Country guides South & Central America
Nestled between the Brazilian Amazon and the Atlantic Ocean, French Guiana is a lush land of glorious sunshine and intriguing cultures. Popular stops in this remote French territory include the picturesque capital, Cayenne, and the Center Spatial Guyanais (Space Centre) in the city of Kourou.
Dense rainforests cover much of the small territory, making it a fantastic eco-tourism destination. Nature lovers will certainly 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 for wonderful excursions.
Regarding its history, French Guiana was originally inhabited by indigenous Americans and settled by the French in the 17th century. Today, a French representative in Cayenne administers the region. French Guiana uses the Euro currency, as it is part of the European Union, and its main industries are fishing, timber, and gold mining. Various ethnicities make up the small population, with the majority being Guianese Creole, Maroon, French and Amerindian. French is the official language, though Creole is widely spoken; Roman Catholicism is the main faith.