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French Guiana

Successfully reached by Christopher Columbus during the fifteenth century, French Guiana is a sumptuous landscape on the northern coast of South America and bordered between Suriname on to the west and Brazil to the east and the south. The three main areas of this fascinating country are the coastal plan in the north, a plateau in the middle and the Tumac-Humac Moutains in the south. The capital of Cayenne is largely comprised of Africans and Afro-Europeans – this eclectic mix means that the culture is a real melting pot. The interior region is still home to several tribes, including the Oyampi and Palik, many of which are descended from African slaves. The official language of the country is French, and French culture is a dominant force in the day to day living of the population. The French originally arrived to colonize the Americas and to try to find El Dorado – the city of lost gold. Indeed, it was the French who founded Cayenne as the capital and it is still the most developed city in the whole country with a wide variety amenities on offer for tourists.

Hiring a car here will really improve your experience of the country and give easy access to some of the most exciting pursuits on offer here. Canoeing remains very popular, with some of the best sites for trying it out in Kourou, Iracabo, Counamana and the lower Sinnamary. You can also try fishing from Devil’s Island and trekking into the jungle interiors in the Prefecture area. There is a real carnival spirit in French Guiana, and the most important of these celebrations is the Epiphany festival which happens around the Easter period and continues until Ash Wednesday. Mardi Gras is similarly popular, with parades of costumed dancers and a variety of music sure to keep you entertained.

Cities in French Guiana