique of the forest after dark. Overnight at Surama Eco-Lodge.  BLD

Wednesday:   Rise before dawn for a walk across the savannah and then the exhilarating and challenging climb up Surama Mountain in the cool morning air.  This is the best time to observe bird life along the trail.  Breakfast will be served at a lookout point which affords incredible views across the village and savannah to the Pakaraima Mountains.  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 at Surama Eco Lodge.  BLD

Thursday;   After breakfast depart Surama by 4x4 vehicle along the road, we will watch for the myriad of bird species that frequent the forest edge,   continue transfer by vehicle to a trail in the Iwokrama Forest to hopefully see the amazingly brilliant Guianan Cock-of-the-rock.  It is an easy 20 minute walk, to hopefully have a great view of the Guianan Cock-of-the-rock.  Most trips see at least one male and often the female or even a juvenile on the nest.  Then continue our journey to the Iwokrama Canopy Walkway which allows you to view the forest from 35 M up in the canopy.  The Iwokrama Rainforest is a vast wilderness of one million acres.  This protected area was established in 1996 as the Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation and Development.  The Iwokrama Forest is in the heart of one of four last untouched tropical forests of the world - The Guiana Shield of North-Eastern South America. Iwokrama was established as a living laboratory for tropical forest management because the unsustainable utilisation of these forests will result in the extinction of half the world's plant and animal species and unknown changes to global climate.  This is a protected area with a difference - the full involvement of people. Iwokrama is exceptional among conservation organizations because it joins with local people in every aspect of its work. From research to business, Iwokrama ensures local economic and social benefits from forest use and conservation.  The Forest is in the homeland of the Makushi people, who have lived here and used the forest for thousands of years. Although the forest around Atta Rainforest Lodge is excellent for birds, the major attraction here is a 154 metre long canopy walkway which is only 750m from the lodge.  The walkway has four platforms, the highest of which is over 30 metres above the ground, and these will allow us to get great looks at a range of canopy species, many of which we would struggle to see well from the forest floor.  Amongst the likely highlights are Painted, Brown-throated and Golden-winged Parakeets, and Ash-winged Antwrens.  The walkway is also an excellent place to look for various species of cotinga including the poorly known and range-restricted Dusky Purpletuft and if there are any suitable fruiting trees nearby, we stand a good chance of seeing this bird, as well as the more widespread Purple-breasted Cotinga.  Experience the activity in the mid and upper canopy of the forest and see darkness settle over the forest.  From this tree top vantage you can sometimes see Red Howler Monkeys and Black Spider Monkeys.  As darkness falls on the Canopy Walkway, we will hope to see the White-winged Potoo.  Overnight at Atta Rainforest Lodge.  BLD

Friday:   Welcome the dawn chorus from the canopy walkway.  Short-tailed Nighthawks settle in for the day, Swifts take to the sky, White throated and Channel-billed Toucans yodel, and Barred Forest Falcons call.  The unusually timid Black Curassow can also be seen as at least one family party has become habituated and regularly feeds in the clearing of Atta Rainforest Lodge.  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.  This species is seen here on a reasonably regular basis, as it often comes to feed in some of the nearby trees.  After breakfast we will transfer you by 4 x 4 along the trail that is one of the best places to see the elusive Jaguar. The Iwokrama forest is rapidly gaining an international reputation for its healthy jaguar populations that seem not to be troubled by the appearance of curious humans. No promises, but many have been lucky!  Along the road, we will watch for the myriad of bird species that frequent the forest edge, including Crimson and Purple-necked Fruit-crow, and Orange-winged Parrot and Gray-winged Trumpeter.  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, Puma, Tapir and Black Curassow.  The road travels through the savannah and the foothills of the Pakaraima Mountains with excellent opportunity for savannah birding.  Jabiru Stork are often seen along this stretch of road.  Eventually we reach the Rupununi and Annai, its northernmost community. The Rupununi Savannah is to Guyana what the Gran Sabana is to Venezuela, an extensive area of grassland with termite mounds and scattered or riparian woodland.  It differs in that much of it is devoted to cattle raising, though the large ranches are not very productive.  Indeed, one can travel for hours without seeing a domestic animal of any sort. Needless to say, the birdlife here is markedly different from that of the rainforest. 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.  This afternoon you can visit nearby Amerindian villages.  Enjoy an explanation and demonstration of traditional cashew nut roasting.  Finish the day with drinks around the pool.  Overnight at Rock View Lodge.  BLD

Saturday:  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 sun rises are spectacular. After breakfast take a flight back to Georgetown at approximately 1000.  Enjoy a Georgetown City Tour.  This evening you can take an optional tour to the Roy Geddes Musical Museum for a cultural evening and local dinner.  Roy is Guyana’s most famous steel pan player and maker.  He will demonstrate how steel pans are made and discuss their history and a rendition of pop, rock, soca, classical and jazz numbers of the pans.  Overnight at Overnight at Sleepin International Hotel.  B (Dinner included with optional tour to Roy Geddes)

Sunday   Today is free to explore Georgetown or an optional tour to Kaieteur Falls, the world’s highest free-falling waterfall. At 228 meters, Kaieteur is nearly five times the height of Niagara Falls. Here we hope to find White-chinned and White-tipped Swifts swirling over the gorge, and the astonishingly colorful Guianan Cock-of-the-Rock. 

Re-boarding our plane, we travel to the Brazilian border and Orinduik Falls, 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. Late afternoon, return to Georgetown.  Overnight at Sleepin International Hotel.  B (Lunch included on Kaieteur optional tour).

Monday:  Transfer to the airport for flight to Zorg-en-Hoop Airport in Paramaribo and transfer to Eco Resort Inn.  This afternoon we take you on a Paramaribo City tour, on foot you will visit one of the most attractive cities of South America, Paramaribo, the capital city of Suriname and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its magnificent architecture.  During this tour you will visit the Palm Gardens, the Waterfront and the Central Market.  Naturally, you will also see the many historical buildings like the recently renovated Presidential Palace, the Mosque and Synagogue next to each other and the magnificent Hindi Temple. Overnight at Eco Resort Inn.  B

Tuesday:   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 them 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 defense for the crop fields that were situated along the upper parts of both rivers.  We continue our tour to the pier at Nieuw Amsterdam for the Sunset Dolphin tour. While having a drink we enjoy the cool breeze and river views. Meanwhile the captain searches the horizon for the dolphins. Normally we see them swim by in groups of up to 20 dolphins. Sometimes they’re very curious and if we are lucky they will jump and play close to the boat. After having enjoyed this playful company we part for wonderful restored plantation Frederiksdorp where we will enjoy freshly made local snacks like barra, baka bana or eggroll while experiencing the beautiful sunset.  All this takes place in a relaxing atmosphere of the old plantation village.  After the sun has set we will transfer you by car or bus to Paramaribo. Overnight at Eco Resort Inn.  BL

Wednesday:   This morning we start our nature and cultural experience as we depart from Paramaribo and head in southern.  At Paranam the asphalt road changes into laterite, and we drive passed impressive giant trees and small villages. After approximately 190 km we arrive at a place named Atjoni.  From here on we will take an exciting corial trip. By motorized dugout boat it will take us 45 minutes to get to the comfort of Anaula Nature Resort, situated at the foot of the Ferulassi falls.  During this trip we get to see various Maroon villages, breathtaking scenery, and the tempestuous Jaw Jaw rapid.  After some relaxation time we will take a dugout boat and go to an island in the Ferullasi rapid which has a sandy beach where we can relax, swim and enjoy a natural Jacuzzi.  After dinner there is an exciting adventure to search for Caiman. The night dugout boat trip gives you the chance to enjoy the wonderful starry sky and the complete silence of the rain forest.   Overnight at Anaula Nature Resort.  BLD

Thursday:  After breakfast we head for New Aurora, by dugout boat. During the guided tour through the village you will meet the local people and learn about their unique way of living including their traditions and customs. We will take you to see the Mission Station where there is a church, a primary school and a medical post. From New Aurora we walk to the nearest village of Gunsi where our dugout boat awaits.   After the lunch we will take a walk in the forest on the island. During this forest walk you will learn a lot about the local medicinal use of plants. After dinner it’s time to enjoy traditional and cultural dancing performances of the Seketi, Awasa and Bandamba dances. Our guide will tell you about the meaning of these dances.  Overnight at Anaula Nature Resort.  BLD

Friday:  What you do this morning is entirely up to you and you can chose to go on tour to see the various agricultural plots of the local people, swimming, go for a stroll in the forest, relax in the lounge area or in a hammock, or just enjoy the peace and quiet of nature.   After the lunch we will go back to Atjoni by boat from where we will return to Paramaribo. Overnight at Eco-Resort.  BL

Saturday: Transfer to the airport for departing Caribbean Airways flight. 

 

Scheduled departure dates 2014:         1 February – 15 February 2014
26 August – 10 September 2014
22 November – 6 December 2014

SCHEDULED DEPARTURE RATES 2014

Scheduled Departure Rack Rate 2014: US$ 4,525.00 per person, minimum 2 persons
Single Supplement:

US$ 859.00

Scheduled Departure Net Rate 2014: US$ 3,700.00 per person, minimum 2 persons
Single Supplement: US$ 767.00

GUMAIR Ticket (GEO/PBM) US$ 190.00 per person – price and schedule subject to change by the Airline

Upgrade hotel in Georgetown to Cara Lodge and in Paramaribo to Hotel Torarica.

Scheduled Departure Rack Rate: US$ 1098.00 per person, min 2 persons
Single Supplement:

US$ 989.00

Scheduled Departure Net Rate : US$ 958.00 per person, min 2 persons
Single Supplement: US$ 871.00

Tour can also be sold as a Non-scheduled departure booked any time.  Rates start at:

Non-scheduled departure Rack Rate 2014: US$ 4,979.00 per person, minimum 2 persons
Single Supplement:

US$ 859.00

Non-scheduled departure Net Rate 2014: US$ 3,663.00 per person, minimum 2 persons
Single Supplement: US$ 767.00

To upgrade hotel for private departure in Georgetown to Cara Lodge and in Paramaribo to Hotel Torarica use upgrade rates above.

Rate Includes :        
-           airport transfers
-           double or twin accommodation
-           meals as listed
-           local bar at Karanambu Lodge
-           all road and river transfers
-           internal flights in Guyana
-           activities as described
-           local guides
-           VAT
-           Iwokrama Forest User Fee
-           Iwokrama Canopy Walkway fee

Not Included :
-           items of a personal nature
-           alcoholic drinks except where mentioned above
-           departure tax
-           international flights, including between Guyana and Suriname
-           Kaieteur and Orinduik Falls trip (optional extra)
-           visit to Roy Geddes (optional extra)
-           visa

Please note single supplement is for a single room (where available), but as part of a group with a minimum of 2 pax.

Note: Passenger/s traveling on internal flights in Guyana are allowed a free baggage allowance of 20lbs/9.1KG exceeding this weight passenger/s will incur a cost of GY$145.00 equivalent to US$ 0.74cents per pound

Note: Passenger/s traveling on GUMAIR flights in Guyana are allowed a free baggage allowance of 33lbs/15KG exceeding this weight passenger/s will incur a cost of GY$268.00 equivalent to US$ 1.30cents per pound

Disclaimer:  Please be advised all tour operators and customers must provide us with body weights of passengers booked to travel on tour to Guyana for all internal flights. Failure to provide us with this information or the incorrect information can cause delays to flights and inconvenience to other passengers and in some cases either passengers and/or luggage being taken off the flight.  To ensure a holiday that is enjoyable and hassle free, it is imperative that passengers provide us with this information.  We appreciate some people are sensitive about providing their body weights, but all customers and their baggage are weighed at check-in.  This is procedure by the airline so as to ensure that the weight of the load is within the payload limit for the aircraft, and neither they or Wilderness Explorers will compromise on safety.  All passengers are subject to removal of themselves or luggage from the flight if over the weight they provided and/or over the baggage allowance.  Passengers are advised to provide a body weight with clothing similar to that which they would expect to travel in on the flight.  Wilderness Explorers cannot be held responsible for any passenger denied boarding or luggage not transported if they are over the weight provided.  Weights supplied are provided to the airline in advance to ensure the flight is within the allowable payload. Please be advised of internal flights free baggage allowance of 20 lbs per person.

FRENCH GUIANA EXTENSION 1

Saturday:  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. 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.  Afternoon city tour of Saint Laurent Du Maroni and Camp de la Transportation where we will make a brief visit to the well-preserved Transportation Center. 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.  A relaxed 2 and 1/2 hours further east by road gets us to Kourou.  Our day concludes at the Hotel des Roches, resting 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.  B

Sunday:   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 dizzyingly varied breakfast buffet at the hotel, we set sail aboard a fine motorized catamaran towards our first stop, Île Saint-Joseph.  The islands played a central role in French history as far back as 1792 when they were first employed as a transit point, first for explorers, then slaves and later for political prisoners. Île Saint-Joseph is the southernmost island and is home to the most striking incarceration facilities that made up this notorious penal colony. Île Royale is the site of the oldest buildings on the islands, featuring an old church, administration buildings, officers' quarters, and today, a good restaurant and lodging facilities. Ironically, the actual Île du Diable (Devil's Island) is inaccessible to visitors due to dangerous shoreline conditions. This is the island where the prison's best-known occupant, Alfred Dreyfus, was famously secluded.  Your tour begins on Île St. Joseph which can be easily circumnavigated on foot in less than 2 hours. The prison buildings here are quite well preserved, and you can meander at will through the cell blocks, dormitory buildings, and other structures while taking photographs or simply soaking in the powerful 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 tidepools on the north side of the island. Return to Kourou by Catamaran and transfer in bus to hotel.  Overnight at Hotel des Roches.  B

Monday:   Breakfast at hotel.  Transfer to Kourou to the Center Spatiale Guyanaise (Guyana Space Center) for a tour. Launch schedules are a closely-held secret so our schedule today may be amended on short notice. The usual tour includes a motorcoach tour which criss-crosses the center's mammoth facility, including stops at various assembly buildings and control centers. The entire tour is offered in French, but your guide will supply translations as often as possible.  After tour transfer by vehicle for the Suriname border via St. Laurent de Maroni and cross by small boat. Transfer to Paramaribo.  Overnight at Eco Resort Inn.  B

Tuesday:   Transfer to the airport for departing Caribbean Airways flight.  B

RATES 2014

Rack Rate: US$ 3,613.00 per person, minimum 2 persons
 

US$ 2,998.00 per person, minimum 3 persons

 

US$ 2,397.00 per person, minimum 4 persons

Single Supplement: US$ 648.00
Net Rate: US$ 2,971.00 per person, minimum 2 persons
 

US$ 2,398.00 per person, minimum 3 persons

 

US$ 1,997.00 per person, minimum 4 persons

Single Supplement:

US$ 599.00

Rate Includes:

  • airport transfer
  • double or twin accommodation
  • meals as indicated
  • local guides
  • activities as described
  • all road transfers

Not Included :          

  • international flights
  • visa’s
  • departure tax
  • items of a personal nature
  • alcoholic drinks

FRENCH GUIANA EXTENSION 2

Saturday:   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. 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.  Afternoon city tour of Saint Laurent Du Maroni and Camp de la Transportation where we will make a brief visit to the well-preserved Transportation Center. 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.  Transfer to Cayenne.  Overnight at Hotel Amazonia.  B

Sunday:   Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Cacao (H’mong village in the jungle, 60km from Cayenne), visit the market, the village and plantations.  After tour transfer back to the hotel.  Overnight at Hotel Amazonia.  B

Monday:  This morning we will do a city tour of Cayenne, which is the administrative and commercial center of French Guiana.  At the same time, it is a typical creole town with about 50,000 inhabitants, half of the entire population of the country.  The Fort Cépérou, the Place Léopold Heder, the hotel of the Jésuites, the Place de Grenoble, the Place des Palmistes, the colonial hospital, the Franconie Museum, the town hall and the city center are the gems of Cayenne.  We will also visit the traditional market, full of exotic odors, as well as an opportunity for shopping  After tour transfer to Kourou to the Center Spatiale Guyanaise (Guyana Space Center) for a tour. Launch schedules are a closely-held secret so our schedule today may be amended on short notice. The usual tour includes a motorcoach tour which criss-crosses the center's mammoth facility, including stops at various assembly buildings and control centers. The entire tour is offered in French, but your guide will supply translations as often as possible.  Our day concludes at the Hotel des Roches, resting 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.  B

Tuesday:   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 dizzyingly varied breakfast buffet at the hotel, we set sail aboard a fine motorized catamaran towards our first stop, Île Saint-Joseph.  The islands played a central role in French history as far back as 1792 when they were first employed as a transit point, first for explorers, then slaves and later for political prisoners. Île Saint-Joseph is the southernmost island and is home to the most striking incarceration facilities that made up this notorious penal colony. Île Royale is the site of the oldest buildings on the islands, featuring an old church, administration buildings, officers' quarters, and today, a good restaurant and lodging facilities. Ironically, the actual Île du Diable (Devil's Island) is inaccessible to visitors due to dangerous shoreline conditions. This is the island where the prison's best-known occupant, Alfred Dreyfus, was famously secluded.  Your tour begins on Île St. Joseph which can be easily circumnavigated on foot in less than 2 hours. The prison buildings here are quite well preserved, and you can meander at will through the cell blocks, dormitory buildings, and other structures while taking photographs or simply soaking in the powerful 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 tidepools on the north side of the island. Return to Kourou by Catamaran and transfer in bus to hotel.  Overnight at Hotel des Roches.  B

Wednesday:   After breakfast transfer by vehicle for the Suriname border via St. Laurent de Maroni and cross by small boat. Transfer to Paramaribo.  Overnight at Eco Resort Inn.  B

Thursday:  Transfer to the airport for departing Caribbean Airways flight. B

RATES 2014

Rack Rate: US$ 4,640.00 per person, minimum 2 persons
 

US$ 3,718.00 per person, minimum 3 persons

 

US$ 3,020.00 per person, minimum 4 persons

Single Supplement: US$ 835.00
Net Rate: US$ 3,792.00 per person, minimum 2 persons
 

US$ 3,054.00 per person, minimum 3 persons

 

US$ 2,496.00 per person, minimum 4 persons

Single Supplement:

US$ 748.00

Rate Includes:

  • airport transfer
  • double or twin accommodation
  • meals as indicated
  • local guides
  • activities as described
  • all road transfers

Not Included :          

  • international flights
  • visa’s
  • departure tax
  • items of a personal nature
  • alcoholic drinks

Kaieteur and Orinduik Falls

The Kaieteur Falls 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, one of the world’s natural wonders, 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 who 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.

The 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.

It’s 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 Jacuzzi’s as the falls tumble down the steps of Jasper. 

Guyana’s most popular day trip takes in both of these spectacular falls.  The trip departs from Ogle Airstrip and lasts 7 to 8 hours with two hours spent on the ground at each water fall.

Rate: US$ 690.00 per person.

Pickup Time: 0800 – 0830hrs, Flight departs at 0930hrs dependant on weather

Rates Include: Airport transfers, snack, lunch, drinks, guide and national park registration

RATES are subject to change without notice.

Note :  Flights to Kaieteur and Orinduik 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 8 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 you will be offered the option of rescheduling the trip to another day during your stay, a full refund for that portion of the trip, or an alternative trip.  In many cases we can offer a trip to Kaieteur Falls and Baganara Island Resort as an alternative, which means you see the major falls of Kaieteur, but miss Orinduik.

Roy Geddes  Tour

Located in the Roxanne Burnham Gardens area is the Roy Geddes Steel Pan Museum. This area is named after one of our late president’s daughter. Upon arrival at his home you are greeted by a beautiful array of flowering plants in full bloom. As you enter the narrow path leading to the museum one is struck by the history that encompasses this small but intimate area. As one enters the museum you are greeted by the many photographs and paintings that chronicles Mr. Geddes’ life as a pan master and the history and development of pan as art form both here in Guyana and neighbors Trinidad and Tobago. After the tour of the museum explaining the many pictures, quotes and awards that can be seen, you will be shown the various implements and tools that are used in the process of converting the tuneless oil drum into a tuned musical masterpiece of the steel pan.

Given the long and intricate process that is involved with the converting of the Steel drum into a steel pan Mr. Geddes gives a brief but concise synopsis of the process of steel pan making from the sinking process which can take up to five hours of pounding to get it into shape then the tempering process which prepares the steel for the rigors of the tuning and the grooving process. After this explanation you will be afforded the opportunity to see the master in action as he plays you a few tunes. After his demonstration Mr. Geddes will instruct you in the ways of steel pan playing, by the end of the session one should be able to play a few simple notes on the pans depending on your musical inclinations.

Rate:   US$ 480.00 per person, minimum of 4 persons.

Rate Includes: Transport, entrance fees, dinner, drinks, VAT and local guide

RATES are subject to change without notice.


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