Nov 20 - Dec 1, 2019
Open - Guaranteed
About This Tour
Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana are the three smallest countries in South America and comprise a large landmass north of the Amazon River known as the “land of many waters.” Whereas the Portuguese settled Brazil and the Spanish captured much of the rest of continent, the British ruled Guyana, Suriname became a Dutch colony, and French Guiana was a remote outpost of France. Novelist Evelyn Waugh referred to the Three Guianas as “those three little gobs of Empire,” and they represent a lot of colonial history and hint at a treasure trove of unexplored paradise.
Most of the land in the Guianas is a lost world of primeval nature, with very little infrastructure in the dense rainforest interior. In fact, much of it is unexplored, so its history and culture merge together on the edges of the Caribbean coastline. This tour combines a little bit of everything, with wildlife and waterfalls, rivers and rainforests, savannahs and seaside towns. This is the tour that many of you have been waiting for to expand the number of countries you have visited in South America. It is not likely to be repeated soon, so seize this opportunity to spend an unforgettable Thanksgiving with us in an off-the-beaten-path tropical paradise!
- Georgetown, capital of Guyana
- Guyana Rainforest *
- Kaieteur Falls
- Orinduik Falls
- Essequiba River boat adventure
- Paramaribo, capital of Suriname *
- Nieuw Amsterdam, Suriname’s historic government center Kourou, French Guiana
- Devil’s Island (made famous by the movie “Papillon”)
- Aerospace Center
- Jodensavanne, Jewish settlement
- Peperpot Nature Reserve * UNESCO World Heritage Sites
MAIN TOUR ITINERARY
Arrive in Georgetown, Guyana
Arrange your international flight to arrive in Georgetown, Guyana by mid-afternoon today. Use the airport code GEO when searching for flights. You will be returning from airport code PBM. Guyana is a gem waiting to be discovered. It is known as the land of many waters and contains many giants of the world, among them: the mighty Essequibo River, giant arapaima fish, the enormous Harpy Eagle, the Anaconda, giant otters and jaguars. A driver will meet you at the airport and take you to our hotel. Toto Tours hosts a Welcome Dinner this evening. Overnight in Georgetown. (Welcome Dinner included)
Georgetown City Tour
This morning embark on a city tour of Georgetown, including St. George's Cathedral, the tallest free standing wooden building in the world, the picturesque city hall, the Victorian law courts, the national museum, botanical gardens, zoological park and many heritage sites. We return to our hotel by mid-day and the rest of the day is free to relax in preparation for our early departure tomorrow. Overnight in Georgetown. (Breakfast)
Fly to Kaieteur Falls / Orinduik Falls
We depart from our hotel and drive to the airport for our flight to Kaieteur Falls, a natural wonder with a sheer drop of 741 feet (5 times the height of Niagara 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 entire 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, White-chinned and White-collared swifts, red and green macaws, Morpho hecuba, South America's largest butterfly, the Ocelot, and the Cock-of-the-Rock. After an extremely fascinating tour of Kaieteur Falls, fly to the jasper-lined Orinduik Falls located in the Rupununi savannahs and at the foothills of the Pakaraima Mountains. The pool beneath the falls is ideal for a swim. In late afternoon fly back to Georgetown, and the rest of the day is free. (Breakfast / Boxed Lunch)
Fort Island / Essequibo River / Fly to Suriname
After an early breakfast depart by bus for Roden Rust, driving over the Harbor Bridge, which is the longest floating steel bridge in the world. The bridge crosses the Demarara River (second largest in Guyana), passing former plantations and rice fields. At Roden Rust, a boat ride takes us to Fort Island, the seat of the Dutch government during its colonization of Guyana. After a tour of the Fort and remaining Dutch structures, we re-join our boat and continue to the 155-acre Sloth Island Nature Reserve for lunch and a nature walk on the mid-canopy walkway. We will have time for kayaking or a swim in the mighty Essequibo River, Guyana’s largest river that flows 630 miles from the Acarai Mountains near the Brazilian border to the Atlantic Ocean. Finally, we visit Fort Kykoveral, the first Dutch Settlement, before returning to Georgetown. We take time for dinner and then drive to the airport for our evening flight to Suriname. We will have a late arrival and check-in at our hotel in Paramaribo. (Breakfast / Lunch)
Paramaribo City Tour
After a late breakfast we leave the hotel for a city tour of Paramaribo. We visit the most important monumental buildings and streets such as Presidential Palace, the museum Fort Zeelandia, Palmentuin (Palm Garden), the Waterkant and the Central Market. The unique architecture here is amazing! We pass by a synagogue that is located right next to the mosque, a unique sight in these times. The rest of afternoon is free to visit the Casino or shop for souvenirs. Overnight in Paramaribo. (Breakfast)
Enjoy a cruise today on a comfortable tour boat to Commewijne. We stop at Nieuw Amsterdam, the historic government center, and Fort Nieuw Amsterdam, an open-air museum. We continue by boat to Frederiksdorp to admire the most beautifully restored plantation houses in Suriname. We have lunch in colonial surroundings and take a stroll through the once flourishing coffee plantation. Dolphin spotting may also be included in the program. We return in the afternoon to our hotel in Paramaribo. (Breakfast / Lunch)
After breakfast, we leave our hotel and drive to Albina, at the border with French Guiana. We go through Immigration formalities, and then join a canoe boat to St. Laurent, French Guiana. There we tour Camp de la Transportation, which was the processing center and holding area for prisoners heading to Devil’s Island. Afterwards we have lunch at a local restaurant, continuing to the seaside town of Kourou. We check-in at our hotel and the rest of the day is free to stroll along the beach or enjoy the pool. Overnight in Kourou. (Breakfast)
Boat Trip to Ile Du Salut
After breakfast, we journey by ferry to Ile Royale. Devil's Island is closed to the public, but we will be able to see it from the Auberge. Devil's Island was made famous by Henri Charriere's book Papillon. We visit the ruins of the penal settlement at Ile Royale and learn about the Dreyfus Affair. Weather permitting, we will sail to Ile Joseph where most prisoners were kept. We return to our Kourou hotel in the afternoon. (Breakfast)
Arianespace Centre/ Return to Paramaribo
After an early breakfast we transfer to the Arianespace Centre. The 3-hour guided tour starts at 8:00am by shuttle bus which will take you to the main installations. The visit is from 8:00am to 11:00am to learn about the space program and its future projects. In the afternoon, we depart Kourou and transfer to Saint Laurent. After immigration formalities, we re-enter Suriname at the border town of Albina, and proceed to our hotel in Paramaribo. Tonight we celebrate Thanksgiving with a Toto Tours family dinner. (Breakfast / Thanksgiving Dinner)
This morning our destination is Jodensavanne, the first and only place in the New World where Jews had been granted a semi-autonomous settlement. Jews, fleeing the Spanish inquisition, were welcomed in Suriname, first by the British and later by the Dutch, to settle and own the land along the River Suriname. In order to attract Jewish settlers, the colonial government offered Jews special privileges, including freedom of religion, freedom of ownership and the right to their own judicial court.
The cemeteries of Jodensavanne and Cassipora have an exceptional grandeur, the oldest dating back to 1667 and many tombstones are made of brick or marble imported from Europe. A third cemetery is the African or Creole burial grounds. The synagogue and the three cemeteries are a major monumental site of Suriname. After a fascinating tour of these sites, we return to our hotel for a free evening in Paramaribo. (Breakfast / Lunch)
A short distance from Paramaribo is the Peperpot Nature and History Park. Enjoy a safari through the tropical rain forest where we may encounter butterflies, dragonflies, monkeys, sloths and reptiles. Halfway through we set out on a nature trail where we stroll along the irrigation canals to see coffee trees as well as the “kofimama” (Erythrina glauca or shade providers). The trail leads to an historical plantation village where we tour an old coffee factory. Next is a visit with a Javanese horticulturist at his home to learn all about the authentic way of growing and cooking with exotic fruits and herbs such as mangoes, passion fruit, laos, cherries, star apple, cassava, yuca, bananas, bacove (green bananas), jackfruit, lemongrass, golden apple, oranges, coconuts, bamboo, bitter greens, water spinach, and lompong. Afterwards we return to Paramaribo and celebrate the conclusion of our tour with a Farewell Dinner. (Breakfast / Dinner)
The tour officially ends after breakfast this morning. If you wish to extend your stay in Paramaribo, please let us know on your reservation form so that we can keep your room available for another night. Book your flight at any convenient time today. We provide your transfer to the airport (airport code PBM). Breakfast
Entry Requirements-- For U.S. Citizens, you will need a valid passport for stays of up to 60 days in Guyana and French Guiana. A Multiple-Entry Visa is required for this tour as you are required to enter Suriname twice. Our partners in Guyana will assist with this process. After booking, we will send the form which you will fill out and return to us along with a copy of your passport.Immunizations & Health-- Check with your doctor or travel clinic about appropriate vaccinations prior to this tour. Is your tetanus booster current? Guyana and French Guiana are regarded as yellow-fever areas, and your next destination may require a vaccination certificate, as does Guyana when you arrive. Typhoid, hepatitis A, diphtheria/tetanus and polio inoculations are recommended. Chloroquine-resistant malaria is endemic, and dengue fever and chikungunya are both also dangers, particularly in the interior so protect yourself against mosquitoes and consider taking a malaria prophylaxis. Please check the Centers for Disease Control website for each country to verify currently recommended vaccinations.
Exit Requirements -- There is currently no separate departure tax required of visitors leaving Suriname other than that included with the cost of your airline ticket.
Making Travel Arrangements to the Three GuianasOn this tour, international airfare is NOT included. You will need to get your international air to Georgetown, Guyana (airport code GEO), and return from Paramaribo, Suriname (PMB), back to the U.S.A. We encourage you to work with Steven Goldberg at Frosch Travel in Chicago, who can work with you to find the best flights to get you there and back.
Steven Goldberg / Frosch TravelToll-Free in USA: 1-800-323-1276
International guests, please call +1-312-371-9686
When calling, please identify yourself as a Toto Tours participant. If you leave a message on Steven’s voice mail, he will return your call promptly. He will be happy to discuss your travel plans and help you decide when to purchase your ticket for the best rate.
Included in the cost of this tour are the internal round-trip flights within Guyana (to the waterfalls and back), plus the one-way flight from Guyana to Suriname.
Please arrive in Georgetown by mid-afternoon on November 20, 2019. You can depart from Paramaribo at any time on December 1, 2019. Keep in mind that hotel check-out will be at 11am that day. We can help you extend your stay at the beginning and end of the tour if you wish.
NOTE: A recent trend is for travelers to finalize their plans much closer to departure time than was customary in the past. While we try to be as flexible as possible we often must turn away last-minute registrants because we relinquish hotel space and air reservations 8 – 12 weeks prior to departure! Please keep this in mind when making your travel plans.
WHAT TO BRINGIn November, average daily temperatures in these three countries range from a low of 73F at night to a high of 86F during the daytime. You won’t need a suit jacket or tie, as the tour is informal and dinner attire will be casual. Try to pack light and bring only one piece of luggage plus your carry-on. Create mix and match outfits, and think about layering! Pack any medications you require in a carry-on bag and leave expensive jewelry at home.
Suggested Packing List:
- Proof of citizenship. Passport required and multi-entry visa for Surinam.
- Nice casual wear for dinners.
- Long pants (2 – 3 pairs), belt.
- Shorts (2 or 3 pair) for jungle touring.
- Mix of t-shirts, polos, buttoned short sleeved shirts.
- Socks, underwear for 12 days.
- Sunhat, sunglasses, lip balm, sunscreen, insect repellent.
- Sturdy walking shoes.
- Personal toiletries.
- Camera, lots of digital memory, extra batteries.
- Ziploc Bags (sandwich size for documents, gallon size for wet items or toiletries).
- Electrical Adapter. The electricity supply in Georgetown, Guyana is 100 Volts/60 Hertz, but suburban areas and most other towns are 220 Volts. The country uses types A, B, D, and G plugs. French Guiana uses 220-240 V with primary socket types Shcuko and Europlug. Suriname operates on 110V/60Hz and uses both European and American plug outlets. Click here to see examples and obtain more information.
- A good book for the long flights.
MONEY MATTERSThree countries = three different currencies. French Guiana uses the standardized Euro (EUR). Suriname uses the Suriname Dollar (SRD). Guyana uses the Guyana Dollar (GYD). Bring cash with you on this tour because ATMs are difficult to find outside the better hotels, and credit cards are not widely accepted. Click here to see the current exchange rate.
Tipping: Tipping is generally expected in restaurants and taxis. We will offer group tips to guides and drivers, and more details will be provided about contributing to a group tip fund before departure.
THE TOTO SPIRITToto Tours provides Adventure Travel Experiences as differentiated from tours in the traditional sense. Adventure Travel allows (even encourages) you to be an active participant. Adventurers can be identified by certain traits. They are:
- fun-loving optimists who have a sense of humor and accentuate the positive;
- good natured realists who are willing to accept situations as they exist;
- undaunted by the unexpected, like occasional delays or bad weather;
- willing to forego some of the amenities we normally take for granted;
- eager to try new things & test limits;
- not whiners!
Travel InsuranceWe recommend you purchase travel insurance with Travel Guard to cover for unforeseen events prior to and during your trip. Please follow the link below or call us for more information.
Tour prices per personPrice: $4,500 in double occupancy hotel accommodations.
Private Room: $800 additional, for a total tour price of $5,300. (Paying a single supplement is not required. Toto Tours will try to match you with a roommate if you are traveling alone and prefer to share a room. If this is not possible, a single supplement will be applied to your reservation before the final payment date.)
(Due at time of registration for the tour. May be paid with a credit card.)
Remaining Balance (main tour): $3,900 double / $4,700 single
Remaining Balance Due: September 1, 2019 (80 days prior to departure) (Full payment required with reservation form if enrolling after this date.)
Note: The tour price does not include bank service charges for processing credit card payments, and assumes that the balance of the tour price will be paid by check. If you would like to pay the final balance with a credit card, a 4% service charge will be applied. Let us know on your reservation form if you wish to pay by credit card, and we will adjust your invoice accordingly.
Included: 11 nights hotel accommodations; airport transfers; hotel breakfasts daily plus welcome, Thanksgiving & farewell dinners; other meals as indicated in the itinerary; round-trip flight to Kaieteur Falls; one-way flight to Suriname; ground transportation in climate controlled motorcoach; sightseeing activities and entrances as listed in the itinerary. This is a fully escorted tour, with guides added during tours.
Not Included: International airfare to Georgetown, Guyana (GEO) and returning from Paramaribo, Suriname (PBM); visa fees; ground transportation for sightseeing on your own (taxis, local guides, etc.); meals and optional activities not specifically listed in the itinerary; camera fees; alcoholic beverages; insurance; laundry, telephone calls, faxes, or any other expenses of a personal nature. Tips to drivers and guides and other conveyance attendants are not included; tipping guidelines for our group tips will be provided prior to departure.