SURINAME AND FRENCH GUIANA BY LAND FROM GUYANA
Arm yourself with yellow fever certificate and cash. No excuse is acceptable for lack of yellow fever.
From Georgetown drive or take a taxi to Molsen Creek.
If you rent and drive a car make sure that there is insurance coverage for the use of rented vehicle in Suriname. There are Surinamese and Guyana based companies in Georgetown, Guyana which provide that. Make sure also that you have a letter from the owner of the car that you have permission to take the vehicle across to Suriname.Customs will ask for this at Molsen Creek and Nickerie.
Molsen creek is about 100 miles through the East Coast of Demerara Road, West Coast Berbice, a drive across the Berbice River Bridge) and the along Corantye Coast, Berbice.
Molsen creek has no hotels so if you have to overnight stop off anywhere between Springlands to Number 79 Village.
From Georgetown you can take a taxi directly to Molsen Creek or you can break up the trip in parts. That is about 60 miles .For instance, you can taxi to New Amsterdam and overnight there at one of the hotels.
From New Amsterdam you get to Molsen Creek . You will pass through several villages and the township of Rose Hall Town, and later ,the upper Courantyne and finally in Springlands or further in 79 Village .
In Georgetown the regular taxis hunt for passengers .They take in a car load before they depart .
Such taxis can be found at the Berbice Car park next to the High Court building at Charlotte Street or by Avenue of the Republic by the Bank of Baroda at the head of Regent and Avenue of the Republic.
An alternative is that you can take your own specially chartered taxi that takes you alone or with your friends for the trip from Georgetown to Molsen Creek or from New Amrsterdam to Molsen Creek.
Check the ferry schedule beforehand for the ferry crossing the day before. Most times the ferry will do one crossing a day but may do more depending on the number of vehicles that need to cross.
At Molsen Creek, you can exchange Guyana dollars for Suriname (SRD). The Taxi or bus drivers can do that for you. You must check out with Guyana Immigration and Customs and take the early morning Ferry to Nickerie, Suriname. If you are taking your vehicle be early in the morning to secure your place.
After you check into Suriname with Immigration and Customs .Drive or take a shared taxi or bus to Paramaribo, Suriname. (Three hours) .
From Paramaribo you can take a further taxi to French Guiana. This part about French Guiana was extracted from a Lonely planet contributor.
Regular bus service from Paramaribo to French Guiana is hard to find, not regular and may not get you all the way to Cayenne the same day. A same day trip is absolutely possible with shared taxis/minis and a non-ferry river crossing. Outside the main market in Paramaribo (along Waterkant) minis and shared taxis (private cars/vans) line up waiting for people headed out. Ask any of the drivers for a car to Albina (border town along the river). Negotiate your rate before getting in.
Driver will probably make 1 or 2 short stops for Coke or coffee along the way. . The driver will drop you off anywhere you want. Tell him you want Customs/Douna or "stamp". That translates into most locally spoken languages. One Customs agent for everyone so if you are there for the ferry it could take awhile. Off hours it will take about 30 seconds.
There is a commercial ferry that runs once AM, once PM. If you miss it, don't panic. There are lots of people running boats across the river. They will probably find you at the Customs building before you find them. SD40-50 if you are by yourself is fair. As little as SD20 if there are multiple passengers.
On the French Guiana (St. Laurent) side the Customs is about 1 KM away .Try to get the boat driver to drop you off for your passport stamp, take the taxi to the Customs. Short enough to walk if you don't have a lot of gear but its a hot out there. (There may be some taxis outside Customs but they tend to be for local runs - ask anyway.) You are now officially in France. Get your stamp as soon as you can after crossing the river. There are police checks along the water. Not threatening; just checking. English and French are spoken equally here.
Shared cars/vans are the most common transport from St Laurent to Cayenne. Buses are available but infrequent, unreliable and not anywhere near Customs. Caution - the driver will not leave without enough people to make it a profitable trip. I waited for 5 hours in the 95 F temperatures until we had enough passengers. Long boring wait. Once we pulled out the driver wasted another 1/2 hour running personal errands around town. No fixed schedule; running on island time. All of the cars/vans in the area were new, clean and in good repair.
For the more adventurous or the return traveler, a couple of car rental companies are in town. This is definitely an option, especially if you have no time to wait. There is only one main highway across Fr Guiana. It has sufficient signage to navigate but if you are driving at night you need the confidence to make the drive without many visible landmarks or places to ask for assistance. There is one police checkpoint about halfway to Cayenne. A passport check. Not a big deal as long as you have your entry stamp.
As in Albina, the driver will drop each passenger off wherever they want in the Cayenne. This adds to the travel time but is very helpful at the end of the ride. St Laurent to Cayenne will be 4-5 hours. The road is good all the way. Traffic is generally light unless you hit Cayenne at rush hour. Cost was 40 euro for everyone. If you do rent a car, Cayenne is not a huge place so even getting a little lost isn't fatal. The worst part is the relative absence of street signs.
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