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  • Overview

    French Guiana is situated on the north coast of South America and is part of the French Republic. Visitors can experience a world of foreign sights, cultures, and cuisine. Popular stops include the picturesque capital, Cayenne, and the Center Spatial Guyanais (Space Centre) in the city of Kourou.

    Dense rainforests cover much of the tiny country, making it a fantastic Eco-tourism destination. Nature lovers will also appreciate seeing leatherback turtles lay eggs at Awala-Yalimpopo, spotting exotic birds on the Kaw savannah and watching capuchin monkeys lying along the Sentier Molokoi de Cacao trail. The lovely Salvation Islands (Îles du Salut) lie just off the coast and make a tremendous setting for island holidays.

    Regarding its history, French Guiana was originally inhabited by indigenous Americans and settled by the French in the 17th century. Today, it's administered by a French representative based in Cayenne. The country uses the Euro currency, as it is part of the European Union, and its main industries are fishing, timber, and gold mining. Eco-tourism is a growing enterprise.

    Various ethnicities make up French Guiana's small population. The majority are Guianese Creole, Maroon, Amerindian, and French. For the most part, the country's people inhabit the more developed coastal areas. French is the official language, though Creole is widely spoken. Roman Catholicism is the main faith.

    Guiana Space Centre

    The Centre Spatial Guyanais (Guiana Space Centre) is one of French Guiana's best known attractions. Located near the coastal town of Kourou, the French space centre has been operational since 1968 and is used by the CNES (France's National Centre for Space), the European Space Agency, and Arianespace (a commercial company) to conduct their launches. There are regular guided tours of the site.

    Address: Diamant, near Kourou
    Website: www.cnes-csg.fr

    Phrase Book

    English Pronounciation
    Cayenne-Félix Eboué Airport
    Location: The airport is located 12 miles (19km) from the Cayenne city centre.
    Time: Local time is GMT -3
    Getting to the city: Taxis are available at the airport.
    Car Rental: Car rental companies offer services at the airport, including Avis, Sixt, Budget, and Hertz.
    Airport Taxis: Approved airport taxis are available outside the terminal.
    Facilities: Airport facilities include shops (including duty-free shops), currency exchange, and food vendors.
    Parking Short-term and long-term parking is available.
    Money:

    French Guiana uses the Euro (EUR).

    Language:

    The official language is French, and Guianese Creole is widely spoken.

    Electricity:

    The electric current is 220 volts, 50Hz. Round two or three-prong plugs are used.

    Entry Requirements:

    US nationals: US citizens must have a passport that is valid for the period of intended stay in French Guiana. No visa is required for stays up to 90 days.

    UK nationals: British citizens must have a passport valid for the period of intended stay in French Guiana. A visa is not required for passports endorsed British Citizen. No visa is required for holders of passports endorsed British National (overseas), British Overseas Territories Citizen (containing a Certificate of Entitlement to the Right of Abode issued by the United Kingdom), and British Subject (containing a Certificate of Entitlement to the Right of Abode issued by the United Kingdom) for 90 days.

    CA nationals: Canadian citizens must have a passport that is valid for the period of intended stay in French Guiana. No visa is required for stays for a maximum stay of 90 days.

    AU nationals: Australian citizens must have a passport that is valid for the period of intended stay in French Guiana. No visa is required for stays up to 90 days.

    ZA nationals: South Africans require a passport that is valid for the period of intended stay, and a Schengen visa, to enter French Guiana.

    IR nationals: Irish citizens must have a passport that is valid for the period of intended stay in French Guiana. No visa is required for nationals of Ireland.

    NZ nationals: New Zealand citizens must have a passport that is valid for the period of intended stay in French Guiana. No visa is required for 90 days.

    Passport/Visa Note:Visa:

    All visitors to French Guiana must hold an onward or return ticket and valid travel documentation for their next destination. They must also have sufficient funds to cover their stay in the country, or a lodging certificate. Schengen Visas are valid for French Guiana, provided they are endorsed 'also valid for French Guiana.' A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required to enter French Guiana. It is highly recommended that visitors' passports have at least six months validity remaining after their intended dates of departure, as immigration officials often apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official sources.

    Travel Health:

    A yellow fever vaccination is necessary when visiting French Guiana.

    Local Customs:

    Social mores and etiquette in French Guiana reflect its colonial history. European values permeate the country, and western travellers - if they ignore the heat - should feel very much at home.

    Communications:

    The international access code for French Guiana is +594. The outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0044 for the United Kingdom).

    Duty Free:

    Visitors to French Guiana may import the following without incurring duty: 1,000 cigarettes, one bottle of liquor, and an amount of perfume, film, and gifts reasonable for personal use.

    Useful Contacts:

    French Guiana Embassies:

    French Guiana Embassy, Washington, United States: +1 202 944 6000 or info@ambafrance-us.org

    French Guiana Embassy, London, United Kingdom: +44 207 073 1000.

    French Guiana Embassy, Ontario, Canada: +1 613 789 1795.

    French Guiana Embassy, Canberra, Australia: +61 2 621 160100

    French Guiana Embassy, Pretoria, South Africa: +27 12 425 1600.

    French Guiana Embassy, Dublin, Ireland: +353 1 277 5000.

    French Guiana Embassy, Wellington, New Zealand: +64 4 384 2555.

    Foreign Embassies in French Guiana :

    British Embassy, Paris (also responsible for French Guinea): +33 1 4451 3100

    Canada Embassy, Georgetown, Guyana (also responsible for French Guinea): +592 227 2081.

    Australia Mission, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago (also responsible for French Guinea): +1 868 822 5450.

    French Guiana Emergency Numbers : 112 (General Emergency Helpline)
    French Guiana