Visa and entry requirements for French Guiana:
Passport not required
No visa is required

Information from the Foreign Office about your trip to French Guiana:

French Guiana is an overseas department and region of France with around 260,000 inhabitants. It is located in the north of South America on the Atlantic Ocean between Brazil and Suriname. French Guiana is also part of the European Union and NATO. The euro is legal tender there.

The country's largest cities include Cayenne, Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni, Kourou, Matoury and Remire-Montjoly. The population is currently growing rapidly due to immigrants from neighboring countries. Around 87% of the residents profess Christianity.

French Guiana has the largest contiguous forest area in France and the European Union. Almost 90% of the country's area is covered with tropical rainforests. This means that the majority of the population lives on the coast, where the largest cities are located. The climate in the country is tropical and there are constantly warm temperatures all year round, between 28 and 30 degrees Celsius.

The French Guiana region became known for the “Archipelago of the Damned,” a French penal colony that existed for 100 years until 1951 and imprisoned up to 70,000 people.

In 1968, the Europeans built the Center Spatial Guyanais missile launch site in Kourou. The space center is geographically close to the equator and has been significantly expanded in recent years. The great success of the Ariane program and the elaborate corporate strategy of the European Space Agency (ESA) contributed significantly to this. The spaceport in Kourou has now become an important economic factor in the country and, after the capital Cayenne, the most important tourist attraction in French Guiana.

The city of Kourou is also known for a unit of the world-famous Foreign Legion, which is stationed in the middle of the city.

Another important economic sector in the country is forestry, due to the abundant tropical rainforest. In addition, agriculture - which is only carried out near the coast, crab fishing and small gold mining are of significant importance for the local economy.

Cayenne is the capital and largest city of French Guiana, with around 60,000 inhabitants. The main tourist attractions of the city include the Cathedral of Cayenne, Fort Ceperou, the Museum of Guiana Culture, Fort Diamant, Place des Palmistes, Avenue du General de Gaulle, the old Chapel Royal, the Vieux Port, the Museum Departmental Alexandre-Franconie, Chinatown and the two monuments by Felix Eboue and Victor Schölcher.

In August 2015 I traveled to French Guiana for the only time for three days. For this I used a direct flight from “Port of Spain”, the capital of Trinidad and Tobago.

After an extensive city tour in the lively capital Cayenne, the most important part of the program on the second day was a visit to the space station in Kourou. Every morning various buses ran as scheduled from Cayenne to Kourou. The fare of 10 euros for the one-hour journey was also relatively inexpensive.

From afar, just outside of Kourou, I saw a huge rocket flashing out of the surrounding forest. It was quite astonishing how huge the ESA site is there. However, the offer for tourists was quite poor. The tour of the site, which originally took place twice a day, was unfortunately canceled that day. So all I had left was a tour of the small space center and the souvenir shop there. This was of course a bitter disappointment for me and the other two visitors, especially since we went there specifically for that reason.

The small town of Kourou, on the other hand, was very quiet and somewhat uncomfortable, sometimes even boring. Many people hadn't strayed out onto the street there. After a short detour to the main entrance of the famous Foreign Legion and some forbidden photos, we should actually go back to Cayenne. However, this return journey turned out to be considerably more difficult than expected because, surprisingly, no buses were running in the opposite direction from 3 p.m. Since there were no taxis to be found anywhere in the entire city, there was only one option left: hitchhiking.

Finally I walked for about 45 minutes to the exit of the town and tried my luck. Although a few cars drove past me in the direction of Cayenne, no one stopped. Something really seemed strange to me, most of the vehicles were only occupied by the driver. Maybe hitchhiking has a bad history in this country or is generally banned, I'll probably never find out.

In order to make sure I got to my hotel in the capital, which was about an hour's drive away, before dark and at all, I pulled out all the stops. In the meantime I had started waving a 50 euro note because I really had to go to Cayenne that evening. Finally, my onward flight to Suriname was planned for the next morning and I didn't want to miss it under any circumstances.

After a whopping four hours of waiting on the side of the road and darkness had already fallen, a small car actually stopped. Overjoyed, I handed the money to the friendly couple and invited them to dinner.

The next morning I continued my journey as planned with a flight to Paramaribo.