|Population||199,509 (July 2006 est.)|
|Time zone||UTC -3|
French Guiana, , (French: Guyane or Guyane française) is a French department in the Amazonia region of South America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Brazil and Suriname. It is governed as an overseas province of France with same rights and privileges granted to all other French departments and benefits financially from the arrangement.
- Cayenne, the administrative capital of French Guiana
- Kourou, the city which hosts the space center and Arianespace
- Saint-Laurent, located on the Maroni river, which forms the natural border between Surinam and French Guyana.
- Saint-Georges, on the Oyapock river, which is the natural border between Brazil and French Guyana.
First settled by the French in 1604, French Guiana was the site of notorious penal settlements (collectively known as Devil's Island) until 1951. The European Space Agency launches its communication satellites from Kourou. It is the only portion of mainland South America still governed by an overseas nation.
Tropical; hot, humid; little seasonal temperature variation.
Low-lying coastal plains rising to hills and small mountains, mostly an unsettled wilderness. It also consists of hill plateaus and the Tumuc-humac mountains.
Concerning immigration, French Guiana has different laws. French Guiana is not part of the Schengen territory. For some neighboring countries (Brazil, Suriname, Dominican Republic etc.) it is easier to go to Paris than it is to reach Cayenne.
Félix Eboué Airport (CAY)
- From Belem, Brazil, with Surinam Airways
- From Martinique and Guadeloupe, with Air France
- From Paramaribo, Surinam, with Surinam Airways
- From Paris, with Air France and Air Caraibes 
- From Miami with Air France
From Brazil you can take a private barge across the Oiapoque River. Its owner can be contacted in St Georges or in Oiapoque. From Suriname, there is a ferry to cross the Maroni River.
Oyapock River Bridge
The Oyapock River Bridge is a cable-stayed bridge. It spans the Oyapock River to link the cities of Oiapoque in Brazil and Saint-Georges de l'Oyapock in French Guiana. Its construction was completed in August 2011, commissioning is scheduled for January 2013.
This is a cable-stayed bridge, the two towers rising to 83 meters high, its length is 378 meters, it has two lanes of 3.50 m wide. The vertical clearance under the bridge is 15 meters.
At the French side, the access will be through a border checkpoint (FCP) which will present three government control: the Border Police, the Customs and the Directorate for Food, Agriculture and Forestry.
The bridge over the Oyapock is a toll-free bridge (the booths are booths controls, not toll booths), which will be accessible to both vehicles and pedestrians.
From Brazil and Suriname, when you reach the border, you cross the river with a motorboat.
From Brazil and Suriname, to cross the rivers Oyapoque and Le Maroni, which takes 15 minutes, it's not very expensive, but you have to haggle.
3,400 km of French Guiana's waterways are navigable by native craft; 460 km navigable by small oceangoing vessels and coastal and river steamers.
There is limited public transportation throughout the territory. Minibuses go between major towns but there may only be a few per day. Fares are fixed per route; if only going partial distance to Cayenne you may have to pay the full fare. E.g. St. Laurent du Maroni to Kourou you may have to pay the full fare to Cayenne. Fare for St. Laurent to Cayenne is €35.
Hitchhiking is a good and free alternative. A lot of locals doing it as well.
French is the official language of France, although Creole is widely spoken. The majority of the population speaks French while few understand English. However, some officials, police, and gendarmes may speak English. Because of the presence of many Brazilians and Dominicans, lots of people understand basic Portuguese and basic Spanish. On the Maroni river, Taki-taki is often used
There are a lot of places to put your hammock for a few euros.
Îles du salut can be visited from Kourou. A one way ticket with a catamaran cost around 21€.
On weekends or holidays it can be crowded. So you should book in advance.
There are three islands:
- Île Royale is the main island where you arrive with the boat. On this island you have a hotel/restaurant with the opportunity to hang your hammock for 10€. There is also a camping side where you can put your tent or your hammock for free. But there are no showers. Just toilets without a sink. But the sea is really close if you need to have a bath. On this island you will find a lot of monkeys, iguanas, sea turtles and some macaws.
- Île du Diable is closed for the public.
- Île Saint-Joseph. You can get there with a boat from Île Royale which cost 5€.
Guiana Space centre close to Kourou.
There is a free tour twice a day. And for a few euros you can visit a museum.
Check the missile launch schedule for a special experience.(http://www.spaceflightnow.com/tracking)
The official currency is the euro just like in mainland France.
- Bar des Palmistes is a nice relaxing restaurant bar, where one can enjoy a cool drink and enjoy the view of the "Place des Palmistes" park.
Tafia is a local hard liquor that is widely drunk and used as medical purpose. One can drink it with lime juice or with salt and it's used in a drink called Planter, excellent.
For European people coming from an EU country, working in French Guiana is allowed without problem. If you're from outside the EU, you will probably need a work permit - check with the French Embassy in your country. Do not forget though that the unemployment rate is high. But if you work in the health sector (doctor, nurse), it will be much easier.
Voluntary service: Volontariat Civil à l'Aide Technique (VCAT), . Conditions: you must be French or from another EU-member state or a country belonging to the European Economic Area. You must be over 18 and under 28 years old (inclusive). You must not have had your civic rights revoked by a court or have been convicted of certain offences.
It is advisable to pay extreme attention not to lose your passport: there are very few consulates in French Guiana as such services are provided by consulates in Paris, so you will be required to go to Paris in case you need your passport to be reissued if you are not an EU citizen.
Vaccination against yellow fever is necessary.