Places, Experiences, Info, Tips + 604 Photos from The 3 Guianas
The 3 Guianas are the 3 small countries at the top of South America to the east of Venezuela and north of the Brazilian Amazon! They are probably the least visited of all 13 countries in South America. 7yrs after I first started traveling South America, I finally made my first visit to French Guiana, Suriname and Guyana.
Which did I like the best? Who are the nicest people? Which was the most expensive? Which one do I want to visit again soon?
My first time visiting the 3 Guianas was in April 2015. I mainly visited the capital cities and border towns with the aim of getting to know the countries, people and cultures. Suriname was the highlight for me in many ways. Guyana was interesting but a little rundown. French Guiana was good but very expensive.
Here are my experiences and story.
St Georges/Oiapoque Border - French Guiana/Brazil:
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I forgot to get my passport stamped in Oiapoque to exit Brazil before crossing the Oyapock River to Saint Georges in French Guiana. Luckily, there is an office a few streets back from the waterfront in Saint Georges where you can get exit and entry stamps for both Brazil and French Guiana! I thought I was going to have to go back across the river and come back over, but not. More
Cayenne, A City Of Mixed Cultures - French Guiana:
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Take the cultures of France, China, the Caribbean and a touch of Brazil, mix them altogether and you get the city of Cayenne, the vibrant capital of French Guiana! Cayenne is a pleasant city to spend a day exploring. 1 day is really all you need to see most if not all the sights, I walked around the city twice in this time. More
Cayenne to Kourou to Saint Laurent - French Guiana:
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I left Cayenne by shared taxi-van and headed 60kms west to Kourou to see the space center known as Le Centre Spatial Guyanais (CNES), a journey of 1hr ($10euros). Saint Laurent du Maroni on the western border with Suriname is 256kms from Cayenne while St Georges on the eastern border with Brazil is 185kms from Cayenne. More
Saint Laurent du Maroni, Border Town - French Guiana:
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From Kourou I hitched a ride west to Saint Laurent du Maroni on the western border of French Guiana, 2hrs to travel 200kms at high speed. Saint Laurent is the 2nd most populated city in French Guiana but it didn't seem like it, there were very few people around town, where were the 40,000+ inhabitants? There are a couple of flash hotels in the town center, the first was too expensive for me so I stayed at the 2nd most expensive hotel instead. More
Saint Laurent/Albina Border - French Guiana/Suriname:
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From the center of Saint Laurent du Maroni in French Guiana I walked about 1km to the port to take a boat across the Maroni River to Albina in Suriname. Customs and immigration are based at the port so it is an easy process. The boat across to Albina took about 10mins and I was met by a friend of the boat driver who had a van full of people ready to go to Paramaribo. More
Paramaribo, Attractive Historic Colonial City - Suriname:
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Of the 3 capital cities in the 3 Guianas - Paramaribo, Cayenne and Georgetown, Paramaribo is definitely my favorite! Why? For many reasons including the historic center, the friendly people, the interesting things to see and because I just happened to be there during the 4 day annual parades in April called Avondvierdaagse. More
Nickerie & the Journey from Paramaribo - Suriname:
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The 4 and a half hour journey from Suriname's capital Paramaribo west to Nickerie isn't particularly interesting or picturesque as far as sights go. The road isn't that great either which is why it takes 4hrs and 30mins, the distance is only 234kms. The countryside is nice of course with lots of farms and palms and wide-open space, the main industries are coconuts, rice and bananas. More
Georgetown, Interesting Wooden Historic Area - Guyana:
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Georgetown was the last stop on my first trip to the 3 Guianas and to be honest the least best capital city out of Cayenne, Paramaribo and Georgetown. I arrived here from Moleson Creek, a 3hr journey from the eastern border with Suriname. Georgetown is a mixed bag with a few interesting sights, but in general is quite rundown and dirty. More