Aug 102012

I’ve been sitting still too much.

Well, not really.  I just spent 6 days in Las Vegas, but that’s not blog-friendly.  I might post about the flights and hotels at another time, but that’s not all that exciting.  It’s time to count some countries, and that’s just what I’m planning on doing shortly.  I was inspired by the FlyerTalk thread on the cheap Delta fares to Georgetown, Guyana.  Didn’t really work for me (especially since I don’t “do” Delta, and it’s a redeye to boot) but I found a great American fare to rack up some EQP, so booking done, it’s time to plan!

Originally, I wanted to get to Georgetown, Guyana.  That’s easy enough.  But I don’t do one country in a trip, not when there’s another right next door.  I could have bought a round-trip ticket to Suriname, but the times were inconvenient, and I was curious about doing it overland on a combo of bus and ferry.  Get out of the city, and see a little bit of the “real” country.  Only one problem….Suriname?  Only way out by plane is back to Guyana, or to Amsterdam.  No thanks….so keep going east overland to French Guiana.  Not really a “country” but definitely distinct and interesting….and a way out that wasn’t Paris….Martinique.  That figured out, the route was cast:

So in brief, the plan is:

1)  Fly to Trinidad, and connect 3 hours later to Guyana, arriving at 2am
2) Sidetrip to Kaieteur Falls – one of the world’s most amazing waterfalls – on a tiny single engine prop
3) Overland by bus/ferry to Paramaribo, Suriname
4) Hang out in Suriname
5) Overland by bus/ferry to Cayenne, French Guinana
6) Hanging out in French Guiana, and hopefully seeing the Guiana European Space Centre
7) Cayenne to Fort-de-France, Martinique
8) Exploring Martinique
9) Martinique – St Lucia – Port of Spain, and a night in Trinidad
10) Trinidad to DC on American again

I have 9 days, so plenty of time for this trip…but alas, it’s not much planned yet. Kinda winging it as I go. Only place I need a visa is Suriname, so better get on that one! Also, it looks like a yellow fever and malaria hot zone, so better get hopping on that too! Lots to plan, not much time to do it! Recommendations welcome, it’s under two weeks to go….

  3 Responses to “Around the Guyanas”

  1. I did a similar trip a few years ago though with shorter time and headed to Venezuela via POS.

    I was able to get the Suriname visa same-morning in Guyana, though it took a lot of begging and my tour operator for the afternoon Kaiteur trip was annoyed at the delay. I had builit in an extra day before but that was lost due to a holiday. An expensive visa for US citizens, too.

    Crossing over to French Guiana at St Laurent du Maroni make sure to visit the Camp de la Transportation, which housed celebrity prisoners including Dreyfus and Papillon. The good bits are only accessible during a few tours a day but if you find the guide (not the sullen ticket seller in the shop) and offer a nice tip, he can show you around as well.

  2. Thanks for the feedback. The Suriname visa is sorted, so that’s one thing out of the way. They now have a $25 “tourist card” so that makes it easier.

    My plan is to hire (hopefully) a solo taxi on the French Guiana side – so that way the Camp de la Transportation will be an option. Is it likely to be super expensive?

  3. Try also to sail to the devil´s islands located 20km north of Kourou. There are a few catamarans which are offering trips to the islands. From my experience the islands are much more interesting than the camp in Saint Laurent. The islands are unique and you can have a really good impression of the life of the prisoners there. I´ve posted you also a recommendation on FT for your trip to Kourou! Have fun…

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