French Guiana Travel Guide

French Guiana Holidays – Tours & Adventure Travel Guide

PureTravel Says
“French Guiana is an overseas region of France and is sitauted on the north Atlantic coast of South America and borders Brazil in the east and south and Suriname in the west. The capital of French Guiana is Cayenne and the local currency is the euro. French Guiana is a tropical destination and much of the country is covered in rainforest and has expansive coastlines for exploration and adventure. You can trek or bike through one of the many smaller mountains or if you desire a purely remote tour that takes you well off the overly trudged path, French Guiana has more remote land area than countries thrice its size.”

Holiday Highlights

Land & Water Activities - It is possible to go horseback riding in French Guiana; however, in order to take multi-day rides, you’ll need to speak to your tour operator. Other activities in French Guiana include canoeing and rafting on one of the many rivers, going to the beach, water skiing in Kourou and Montjoly and even sailing on the high seas. If you’re not into ocean swimming, then many hotels have pools that you can use if you’re a guest (or for a small fee). Most cultural activities take place around Cayenne (the main port and capital) and Kourou (the main French center).

Trekking - One of the serene places to trek in French Guiana is in and around the great rainforest that more than dot this small country in South America. It is said that nearly 85% of the rainforest is unsettled and untouched. If you do venture into the rainforest, take note that nearly everything is bigger and more dangerous than you. With that said, it’s important to take a trusted guide booked through a tour operator. Walks and treks within the park boundaries should be done with a guide as well.

Mountain Biking - French Guiana makes for an excellent mountain biking destination. Though you’ll have more luck road riding along the coast, going north and south (most people live along the coast), there are several smaller mountain locations worth an investigation and perhaps an ensuing bike ride. The highest mountain in French Guiana is Bellevue de I’Lnini at around 850 meters. The Tumac-Humac Mountains in the southern part of the country could make for some excellent rides as well. Other possible down hill rides or mountain bike excursions include Mont Favard, Pic Coudreau, Mont Machalou and Montagne du Mahury, all from 150 to 800 meters tall.

Fishing - The fish you’re most likely to catch in (and off the coast of) French Guiana include the Pike Characin, the Blue-eye Catfish, and the Guyana anchovy, the Oscar, the Sea Catfish, the Coco Sea Catfish and Atlantic Sturgeon. Some of the more popular fishable rivers in French Guyana include the Kourou River, The Approuaque River, the Inini River, Mahury River, the Ouaqui River, and the Itany River. Fly-fishing and deep-sea fishing are all possible here.

Island Hopping - There are some small islands off the coast that offer some neat historical knowledge to your tropical tour. Some of the islands were used as part of the French penal colonies until the early 1950s. Today, visitors can come to explore the islands and the still-standing edifices that served as prisons and such on the islands. The islands include Iles du Salut, Devil’s Island and the bird sanctuary of Iles du Connetable.

When To Go

French Guiana is a tropical climate. The average annual temperature hovers around 27C. A good time to come, particularly if you’d like venturesome journeys, is August through December. There are two rainy seasons, one starting in December through January and another beginning in April and ending in July. Be ready for rain at any time, however.

Top Tips

- If you plan on trekking or hiking into the rainforest, be sure to follow the marked footpaths. Anything off trail will eventually get you lost.
- Not all of French Guiana is connected by road systems. You may have to fly in a plane to get to some destinations.
- Bring rain gear and anything extra you may need to stay warm and dry. Don’t forget your anti-malarial and other medications. Off the beaten path here means no doctor or pharmacy for hundreds of kilometers.

Classic Itineraries

- Visit capital city Cayenne and Kourou and St Laurent du Maroni
- Mountain Trekking/Biking
- Fly Fishing and Deep Sea Fishing
- Cultural Excursions around Cayenne and Kourou

South America Travel Resources

Argentina adventure travel guide
Brazil adventure travel guide
Ecuador adventure travel guide
Peru adventure travel guide

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