Must-see attractions in French Guiana

  • Top Choice
    Centre Spatial Guyanais

    Visiting the Centre Spatial Guyanais and (if you're lucky) seeing a rocket launch are two of French Guiana's biggest highlights. Both need to be arranged…

  • Top Choice
    Camp de la Transportation

    The eerie Camp de la Transportation, where prisoners arrived for processing, was the largest prison in French Guiana. Convicts arrived exhausted after 20…

  • Top Choice
    Central Market

    Inside Cayenne's market, shoppers will find a vibrant jumble of Amerindian basketry, African-style paintings and carvings, piles of spices at great prices…

  • Top Choice
    Plage Les Hattes

    This long stretch of beach is a very important nesting ground for giant leatherback turtles, which can grow up to 600kg. The females come ashore from…

  • Trésor & Kaw Nature Reserves

    The Trésor Nature Reserve is one of French Guiana's most accessible primary rainforest areas, and wandering its 1.75km botanical trail is a great way to…

  • Île Royale

    Once the administrative headquarters of the penal settlement, Île Royale has several restored prison buildings, including a fine prisoner-built chapel and…

  • Maison de la Reserve Naturelle l'Amana

    Amerindian settlements and thick clouds of mosquitoes populate Awala-Yalimopo and Plage Les Hattes, one of the world's most spectacular nesting sites for…

  • Fort Cépérou

    Off the gardened Place Léopold Héder are the remains of Fort Cépérou, perched on land bought in 1643 from the Galibi people by the first French colonists…

  • Île St Joseph

    With its eerie solitary-confinement cells and guards' cemetery, Île St Joseph is overgrown with coconut palms, though it does have a good white-sand beach…

  • Musée de l'Espace

    Don't miss the excellent Musée de l'Espace within the Centre Spatial Guyanais, with informative displays in English and French.

  • Camp de la Relégation

    The Camp de la Relégation, aka St Jean, is another abandoned prison camp 17km from St Laurent. It's accessed via two-hour tours offered by various…

  • Fleuve de Maroni

    Explore the Amerindian and Maroon cultures that inhabit the shores of this great river. You'll usually also visit the island of an old leper colony …

  • Musée Départemental

    The Musée Départemental features a frighteningly large stuffed black caiman, as well as other preserved local critters, an ethno-botanical display and an…

  • Grand Matoury Nature Reserve

    This 234m hill rises steeply behind Matoury and is covered with thick primal forest. Two well-marked walking routes take you up to the top and make for a…

  • Île du Diable

    Covered with a thick foliage of palms, rocky Île du Diable (Devil's Island) was where the most high-profile prisoners were kept, including Alfred Dreyfus…

  • Musée des Cultures Guyanaises

    The small and unexceptional Musée des Cultures Guyanaises is devoted to Guiana's early history, from its geologic formation through precolonial,…

  • Église d'Iracoubo

    In the village of Iracoubo, 30km eastward on the RN1 highway from Sinnamary, do stop off and visit the Eglise d'Iracoubo, a 19th-century church with an…

  • Plage Montjoly

    The best beach in the area gets busy on weekends and holidays but is otherwise empty. The water is shallow and murky but there are a few deeper areas that…

  • Le Planeur Bleu

    A fun museum featuring lots of insects, dead and alive. Myriad species of butterflies flutter around the butterfly garden, and you can even hold a live…

  • Director's House

    This breezy old house holds a very interesting history display (in French and English), including some old photographs from the penal colony days.