GUYANAS

Spring, Fall, Winter


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The highlights of this trip are the wildlife of the Guyanas
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Itinerary


Suriname

  • Paramaribo: +Fort Zeelandia, +Peperpot Nature Park, Saint Peter and Paul Cathedral Commewijne River, Waterkant, Independence Square, Palmentuin, Koto Museum, Presidential Palace,
  • Lelydorp (near Paramaribo): Neotropical Butterfly Park
  • Brownsberg Nature Park (100 km from Paramaribo, Atjoni-bound buses)
  • Mount Kasikasima (65 km south of village Palumeu)
  • Raleighvallen: Voltzberg Dome (170 km from Paramaribo)
  • Central Suriname Nature Reserve (huge area in the southwest that includes Raleighvallen Nature Reserve, Eilerts de Haan Gebergte Nature Reserve and Tafelberg/ Table mountain Nature Reserve)

Guyana
  • +Georgetown: Stabroek market, St George, City Hall, Immaculate Conception, Demerara Harbour Bridge (the longest floating bridge in the world)
  • Iwokrama Rainforest reserve and Canopy Walkway (situated at Mauisparu along the road from Georgetown to Lethem or 45 minutes east of Surama)
  • +Orindurik falls
  • ++Kajeteur falls
  • Kanuku Mountains in Southwestern Guyana
  • +Essequibo River from Bartica
  • Rupununi Savannahs
  • Shell Beach near the Venezuelan border for sea turtles
  • Boat/hiking trip to King George VI falls, 19th highest waterfall in the world
  • Mount Roraima, the highest point in Guyana (but trips to Roraima travel through Brazil to Venezuela and so take forever - the hike itself takes a long full day from San Francisco de Yurruni- so it is probably faster to fly to Santa Elena de Uairen airport in Brazil and travel by bus into Venezuela)
  • see this trip

Venezuela
  • Georgetown to Barbados to Caracas to Ciudad Bolivar
  • Fly to Kavac
  • Hike from Guayaraca or Kavac (in Canaima Park) to the top of Auyan Tepui of Salto del Angel (3 days)
  • Bus to Kamarata, bus to Sta Elena
  • Hike Mt Roraima (3 days)

Notes 2015

  • Pictures Suriname (2015): Visa $25; $1=4.20srd; Minibus from airport to town 60srd. Suriname is to the Dutch what Costarica is to the USA. Exotic but very safe and organized. It is difficult to get anywhere independently. On every tour bus you are surrounded by middleaged Dutch tourists whoneed to go to the restrooms and smoke a cigarette every time the bus stops. It took 4.5 hours to drive the 70 kms to Brownsberg. Then came a lengthy preparation for what turned out to be... a one hour walk. And of course you do not get to see anything because you arrive when it is too hot forthe animals to come outand the group is too noisy anyway. Suriname is obviously one of the richest countries in South America. It is indeed Holland in Latin America. It has plenty of supermarkets (almost all run by the Chinese). It also has traffic congestions everywhere, bjt this iscommon to all developing countries as they get more cars without new roads. It also has lots of casinos. It also has lots of mosques. Muslims are only 14% of the population but you will see as many mosques as churches. Suriname is a very safe country by any standard. The Dutch influence is very visible. The roads inland are in poor conditions and not served by regular transportation. Unfortunately, you cannot organize your own jungle trek. You must join a tour group, which is generally more focused on meals than on actual sightseeing (let alone adventure). There are very few "wildernesses" that one can visit in Suriname, pretty much only one trail in each of them, and a huge number of European (mainly Dutch) tourists, which means that each and everywilderness gets lots of visitors every day, all on the same trail. Chances of seeing any wildlife are slim. Paramaribo. Rented a bike at Zus & Zo for 15 srd and biked to Peperpot natural reserve. Lots of iguanas and some squirrel monkeys. Room at Piedaterre guesthouse $22 the first night, 96 srd the second night. Room at Alberga, much more central, 74 srd. Raleigh Valley really means just one camp at Fungo Island, which tends to be overcrowded and noisy. The jungle trek typically starts at 8 or even 9am, which is too late to see any animal. Since they typically start so late, treks to Volzberg (an easy 18 km roundtrip) do not reach the summit before the peak of the heat. Four days to Raleigh Valley: 1260 srd. Brownsberg Park day excursion (270srd) is not worth it at all. Suriname to Guyana. Nickerie: Hotel Concorde 90srd, one block from the main square where the bus stops. Shared taxi from Nickerie to Guyana ferry 30srd about 1 hour. Ferry 60srd about 20 minutes. Shared minivan to Georgetown 2500 guyana dollars. $1=200 guyana dollars. Georgetown is much safer these days. Gone are the days when the hotel wouldn't let you go out alone. Lots of guesthouses, lots of honking inthe streets, open sewers, lots of plastic garbabe, a little less traffic than in suriname, and a couple of pickpocket attempts. Bus 42 from Timheri bus park (near Starbroek market) to the airport 260 guyana dollars. Rima hotel US$30 with shared bath, located on Middle St right behind the presidential palace. Julian hotel on Cummings & Church has (far better) fan rooms for $25 and a/c rooms for $40 both with private bathroom.
  • July-November is the best time to visit Guyana (but july-august is very hot), april to june being the rain season
  • Suriname's dry seasons is from early February to late April and from mid-August to early December