Cities and Towns in French Guiana
Cayenne is the capital of French Guiana. Around 61,268 residents live in the city with its special flair and the old Creole houses that shine in bright colors. This also makes it the largest city in the French overseas territory of French Guiana.
Parc Amazonia de Guyane
90% of the land area of French Guiana is covered with rainforest. Almost half of it belongs to the Parc Amazonien de Guyane, the largest national park in France. Here you can experience a real jungle adventure and get to know the fascinating undiscovered nature of the country. In addition to the impressive flora, there are also numerous animal species. You can also cross the rainforest on the typical boat of the local Maroni, the dugout canoe and get to know the way of life and culture of the river people. Hikers, whether experienced or beginners, can discover one of the last untouched rainforests on earth on numerous hiking trails on various trekking tours.
Kourou is both canton and capital of the same with about 25,000 residents. The city is located on the Atlantic Ocean in northern South America, 60 km from the country’s capital – Cayenne. In addition, the city is located on the Kourou River that flows into the sea here. The city is surrounded by 4 mountains and there are 3 very beautiful lakes in the immediate vicinity of the city. Some rock formations line the coast along the white sandy beaches. The interior of the canton consists mostly of mangrove forests and dense tropical rainforest. Since the city is by the sea, it is easy to visit the neighboring islands – the Îles du Salut – by boat. However, there is no public transport within the city, so private vehicles or shared taxis are the only alternatives. A rocket launch site was opened here in 1965. Starts are now being carried out here on a regular basis. The location was chosen because the proximity to the equator gives almost the maximum circumferential speed of the earth, and thus a start into orbit is possible with less energy. The location can be visited. There is also a lot to see within the city: Let yourself be seduced by the scents of the spices on the market. You can also visit the “Camp de la Transportation”, the prison where criminals were housed on the way to Devil’s Island.
Devil’s Island is part of the Îles du Salut archipelago. It is the smallest, but the most famous of the three islands. Between 1852 and 1946 it was a penal colony for French felons. Alfred Dreyfus, who was an artillery captain at the time, was falsely imprisoned there for 4 years – for high treason. However, he published a letter describing the true course of the affair, after which he was acquitted and released. The intervention was a decisive turning point in the political scandal of the time. But it was not until 1933 that the penal colony was closed because of inhumane conditions, as information about it gradually leaked to the people. The affair was reconstructed in the 1991 film Prisoner of Honor. There were administrative buildings on the Île Royal, Hospital and death row, on the Île Saint-Joseph the single cells were set up; mostly without a roof, which made rain and heat merciless natural torture. In addition to the ruins, which can still be admired today, the islands are worth seeing just because of the fauna that predominates there. Because visitors often pass by here, some animals are used to people and eat out of hand, such as squirrel monkeys and macaws. Others are rather shy, iguanas and especially caimans are seldom seen. If you know the archipelago, you may have read / seen the book or the film that goes with it, Papillon.
Frequently asked questions about French Guiana
What are the entry requirements for French Guiana?
Since French Guiana is part of France, the EU entry requirements apply. A visa is not required, but a valid identity card or passport is required.
What vaccinations do you need to travel to French Guiana?
A yellow fever vaccination is mandatory in French Guiana. In addition to the standard vaccinations, vaccinations against hepatitis A and for long-term stays or particular exposure to hepatitis B as well as typhoid and rabies are recommended. There is a risk of malaria all year round in French Guiana. In the coastal regions, however, it is sometimes only slight. Regular malaria prophylaxis is not absolutely necessary for tourists, but is advised. Due to the mosquito-related risk of infection, all travelers are advised to repeatedly apply insect repellent to all exposed parts of the body during the day, in the evening and at night, to wear clothing that covers the body and to sleep under a mosquito net. We urgently recommend taking out health insurance abroad, which should include repatriation.