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Location:Northern South America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Brazil and Suriname
Area:83,846 sq km
Population:294,071 (Jan 2021)
Religion:The majority of French Guianese are Roman Catholics, but other religions are also practiced by the minorities, including shamanistic Amerindian variations, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and other African-based religions.
Things to Do
1. Hiking in the Amazon Rainforest
Embark on an adventurous hike through the world-renowned Amazon Rainforest in French Guiana. Discover diverse flora and fauna, while enjoying breathtaking views and experiencing the wonders of nature.
2. Exploring Îles du Salut
Visit the famous Îles du Salut, a group of islands off the coast of French Guiana. Explore the historic ruins of the infamous Devil's Island, where political prisoners were once held, and enjoy the stunning beaches and crystal-clear waters.
3. Birdwatching in Kaw Marsh
Immerse yourself in the birdwatching paradise of Kaw Marsh in French Guiana. Spot a wide variety of bird species, including colorful toucans, herons, and parrots, as you explore the scenic marshes and wetlands.
4. Iracoubo Cathedral
Visit the historic Iracoubo Cathedral, one of the oldest wooden churches in French Guiana. Admire the beautiful architecture and learn about the region's colonial history.
5. Riverboat Safari on Maroni River
Embark on a thrilling riverboat safari on the Maroni River, which forms the border between French Guiana and Suriname. Cruise through lush mangroves, spot wildlife along the riverbanks, and learn about the local indigenous cultures.
6. Cayenne City Tour
Take a guided tour of the vibrant city of Cayenne, the capital of French Guiana. Explore the colonial architecture, visit local markets, and enjoy the lively atmosphere and cultural heritage of the city.
7. Kourou Space Centre
Visit the famous Kourou Space Centre, the European Space Agency's main spaceport. Learn about space exploration, witness a rocket launch, and delve into the fascinating world of astronomy and space technology.
8. Tumuc-Humac Mountains Trek
Embark on a challenging trek through the Tumuc-Humac Mountains in French Guiana. Explore remote rainforests, encounter unique wildlife, and witness breathtaking views from the mountain peaks.
9. Musee Departemental Alexandre-Franconie
Visit the Musee Departemental Alexandre-Franconie in Cayenne, which showcases the cultural and natural heritage of French Guiana. Explore exhibitions on history, archaeology, and indigenous cultures.
10. Cacao Plantation Tour
Discover the fascinating world of chocolate on a cacao plantation tour in French Guiana. Learn about the cultivation and production of cacao beans, sample delicious chocolates, and indulge in a unique culinary experience.
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French Guiana has a tropical climate, with high temperatures and high humidity throughout the year. The average temperature ranges from around 77°F (25°C) to around 86°F (30°C) all year round. Rainfall is relatively high, with an average of around 60 inches (1500mm) per year, with the majority of precipitation falling between December and June.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit French Guiana depends on what you're looking to see and do. The dry season, which runs from July to November, is the best time to visit if you're looking to explore the rainforest and see the wildlife. The weather is less humid and the visibility is better, making it easier to spot the animals and birds.
The rainy season, which runs from December to June, is the best time to visit if you're looking to see the waterfalls and enjoy the lush green landscape. This is also the best time to visit the beaches, as the water is warmer and the sea is calmer.
Overall, French Guiana can be visited all year round, but it is important to keep in mind that the weather can be unpredictable and can change quickly, so visitors should be prepared for all eventualities.
French Guiana has a range of hotels available for visitors, ranging from budget-friendly options to luxury resorts. The capital, Cayenne, and other major cities in French Guiana, have a variety of hotels to choose from. Some of the hotels are located in remote areas and offer the opportunity to explore the nature.
Guesthouses and B&Bs
There are also several guesthouses and B&Bs available for visitors to French Guiana. These can be a great option for those looking for a more personal and homely experience, especially in the rural areas.
Vacation rentals, such as apartments and villas, are also available for visitors to French Guiana. These can be a great option for families or groups of friends traveling together, as they offer more privacy and flexibility.
Camping is also an option for visitors to French Guiana, although it is more limited than other options. There are several campgrounds available, but they are mostly located in the national parks and the remote areas, and usually don't have many amenities.
French Guiana also has a number of eco-lodges, which are lodgings that are designed to have minimal impact on the environment and often provide opportunities for visitors to learn about the natural and cultural heritage of the area.
The main airport in French Guiana is Cayenne-Rochambeau Airport, located in the capital, Cayenne. There are flights from major cities in France, South America, and other destinations around the world.
Buses are a popular and convenient way to get around French Guiana, but the service is limited and mostly available in the main cities and towns.
Car rental is also an option for visitors to French Guiana, although it is limited. There are several car rental companies located at the Cayenne-Rochambeau Airport and major cities throughout the country.
Taxis are widely available in French Guiana, and are generally safe to use. They can be hailed on the street or called by phone, and they generally use meters.
Boats are available for transportation in some specific areas of French Guiana, like the coastal towns, where visitors can take boat tours to navigate in the sea or in the rivers. Also, in some areas like Maroni River, visitors can take boats to reach remote communities and explore the nature.
There is no regular train service in French Guiana.
Bicycles are available for rent in some areas, and it's a good way to explore the cities or the surrounding areas, especially in the dry season.
- The currency of French Guiana is Euro (€).
Cash And Cards
- It is recommended to carry both cash and cards in French Guiana.
- Credit cards are widely accepted in most establishments.
- However, it is advisable to carry some cash for smaller vendors and markets.
- ATMs are easily found in major cities and tourist areas of French Guiana.
- Make sure to withdraw money from reputable and secure locations.
- Inform your bank about your travel plans to avoid any issues with using your cards.
- Tipping is not very common in French Guiana.
- However, if you receive exceptional service, you can round up the bill or leave a small tip as a gesture of appreciation.
Cost Of Living
- French Guiana is generally more expensive compared to other South American countries.
- Accommodation, transportation, and dining can be relatively costly.
- It is advisable to budget accordingly and plan your expenses in advance.
- Be cautious of potential scams and pickpocketing in crowded areas.
- Keep a close eye on your belongings and avoid carrying valuable items unnecessarily.
- It's always advisable to use secure ATMs and be aware of your surroundings.