Best Places to Visit in French Guiana 2023, Top Attractions

Most Popular Places to Visit in French Guiana, Top Attractions

French Guiana is a department of France in the Amazonia region of South America, is governed as an overseas province of France. French Guiana is bounded by Brazil to the south and east, Suriname to the west, and the Atlantic Ocean to the northeast. Are you wondering where is French Guiana? French Guiana on the map is the northeastern part of South America, officially the region belongs to France. Here come the most curious and fearless tourists to see the wild jungle, Devil's Island and the Kourou spaceport, not for nothing Devil's Island French Guiana, or rather it is the unofficial name of one of the islands of the country. By the way, this is very justified and further, we will find out why. The capital of French Guiana is the city of Cayenne. At first glance, it is difficult to understand that this city is the capital. All because the buildings are very shabby, and shopping centers can not be called modern. The beaches in the capital are dirty and muddy, not suitable for swimming water. And this is despite the fact that money from the French budget is invested in the development of Guiana. Deep in equatorial South America, French Guiana (also known as "Guyane") is a department of France bordering Brazil, Suriname, and the Atlantic. It's a land where old abuts new in striking incongruity. Dense rainforests shelter centuries-old indigenous villages, while rockets zoom overhead, launched from the country's lucrative Space Centre. The capital, Cayenne, is a melting pot of French, Asian, African, and Brazilian cultures, and if you visit during Carnival, between Epiphany and Ash Wednesday, you can join in the celebrations with parades every weekend. Eco-tourism prevails in the country's largely unspoiled wilderness, which is home to an astounding diversity of wildlife. Along the coast, nature lovers can explore bird-rich marshes, where caimans lurk, and Atlantic beaches, where turtles nest in droves. Inland, vast savanna stretches to lushly cloaked mountains, and rivers slice through steamy jungle. Traveling through this pricey French outpost can be challenging (especially for those who don't speak French), as the country lacks a well-developed tourist infrastructure. Less experienced travelers will benefit from using a tour company. Intrepid travelers will welcome the adventure.

#1- The Beaches of Remire-Montjoly
French Guiana Sightseeing? If you are tempted by sunbathing on a sandy beach, look no further than the beaches of Remire-Montjoly. These beaches are dotted with coconut trees and bordered by lush nature; these beaches offer a wild yet pleasant setting to relax on the sand. Admittedly, the loamy waters are not ideal for swimming but are enough to cool off after a hike in the surrounding area, such as the beautiful Rorota Trail. You may even spot sea turtles during the laying season if you are lucky. It is a great vacation destination in French Guiana to go with family and spend quality time.

#2- The Prison of Saint
Located in the border town of Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni, the Transportation camp was once a prison intended to temporarily take care of prisoners as soon as they arrived in French Guiana before they were transferred to penal colonies throughout the country. The prison housed famous former prisoners such as Alfred Dreyfus or Henri Charrière, known as “Papillon.” If the lush nature seems to soothe the place today, the hints of its dark and brutal history continue to haunt the site. Self-guided tours are free, and you can rent the services of French-speaking guides whose tours are more detailed. Look for the name of Butterfly engraved in one of the cells. It is a famous French Guiana landmark that you can go and visit.

#3- The Carnival of Guiana
What are the best things to do in French Guiana? One of the significant events that punctuate Guianese life, the Carnival of Guiana, takes place in Cayenne between the Epiphany around the end of January and Ash Wednesday in February or March. It also takes place in Kourou and Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni, but Cayenne remains the best place to celebrate carnival. Initially originating from Guianese Creole culture, carnival originates from the practices of a European carnival that was forbidden to enslaved people. However, it was practiced clandestinely by the latter, who saw it as a way to regain some freedom and mock the settlers. Today, participants include the metropolitan, Brazilian and Chinese communities, offering spectators a parade of costumes as colorful as it is parodic. One of the must-see things in Guyana is if you have the opportunity to visit Guyana during this period. This makes French Guiana a worth visiting place for fun-loving people.

#4- The Beach of Les Hattes
Located in Awala-Yalimapo, on the edge of northwestern French Guiana, Les Hattes Beach is the world’s most crucial giant leatherback turtle spawning site. During the high season, from April to July, hundreds of leatherback turtles follow one another on the beach to lay their eggs that hatch between July and September. Five kilometers long, this beach is also an important nesting site for green turtles and, occasionally, olive and hawksbill turtles. The beach offers a relaxing setting and tables to eat, and you can even hang your hammock between two palm trees—one of the most pleasant beaches in French Guiana and also the best places to see in French Guiana.

#5- A Boat Ride in French Guiana
Navigation is one of the best means of transport to discover the beauties of French Guiana. And it is not necessarily a question of sailing on the ocean but of sailing to discover the great Amazon rainforest. Rivers are indeed the main routes of circulation of the territory. Therefore, it would be a shame not to rent a boat in French Guiana and thus miss discovering this magnificent setting!

#6- The Zoo of Guyana
As an introduction to Guiana’s incredible endemic wildlife, who says better than visiting Guiana Zoo? This zoological park is home to nearly 450 animals, including jaguars, sloths, agoutis, crocodiles, howler monkeys, anteaters, and many birds, including toucans and aras. The zoo is home to a 1,000 m² tropical greenhouse whose landscaped route allows visitors of all ages to discover the emblematic species of French Guiana, such as the red ibis, as well as a myriad of unique and sometimes unique rare species. 

#7- The Islands of Salvation
Located fourteen kilometers off the coast of Kourou, the Salvation Islands form an archipelago of three islets of volcanic origin. Only the Royale and Saint-Joseph islands are accessible. Devil’s Island, the northernmost, is strictly forbidden, especially because of the strong currents. It was here that more than 2,000 convicts had been imprisoned in terrible and humiliating conditions of detention in the past. Formerly closed in the middle of the twentieth century, the prisons are now open to visitors. Île Royale, the largest of the three islands and the former administrative seat of the colony, is the busiest. Explore the restored prison buildings or stroll along an island covered with plants and populated by maces, monkeys, and agoutis. To get to the Salvation Islands, you must board a catamaran at the fishermen’s wharf at Avenue General De Gaulle.

#8- Cayenne
Located on the Guianese Atlantic coast, the city of Cayenne is the most populous in French Guiana. Despite poorly maintained historic buildings, Cayenne is worth a visit. Several mountains overlook the city, and the peaks along the shore offer lovely views. If you visit French Guiana for its beaches, however, it is not in Cayenne that you have to go since the mangrove invades them.

#9- The Guiana Space Center
The Center organizes about twelve rocket launches per year, offering tourists the opportunity to reserve their place to live an unforgettable moment: the launch of an Ariane rocket! Discover the Space Museum, retracing the epic of Man in Space, the conquest of the moon, and European space programs. The opportunity to make a real journey in space and time through 7 thematic modules, including the Universe, crewed flights, satellites, and the future. It is a great place to visit in French Guiana.

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