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Introducing Kourou

On a small peninsula overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and Kourou River, this small city of modern apartment blocks once existed solely to serve the mainland and offshore penal colonies. Now it seems to exist solely to serve the Centre Spatial Guyanais (Guyanese Space Center), a satellite construction facility and launch pad that employs thousands of people. A few beaches suitable for sunbathing line the easternmost part of town, but Kourou is mostly a way station for visiting the Space Center and catching a boat to the Îles du Salut. If you must hang out, head to Le Vieux Bourg (Old Town), a great strip for eating, drinking and wondering why the rest of the town isn't this hip.