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When to go to French Guiana ?

With its equatorial climate, French Guiana lives at a very different pace from the one known in metropolitan France. If the best period to go to French Guiana is generally the dry season between August and November, it is all year long that you can discover the richness of this tropical French department, by taking advantage of totally different atmospheres linked to the variation of the climate. Visiting Guyana in December is also an ideal time to enjoy the holiday season and have a great time !

What are the seasons in French Guiana?

Climate portrait in French Guiana

In French Guiana, the change of season is not felt by the variation of temperatures. Indeed, it is generally 26°C throughout the year, with heat peaks that can reach 33°C. The big change that gives rhythm to the weather is the arrival of rain. It is the rain that divides the year into 4 periods:

  • The great dry season, from mid-July to the end of November;

  • The big rainy season, approximately between mid-April and the end of June;

  • The short rainy season, which runs through January and February;

  • The short summer, which generally includes the month of March and lasts until mid-April.

The seasons in French Guiana are not limited to 6 rainy months and 6 dry months! In addition, as Météo France points out, the intensity of the rainfall received varies significantly from one year to the next. Each period of rain or dry weather can extend more or less the following month ... The climate in French Guiana is full of subtlety.

Good to know: whether you come during the rainy season or the dry season, in French Guiana you can enjoy an equatorial climate without fearing earthquakes or cyclones. 

The seasons in French Guiana in detail

Talking about dry season and rainy season is not enough to get a precise idea of the climate in this French department or to choose the best period to go to French Guiana: you have to go into detail!

Indeed, rainy season does not mean monsoon either. If the showers are intense, they are however interspersed with sunny passages. La Niña, the rainy counterpart of the phenomenon better known in metropolitan France as El Niño, can however accentuate the amount of rainfall received by French Guiana. 

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As for the dry season, it can be stifling, especially in the forest and inland areas, because of the humidity that prevails in the territory. However, it will be more pleasant on the coast, where the trade winds cool the atmosphere permanently.

When to go to Guiana to enjoy swimming?

It is during the dry season that you will enjoy swimming the most. If you dream of enjoying the ocean, but also of creeks, waterfalls and other magical places inland and you wonder when to go to French Guiana to enjoy it, aim preferably for the months of August to November. 

Swimming in the heart of the Amazon

These water stops will make it easier for you to bear the humid heat of the Amazonian forest. Indeed, in the middle of its luxuriant vegetation, you will find some nuggets to bathe, as :

  • The Angèle creek, whose small waterfalls and natural jacuzzis await you after a 3-hour walk in the forest;

  • The Tibourou creek and its bathtub dug in the rock, accessible in about twenty minutes of walk from the parking lot;

  • The Fourgassié waterfalls: touristy, they are nonetheless magnificent and easily accessible in 15 to 45 minutes of walking depending on the chosen path.

You have more time? Take advantage of the best time to go to French Guiana to discover also the Grégoire creek (by river only) or the Patawa falls or Diamant falls! After renting your Europcar family car, you will enjoy a picnic and swimming with your family at the Morpio creek, which is nicely landscaped.

Swimming in the ocean

Beaches where you can swim are rather rare in French Guiana. Indeed, the coast often displays a brown color that gives little desire. The culprit? The Amazon River which, although 400 km further south, pours astronomical quantities of alluvial deposits that cover the coastline as far as Guyana. The importance of the phenomenon varies with the currents, so it is difficult to advise when to go to Guyana to avoid it.

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With your family, don't hesitate to go to the Novotel's beach (quite public in spite of its name) because it is supervised during the summer period. It is also very lively. To make sure you have postcard water, opt for an outing to the Salvation Islands and drop anchor for a while to take a dip! Major asset of the territory: the water temperature. Whatever the season in French Guiana, you can enjoy a water temperature around 28°C.

When to go to Guyana to explore the jungle ?

The discovery of the jungle is perfectly compatible with the rainy season. Contrary to the metropolis in general, rain does not mean cold in French Guiana! The abundant vegetation of the equatorial forest also contributes to protect you from the rain during a trek for example. This is an opportunity to discover the indigenous populations and their crafts and gastronomy. Also make a detour to Asia with a visit to the Hmong village of Cacao, a surprising Asian island in the heart of the Amazon founded by a Hmong diaspora at the end of the 1970s and which has been growing ever since.

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The rainiest seasons of Guyana are also the right time to scour the department's museums:

  • Museum of the space center of Kourou ;

  • Museum of Cacao ;

  • Museum of the Blue Planeur and its thousands of insects;

  • Museum of Guianese cultures in Cayenne...

Your rainy season will be well filled!

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