The Guiana Shield, A Unique Holiday Destination in South America!

By: Tania van Velthuizen

June 2019

Pejego Tours brings you to the unique 1.7 billion-year-old Precambrian geological formation in the northeast of South America. Within the Guiana shield, you will find the three undiscovered gems also known as the 3 Guianas: Guyana, French Guiana, and Suriname. 

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The Guiana Highlands

The Guiana Highlands are the higher elevations on the shield, where table-like mountains are found. These are also the source of some of the world’s most spectacular waterfalls such as Kaieteur Falls. Each destination in the Guianas will surely offer you something completely different because they all have something unique for you to experience.

Differences and similarities among the 3 Guianas

These three Guianas, in South America’s Guiana Shield, have unique differences and similarities among them. From watching the flowers of the Victoria Amazonica water lily open in the dusky evening light whilst sampling some of Guyana’s finest rum punch at Karanambu. You will find similar flora and fauna among them, along with great tropical weather and European culture due to their similar colonial history. Unique differences among these three Guianas include language. The three countries side by side each have a different main language. Dutch is the main language in Suriname, French in French Guiana whereas the main language in Guiana is English. They each also have a different population composition whereas in French Guiana your Euro’s will be accepted as the country’s main currency.

Do they speak Dutch in South America?

Yes, they do! In Suriname situated on the north side of South America, they speak Dutch! The country’s official language is Dutch, although most people can also speak English. Dutch is a leftover from times that Suriname was a colony of the Netherlands. But she became independent in 1975. Suriname was formerly known as Dutch Guiana and by the locals also known as “Sranan”.

It is the greenest country on earth with over 94% forest coverage and half a million inhabitants. My favorite spot as you can imagine is being the Amazon jungle. Staying in a comfortable jungle resort in the midst of the Amazon jungle, listening to my favorite bird the screaming Piha, relaxing in a hammock, bathing in the river, and come face to face with wild animals during kayaking. Now isn’t that some vacation?

The capital city of Paramaribo is full of fascinating traces of the past! Slaves from Africa, contractors from India & Java, English & Dutch conquerors and architecture, Jewish, Chinese and Lebanese traders. No wonder the Inner city of Paramaribo is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage list! It’s truly a mix of all these cultures into one which makes Suriname an exotic destination. 

Guyana is South America’s only English-speaking country! 

Indeed, Guyana is the only English speaking country a leftover from the British colonialism! It is entirely possible to visit South America and experience the world’s tallest single-drop waterfall (four times the height of Niagara Falls) known as the Kaieteur Falls.

This country is the same size as Britain but has a population of fewer than 750,000 and is comprised of an amazing 80% rainforest. Its also called the land of flowers! This place is often on top travelers’ ‘must visit’ lists when they decide to spend their holiday in South America, it should definitely be on yours too! My visit to the Kaieteur fall was indeed amazing!  You will see the falls from different angles which makes it spectacular! But please do not get your hopes up for the Golden must-see Frog! He is so small that my first reaction was; is this all?

Is there a part of France in South America?

Yes, there is! French Guiana is a remote region of France covered in amazing rainforest and wilderness, although you’ll also find colonial architecture, history about the prison-camp, and some of the world’s most diverse plant and animal life here.

The Guiana Space Centre, better known as Centre Spatial Guianas (CSG) is located in the northwest of the Kourou district. This is where Space Shuttle Launches of rockets like the Ariane 5, Sky Muster, and The Vega have taken place. If you time your holiday well, you might even experience one of these future launches! Apart from the CSG as one of the main tourist attractions in Kourou, this district is now considered the port of departure for those going to the Iles du Salut, of which the most famous is Devil’s Island. Famous for the movie and the book ‘Papillon’ a true story!

The boat ride to Devils island was unique, to sail on a catamaran that is covered to keep you safe from seawater. It was my first time seeing blue ocean water and worth all my fears! The history of the prison island made an impact on me especially the story of the third attempt of Pappilon trying to escape from this island!

Do you want to know about the Guianas? Watch a movie here!

“Wherever you want to go in the Guianas, Pejego Tours makes it possible!”

Pejego Tours takes care of you from airport to airport! Do you want to visit all the 3 Guianas; Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana? Or only Suriname? We arrange everything for you; hotels, one- day trips, multiple day trips, and airport service in Suriname.

Just give us your wishlist and Pejego Tours will take care of it.

Check our website: or follow us on Facebook for more information. Contact us now via our contact form.

Tania van Velthuizen is the owner of Pejego Tours. She was born and raised in Suriname. She studied Surinamese law and loves to travel. Before going to Europe, she worked at the Ministry of Regional Development, so she visited every bit of the Amazon rainforest. At the time, she fell in love with everything it had to offer, including the Amerindians and the Maroons, the fauna and flora. She also wrote a book on the land rights of Indigenous people and the descendants of the Maroons.

Home 9 Blog 9 The Guiana Shield, A Unique Destination in South America!

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Willem Anthonielaan 56
Paramaribo, Suriname
South America

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