French Guiana Overview

French Guiana Overview

Southern America





According to neovideogames, French Guiana is located on the northeast coast of South America and borders Brazil to the south and east, Suriname to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the north. The Serra Tumucumaque forms the southern border and the Río Oiapoque the eastern border. The western border with Suriname is formed by the Río Maroni. On the coast there is a flat swamp belt that rises to higher plains and savannas; the interior consists of jungle. The Iles du Salut with the Ile du Diable (Devil’s Island) lie off the coast. The state capital Cayenne is located on an island in the mouth of the Río Cayenne.


French overseas territory (Département d’outre-mer / DOM) with limited self-government since 1947. French Guiana is represented by two members each in the French National Assembly and in the Senate. France is represented by a prefect. Internal affairs are handled by the Conseil général (19 members), which is elected for 6 years.

Head of state

François Hollande, represented since May 2012 by the Prefect Martin Jaeger, since January 2016.


220 V, 50 Hz.

Time zone

French Guiana Time: CET -4

French Guiana Overview



The euro has been the official currency for the French overseas territories (Départements d’Outre-Mer), French Guyana, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Réunion as well as for the local authorities (Collectivités Territoriales) Mayotte and St. Pierre and Miquelon since 1999. For more information on using the euro, see the France chapter. In the French Overseas Zealand (Pays d’outre mer / POM) French Polynesia and in the French overseas territory (Territoires d’Outre-Mer / TOM) New Caledonia, the official currency is the CFP Franc, which is pegged to the Euro.

1 euro = 100 cents. Currency abbreviation: €, EUR (ISO code). There are banknotes in the values 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 euros, coins in the nominal amounts 1 and 2 euros, as well as 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents.

Credit cards

International credit cards are accepted by many hotels, stores, and car rental companies. Details from the issuer of the respective credit card.

ec / Maestro card / Sparcard

Attention: Travelers who pay with their bank card abroad and want to withdraw money should find out about the possibilities of using their card from their bank before starting their journey.

Bank opening times

Mon-Fri 7.45am-11.30am and 1pm-3pm.

Foreign exchange regulations

  1. France.

Currency Exchange

There are exchange facilities in Cayenne-Rochambeau airport as well as three exchange offices in Cayenne (Guyane Changes, Change Minas and Change Caraïbes) and one exchange office each in Courou, Matoury and Saint-Laurent du Maroni. There are ATMs in Cayenne, Remire-Montjoly, Matoury, Kourou and Saint-Laurent du Moroni.



The official language is French, but a large part of the population speaks Creole. English is spoken too.


Business etiquette

Light tropical clothing is worn for business meetings. Knowledge of French is definitely useful, but almost all business people speak English. The months August to November are the best for business trips. Business hours: Mon-Fri 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.


Latin American Chamber of Commerce in Switzerland
c / o DPS Communications, Gessnerallee 28, CH-8001 Zurich
Tel: (044) 699 54 47.

Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie de la Guyane
Hôtel Consulaire, Place de l ‘Esplanade, BP 49, 97321 Cayenne
Tel: 29 96 00.

Business contacts

Latin American Chamber of Commerce in Switzerland
c / o DPS Communications, Gessnerallee 28, CH-8001 Zurich
Tel: (044) 699 54 47.

Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie de la Guyane
Hôtel Consulaire, Place de l ‘Esplanade, BP 49, 97321 Cayenne
Tel: 29 96 00.



Dial-up remote service.


GSM 900 mobile network, network operator is France Caraïbe Mobiles (Internet: The reception / transmission range is largely limited to areas near the coast, partly also inland. Cell phones can be rented on site. Roaming contracts exist with many countries, including Germany, Austria and Switzerland.


The main provider is Wanadoo (Internet: Internet cafes can be found in Cayenne.

Post Office

The main post office is in Cayenne on Baduel Street. Mail to Western Europe takes around 7 days. Post offices are open Monday to Friday from 7.30 a.m. to 1.30 p.m.


Since the use of shortwave frequencies changes several times over the course of a year, it is advisable to contact Deutsche Welle customer service directly (Tel: (+49) (0228) 429 32 08. Internet: to request.



Nice souvenirs are hammocks, ceramics, wooden figures and gold jewelry.



There are night clubs in Cayenne, Kourou and St. Laurent du Maroni. Cayenne has three cinemas showing French films. There is also a cinema in Kourou.




Since the European space station was located in French Guiana, several well-equipped, air-conditioned hotels have been built. Cayenne, Kourou, St. Laurent du Maroni and Maripasoula offer comfortable and functional accommodation. Prices are higher than in Suriname or Guyana. An inexpensive alternative is Bed & Breakfast (overnight stay with breakfast). You can also rent a small country house (gîte rural). Further information is available from the Comité du Tourisme de la Guyane (see addresses).


Only permitted inland. Sometimes carbets (jungle huts) are available, in which you can hang a hammock. Mobile homes are also rented out. Information from the Comité du Tourisme de la Guyane (see addresses).



Mostly Roman Catholic, other Christian minorities.

Social rules of conduct

Low-key everyday clothing is appropriate almost everywhere. Swimwear that is too tight is not welcome. The usual forms of courtesy are expected. Tip: 10% in hotels and restaurants. Taxi drivers do not expect tips.


Best travel time

Tropical. Dry season August – December, rainy season between December to February, dry March to mid-April, further rainy season until July. Highest rainfall in May and June (continuous rain). Hot all year round with cooler nights.


Area code +594 Area (sqkm) 83,534 Population 254541 Population density (per sqkm) 3 Population in 2015 Member of the EU No main emergency number 112