All About French Guiana

By | May 19, 2022

Brief information

The main treasures of French Guiana are untouched tropical forests, a large number of original peoples, reserves with toucans, flamingos, jaguars and sea turtles, and, of course, magnificent beaches with golden sand near the Atlantic Ocean.

Tourists in French Guiana can watch how sea turtles are born, watch rare exotic birds, visit the former prison where the enemies of the French Revolution were exiled, take a canoe trip, or even participate in gold mining.

Note that the standard of living in French Guiana is the most expensive in all of South America. Sometimes the prices there are somewhat comparable with the prices in France, the metropolis of French Guiana.

Geography of French Guiana

French Guiana, an overseas department of France, is located on the northern coast of South America. French Guiana borders Brazil to the east and south and Suriname to the west. In the north and northeast, the country is washed by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The total area, including the islands, is 91 sq. km., and the total length of the border is 1,183 km.

Geographically, French Guiana consists of two regions – the coastal strip, where the majority of the population lives, and almost impenetrable rainforests with small peaks, located closer to the border with Brazil. The highest local peak is Mount Montagne-Magnetique, whose height reaches 851 meters.

Many rivers flow through French Guiana. The largest of them are Oyapok, Maroni and Kuru. The Petit South Dam in the north forms a large artificial lake and provides electricity to the entire country.

Official language

The official language is French.

Climate and weather

The climate is tropical, hot and humid. The average annual air temperature is +28C. The rainy season lasts from January to June (the peak of rains is in May). Dry season is from July to December. The tropical storm season is from December to July.

The best time to visit French Guiana is from July to December.


The population of French Guiana consists of three large communities – mulattos, Creoles and the Haitian community. Of course, French culture and Catholicism have a great influence on them. The result was the multicultural society of French Guiana.

The inhabitants of this country celebrate a large number of different holidays, many of them are associated with France (for example, Bastille Day and Labor Day) and Catholicism (Christmas).

The biggest local holiday is Carnival, which begins annually at the end of February and lasts for two whole months. Traditionally, the most colorful Carnival events can be seen in Cayenne.


The cuisine of French Guiana has been influenced by the culinary traditions of France, West Africa, East Asia and Brazil. Traditional food products are corn, beans, rice, meat (pork), vegetables, fruits, cheeses, and, of course, fish and seafood. Many herbs and spices are used in cooking.

Tourists are advised to try “Feijao” (a dish of red or black beans), “Bacalhau” (salted or dried cod), “Blaff” (fish cooked in a spicy sauce), “d’awara” broth (smoked fish, crabs, shrimp, chicken and vegetables), “Gibier de bois” (wild meat), “Couac” (dried cassava, serves as a side dish for many dishes), “Columbo” (meat stewed in tomato with curry, mango and spices).

Traditional non-alcoholic drinks are “mauby” (made from tree bark), “sorrel” (from vegetable juice), fruit juices.

Traditional alcoholic drinks are rum and ginger beer.

Attractions French Guiana

In Cayenne, the ancient Lusso Canal, the French Fort Seperu (unfortunately, only ruins remain), the Museum of Guianan Culture and the Place de Grenoble can be considered as attractions.

Near the city of Kourou, about 15 kilometers from the coast, is the island of Ile-du-Salu (Salvation Islands). Once upon a time there was a French prison in which about 2,000 prisoners were kept. This prison was closed in the middle of the 20th century. Now the Île du Salut has become a museum.

Of great interest to tourists are local national parks and reserves, which cover vast areas of tropical forest, often simply impenetrable. The most popular and largest of them are the Murages Reserve with toucans and flamingos, the Makhuri Mountain Reserve with jaguars and ocelots, the Tresor Reserve in the south of the country, and the Amana National Reserve in the north near the Atlantic coast.

Cities and resorts

The largest city is Cayenne, which is the administrative center of French Guiana. About 100,000 people now live in Cayenne, founded by the French in 1664.

In the north and northeast, the country is washed by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The length of the coast is 378 km. The average annual water temperature near the shore is +26C. Almost the entire coast is one long beach with golden sand. One of the best local beaches, it is called Montjoly, is located about 10 km southeast of Cayenne.

This country has excellent conditions for water activities, including surfing, windsurfing, scuba diving, canoeing, fishing, etc.

About 15 kilometers from the city of Kourou is the Ile du Diable (Devil’s Island), which attracts all local fishing enthusiasts and foreign tourists who like this pastime. However, the beaches on Devil’s Island are also fabulous.

Currency of French Guiana

The Euro (EUR) is the official currency in French Guiana. All major credit cards are accepted.


To travel to French Guiana, Ukrainians need to obtain a visa (it is issued by the consular department of the French Embassy).


Behind Kyiv for 6 hours. Those. if, for example, in Kyiv 13:00, then in Cayenne – 07:00.


As souvenirs in French Guiana they buy handicrafts, wicker baskets, jewelry, spices, rum.

All About French Guiana