Eco-friendly travel guide to French Guiana advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to travel in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in French Guiana, South America.
- Air quality: 4/ 5
- Bus connections: 3/ 5
- Train connections: 0 / 5
- Hitchhiking: 4 / 5
- National parks:5 / 5
- Outdoor activities: 5 / 5
- Locals' English level: 2.5 / 5
- Safety: 4.5 / 5
- Accommodation: US$25 - $500
- Budget per day: US$50 - $700
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 Regions
- 11 Cities
- 12 Getting There and Moving Around
- 13 Sustainable Shopping
- 14 Recycling
- 15 Work and Study Abroad
- 16 See Also
Do you desire to spend your holiday in South America? If yes, you can choose French Guiana. French Guiana is an overseas department of France on the northeast coast of South America, composed mainly of tropical rainforest.
When visiting this department, you must come prepared for the rain.
To be a responsible traveler in this place, you can engage in buying things from the locals. However, it is also important to note that French Guiana is an expensive place. Thus, items will be more costly than you might anticipate.
We also encourage all foreigners to be eco-friendly when they visit a new place.
Air Quality and Pollution
Individuals usually have different considerations when they are visiting a new place. For some, they are concerned about the air quality of a place.
They desire to know if the locals engage in activities that lead to air pollution. If such occurs, the environment is not conducive, and it might give them second thoughts.
If you are traveling to French Guiana, allow us to tell you that you should not have any doubts about air quality as this place’s air quality is primarily suitable.
It might have few lapses and contaminated air sometimes, typically from car exhaust fumes. However, it is not life-threatening, and the air quality usually stays high.
Respect the Culture
You might be hyped up and excited about traveling to French Guiana. However, many things need to be in place. One of them is knowing how to be respectful in the area.
Respect is usually necessary as you do not want to get on the wrong side of the locals. We cannot say that the locals of French Guiana are difficult people. However, it would help if you are calm and level-headed when interacting with them.
Another way of showing respect in this place is by ensuring that you do not endanger any of their natural habitats. When visiting French Guiana, your goal should be to leave there better than you met it.
Top 10 Places to Visit
Some of the top places to visit in French Guiana are:
• Devil’s Island: The name of this place alone gives a spooky feeling, and we know that curious minds will want to explore. It was a French penal colony that operated in the 19th and 20th centuries. This place served as the prison for French political prisoners. However, it was closed down in 1953. It is a great place to explore, but you should go with a tour guide.
• Salvation's Islands: This place is a combination of three islands, including Devil’s Island. Thus, you get to explore many places when you visit this place. It is intriguing and stands as one of the top tourist interests in French Guiana. The story that surrounds this place is something that you would want to hear. It is best to visit this place before leaving French Guiana.
• Guiana Amazonian Park: There are many ways to learn the culture and traditions of a place. One of them is by visiting the remote village. You can find such places at this park. It is also a rainforest. It should not be shocking to see people creating hiking trails at this place as it is perfect for hiking. Research also shows that it is the largest National Park in France.
• Zoo de Guyane: We are sure that many people will not mind visiting a zoo. You can see many animals at this place, including a jaguar. The management of this place takes adequate care of the animals, but some people complain that some of the cages are too small. If you are looking to see all the available animals in French Guiana, pay a visit to this zoo.
• Phare de Fort Cépérou: Some ancient places and things in French Guiana will get your attention. One of them is this fort that helped to protect the capital city. It has been brought down and rebuilt several times. Exploring its current state will not be a bad idea.
• Sentier du Rorota – Entrée: This is a place that connects you with nature. It has a relaxing vibe that comforts you when you visit it. You can go on a hike at this place due to its conducive environment. It is best not to be scared of visiting this forest as the locals will always come in handy. You might see some monkeys when taking a walk in this place.
• The Transportation Camp: It was a place used to keep prisoners. Thus, you are sure that it has a lot of historical stories. When you visit this place, you should have a tour guide who will give details information. However, it is essential to note that it comes in handy if you know how to speak French when visiting this place. It is only on rare days that you can get a tour in English.
• Guiana Botanical Garden: As the name implies, you will see different plants at this pace. We know that this place is capable of putting a smile on the face of many. If you are looking for a quiet to relax that radiates vibrant and positive energy, you should visit this botanical garden. It is a decision that you will not regret.
• Cathédrale Saint-Sauveur: Allow us to tell you that you will also be in awe of some of the French Guiana buildings. One of such is this place. It is a Roman Catholic Church in the capital city of French Guiana and stands as a national monument of France. Its architectural features are distinct and a sight for the eyes. We know that you will find something interesting about it!
• Chutes de Fourgassier: It is one of the natural reserves in Guiana. We see that the management of this place can do better. However, the falls at this place are a point of interest to foreigners, and we recommend visiting it. This place also has a beautiful landscape, coming in handy as a perfect picture-taking spot.
It is always expected that a foreigner is eager to explore all that a new area has to offer when they visit. Thus, it is not surprising that tourists look tour guides to take them around different places.
We are happy when such occurs as it means that they would learn more about the new area. We can also agree that a place would not be on the top of the list when it concerns holiday destinations if it does not have places for tourists to explore.
French Guiana has many places for exploration, and we can assure foreigners visiting this place that they will have pleasurable moments.
Here are some of the city parks in French Guiana:
• Jardin Botanique: You can find this park in the capital city of French Guiana. Not only is it a city park, but it is also a botanical garden. Ideally, you will see and learn about various plants. You do not necessarily need a tour guide because it has informative placards about the different plants. It is a beautiful place and always worth visiting.
• Place Des Amandiers: It comes in handy that you can get a sea view at this place. Thus, we can also say that it is a perfect place for relaxation due to its conducive and relaxed atmosphere. If you want a break from other activities, this is the place to visit.
Although not all places might have a national park, you can see national parks in French Guiana. They are sometimes also referred to as National Reserves.
Some of the national parks in French Guiana are:
• Réserve Naturelle Régionale Trésor: One can do many things at this place. You can either come here to appreciate nature or be on the lookout for animals. Hiking is also done at this place as the environment is appropriate. Exploring this place is always fun, but it is best when you have a tour guide. You can get some superb views when you decide to explore this rainforest. It is an experience that is not easily forgettable.
Some of the beaches in French Guiana are:
• Plages de Montjoly: We can say that this is one of the popular beaches in French Guiana. It could be for its reputation of being a habitat for giant turtles. People usually have fun playing with these turtles at the beach. You will also enjoy the feel of the sand on your legs and the breezy atmosphere. It is the perfect place to visit if you are looking to have a relaxing day.
• Roches Beach: One can lose track of time by just looking at the clear waters at this beach. People engage in various beach games at this place, so you will have an exciting experience.
It would be out of place if the area you are visiting does not have notable landmarks. Some foreigners start panicking when they cannot identify landmarks in the new location.
Many people believe that it will be easier to move around in a place that has many landmarks. It helps them keep track of their movement as they move around. We cannot fault this logic as having landmarks has come in handy for many people visiting a new place.
A landmark could be a statue or a tall building. It should also be popular.
Some of the landmarks in French Guiana are:
• Phare de Fort Cépérou • Fort Diamant
• Royal Island Chapel
Some of the museums in French Guiana are:
• Maison-Musée de Félix Éboué: The building of this museum is the first thing that will get your attention as it is captivating. Although it is a small museum, it is a perfect place to learn about the history and culture of French Guiana. It is worth visiting.
• Museo departamental Alexandre-Franconie: If you are looking to see various history exhibits, archaeology & artifacts, you should visit this museum. It gives a warm feeling to its visitors, and we know that you will not regret visiting it. One cannot leave this place without learning something new about French Guiana.
We see that foreigners anticipate many things when visiting a new place, and one of them is the cuisines in the area, otherwise known as the local traditional foods.
You will see different dishes when visiting French Guiana, and they also have an array of proteins. One should not leave this place without tasting Guianan Colombo. It is a stew in this place with an infusion of spices, proteins, and vegetables. We are sure that you will ask for an extra plate after eating it.
Another traditional local meal in this area is Pig-tails Beans. It is a must to taste it before leaving French Guiana.
Where can I get the traditional local meals?
It is a common question foreigners ask, and we are pleased to say that foreigners can get these meals from the traditional local restaurants in the area. In almost every area, you can find a restaurant, so it is not a hassle. These places have sumptuous meals that are not expensive. They have an extensive menu, ensuring that people have varieties to pick from.
If you are ever confused about choosing, you can ask the locals like the waiters or those around to help you decide. They will be happy to lend a helping hand to a tourist.
Some people do not eat regular food options. From their eating preference, they are called vegans.
These people are usually concerned about the feasibility of getting their type of meals when they visit a new place. There is also concern about a place like French Guiana, where most of their meals have infusions of meat and other proteins.
However, it should not be a bother as there are vegetarian restaurants in this area. We cannot say that these vegan restaurants are as much as other restaurants, but you are sure to find them.
If you have difficulty in looking the vegan restaurants, ask the locals for directions.
You can also get light meals to eat in French Guiana. Where to get such foods? You can get them from kiosks and vendors on the street. It is why they are called street foods.
You can get them in different varieties and types. We can assure you that these street foods are delicious.
Roti is one of the street foods a person can get in French Guiana. It is usually fried in oil and either eaten alone or dipped in stews.
Doku is another street food in this place, and it is a type of dessert made from corn. We know that you will enjoy it!
French Guiana is not a place that has restrictions when it concerns drinks. Thus, you and see and drink any beverage you desire when you visit this place.
Since it is one of the French departments, it is normal to expect to see French wine in the area. If that is your preference, have no fear as you can get it.
Some traditional drinks will also be available. One of them is Ti’ Punch. We do not know if you are familiar with punches. This one is a combination of lime, rum, and sugar cane syrup.
You might want to learn how to make it when you go back to your home city.
Since we have talked about air quality in this area, let us also talk about tap water quality.
We do not want a situation where you drink water that is not portable and begin to develop health issues. When traveling to a new place, it is essential to know the status of their tap water.
For those visiting French Guiana, we advise that you do not drink tap water. The only way you can drink the tap water is if you boil or filter it.
Another option that concerns drinking water in French Guiana is bottled water. You can see them in different areas of French Guiana.
We usually hear some foreigners complain that they do not have what to do when visiting a new place. This should not be so as new areas should have activities foreigners and tourists can do to keep busy.
Allow us to introduce fishing and kayaking as activities people can do when in a new place. However, these activities are dependent on the availability of water bodies.
Since one can see water bodies in French Guiana, it is not wrong to say that these are feasible activities.
Some people may not be used to these activities. However, you can learn from the experts and have a swell time.
Yoga is another activity that people can do to keep busy when in a new place. Understandably, no one likes to stay ideal.
When you engage in yoga, you are doing good to your body system as it enhances productivity. We would not say that yoga is a common or famous activity in French Guiana.
The people in this place engage in yoga. However, it is not as famous when compared to other places. It is also difficult to find yoga studios in French Guiana.
If you are interested in yoga, you can use word of mouth to find others who have similar interests and engage in this activity.
A person who has their accommodation settled will have a smoother traveling process than others.
Suppose you do not know anyone in French Guiana. It is best to have an idea of the accommodation types before arriving. It is best to remember that living in this place is expensive. Thus, you need to plan appropriately and have a budget.
One cannot make an accommodation budget if they do not know the available accommodation options. We do not want you traveling to this place ignorantly and being caught unawares.
We know that you want a stress-free journey. Thus, it is best to follow our instructions.
One can achieve the goal of staying eco-friendly in different ways. One of them is by staying in a green hotel when you visit a new place.
We can agree that you will not find a green hotel in all areas. When you decide to travel to a place and will love to stay in a green hotel, check if they are available in that place.
For those traveling to French Guiana, you can get a green hotel. However, the number of green hotels in this place is small. Thus, you will need to make reservations to ensure that you get it.
A person who stays in a green hotel is comfortable and happy knowing that they are contribute to the environment.
Hostels and Guest Houses
As a tourist traveling to French Guiana, you can also stay in a hostel or guesthouse when in this place.
We can say that hostels and guesthouses are usually smaller than other accommodation options. However, they are cozy and offer warmth. A person who stays in any of these options will not have complaints, especially if they are open to sharing and compromises.
You may need to share some facilities when you stay in a hostel or guesthouse. However, this process helps you to bond with other people and make friends. You will be on broad smiles when staying in these options.
We would not say that you will see many apartments when you visit French Guiana, but it is a feasible option.
If you desire to stay in an apartment when visiting this place, it is best to check ahead of time and make reservations. We would not want you to be disappointed because there are no available spaces in the apartments.
Most apartments are high buildings that give incredible views. It is something that many people anticipate.
Some apartments are usually more expensive than other accommodation options. Some people say that it is best to have a high accommodation budget if you desire to stay in an apartment. This ensures that nothing takes you by surprise.
When foreigners are planning for a journey, they sometimes wish they do not have to pay for many things. After all, people love when they can get some stuff for free.
If you wish for something free when traveling to French Guiana, your wish can come through in the form of free accommodation. This process is called Couchsurfing.
It allows you to stay in the home of a local throughout your stay in this area. You can find a willing local when you go on the Couchsurfing website.
Once you show them respect, they will be eager to bond with you, and the house will be lively.
We want to say that French Guiana is one of the best places for camping worldwide. Some people may wish to have counterarguments. However, this is our observation, especially with its lush vegetation and conducive environment.
Aside from the fact that this place has the perfect atmosphere for camping, we can also see campsites in the area. These places are usually well-maintained and appealing for anyone who wants to camp.
You may be okay camping alone. However, we believe that camping gets better when it is in a group. It is helpful to embark on camping in French Guiana with other people and have a wholesome experience.
Getting There and Moving Around
Before you begin to fantasize about the many things you can do once you arrive at your holiday destination, you first need to know how to get there.
For many people traveling to French Guiana, it is their first time. People are also coming from different places globally.
It will be hard for us to say the best way a person can get to French Guiana as it is dependent on their present location. However, we will help to highlight all the feasible traveling methods that can be considered.
It is always best to be comfortable when traveling, as that is one way of preparing your mindset for an enjoyable experience.
Asides from knowing how to get there, it is also vital that you know how to move around once you arrive at your holiday destination.
Ideally, the first thought should be to ask the locals. The locals will always be ready to help tourists and answer all your questions. However, we know that you will not want to be a bug or bother. Thus, you will shy away from always asking questions.
If you are traveling to French Guiana, we will also highlight some ways people move around in that area. It would be best if you do not have any difficulty or challenges with movement when you get to this place.
Since French Guiana is a small island, you can expect to see that places are close to each other. Thus, it is not out of place to say that walking is a means of moving around in this place.
One cannot deny the random urges to walk around. When this happens, you tend to take a stroll. Now, you can turn your stroll into a means of moving around in French Guiana.
You can decide to take a camera along when walking around in French Guiana. It is important that you do not forget to smile at people as you walk around. The idea is to spread a positive aura which the people of the island love.
A person can also rent a bicycle when in French Guiana as using a bicycle is another means of moving around. After all, the roads are conducive for cycling. Thus, there is no reason why one cannot use a bicycle.
You will see rental stores on the island where you can rent a bicycle. Using a bike in this place also ties to the fact that it is a small island. Thus, you do not need to cycle long distances.
However, it would be best to have a bottle of water as you cycle around in French Guiana. Some people cycle for fun, and you can join them.
In some of the rental shops in French Guiana, you can also see a scooter for rent. We can say that it is another way of moving around on this island, but it is not as popular as other options.
We see that not many people know how to ride a scooter. We always advise that one should be a pro at scooter riding before renting one.
If you desire to use a scooter around French Guiana, you should always wear a helmet for safety reasons. After all, the goal is not to get into a health-compromising position before you want to move around on the island.
One of the most typical ways of moving around globally is by using air. It is the fastest means of transportation and gets a lot of patronages. People desire to get to their destinations as quickly as possible.
There is an airport in the capital city of French Guiana that receives international flights. Thus, one can use air to get into the island.
Getting a flight to this place is usually not hard, especially from some other French overseas departments and other France areas. If you are not in any of these places, you need to get to them before thinking of using air to reach French Guiana.
It is best always to remember that French Guiana is a small island. Thus, it will be wrong to conceive thoughts that one can use air to move around in this place.
Although there might be an airport in the capital city of French Guiana, it does not handle domestic flights.
There are other means of moving around on this island, and using air is not a part of the options. You can still quickly get to your destination within the island with other means of transportation, and we will help highlight others that we have not mentioned.
A person can use air to get into French Guiana but cannot use air in moving around on the island.
There are arguments on if it is possible to use a bus to French Guiana, especially since it is an island. One would not expect that it has roads linking with many places.
If you are coming from Brazil, you can get a bus that takes you to French Guiana. However, you will cross the river with a motorboat. This method is not something that we would usually always recommend tourists to use.
Within the island, you can also get minibuses that take you from one city to another. However, the buses are few, creating a challenge in getting them whenever you desire.
Many taxis operate within the island. It is more common to see a taxi than a minibus. Due to this, it is more expensive using a taxi to move around.
It is best to equip yourself with this information before getting to French Guinea.
French Guiana is an island, and it does not have a railway that links to other areas. Thus, we cannot say that it is possible using a train to get into this island.
Even within the island, there is no railway. Thus, there is no feasibility when it concerns using a train to move around.
Thoughts of using a train should not be conceived when in French Guiana as it is impossible.
It is usual for anyone to think about the idea of hitchhiking when in a new place. It entails getting a free ride.
All you need to do is to stretch out a thumb and flag down vehicles. If any car stops, you need to converse with the rider and come to an agreement.
It comes in handy if you know how to speak French as it is what the drivers understand.
There is also the option of using a boat to French Guiana from places like Brazil and Suriname. The best part of everything is that this means of transport is not expensive.
If you do not have a phobia for water, we advise that you try using it to get into the island as it is sometimes fun and an experience you do not want to miss.
The idea is not just to visit a new place. It would be best to also to do something that shows or leaves your impact.
People do this in different ways. However, a way that we usually advise is by engaging in sustainable shopping.
This way, you get to patronize the local vendors, and it will put a smile on their faces. These people are more friendly when you buy from them.
A way of engaging in sustainable shopping is by buying things from the local markets. When you get to the food markets, you can engage the people in friendly conversations.
It could be about their local meals, the preparation process, unique spices, and much more. What matters is that you are buying from them, and it would boost their economy.
A person could also engage in sustainable shopping by going to second-hand stores. The fantastic thing about these stores is that they offer an array of items.
Some persons might feel that second-hand stores are only limited to clothes, but they go further than that.
We doubt there is anything you desire that you cannot get at a second-hand store. It comes in handy that the prices are low and there is room for negotiations.
Everyone would agree that change is constant. We can see a reflection of this when it concerns the clothes we wear and other fashion items.
Now, designers find a way of infusing recyclable items into making clothes to make them eco-friendly. It is called eco-fashion.
It is one of the top styles in French Guiana, and you should buy it. We can assure you that you will look unique and superb.
The idea of recycling happens in French Guiana, but we cannot say that it is intense. Also, you will not see many recycling companies on the island.
Commendations are given since the concept is evident on the island. However, there are higher hopes that the rate of recycling increases on this island.
This is to ensure that the environment stays eco-friendly and there can be more innovations.
French might be a small island, but they strive to ensure that the environment stays clean. It is why you will see different waste management companies spread across its cities when you visit this island.
They handle solid waste and ensure that people stay sensitized on the importance of waste management.
We hope you will comply with all the rules and regulations of waste management when you visit this island.
Work and Study Abroad
Since French Guiana is a small island, you should not expect to see many educational institutions.
However, some people are eager to experience this place by enrolling in its university. Some people have second thoughts as they question if they can work while studying in this place.
Allow us to tell you that you can work while studying in French Guiana, so that should not bother you.
To be an exchange student in French Guiana means you are transferring from your present school to Université de Guyane (University of French Guiana). It is the only university in French Guiana, and it is in the capital city.
To work out, you should check that your present school does an exchange program with Université de Guyane. Being an exchange student in this place is a great way to experience the island.
One of the easiest ways to get a job in a new place is through the au pair system. However, it is essential to note that these are not lucrative jobs.
Typically, you get jobs like babysitting, housekeeping, etc.
To get these jobs, you create a profile on the au pair website, input your location and search for available jobs in that area. We are sure you will find one in French Guiana.
One can also decide to be a volunteer in French Guiana. It is always best to remember that it is a voluntary service and no one forced you to do it.
Thus, you should do the job with joy and ensure that your impact is felt.