Between the Caribbean and the Amazon lies French Guiana, a country rich in lush nature with numerous protected animal species and nature reserves. A colorful mixture of different cultures lives in French Guiana. Historically, it is a land of indigenous people, exploration and slavery. French Guiana’s extraordinary history is reflected in all strata of its contemporary society and can still be experienced today in a number of almost mythical locations: Iles du Salut, which includes the infamous Devil’s Island and its former prison for political prisoners, Mount Favard, the Saint-Laurent du Maroni transit camp or the Iracoubo church. French Guiana offers visitors not only encounters with authentic cultures and the opportunity to witness the birth of leatherback turtles, but also insights into life in prison camps or canoe trips on majestic rivers. You can also pan for gold in the shingle of the rivers, see toucans flying or follow the trail of the Ariane rockets that are launched in the purpose-built rocket launch site. See other countries in South America on ethnicityology.
Arriving by plane
There are no direct connections from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Air France (AF) and Air Caraibes (TX) fly non-stop from Paris-Orly and Paris-Charles de Gaulle to Cayenne. Flights to Paris-Charles-de-Gaulle are operated by the national airlines and by Air France (AF).
Frankfurt/M. – Cayenne: 15 hours; Vienna – Cayenne: 15 hours 50 minutes; Zurich – Cayenne: 15 hours 20 minutes (each with stops in between; the journey time varies depending on the length of stay); Paris – Cayenne: 9 hours 5 minutes (non-stop flight).
Arrival by car
A coastal road runs from Guyana through Suriname to French Guiana; it connects Cayenne with, among others, Paramaribo (Suriname) and Georgetown (Guyana). Long-distance buses: There is no cross-border bus service. Tolls: There are no toll roads in French Guiana. Documents: The national driving license is sufficient; however, it is advisable to also carry the international driver’s license with you.
Arrival by train
There is no cross-border rail traffic.
Arrival by ship
The main ports are Cayenne and Kourou. Cayenne is called at by numerous cruise operators.
Shipping companies such as Phoenix, P&O Cruises and TransOcean also dock in French Guiana on their cruises departing from European ports. In addition, numerous cruise ships from North and South America and Africa call at French Guiana.
Routes across the rivers
There are river ferries on the Maroni between Albina (Suriname) and St. Laurent du Moroni (journey time: 10 mins). Ferries also commute between Oiapoque (Brazil) and St. Georges on the Oiapoque (journey time: 3 hours).
Traveling by plane
Air Guyane (GG) operates regular domestic flights, serving cities such as Cayenne, Maripasoula, Saint Laurent, Saul and Grand Santi.
Traveling by car/bus
There is a well-developed road network in and around Cayenne. From Cayenne, a coastal road runs north-west to the Suriname border. To the south, Cayenne is connected by road to the towns of Cacao, Régina and Saint-Georges on the Brazilian border. The places inland are not accessible by land. Tolls: There are no toll roads in French Guiana. Although there are enough petrol stations on the few streets, they are often only open for a few hours a day.
Right-hand traffic/left-hand traffic
Condition of the roads
The road between Cayenne, Kourou and Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni on the Suriname border is paved. The other roads are less well developed and often difficult to drive on during the rainy season.
Car hire from international suppliers can be found in Cayenne at the airport and in the city as well as in Kourou. Drivers must be at least 21 years old and have held a driver’s license for 1-3 years, depending on the vehicle category. A young driver fee is sometimes charged locally.
Taxis are available in Cayenne. Collective taxis (minibuses) with up to 10 seats drive on the coastal road, but only leave when all seats are occupied. Taxi boats operate between Saint-Laurent and Apatou.
Bicycles and scooters can be rented in Cayenne.
Minibuses operate along the coast (see also the Taxi section).
Speed limits: – in built-up areas: 50 km/h; – extra-urban: 90 km/h.
The ADAC foreign emergency call offers ADAC members and holders of ADAC foreign health and accident insurance comprehensive assistance in the event of vehicle breakdowns, traffic accidents, loss of documents and money, and medical emergencies. The emergency number is available around the clock; in the event of vehicle damage: Tel. +49 (0)89 22 22 22, in the event of illness: +49 (0)89 76 76 76. In the event of accidents or breakdowns with the rental car, the car rental company must always be contacted.
The national driving license is sufficient; In addition, the international driver’s license is recommended.
Traveling in the city
In Cayenne there is a SMTC bus network with 7 lines. Buses are often overcrowded; Seats are rare. Of interest to travelers is the Koati, a small city train that takes an hour to explore the city’s historical and tourist attractions.
Traveling by ship
There are numerous coastal and river connections. More information on site.