What are the main cities of French Guiana? Here is the ranking of the 10 most beautiful and important cities: discover the main destinations to visit in French Guiana.
French Guiana is an overseas department of France, located in South America between Suriname and Brazil and overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. It is a territory covered for the vast majority of forest and the population is scarce. The capital Cayenne is a very interesting melting pot of races and cultures, and the country offers numerous naturalistic experiences to those who visit it. Let’s see together to know the 10 main cities of French Guiana …
10 – Régina
The river town of Régina has a thousand inhabitants, it is located on the banks of the Approuague River, in the extreme east of French Guiana, yet it counts among its activities even an airport, naturally for small domestic flights. Régina is a hundred kilometers from the capital Cayenne and is close to the Kaw-Roura marsh nature reserve, accessible only by the waterway. The whole area is rich in forests and lush vegetation along the river and the marsh, lending itself to interesting excursions in nature.
9 – Saint-Georges-de-l’Oyapock
Saint-Georges-de-l’Oyapock is a small town overlooking the banks of the Oyapock River, which, with its course, follows the border with Brazil. In fact, on the shore in front of Saint-Georges there are the Brazilian lands : the two borders are connected by a futuristic cable-stayed bridge, called precisely the Oyapock bridge, open to regular circulation for a couple of years, since when that is France and Brazil reached the agreement for the allowed migration flow. The city has about 4,000 inhabitants, mostly devoted to river activities such as fishing and tourism.
8 – Apatou
Apatou is located within the arrondissement of Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni, in the eastern part of French Guiana and has more than 6,000 inhabitants. Like most cities in this French overseas district, Apatou is a river city on the banks of the Maroni River. The city was founded in 1976 following the division with Grand-Santi. The only access road to Apatou, as well as to many other cities, is the river which is a real water highway for the connection to Guyana: from Saint-Laurent it is about two hours of navigation. A point of interest is the Apatou Belvedere, from which one can see fiery sunsets over the course of the river.
7 – Maripasoula
The city of Maripasoula is located on the banks of the Rio Lawa River, in the central eastern part of the country, on the border with Suriname. With its total extension it is the largest municipality in the French territory: it is the double of Corsica. In contrast, it has about 11,000 inhabitants. It is connected to the city of Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni by waterways and is mainly inhabited by the Aluku Indians. Within its territory there is also the Bellevue de Inni mountain, with an altitude of about 800 meters. The area is rich in gold deposits, a characteristic that makes it a bit like the Far West of Guyana and, unfortunately, makes life impossible for local populations: criminal activities are many, it is not recommended to go around at night.
6 – Mana
The city of Mana is about 40 km from Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni and has more than 10,000 inhabitants; it overlooks the point where the course of the river Le Mana flows into the Atlantic Ocean. Its turquoise colored church is very characteristic, and the city actually has a religious origin: it was founded by the French nun Anne-Marie Javouhey in the nineteenth century, who built an orphanage here, around which the city on the river was built. Its economy is mainly based on agriculture, sugar cane cultivation and livestock.
5 – Remire-Montjoly
Remire-Montjoly is a city of about 20,000 inhabitants in the arrondissement of the capital Cayenne and with the latter shares the large strip that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. Remire is a seaside town, with a very beautiful beach, of fine sand and very high palm trees. Moreover, along its coast, there are the Remire-Montjoly saltpans, which can be visited through tourist trails. Another naturalistic path, through which to learn to know the friendly sloths, is the Rorota path. In Remire there is also an archaeological site with ancient ruins of a Jesuit community, reachable only through a forest path, named Habitation Loyola.
4 – Matoury
Matoury is a city that hosts the airport of the capital Cayenne, and, while the capital is right on the coast, Matoury is inland, a few kilometers away. The city has a population of 26,000 inhabitants. Like all the rest of the country, Matoury has many naturalistic places of interest in its air, for example the Sentier de la Mirande, immersed in the forest, which follows a small river and allows you to learn more about the wild nature of Guyana and the fauna, very interesting. Inside the city, however, there is no lack of entertainment and commercial activities: above all, for shopping, the Family Plaza shopping center.
3 – Kourou
Kourou takes its name from the river on whose estuary the city rises, on the Atlantic Ocean, about 60 km from the capital. It is surrounded by some hills and is not far from a mountain range: its landscape is really varied. Kourou has a population of about 25,000 inhabitants and is an ideal place for beach holidays: it has a very long beach of white sand. The city is famous for being the launch base for French and European satellites: here the Guyanese space center is located and the Space Museum can be visited.
2 – Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni
Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni is a city on the Maroni River on the border with Suriname, which faces the other side of the river. It has 43,000 inhabitants. Once it housed, like the capital Cayenne, a penal colony, today it has become a tourist attraction although a little in decline. In Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni, there is a military base. You can hike on the river, even for several days, from Saint-Laurent for example to the city of Maripasoula, and learn about the life of the fishermen who still live on this activity on the shores, but also the animals that inhabit this area, like the sloths.
1 – Cayenne
The capital of French Guiana, Cayenne, overlooks the sea and has 57,000 inhabitants and a very limited extension: paradoxically, it is the most populous city in the department but also that smaller. It presents a large number of different cultures among its population. Cayenne became famous for the penal bath, but in reality the prisoners were sent offshore, on the small island of the Devil. The economy of the city was once based on agriculture, today on services from the tertiary sector. In the city you can visit the St. Sauveur Cathedral, the Fort Cépérou, the botanical garden and, as boat trips, the visit to the island of the Devil and to the small Ilet La Mère, a naturalistic place inhabited by nice monkeys.