French Guiana

12 reasons why you should travel to French Guiana right now

Kanan Isazade Kanan Isazade 03 November 2020
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Far away from Europe, but still part of Europe (a member of the EU and NATO). We can see many confusing borders in the world, and of them is French Guiana. Considering that many people don't have information about this exciting country, we decided to talk about it. In this blog, you will learn where is French Guiana, what is the capital of French Guiana, is it safe to travel to French Guiana, what are the colors of the French Guiana flag, and more. 

Basics of French Guiana

french guiana

Where is French Guiana? French Guiana is in South America and has borders with Brazil and Suriname. It is weird but, despite being far away from Europe, French Guiana is part of the EU because they remain a part of France. What is the capital of French Guiana? Cayenne is the capital of French Guiana. What is the French Guiana language? French is the official French Guiana language. Of course, they have a local language, and citizens have skills in other European languages. What is the French Guiana population? Today, the French Guiana population is almost 300000. The capital of French Guiana is the place where most of the French Guiana population lives. Although French Guiana is part of France, they have the French Guiana flag. What are the colors of the French Guiana flag? There are three colors on the flag green, yellow, and red star. The Upper green line represents forests, the yellow part expresses underground resources, and the red star in the middle of the flag symbolizes the country's socialist orientation. 

1. French Guiana currency

1 euro

The first reason to travel to French Guiana is currency. The country uses the EURO as an official monetary unit. In many aspects, it will make your trip more comfortable. Firstly, if you come from a country in the EURO area, you will not exchange money. Secondly, if you are not traveling from the EURO area, you can bring USD and use it or exchange it for EURO (it is easier to do than most currencies). Finally, it will be easy to understand how much you will pay for something. Sometimes local currencies can be so complicated to understand. 

2. Crime rates (Is it safe to travel to French Guiana?)

cayenne

When we decide to travel to any part of the world, one of the first things that we search for is crime rates in that place. So, is it safe to travel to French Guiana? The country has low crime rates. Probably, you will not face any serious problems during your trip. Of course, the security level is not as high as in France, but French Guiana is still not a dangerous destination. But it does not mean that you should be unattentive. One of the first ways of avoiding problems during a trip is respecting the locals. Maybe, one habit is ordinary in your country, but it is a sign of disrespect in another area. So, before visiting any place, try to get such kind of facts about culture. The best way to do it is by contacting with native people.

3. Delicious cuisine

shish kebab

Tasting new savors make plenty of people travel to new places. Such as many travel destinations in the world, French Guiana offers delicious meals to you. We can say that their cuisine is a mix of French, Bushinengue, and indigenous cuisines. The most used ingredients in meals are smoked fish, smoked chicken, cassava, etc. What are the most popular meals? There are plenty of foods, and some of them are Awara broth, Kalawang, Guianan Colombo, Lawyer Fierce, Calalou, and more. Bouillon d'awara is known as a national French Guiana meal. The ingredients of the Bouillon d'awara are Bouillon d'awara. 

4. It is not crowded

lighthouse

Dense places can make your travel unbearable. Fortunately, you will not have such a problem in French Guiana. The total population of the country is roughly 300,000 people, and the area is 83,000 square km. The state has such a low population for the place. Also, every year just 10,000 visitors travel to French Guiana. So, finding a place to stay, visiting a tourist spot, and more will be much more accessible than most localities. Furthermore, you will not spend much time on traffic. Also, an uncrowded area means fewer risks, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

5. Hattes Beach (Plages les Hattes in French Guiana language)

beach in french guiana

In the northwest of the country, you will find Hattes Beach. Besides pure water and clear sand, this beach is famous for giant leatherback turtles. Hattes Beach is the only nesting area of giant leatherback turtles. What is the best time to visit the beach? If you want to observe these turtles, the best time is between April and July. During that period, you can watch more than 80 turtles in one day. Furthermore, you can see other turtle types, such as green turtles and hawksbill turtles. Next to the beach, you will find a museum where you can learn more about the fauna of the seashore. 

6. Tresor Nature Reserve

white flower

There are plenty of spots for nature lovers in the country, and Tresor Nature Reserve is one of the most popular ones. Tresor Nature Reserve is just 1-2 hours away from the capital of French Guiana. The ecosystem of the reserve will mesmerize you. Some of the animals you can see are American alligators, scarlet ibis, black caimans, etc. The best option to observe the area and get facts about biodiversity and more is participating in guided tours. In those tours, you can enjoy the boat trip (day and night) and increase your knowledge about the nature reserve. 

7. The Museum of Guyanese Cultures

end of afternoon

It is always fun to meet new cultures and traditions. If you are interested in French Guiana culture, you should visit the Museum of Guyanese Cultures. A gold panner family built this museum in 1870, and the main goal of the museum is to promote the heritage of the Guyanese people. Here you will find plenty of documents about the culture and traditions of French Guiana (the documentation room is on the first floor). Also, you can learn about the various ethnic groups that live in the country. Where is the Museum of Guyanese Cultures? The address is 54-78, rue Madame Paye 97399 Cayenne

8. Small Laos inside the French Guiana

palm trees

As we said before, several ethnic groups live in French Guiana, and one of them is Laos people. They came to Cacao in 1977. The settlement is not so big, and the population is just 750, but it has plenty of activities for tourists. First of all, we recommend walking around the settlement and visiting the museum, library, church, and local market. After discovering the town, you can go hiking in the forest, or canyoning in the river. Also, there is a hotel to stay named L'Auberge des Orpailleurs that is well-known among citizens and tourists.

9. The Alexandre-Franconie departmental museum

slave quarters

Another reason to travel to French Guiana is The Alexandre-Franconie departmental museum (The French Museum). This is an excellent place to enjoy nature and history together. The museum was built in colonial times (1824 and 1842) and opened the gates to visitors in 1901 and has a wide range of artifacts (natural history, archeology, ethnography, and local history). One of the most exciting collections of the museum is the insect collection. There are more than 4000 specimens in that collection. The Alexandre-Franconie departmental museum covers 600 square meters, and every year 7000-8000 people visit the museum. 

10. Camp de la Transportation

french guiana

If you are interested in the colonial history of French Guiana, then Camp de la Transportation is a dream place for you. This camp is a type of prison that is why you will see many cells in the area. In the past, captives reached the Camp de la Transportation after 15-20 days of travel in the Atlantic. Is it free to enter? There is not any entrance fee, but you may pay 8-10 EURO for entering some exhibitions. Also, there are guided tours, but most of them are in French. If you are lucky, you can find a journey with minimal English. 

11. Guiana Space Centre

cayenne city

Guiana has a charming nature that makes all places look beautiful, and the Guiana Space Centre is no exception. If you want to enjoy the hypnotizing beauty of jungles and learn about space crafts, and more, you should visit the Guiana Space Centre. The Space Center was established in 1964, and we can say that they choose an excellent place for construction. It is next to the equator, suitable weather, the area is not crowded, etc. The main attractions of the center are tours in Jupiter Control Centre and Ariane facilities. Besides, you can hike in the center and take photos of plenty of rockets.

12. Guiana Zoo

bird

The last spot and the reason that I want to mention is the zoo in Guiana. Of course, there are nature reserves in Guiana, and you can observe the wildlife in natural habitat. If you do not have time to explore reservations but are still interested in biodiversity, Guiana Zoo is the best choice. You can explore the whole area in two hours. Maybe, those two hours will be your best time in the country. Moreover, sometimes owners of the zoo organize some events during holiday times. So, it is consistently entertaining in Guiana Zoo. 

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Kanan Isazade

Kanan Isazade was born and grew up in Baku, but now he is in Turkey because he is doing a Master's degree in Energy. Kanan loves to travel and meet people from various cultures, races, and beliefs. He travelled to more than 10 cities, and most of them are in Turkey. Kanan's motto is: learn new languages, travel around the world, read as many books as you can, and never forget to put yourself in someone's shoes to understand others.

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