Preparing For Chaos: Traveling To The Guyanas (Guianas)

map of south america, map of the guyanas, the guyanas, the guianas

Im traveling exactly on those lines, really

From the start of my (endless) around the world trip I had one goal; to do everything. I started in Canada just to get the feeling of being overseas and then I promptly jetted to Argentina, Chile, and now I currently am living in Colombia.

The whole goal was to finish South America before I headed east and conquered Asia. Compared to most of South America, Chile is much less of a tourist destination than say Brazil or Argentina. The Guyana’s are probably the least visited countries in the region and since I don’t have any stats to back that up you should just take my word for it.

I have always been intrigued with the Guyana’s because there isn’t very much information about them.

These were outposts of nations; Suriname was Dutch, French Guyana is French, and Guyana was British.

Suriname and Guyana are the only two of the three that have broken off from the evil European empires and have gone independent. I can just tell this trip is going to be chaotic, like driving through the Bolivia countryside to see the Salar de Uyuni (for those of you that have been you know what I am talking about).

The story begins when I was trying to find a way to fly directly into one of the countries, preferably French Guyana or Guyana so I could go from one corner to the other. (Who takes the bus these days? pshh) Luckily for me there was no way to fly into the countries from Colombia so the search began. In order to fly into French Guyana you have to fly via Air France or Air Caraibes. There are no direct flights with any other airline from any other city in the world, except France of course. I was actually tempted to fly from Colombia, to Paris, and then back to French Guyana. Who wouldn’t right? You only need 3 days for the connections.

The only problem is that in order to get a connection back to Colombia you have to visit every island in the Caribbean. There were literally 7 or 8 connections with Air France to get back home to Medellin, see the picture below.

I did find many flights directly into Suriname from Miami but then came the next problem, there is no direct flight from French Guyana to Suriname or Guyana. I would basically be starting in the middle of the three and have to go to Guyana by land, come back by land, and then eventually fly or go by land to finish French Guyana. If I had the time I would be more than happy to stick it out, but with my day trading I need to make sure I have internet access to day trade.

If  a country doesn’t even have direct flights from each other what does that say about their internet? lol.

Not having internet access for 2 full days getting to and from French Guyana by land wasn’t going to cut it, especially when it would cost me a lot of money. I decided to find flights into Guyana, start there, and then head South East to Cayenne, French Guyana.

WTF? Expedia is joking right?

I would go by land one day and then fly out of Cayenne to one of the millions of island in the Caribbean and then head home. The fight then started to find a direct flight to Guyana, I heard Jesus bless me at this point. I looked up the variety of Caribbean airlines and found that there were direct flights from Port Au Prince, Trinidad & Tobago.

I was originally going to fly into Panama and spend some time there before I headed to Guyana.  With so much time being spent flying and traveling I decided I would go back and finish Panama later, after the US forced a military coup so they could control the canal it is just an extension of the United States isn’t? Jury is out on that.

My final itinerary has be going from Medellin to Port Au Spain and then into Guyana.

As mentioned before the Guyana’s don’t have any direct flights to each other so I have to fly from Guyana to Port Au Spain and then into Suriname.  I’ll be going via land into French Guyana since I don’t have time to fly to Mars and back to get the connection into Cayenne, French Guyana. It says a lot about these three countries when they don’t even have one flight that connects them, not even once a week.

It was originally thought that Bolivia and Peru were the most backwards countries in South America, we may just have a winner folks, wish me luck! Here is my itinerary below:

  • Medellin-Port of Spain (connect in Miami)- Stay one night in Port of Spain – May 19th
  • Port of Spain – Georgetown, Guyana – 4 days & 3 nights
  • Guyana – Paramaribo, Suriname (Connect in Port of Spain) – 5 days & 4 nights
  • 1 day for travel from Suriname to French Guyana
  • Cayenne, French Guyana – 4 nights & 3 days
  • Cayenne, French Guyana -Martinique – 1 night
  • Martinique – Medellin (Connect in San Juan, Puerto Rico & Miami)


  1. It amazes me how people judge other countries by the standards of their great North American country, instead of making constructive criticism they put the countries down,they should first get better informed before going, then reframe from going if you can’t enjoy what is offered. I am sure the hospitality was superb, much more than they are accustomed to in their home countries.

    1. Hi John.. thanks for the comment… I have lived outside of the United States for the majority of my life so my comparisons and thoughts aren’t to just the United States. When a country is developed you dont have so many logistic issues, you can get in and out of the country easily, etc. The very fact that I had so many issues just figuring out how to get there and how to get between the Guianas clearly shows what their economic state is in. After visiting these countries I can tell you that F. Guyana was the only one that has its act together and clearly because they are part of the EU and not an independent country

  2. What a great story. I too am fascinated by these 3 countries! With travel, for me the more obscure the better!When I finally work my way to them I was looking at buses for the trip, now you really have me convinced. I have to look and see what you thought of the journey, hope there is a follow up!

  3. I’ve spent the past 2 hours browsing your site. I love the tips and overall blog. You appear to be one lucky duck!!

    As a Suriname native however I’ve gotta say that this post was a little disappointing. Everyone expects you to write the truth, so if you were frustrated by the travel, you should certainly write that. However! When you say “It says a lot about these three countries when they don’t even have one flight that connects them, not even once a week”, and then calling them backwards, it sounds a bit too judgmental and very negative and in my opinion it contradicts the “citizen of the world” attitude that your site has. I was bummed out after reading that, I’ve gotta be honest with you.
    As a side-note: there are no flights within the guyanas because we typically take the boat from one place to another. There is no need for any airline to invest in travel arrangements when natives have cheaper alternatives. If you drive to the east or west it’s a pretty short boat ride into Guyana or French Guyana. (and if you’re really adventurous you can even drive to Brasil) But I understand you wouldn’t find that online.
    Anyways, just my two cents – for the readers that got stuck on that one sentence, like I did.

    Safe travels!

    1. Its the truth though Carolin. They rely more on their respective countries that used to control them rather than work together. Its only a habit since they gained independence such a short time ago. That will most likely change over time.

  4. Hi there,

    great post. By the way I lived in Medellin and it’s one of my fav cities in the world. I’m also very intrigued about Cayenne, French Guiana since its European Union, but its a real nightmare to find flights to that country.

    Nevertheless I found Suriname Airways, they have flights from Cayenne to Georgetown in just 2.30 h, with layover in Paramaribo. It’s hell expensive though. 2 weekly flights, one way at 250 euros more or less.


  5. In fact Guyana has very little to do with the UK. It is most closely tied to neighboring Trinidad, to Barbados and to the USA and Canada. Try flying from Guyana to London. A 6 hour lay over in Trinidad. Try flying to NYC. 1-2 nonstop flights daily. Daily to Miami with a stop in Trinidad and 3 nonstop flights to that city weekly. COPA also has 4 nonstop flights weekly to Panama. Guyana is extremely well integrated into the rest of the Americas. Suriname also has decent service. Only French Guyane is isolated, connected only to France (and the Antilles) Belem, Brazil and to Suriname.

    I understand that you traveled in 2011 but air travel between these countries is now possible with Surinam Airways. In fact the vast majority of travel by locals is overland, so fares are high as the volumes are low. Its mainly the business traveler who uses air travel between these countries

    1. Mike in terms of economic activity you are correct… in terms of customs and behavior I would disagree with you. Thanks for the update about the flights I appreciate it. This article was written a few years ago.

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