DAY 1 – ARRIVAL IN CAYENNE
Arrival at Cayenne airport. Our private bus will take you to your hotel (La Chaumière) in Matoury (short drive lasting 20 minutes).
Description of Hotel La Chaumière
Located just 10 km from Rochambeau airport and 15 minutes from Cayenne city center, the hotel “La Chaumière” is ideally located in the heart of the countryside. Nestled in the heart of a unique setting with luxuriant vegetation, it welcomes its guests in a rare calm and a warm atmosphere. There is a swimming pool reserved for guests of the hotel and the restaurant as well as seminar rooms for your professional appointments.
DAY 2 – SAUL
Breakfast at your hotel and then transportation to Cayenne airport.
Flight to Saül.
Late morning arrival in Saül.
Historically, gold panning was one of the main factors driving population settlements in French Guiana. The small town of Saül was thus founded at the beginning of the 19th century by migrants from Saint Lucia looking for gold and its very name is that of a famous gold digger among them.
Located in the heart of French Guiana, Saül now has only a few hundred inhabitants for a vast territory covering ten thousands of acres.
Local residents are mainly Creoles, Hmongs and metropolitan French. Still wild, this wonderful natural site is ideal for forest hikes. Marked trails and footpaths allow for fully safe wandering to discover the ruins of early encampments and immerse yourself in the lush flora and fauna of the Amazonian primary forest.
Your departure meeting point is at Cayenne airport to board a flight to Saül (lasting from 35 to 50 minutes depending on stops). On arrival at the local airfield, a bus service (round trip tickets costing €10.00) can take you to Saül town, i.e. some 1.2 mile further off. If you prefer to walk, a marked trail to the town is also available (ca. 20 minutes on foot).
Depending on the length of your stay, you may then visit the local church and medicinal herb garden, follow an initiation to gold panning with a specialist guide or set off immediately to explore the many forest trails (with a guide or on your own).
Main forest trails to discover
“Roche Bateau” trail – 9.3 miles involving 6 hours of trekking (includes a creek, polishing rocks and spots where you can swim or fish)
“Monts La Fumée” trail – 6.2 miles involving 5 hours;
“Grand Boeuf Mort” trail – 7.4 miles involving 5 and a half hours;
“Gros Arbre” trail – 3.1 miles involving 2 hours;
“Belvédère” trail – much shorter and involving only 1 hour.
Lunch in Saül (drinks not included)
Dinner at the “Gîte Akenou” travel shelter.
Night in a double-bed room at the “Gîte Akenou” travel shelter.
DAY 3 – SAUL
Breakfast the cottage.
Your guide will come to pick you up and you’ll set off to explore the Roche Bateau forest trail (trek lasting 6 hours).
Dinner and overnight camping at the “Crique Popote” (creek with a swim spot).
DAY 4 – SAUL
Trek back to Saül town.
Dinner (drinks not included) and night at the “Gîte Akenou” travel shelter.
DAY 5 – SAUL
Free-time morning before flying back to Cayenne.
Lunch at the cottage then off the airfield to take your Air Guyane flight (mid-afternoon).
Late-afternoon arrival in Cayenne and transfer to your hotel.
Hotel dinner and night.
DAY 6 SPACE CENTER
Breakfast at your hotel then transfer to Kourou (01h00 drive).
Very early morning departure for the visit of the Kourou space center, created in 1965. In the exciting world of European high-tech space, we discover the control center, the different installations and the Space Museum.
Depending on dates and Space Center schedules, you may witness a rocket launch into orbit.
Traditional lunch and afternoon at the Kalawachi cultural center where you will be initiated to Amerindian cultures via basket-weaving, maluana painting (traditional hut-roof caps) and/or wood engraving workshops.
Dinner and overnight stay at the Kalawachi cultural center.
DAY 7 – CAMP CANOPEE
Bus transfer to the PK 21 pier (Saramaca riverside port).
You will then board a motorized canoe to take you to Camp Canopee on the banks of the Kourou river (trip lasting 1h and 40 minutes)—right at the foot of the St Michel Mountain, a magic place to climb…
Camp facilities will allow you to explore the canopy using zip lines, discover the lush flora and fauna and marvel at rare birds—before admiring the sunset, surrounded by the rising night-time chorus and creeping forest noises.
Dinner and overnight sleep high up in tree lodges—safe in your hammocks.
DAY 8 – CAMP CANOPEE
Breakfast will be followed by a 2-hour forest trek to discover cosmetic and medicinal herbs.
Lunch, then trek back to camp (arrival around 4pm).
River trip back to Cayenne.
Hotel dinner and night.
DAY 9 – CAYENNE
Departure after breakfast for a guided tour of Cayenne, the capital of French Guiana. This walking tour down the streets will allow you to admire Creole houses in the center but also the Pointe des Amandiers rocky headland and the “Fort Cépérou”, a small fort with a panoramic view built in 1643.
Your day will also include another must see in Cayenne: a visit to its town market (held on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays).
This will give you every opportunity to taste the local cuisine blending strong spices and exotic flavors in a variety of unforgettable dishes: blaff (fish marinade), pimentade (chili sauce), cured meat, fricassees—and even caiman tails! Visiting the market also allows for direct contact with sellers and fellow buyers: a unique way to meet and befriend the inhabitants of Cayenne.
Lunch is therefore up to you but will be followed – also at your choice – by either a visit to the zoo in Macouria (animals and botanical gardens) or a conference by professional speakers from the Café des Sciences association (themes depending on schedules).
Free time for dinner (in town or back at your hotel).
DAY 10 – CAYENNE – PARIS
Free-time morning and lunch.
Transfer to the airport.
Night-time flight to Paris.