An overseas department of France, French Guiana is a South American country, known for its diverse plant and wildlife. French Guiana is home to stunning colonial architecture and rich history.
Capital Cayenne is a fascinating mix of the Caribbean, South America and Europe and the result is quite noticeable throughout the country. Along with its colonial buildings, the hilltop castle ruins of Fort Ceperou – overlooking the Cayenne River – is the focal point of the city. The city has plenty of good restaurants and markets. Cacao is a popular weekend getaway from Cayenne for the city locals.
Almost 60 km northwest of Cayenne, lies the small city of Kourou, which is known for Centre Spatial Guyanais (Guyanese Space Center) – a European Space Agency spaceport that is responsible for the launch of two-thirds of the world’s commercial satellites. Apart from the spaceport and an adjacent museum, there’s not much to see in the town. Kaw is a swampy village in French Guinea, mainly visited as a nature reserve. Along the Maroni river in northwest French Guiana, bordering Suriname lies Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni – a former French penal colony. The colonial building in the town’s central area and a museum are the main attractions. The 3 tiny islands commonly referred to as Iles du Salut (Salvation’s Islands) – comprising of Ile du Diable (Devil’s Island), Ile-Royale and Ile St Joseph – located off the coast of Kourou, were also once French Guiana’s prison colonies, now serving as nature reserves.
French Guiana is a laid-back place with limited tourist attractions. Most South American travelers choose to skip the region, which makes it a great offbeat destination.
Kourou is known for Guyanese Space Center which launches two-thirds of the world’s commercial satellites.