Leg 12, June 2021: Belem to Boa Vista
May 31st: Today is yours to enjoy the port town of Belem, one of the first Portuguese settlements. Explore the historic centre which houses various museums and cathedrals and be sure to visit the Ver-o-Paso Market, considered the largest in South America, with its stalls scattered with Amazonian fish, baskets of Acai, herbs and crafts.
June 1st: The next four days of our itinerary will be flexible to suit the sailing times of our ferry and the road conditions.
June 2nd: We hope to board the Amazon passenger boat today or tomorrow at 10am, sailing to the port of Macapa - this crossing usually takes around 24hours and is a real local experience. Be sure to bring some snacks, playing cards and a good book for the journey. Meals will be provided on the ferry but these are quite basic. Snacks and drinks are sold on board. We will probably be sleeping on deck in hammocks.
June 3rd: Today we chill. Either on the boat or around Macapa, depending on how far we have come.
June 4th: Overlanding day towards French Guiana
June 5th: We will likely spend a night in Macapa on arrival, followed by 2 days overlanding to the city of Cayenne in French Guiana. Our itinerary will depend on road conditions and the arrival times of the passenger and cat ferries.
June 6th: We will be arriving into French Guyana today.
Border Information - If joining the trip at Cayenne, you will fly into Cayenne Félix Eboué International Airport (IATA code: CAY)
June 7th: Today we will enjoy a half day walking tour around Cayenne. The rest of the day is yours to enjoy, perhaps even take a Kayaking trip to the Ilets du pont. Depending on departure days we may choose to visit the Space station at Kourou ths morning.
June 8th: Today we will head out to the town of Kourou; the site of the European Space station and the starting point for boat trips around the former penal colony on Devil's Island, one of the infamous Iles du Salut, off the coast of French Guiana. The ordeal of Frenchman Henri Charriere, who spent 12 years here, would later inspire the book Papillon.
June 9th: Today we will visit the European Space Centre near Kourou, en route to the town of Saint Laurent du Maroni.
Since it is Turtle viewing season (March to August) we will probably spend tonight at Plage les Hattes, in the hope of spotting a Olive Ridley or Leatherback Turtle.
We will stay in a local guesthouse or sleep in hammocks if we visit Plage Les Hattes.
June 10th: Today we have a free day to explore the border town of Saint Laurent du Maroni, located on the Maroni river, with its interesting and dark history as an arrival point for prisoners during the 19th Century.
June 11th: We continue our journey west to the lively capital Paramaribo.
This evening we may choose to take an evening sunset boat trip in the hope of seeing some Dolphins playing in the Suriname River.
June 12th: Today we have a full day to explore Paramaribo's historic inner city and the Commewijne area. You can easily explore the historic centre on foot, visiting Fort Zeelandia and the Suriname museum, and enjoying the fantastic architecture of Saint Peter and Paul Cathedral, one of the largest wooden buildings in the western hemisphere, or hire a bike and take a boat across the river to cycle the peaceful Commewijne Plantation Loop, visit the star shaped fort at Neiu Amsterdam. There are plenty of bars and restaurants to choose from.
June 13th: This morning we have the option to travel 190km to the port at Atjoni, where we can hop on a boat for approx 1hr trip along the Suriname River, deep into the rainforest where we can stay for two nights on our own private island!
Be sure to pack light for this excursion, as we can only take a small bag each with us.
June 14th: During our stay we can visit local villages, walk around the island in the hope of meeting some of its furry inhabitants and learn about the medicinal plants, try to spot Caiman on a night time canoe trip, take a dip in the river at the Ferulassi rapids - a natural Jacuzzi, and relax on the island by our pool, spot the kingfishers on the banks of the river and enjoy the tranquillity of the Amazon Rainforest.
June 15th: This morning is free for you to enjoy how you wish, walk, swim or relax and after lunch we will transfer back to Paramaribo.
June 16th: Paramaribo and its surroundings definitely deserve at least one more day for exploration. Today is yours to spend as you wish; take a boat trip to Jordensavanne, take part in a Moengo Cultural experience, go walking in the Peperpot Nature reserve or Brownsberg Nature Park, learn the art of Surinamese cookery, or take part in one of the many day tours available.
June 17th: Today we will leave the bright lights of Parbo behind and head to the Bigi Pan, designated an 'Important Bird Area' for its spectacular bird life, particularly the country's largest colony of Scarlet Ibis.
June 18th: Today we head across the border by Ferryboat to the Guyana Capital, Georgetown.
Border information: Exit Paramaribo, Enter Guyana
In Georgetown we stay in a central located, basic but cosy, locally run hostel, with shared bathrooms in a combination of twin and dorm rooms.
June 19th: Take a morning tour of the city, explore the old canals and great sea wall, visit incredible wooden cathedrals, the huge market and try to spot the manatees swimming in the National park's lake. Georgetown is a busy place, and feels happily free from mass tourism. Be sure to take your camera!
June 20th: Today we have a second free day in the city.
Perhaps one of the greatest highlights of Guyana is the spectacularly remote and impressive Kaieteur Falls, one of the tallest single drop waterfalls in the world, and reachable only by light aircraft. Take a half day flight to the falls and then enjoy a walking tour to the Falls and search for the tiny golden rocket frogs, hiding in the tank bromeliads leaves, as well as an impressive variety of butterflies, you may also be lucky enough to spot the bright orange Guayanan Cock of the Rocks.
June 21st: Today the adventure really begins, as we travel south into the Guyanan Interior. We enjoy the comforts of a tarmac road for around 120km, as far as the town of Linden, and then the dirt road begins! it's the only road that connects Georgetown to Brazil, at some times of the year it becomes impassable due to the rains, but most of the time you'll find trucks and minibuses happily bumping along the road transporting people to and from Lethem. Many people choose to fly to the jungle resorts, but as overlanders we will get to enjoy the pristine rainforest - keep your eyes peeled in case of the illusive jaguar road crossing!
Please note we will likely set off very early today in order to make the most of the cooler parts of the day.
June 22nd: This morning we will cross the River on a small barge and head deep in the Guyanan rainforest, which gives us some unique wildlife spotting opportunities in one of the most pristine and untouched eco-systems in the world. We have a variety of options for us including walking, bird watching, canoeing trips, nocturnal wildlife spotting and even a spot of swimming (if the watre is low enough).
June 23rd: Today we will have an opportunity to visit the Iwokrama Forest Canopy Walkway, set 30metres above the forest floor and providing a unique opportunity to experience the jungle's mid-level canopy through a series of suspension bridges and decks. Visits during dusk or dawn are best for bird spotting of Macaws and Tucans, you may even be lucky enough to see Red Howler Monkeys.
June 24th: Today we leave the dense rainforest behind and head towards a village settlement in an area of Savannah, where we will take a walk in the village and a short river trip in Canoes on the Burro Burro River. Afterwards we will head to our camp, which is a little further south further into the Savannah region.
June 25th: Today we have a free day for activities such a horse riding, hiking and further opportunities for spotting wildlife.
June 26th: This is our final day in Guyana, we will head south past the town of Lethem and onto the city of Boa Vista in Brazil
(Please note that it is possible to fly from Lethem to Georgetown for approximately 150USD, for outbound international flights).
June 27-29th: From Boa Vista we can go on excursions into the Brazilian Amazon or hike the Roraimas. These are multi day itineraries from Boa Vista which we will look into when we are there.
June 30th: Today is the final day for passengers finishing their trip in Boa Vista. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact your sales agent if you are interested in booking an extra night of accommodation in order to fully explore the area.
Border Information: if you are finishing in Boa Vista, you will most likely exit Brazil at Boa Vista-Atlas Brasil Cantanhede International Airport (AITO code: BVB)
July 1st: We will drive to the border of Venezuela, camping somewhere close to be ready to cross in the morning.