About the Maroni River

Along some 320 miles, this Amazonian river is the royal way to discover fluvial Guiana. Creating the border with Surinam, it provides a lifeline of exchanges for riverside populations such as Wayana Indians and Bushinengues. Sometimes as broad as a lake, it also meanders through a labyrinth of rocks, river falls and rapids known as ”sauts”. Just like a long natural road, it connects a wide variety of human types, landscapes and existential rhythms—all preserved in harmony with the water and vegetation.

The Maroni River can be motored upstream on pirogue (dugout canoe) from Camp Dany Campou (located right near Apatou) and all the way up to Maripasoula. Numerous stops will allow you to keep in permanent touch with the local population. It can also be motored in the opposite direction, from Maripasoula down to Apatou. Both trips lasting 4 days are performed using locally built motorized pirogues fully adapted to river navigation.

Our trusty pirogues are safely piloted by teams of Djukas or Boni Indians—all of them with expert knowledge of the river as “motorists” (motor pilots) or “bossmen” (watchmen at the prow).

Motoring upstream or downstream will take you to the same sites and villages. However, those listed on schedule may change as the river’s water-level variations and/or unforeseeable circumstances sometimes force us to adapt. Again depending on water-levels, navigation may vary from 5 to 6 hours a day—but always with a fair number of stops for rest, village tours and forest treks.

Upstream trip—from Apatou to Maripasoula.
Downstream trip—from Maripasoula to Apatou.

Scheduled stops are the same in both directions.

Trip schedule

Day 1
Morning road-trip to Apatou.
A minivan will pick you up from Cayenne or Kourou and take you to Apatou (1-hour drive from St Laurent).
Departure at 1.00pm from Apatou—your pirogue will motor upstream until the evening stop.
Overall: 4 days and 3 nights on full board (hammocks supplied for the night).

Day 2
Breakfast at the village.
Further navigation up to the village of Gakaka. Village tour.
Upstream again to reach Providence.
Guided forest walk lasting ca. 1h 45mins (incl. return) to discover Amazonian plants and fauna.
Next stop: Gakaba. Picnic lunch and visit to a pirogue-building workshop.
Our last stop in the evening is the Djuka village of Bellikampoe where you’ll have dinner and spend the night in hammocks.
Toilets are available but no showers.

Day 3
Breakfast at the village.
Further navigation up to a gold panning site. Site tour.
Upstream again to another Djuka village. Lunch and free time for swimming.
Trips to Stoeley Island, then Grand Santi.
Back on pirogue, branching into the Lawa River until you get back into the upper reaches of the Maroni.
A white-sand beach will be available for more swimming.
Evening stop at the Amerindian village of Léssédédé. Village tour.
Dinner and night at the village (no toilets or showers).

Day 4
Breakfast at the village.
Further navigation up to the Abbati Cotika nature reserve. Free time for swimming.
Upstream again to reach the villages of Loka, then Papaichton. Lunch en route.
Late afternoon arrival in Maripasoula. Transfer to the airport; then you’ll fly back to Cayenne (1-hour flight)

7.00 pm – Arrival at Cayenne airport. Our minivan takes you back to your starting point.

PlaceMaroni River
Duration4 days
Meeting pointCayenne or Kourou
Departure timeIn the morning
Your StayPrice per person (in €)
Adult598 €
Children under 12418 €

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