French Guiana: Amazon's Gateway to the Stars
In the cradle of the Amazon Rainforest, where rivers gush like arteries through the pulsating green heart of South America, French Guiana quietly asserts its wild beauty and unique identity.
This far-flung overseas department of France plays an unconventional duet of untamed nature and celestial aspirations that's sure to captivate any traveler.
Begin your journey by immersing yourself in the vibrant multicultural tapestry of Cayenne, the capital city. Here, Creole houses in rainbow hues rub shoulders with French colonial architecture and bustling markets brimming with tropical produce, demonstrating the unique blend of French, Asian, African, and Brazilian influences that shape this fascinating region.
Venture into the depths of French Guiana's primary rainforest, a haven for biodiversity that would make any nature lover's heart race. These sprawling, untouched green expanses are home to a vast array of creatures, from the elusive jaguar to playful squirrel monkeys, and countless species of birds and insects. Navigate your way along the meandering Maroni or Oyapock rivers for a chance to spot these inhabitants in their natural habitat.
French Guiana also shoots for the stars, quite literally. In Kourou, the Guiana Space Centre stands as a stark contrast against the surrounding wilderness, a symbol of human aspiration amidst nature's grandeur. This spaceport, an important site for European space exploration, adds an unexpected twist to your Amazonian adventure, highlighting the region's duality of preserving its natural treasures and embracing modern advancements.
For a short video introduction of French Guiana, click below
As an overseas department of France, the same visa rules apply. Many nationalities can enter French Guiana for up to 90 days without a visa.
The official currency is the Euro (€). Credit cards are widely accepted in larger towns and cities, but always carry cash when visiting smaller settlements or remote areas.
The official language is French. Creole, English, Portuguese, and several indigenous languages are also spoken.
WiFi and SIM Cards
Wi-Fi is widely available in cities, hotels, and most eateries. It's recommended to purchase a local SIM card upon arrival for more rural and remote areas.
Health and Safety
French Guiana is a safe destination with a good health infrastructure. However, the risk of Zika, Dengue, and Yellow Fever is present. Consult your doctor for vaccination advice before your trip.
Last but not least
Here's another tip: Don't miss the chance to visit the Îles du Salut (Salvation Islands), a short boat trip away from Kourou. Once notorious as a brutal penal colony, these serene islands now offer a unique combination of stunning natural beauty and haunting historical significance. The former prison cells have been transformed into a museum, a poignant reminder of the islands' past. Remember to respect the site and its history during your visit.