Best things to do in French Guiana
Find out more about those top places in French Guiana
If you are searching for a destination that is not popular but all that is necessary to make your holidays a wonderful one, then Cayenne is the place for you to visit. Located at the northeast coast of South America, it is the capital of French Guiana with a population of over 55,000 people.
Visiting Cayenne, you are likely to visit the Salvation Islands, Cayenne River, IIes du Salut and Fort Cépérpou among several others.
Three islands (Devil’s Island, Royale Island and Saint-Joseph Island), known as the Salvation Islands, mainly because missionaries once went there to avoid a plague affecting major parts of the main city. The islands were part of a notorious penal colony, where the worst of France’s criminals were sent to carry out their prison sentences, some notorious criminals sent there include Henri “Papillon” Charrierière and Captain Alfred Deyfus. The islands are now a famous tourist destination and one of Cayenne’s most visited places.
With over 450 animals from 75 species at the Zoo de Guyane, it presents one of Cayenne most cherished tourist destinations. The zoo is divided into two sections – the Zoological Park where you can come face to face with its Fauna including howler monkeys, sloths and macaws, and its Forest Canopy where you can take in the sights of its tropical forest.
Located near the bubbly Place de Palmistes, the Musée Départemental is where people go to learn about the French Guyana illustrious history. Inaugurated in 1901, the most of its exhibits center around local history, archaeological remains and animal life - its exhibitions include a collection of stuffed animals, insect room and the 22 paintings of convict life by former inmate, Francois Lagrange.
Enjoy part of Cayenne’s natural element by taking a trip to the Cayenne river. The 50 km long river formed by the Cascades river and Tonnègrande river eventually flows into the Atlantic Ocean to form an estuary. The river has an abundance of aquatic presence and is a major bird watching zone as well - visitors can take a boat ride and walk across the bridge in Cayenne to get a real feel of the river.
Busy, lively and chaotic are just the few ways to describe Cayenne’s central market. But in all of this, it remains one of the city’s best destinations. Located in Place Victor Schoelcher, a town named after the man responsible for ending slavery in French Guiana - the market is filled with a variety of goods such as perfumes, paintings and vegetables. Also, be on the lookout for it soup stalls serving the best Vietnamese pho, sadly the market is only open three times a week.
The Fort Cépérpou is one of French Guiana most historically relevant places, located in the center of the city at Mount Cépérpou it was built on the lands acquired by the French Settlers, with the primary aim of protecting the city from intruders. Over time the Fort was abandoned and left in ruins after suffering from some natural disasters, having been restored in 2006 – access is a bit restricted as it is situated near military facilities.