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Information About French Guiana

Flag of French Guiana

Here's some information about French Guiana: it is the only part of mainland South America still governed by a European country (as the name implies, it is an overseas department of France), and is the largest overseas department of France. Like France, it uses the euro and the native language is French, although creole is widely spoken too. Along with Guyana and Suriname, French Guiana forms 'the Guianas'.

For the astronautically-minded traveler, French Guiana is also the launch site of a large number of geosynchronous satellites, many of which are sent up from the capital of Cayenne. As well, the wildlife of French Guiana is exceptional, featuring rainforests, savannahs, mangroves, and wetlands, as well as the largest habitat for the leatherback turtle. It is widely considered a biodiversity hotspot, and attracts many visitors for that reason alone.

French Guiana is not an easy place to navigate. Only a few minibuses run through the country each day, and the waterways, but the waterways accept small local crafts. As with any wet, tropical location, vaccination against yellow fever is required before entering the country.

Economically, French Guiana is a confusing country. Its dependence on France puts it an economic advantage, and along with exportation of bananas, sugar, and the influx of eco-tourists, French Guiana is one of the more financially stable countries in South America. However, unemployment rests at around 25%, and the huge separation of wealth means crime, as far as travelers are concerned. Precautions should be taken, especially in more rural areas.

Quick Info:

Capital: Cayenne

Language(s): French

Religion(s): Christianity

Currency: EURO (EUR)

Electricity Voltage: 220V

Calling Code: 594

Popular Travel Destinations:

  • Félix Eboué Museum
  • Saint-Sauveur Cathedral
  • Petit-Saut Lake

Official Website: http://www.tourisme-guyane.com/en.html

Travel Forums:

*Note* - Some of the graphics on this page were taken from the CIA World Factbook which contains a wealth of information on every country in the world. I highly recommend it.

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