Are you planning to travel to French Guiana? We did a whole trip through the Guyanas via public transportation, and are here to share our knowledge. In this particular article we will be covering how to travel to French Guiana from Suriname.
Traveling through the Guyanas is not the easiest, but is definitely an adventure! If you are planning on going from the capital of Paramaribo, Suriname to French Guiana's capital of Cayenne, be aware that it might be either long and not the cheapest.
Despite all of this, it is however still cheaper than flying to French Guiana, making it a good option to consider. Here's everything you need to know about the journey to travel to French Guiana from Suriname, from one capital to the next.
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Travel to French Guiana from Suriname: Leaving Paramaribo
The first thing to know is that buses usually go out of Paramaribo early in the morning (around 8 am). You may find buses at 10 and 12 but we wouldn't rely on those if we were you. Second thing to know is that if you ask for directions you will be confused; every person will give you different directions so it will be a little tough to find the right bus.
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Travel to French Guiana from Suriname: Finding a Bus
As shown in the map under this, the actual bus station to Albina (border town) is a few blocks away from the Central market (where most of the buses go out from). The price of the ticket is 40 SRD and no more than that. You will get in the bus and will have to wait until the bus is full, which can take a few minutes or may be even an hour.
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What's interesting is that many taxi drivers are smart enough to be around the station offering the same trip for a similar price. The advantage is that they might depart a little sooner and that you can travel a little more comfortable. The downside is that you will pay more. In our case we made a deal for 50 SRD each, which wasn't bad at all.
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Alright, we are on our way to the border! The ride takes around 2 hours, but pay attention to this: it's VERY IMPORTANT that you get a stamp on your way out of the country. It may sound obvious but a lot of people actually cross the border in boats that are illegal and, therefore, they will do it without passing through customs.
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Make sure to tell your driver that you need to be dropped at customs and not straight into the boats, otherwise by the time you cross the river you will be in trouble.
If you left your accomodation early you should be at the border around 10 to 11. When we got there there was no one in line so we got the stamp in a minute. Inside customs there was a guy offering a transfer boat for €5 per person. Hopefully that guy is always there to bring you across. The boat ride takes around 10 minutes only.
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Travel to French Guiana from Suriname: Arriving in French Guiana
Welcome to French Guiana! After answering the normal question (why to visit, where to stay, for how long, etc.) you will be out on the road ready to keep on moving. The only problem is that, unlike other borders, French Guiana doesn't have a million buses and taxi drivers waiting to take you.
Getting to Cayenne From the Border
There might be a few driving around, offering to take you to the capital (it's around 260 km) for €35 to €40. If you are more than one, you can try to push for a lower rate. We were two and they were not flexible at all .
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From here on we can only tell you our experience. We decided to hitchhike. Almost right away a guy took us for around 10 blocks onto the main road that leads to Cayenne (from customs, you turn left and go for 1 to 1.5 km and then turn right, if you want to walk it). After that we waited in a gas station until a young couple offered us a ride to Cayenne.
Hitchhiking is something that many people are pretty skeptical about, but we can say that we felt extremely safe, and everyone that we encountered was genuinely very friendly. The couple that brought us was French and we had a great time on the ride, which was about 3 1/2 hours.
Are you looking for the best things to do in Cayenne for when you travel to French Guiana? Then you've come to the right place. From rainforests to rapids, and cities to islands, this place has it all.Are you ready for an adventure? Then let's get into it right away!
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The journey of travel to French Guiana from Suriname is pretty similar to the other journeys between the Guyanas. Prepare to spend most of the day traveling, and make sure that you start the day early. French Guiana is the most expensive of the Guyanas, making it the most expensive part of the trip (which is why we decided to hitchhike).
Good luck travelers! And let us know in the comments how was your experience!
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