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What to do in French Guiana ?

Are you wondering what to do in French Guiana to have a memorable experience? Forget idleness and all-inclusives, in French Guiana to immerse yourself in nature, explore historical sites and taste the flavors of a unique culture. From the French Guiana Space Center to a night in a carbet, via the Salut Islands to the Kaw Marshes, a multitude of adventures await you. Ready to take the challenge ? In this article, we reveal the top 10 activities to do in French Guiana.

carbet in Frrench Guiana- by Canva Pro

🦥1. Sleeping in a "carbet"

Looking for a unique getaway? Dare to adventure and sleep in a "carbet" in French Guiana! These traditional Amerindian shelters offer you a total immersion in the heart of the Amazon rainforest. Far from the hustle and bustle of the city, enjoy a moment of total disconnection to recharge and live a beautiful experience. On the agenda for your stay in a "carbet":

  • Peaceful nights in a hammock, lulled by the sounds of the jungle.

  • Simple and convivial days to share meals, play board games, or swim.

  • Total immersion in nature to observe Guyanese wildlife and flora.

For a tailor-made experience, opt for "carbets" offering additional services: meals prepared with local products, guided excursions, activities to discover Amerindian culture... And if you're looking for a thrill, try the experience of a "perched carbet," the Canopy Camp! Suspended at the top of the trees, it will offer you an unobstructed view of the canopy and an unforgettable sense of adventure.

activity in french Guiana

canoe crossing by Canva Pro

🚣‍♀️2. Crossing the Maroni River by Canoe

Looking for an authentic and unusual experience in French Guiana? Opt for a crossing of the Maroni River by canoe! This traditional means of transport allows you to discover French Guiana differently, navigating the river in the heart of the Amazon rainforest. Accessible to all, this excursion will allow you to observe Guyanese wildlife and flora, admire the villages, and interact with the locals.

Activity in French Guiana, the salvation island

Salvation Island by Canva Pro

🏝️3. Visiting the Salvation Islands

The Salvation Islands, off the coast of Kourou, offer a unique blend of history and preserved nature. Once a colonial penal colony, this UNESCO World Heritage site immerses you in the dark past of French colonization.

Explore the remnants of the penitentiary, discover the convicts' cells, the hospital, and the church, and feel the unique atmosphere that pervades these historically charged islands.

But beyond their tragic past, the Salvation Islands harbor remarkable biodiversity. Walk the hiking trails of Royale Island to admire the local flora and fauna. Monkeys, caimans, and iguanas hide in the vegetation, while colorful birds enliven the trees with their songs.

In addition to their natural richness, these islands offer beaches with clear water, ideal for relaxation and swimming.

What to do in french guiana, the kaw marshes

Kaw Marshes by Canva Pro

🐊4. Visit the Kaw Marshes

The Kaw Marshes, located in the heart of French Guiana, cover over 90,000 hectares and offer an incredible wealth of flora and fauna. This destination is perfect for nature lovers.

On a pirogue ride, you can observe caimans, monkeys, jaguars and parrots in their natural habitat. The lush vegetation, composed of mangroves, palms and bromeliads, borders the waterways.

You can also visit the village of Kaw to stroll through the streets, meet the inhabitants and discover the local crafts.

What to do in french Guiana ? the French Guiana space center

the French Guiana space center by Canva Pro

🚀5. Explore the French Guiana space center

The French Guiana Space Center, located in Kourou, is one of the main spaceports in the world. It allows Europe to launch a wide variety of scientific and observation, telecommunications and navigation satellites, as well as cargo ships and space probes. Visiting the CSG offers the opportunity to go behind the scenes of space exploration. You will be able to witness the preparation of a launch, observe the takeoff of an Ariane rocket, visit the control rooms and learn more about the different space missions.

activity in french guiana, the beach

Beach in French Guiana by Canva Pro

🏖️6. Relax on the Beach

French Guiana, with its 340 kilometers of coastline, offers magnificent beaches to relax and enjoy the sun. Here are some of the most beautiful:

  • Montabo Beach: Just 20 km from Cayenne, this sandy beach is ideal for swimming, sunbathing and water sports. You will also find restaurants and bars there.

  • Cocoteraie Beach: Located in Kourou, this beach is well equipped with carbets and public barbecues, perfect for a picnic with family or friends.

  • Rémire and Awala-Yalimapo Beaches: These sites are perfect for observing the laying and hatching of sea turtles, offering a unique experience in the heart of nature.

what to do in french guiana? Discover the fauna and flora

Jaguar in the forest by canva pro

🐅7. Observe the fauna and flora

French Guiana is a paradise for nature lovers, offering exceptional biodiversity. Here are some animals and plants that you can observe:

Animals :

  • Monkeys : Capuchins, howlers and tamarins

  • Caymans

  • Jaguars

  • Anacondas : The largest snakes in the world

  • Spiders : Diversity of species, some venomous Plants :

  • Orchids : More than 2,000 species

  • Ferns : Found in humid environments

  • Wildflowers : Great floral diversity

what to do in Guyana? Discover the gastronomy

plantains by canva pro

🍲8. Taste the culinary flavors

Land of stories and traditions, French Guiana offers rich and tasty cuisine, reflecting its Native American, African, European and Asian influences. Among the emblematic dishes not to be missed:

Among the emblematic dishes not to be missed :

  • Awara broth : A dish made up of a large number of ingredients linked by the paste of the awara fruit such as salted pig tail, white cabbage, smoked chicken, pork belly, eggplant , spinach, green beans or even smoked fish

  • Fricassee : A simmered dish of meat or fish, vegetables and spices, often accompanied by rice or couac (cassava semolina).

  • Colombo : An explosion of spicy flavors made from chicken, fish or vegetables, enhanced by coconut milk, spices and herbs.

  • Pimentade : Fish or meat marinated in a lemony chili sauce, served with rice or plantains.

Invite yourself on a culinary journey by discovering authentic Guyanese gastronomy at the market. Don't miss this unique opportunity to savor rich and spicy flavors

events in french guiana

events by Canva pro

📯 9. Participate in a musical event

In French Guiana, music is much more than just entertainment, it is a true passion.  Among the unmissable events not to be missed.

  • The French Guiana carnival, the longest in the world, is an explosion of colors, dances and music.

  • Jazz lovers ? Come to the Kayenn Jazz Festival, which brings together internationally renowned artists every year in the Cayenne botanical garden.

  • The “SMILE’ festival, on Cocoteraie beach for an eclectic lineup of local and international artists, DJs and dancers. The headliner for the 2024 edition is Popcaan, the Jamaican dancehall singer.

  • The Wyhcella festival offers a wide range of musical styles, from electro to urban music including Caribbean sounds.

French Guyanese music is not limited to these major events. Throughout the year, concerts, community festivals, dance evenings and many other events punctuate local life. Do not hesitate to ask the tourist office or the locals for information.

traditional activities in French Guiana

traditional activities in French Guiana by Canva pro

🎨 10. Learn local crafts

Learning local crafts in French Guiana is an immersion in the culture and traditions of this territory. From pottery to jewelry to weaving and wood carving, each form of craft tells a story and reflects the diversity of French Guiana. By taking craft classes, visiting local markets or participating in workshops, you have the opportunity to learn traditional techniques from passionate artisans.

The French Guiana, a vast territory with varied landscapes, offers you a multitude of explorations. To enjoy your stay, it is important to choose the mode of transport best suited to your needs and desires.

🚗💨 If you plan to stay in cities and only take short excursions, a city car may be a wise choice. These vehicles are generally more fuel efficient and easier to maneuver on busy streets.

However, if you want to venture onto the slopes and discover the wonders of the interior of the country, a 4x4 is essential. Indeed, Guyana has a road network that is often unpaved and sometimes difficult to access for light vehicles.

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