Cayenne, between forest and ocean

Guiana is a land of contrasts. Nature-lovers and those who are looking for adventure will be thrilled by this green paradise. This overseas French department is unique because it is the only one that is located in Latin America. Guiana is today known for the Space Center of Guiana in Kourou, which accounts for a large portion of the overseas department's economy. Located on the Atlantic Ocean, Cayenne is the most populated city with more than 100,000 inhabitants in the metropolitan area. The department shares a border with the Republic of Surinam, formerly Dutch Guiana, and with Brazil.

What to see in Cayenne

During your trip to Guiana, don't forget to visit Cayenne in order to immerse yourself in the local culture. Cayenne, like the rest of the department, has a mixture of populations: Creole, Hmong from Laos and China, descendants of the Noirs-Marrons and various Amerindian ethnic groups.
If you can do only one thing in Cayenne, visit the Central Market that takes place every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. It is the meeting place for the Guianese population and an occasion to buy fresh, local products.
During your stay, you can also stroll among typical, Creole houses as well as along the beaches near the city center. Finally, make sure to walk to the Palmistes Square and the Botanical Garden.
Cayenne also has two main museums: The local Museum of Guiana and the Museum of Guianese Cultures.
At the beginning of every year, Cayenne hosts Guiana's carnival. Don't miss this colorful event that depicts the Guianese culture so well.

Guiana, incomparable biodiversity

Guiana is a place with exceptional biodiversity. The department has 8 million hectares / 20 million acres of virgin forest, home to 7,000 species of plants and 400,000 species of insects, as well as hundreds of species of mammals, fish, birds, etc. This biodiversity is one of the most important riches of Guiana and must be protected at all costs. During your trip to Cayenne, don't miss the zoo to discover some of the animals species that live in Guiana. Among them are jaguars, pumas, tapirs, iguanas, anacondas and caimans, all in environments that are close to their natural habitats. The zoo has several areas, including a botanical park and a tropical greenhouse.
You may participate in an organized one or two-day hike with a guide to see animals in their natural habitat. It is imperative to inquire about safety precautions before hiking in the forest.
You may also observe leatherback turtles during the egg-laying period on the Rémire-Montjoly beaches, close to Cayenne or in Awala-Yalimapo, on the Hattes beach.

Useful information about Guiana

For best conditions for your trip, we recommend leaving at the end of the summer or early fall, from August to October. Cayenne has a tropical climate and some periods have heavy rainfall. Take advantage of the dry seasons to travel to Cayenne and discover the region.
Remember to put lightweight, long-length clothing in your luggage , to protect from mosquitoes, especially if you plan to hike. Also bring along some sweaters for cool nights, as well as good walking shoes. Before your flight to Cayenne, you must have all of the required vaccinations . The vaccination for yellow fever is essential and must be done at least 10 days before departure.
Air France offers direct flights from Paris-Cayenne connecting the two cities in less than 9 hours. Several daily flights are also available to Fort de France.

For more information about Cayenne