Travel on the Cheap: Overland Trip from Guyana to Suriname

A direct flight from Georgetown to Paramaribo would get you across the border in an hour’s time. However, if

a)   You’d like to save some money
b)   You’ve got some time to kill
c)   You’re looking for adventure
d)   You need to get from Guyana to Suriname
e)   All of the above

Then this is just what the doctor ordered.

In a nutshell, the trip involves a bus from Georgetown to Corriverton on the Guyana-Suriname border, a ferry across the river into Suriname and a bus from Nieuw Nickerie to Paramaribo.

 

Overland Trip

Flight

Bus to Corriverton – USD 7.5
Accomodation – USD 12.5
Dinner – USD 3
Ferry – USD 10
Bus to Paramaribo – USD 20
Lunch – USD 5

Total – USD 58

Ticket to Paramaribo – USD 125
Departure tax – USD 25
Cab to airport – USD 5

Total – USD 155

 

This seemed straightforward at first glance. In retrospect, it might’ve been slightly more complicated than that. The journey begins at Starbroek with 5 people trying to grab your bags and physically throwing you into their minibus. A loud yell usually shows them that you mean business and are not a pushover. You’ve got 2 options at this stage. Option one involves forking out GYD 2500 for a seat on a cab going to Corriverton (yes – drivers usually pimp out their cabs and get 4 or more passengers to share a cab). But the cab’s for sissies. The real deal is riding the mini-bus to the border for GYD 1500. It’s cheap, entertaining and quick. The quickness might come at the expense of safety.

The ferry leaves for Suriname twice a day – 9am and 1pm. With a little reverse engineering you’ll realize that you need to take a bus to the border the night before if you intend to catch the 9am ferry and get to Paramaribo at a reasonable hour. Accommodation at Corriverton (border town in Guyana) is easily available with prices ranging from GYD 2500 to 6000. No need to book in advance. The cheap rooms are really minimal to the extent that toilet doors do not exist. The more luxurious rooms have air conditioners and cable TV!

The ferry timings are only indicative and the ferry will definitely not leave on time. Expect a 1-hour delay. The journey costs 2000 GYD for a 1 way ride and GYD 3000 for a return journey.

Ferry at the Guyana-Suriname BorderWhen the ferry docks on either side, you’ll notice that around 10 people make a dash for the immigration line. I was content to scurry along and be the 11th person in the queue. However, the rest of the ferry took their time and much to my frustration, proceeded to push past me claiming to be with one of the 10 people in front of me. Having picked a fight with a few queue breakers (8 years in Singapore did that to me), I had the last laugh when I found out that they had to wait in the sweltering heat for all passengers to clear immigration before the buses departed for Paramaribo.

Welcome in the SurinameOnce you get to Suriname, don’t expect a drastic change in the people or place. There’s a bit of Dutch and some iffy English splashed around on signboards but the English sounds the same as the Creolese in Guyana (although it should be called Rasta English in my opinion).

Look closely at the pictures below and its hard to tell which one’s Guyana and which one’s Suriname (one of them has a road – hint hint).

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Paramaribo however, is a different story and couldn’t be more different from Guyana and the rest of South America. But I’ll save that story for another time

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31 Comments on “Travel on the Cheap: Overland Trip from Guyana to Suriname

  1. Hello Jason,

    I want to give this a try. How different is Paramaribo from Georgetown?? Which city would you recommend for an extended stay by an American??

    • Paramaribo is as different from Georgetown as Scotland is from Italy. Both are awesome places to visit.

  2. Hello, right now you can go from Georgetown to Paramaribo in a direct bus costs 6500 + 3200 ferry that’s only 45US an they pick you up at th hostel. They are called CHAMP, you have to book with them 1 day before at least

    • I’ve used Taxi Roy. Surinamese number: +597 8657208 Guyanese number: 6280468
      Right now the price is 180 SRD and 15 USD for the ferry.

  3. I went to Suriname with my family when I lived in Guyana in the 90’s. It was a harrowing experience, only because on the road to Paramaribo the taxi driver was speeding and even more cars and buses where speeding past us. Tell your driver to slow down! We came upon an accident with fatalities. Can you image? My eyes were like saucers, I had nightmares for months and it ruined my experience in Suriname. There were three bodies laid out two where covered with sheets one was not. One was a baby! Ugh! I don’t remember the trip home. Well I don’t want to be a debbie downer but it is doable and an adventure I did it at 15 with my 14 and 8 year old sister along with Mom and Dad. We stayed at the YMCA in Paramaribo!

  4. Hi. I would be travelling from Guyana to Suriname driving over on the 10th August, 2015. what is the time i should be at the Ferry Station on that day? and how much per person? this is the first time i will be heading over there and really needs some help. Please. Thanks.

  5. Hi I will to go surinam to paramaribo’ I want to know the ct to the bus from iG paramaribo to georgetwon

  6. The journey from Guyana to Suriname is very long but it’s adventurous and saves you money. Everyone has had bad experiences, you don’t make someone else’s bad travel experience detour you from doing what u wanna do. There are skyline buses, and Mike bus services that picks you up from your home as Early as 3am in the morning

    • Hi Karen. How long does it take to get from Guyana to Suriname Via the bus service

      • Roughly about 8hrs the buses stio forppassengers to use the bathroom and to buy food

    • Hi Karen does your bus do pick up in suriname from hotel to the ferry?

  7. I am also wondering if the ferry works on Sunday. Does anyone know. We want to surprise our relatives in Nickerie.

    • Hi karen can you please tell me if I there’s a bus from Surinam to Guyane and how long is the journey and how much it cost,also if I can travel there by cab pease thank you.

      • Hi Judith

        Guyane, you mean French Guyana? There are no regular busservices like from Georgetown to Paramaribo, but you can take the public bus, which is very cheap (around 10SRD) or you can take a shared taxi (Normally 20 EUR) or a private taxi (30 EUR) to Albina. From Albina there are many small boats, who will be happy to bring you over for around 20 SRD. The journey Paramaribo – Albina takes 3 hours.

        Best regards,

        Sigrid

    • Hi Aleks,

      I’m wondering about this question too 🙂 Did you already receive an answer?

    • Not a problem. I know quite a few girls who have travelled solo across the country and had a great experience. However, please don’t travel alone at night, don’t take unnecessary risks. etc etc.

  8. Hi, do you obtain the “tourist card” when you arrive in Suriname at immigration?

  9. Public want cheap charter service in their city. Every person have demand to a cheap service and regarding to this reason I suggest all that people to read your blog that is all about Bus Charter Perth WA service in which catering also included. I must say that you get something new than other charter service.

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