Description of French Guiana
French Guiana is located in the Amazonia region in South America. It sits between Suriname and Brazil with a north Atlantic ocean border. The government is a province of France and the people of the country have the same privileges and rights that are granted to every other French department. It benefits financially from this arrangement as well.
French Guiana was first settled in 1604 by the French. The country was the site of the notorious penal prisons that were called le bagne. These prisons functioned from the middle of the 19th century until the year 1951. The most famous of these is called Devil’s island. The tale Papillon, written by Henri Charriere, is about an escape from Devil’s island. Communication satellites from the European Space Agency launch from Kourou. The country is the only part of mainland South America that is still governed by a nation from overseas.
Climate and Landscape
The climate of French Guiana is tropical. It is hot and humid and there is not a lot of variation in temperatures throughout the year. The rainy season lasts from November through July and temperatures do become a bit cooler during this time. Typically around March there is a time that is referred to as “little summer” when it is cooler and there is not as much rain.
The landscape of French Guiana consists of low lying plains on the coast that rise to small hills and mountains. The country consists of mostly a wilderness that is unsettled. There are also hill plateaus dotting the landscape as well as the Tumuc/humac mountains.
Traveling to French Guiana
When it comes to immigration, there are different laws for entering French Guiana. It is not a part of Schengen territory. People from some of the countries that neighbor it will find that they can get into Paris easier than they can get into French Guiana.
The official language of the country is French. However, Creole is spoken throughout the country as well. Most of the population speaks French and there are few that understand English. many of the officials such as police officers may speak some English. Since there are many Dominicans and Brazilians located in the area, most people will understand basic Spanish and Portuguese as well. Taki-taki is often used near the Maroni river.
While in the country you should take time to visit the Hmong Market located at Cacao. You will want to see the Kaw river that is near Pirogue. At La Carapa you can take in a rocket lift off if you are there at the right time. Some of the other places and things to see include the Bagne de Saint-Laurent, Salvation Islands, Les Lles du Salut, and papillon’s prison. You may also want to visit Remire-Montjoly beach to watch the sea turtles laying their eggs. The yearly Kalinia games are worth watching as well.
One of the local drinks is called Tafia. This hard liquor is used for medical purposes and is drunk widely throughout the country. You can drink it with salt or lime juice and it is used in the drink named Planter. It is quite excellent and definitely should be tried during your visit.
Some facts about French Guiana
Gallery of French Guiana
French Guiana video guide
More information about French Guiana
Climate of French Guiana:
Top cities of French Guiana
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