French Guiana's most beautiful nature reserves

Cayenne, the capital of French Guiana, is well worth a visit for its lively atmosphere and its colourful markets. The capital is served by regular Air France flights.
However, it is the wide open spaces of this overseas department of France which offer the most beautiful sites, in particular the famous Cayenne prison part of which is located on Devil's Island.
French Guiana is a perfect destination for ecotourism. The region is famous for its biodiversity, and the richness of its fauna and flora, both terrestrial and marine. It includes several nature reserves which are home to protected species. Kaw is the largest. Here you can find the Hoatzin, the only ruminant bird in the world, as well as the last remaining South American Black Cayman, which you can see at nightfall. The Amana reserve offers visitors different landscapes, with beaches, mangroves, swamp forests and lagoons. You can see red ibis, macaws and pink flamingos. It is also the favourite lair of the Luth, the world's largest turtle, reaching up to two metres long. From August to October, head for the beaches of Hattes and Montjoly where you can see the turtles lay their eggs, and later watch thousands of newly-hatched turtles running towards the sea. Finally, the Macouria animal park is home to more than 250 animal species (big cats, monkeys, reptiles…), in semi-liberty. Hidden by the tall grass, you may have the opportunity to admire the jaguars.

Open-air sport and activities in French Guiana

If you're looking for adventure, we would suggest that you take an Air France flight to French Guiana, and camp out under the stars in the wide open natural spaces… in complete security, naturally. Guides, demonstrators and oarsmen will teach you how to fish and survive in the forest, and take you hiking in the most beautiful regions. You will discover the different plants and their uses, and learn archery and orienteering. You can borrow all the necessary equipment. No need to be a great explorer to enjoy these visits; the activities are suited to amateurs and beginners.
French Guiana is also a remarkable region for trekking. We particularly recommend the Voltaire Falls, which you can reach via a path across a primal forest. The Fourgassie Falls are just as impressive but easier to reach. They have been equipped with bridges and stairs, to allow you to admire the falls more easily.
You can also discover Guiana by dugout. The Gabriel creek is unmissable, with its green twists and turns. You will see plenty of Morphos, a huge metallic blue butterfly whose wingspan can reach 20 centimetres. You can also follow the Maroni upstream, this long river which separates Surinam from French Guiana, and see the traditional Amerindian and Black Marron villages on its banks.
Finally, you can head for the Kourou space centre, where you might even have the opportunity to watch a rocket lift off.

Find out more and prepare your stay in French Guiana

Guiana tourist committee
Foreign Office Advice for Travellers