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French Guiana and Suriname

By Erik of SY Gabber (Netherlands) — last modified Jan 24, 2014 02:04 PM
Here is some information about our recent visit to French Guyana and Suriname. In April-May we will visit river Perica in Suriname and send new updates for this part of Suriname.

Published: 2013-02-26 00:00:00
Countries: Suriname , French Guiana

Update: French Guayna (visit December 2012 - January 2013)

We arrived in French Guayna from Mindelo (Cape Verdes) in December 2012.

First we approched the River Mahury on the east side of Cayenne. Although well bouyed we escaped from high seas in the shallowing coastal waters and continued to the Ile du Salut archipelago. We found easy and good shelter south of Ile Royal (005 17,144N 052 35,324W).

When the swell was less then 2 meters we approached the Kourou river with incoming tides. The river is well bouyed and we anchored near the over crowded marina owned by the space centre sailing club at Les Balourous (005 08,878N 052 38,713W). Dinghy landing
and water supply was done at the marina pontoons free of charge. Nearby are many small shops and every Friday there is a fresh market.

Customs and immigration are not easily found in the industrial area of the main harbour. As local public transport or taxi's are not available you must try your luck to get a ride or do without a formal check in/out.

Be aware of the French Guyana current that will set you to portside (west) at the entrance of the river when you leave again.

Update: Suriname (visit January - April 2013)

We arrived in Suriname from French Guyana (Ile du Salut) in January 2013.

The main rivers are well bouyed and easy accesseble with incoming tide to avoid a current against.

We first anchored near Torrarica hotel in Paramaribo (005 49,58N, 055 08,71W). This is close to the town centre, supermarket Combe and laundry service. The dinghy can be landed on the inside of the pontoon from Torrarica, no fee was payed as we moved with a low profile in the hotel area using the back entrance of the car park. When you want to use the swimming pool and other facilities a daily fee of approx. Euro 12.50 is charged.

A tourist visa cost Euro 20 per person and to prolong your stay a free monthly stamp is needed from "vreemdelingen politie" at the Lachmonstraat office. The maximum stay on a tourist visa is 3 months. We rented a taxi for SDR 40,- per hour to do the check-in procedure, start off around 09:00 hours to finish before lunch.

After 2 weeks we moved from the Torrarica anchorage to the  Domburg anchorage. Only 3 moorings are left at Domburg, but anchoring is a good option. At the weekend Domburg is a crowded place with local people enyoing the waterfront and eating out in the many small restaurants (meals for aprox. Euro 3,-).

Since the opening of the Waterland marina, a little further up stream, the anchorage at Domburg is no longer the vibrant place from the old stories where sailors meet around a local beer at Rita's warung. Rita's warung is no longer in Domburg. We preferred to stay at anchor in Domburg as the marina is an isolated place where a rental car is needed to do shopping or visit Paramaribo.

In Domburg there are 3 vegetable and fruit shops, a Chinese supermarket, one warung is always open and in the evening a "fish and chips" serves fast food items. A petrol station and ATM machine are close by. Local transport to Paramaribo is available in the morning (approx SDR 2,50). With the frequent rains there was no need for us to fetch water from the local (Dutch) fisherman nearby.

More from the Perica River soon.

Erik
SY Gabber
www.sy-gabber.nl

Editor's Note: Whilst it is interesting for those planning to visit Suriname to read older reports, such as this one, it should be noted that much of the information will have changed, new facilities and services for cruisers been established etc. The site information (rather than the reports) is the most up to date and accurate with regards to procedures, facilities and services.

Related content
Cayenne
Kourou
Domburg
Paramaribo
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