French Guiana Holidays, Events, Climate and Sightseeing

French Guiana Holidays and events

Public holidays

Religious festivals or holidays

Date Event
April 21 Easter Monday
May 29 Ascension of Christ
June 09 Whit Monday
15th of August Assumption Day
25 December Christmas

Other feasts and holidays

Date Event
January 1 New Year
04-05 March carnival
May 1 Labor Day
May 15 Victory Day in World War 2
July 14 Revolution Day (commemorates the storming of the Bastille)
November 11 Remembrance day on the occasion of the victory in World War I

Source: Countryaah

Cultural events

The carnival in Cayenne is lavishly celebrated with a large all-day parade.

Sporting events

You can fish well from the cliffs. You can swim well near the Ile de Cayenne. There are good opportunities for water skiing in Kourou and Roura. Hikes inland are possible. However, a permit from the prefecture is required to visit and stay overnight in the interior.

General note

There is no special dress code. On the occasion of business meetings, however, one should appear in tropical clothing. Low-key clothing is always appropriate, and swimwear that is too tight is not welcome.

French Guiana, climate

Travel times

The idea of what is meant by a particularly favorable travel climate depends on a number of factors. The ideas of pure cultural travelers are certainly completely different from those of people who, for example, want to spend a pure beach holiday. The state of health or age can also play an important role.

The country has a tropical climate. That means it rains all year round and it’s very warm. The humidity is high. There is a rainy season, which is why the dry season from July to December is the most pleasant time to travel, especially as dangerous landslides and floods can occur during the rainy season. The northeast trade wind mitigates the heat on the coast, which is without a doubt the most attractive region of the country for tourists. The rainforest in the interior of the country is a bit hotter, with most of the rainfall falling in the center and west of the country. In contrast to the Caribbean, there are no hurricanes in French Guyana.

French Guiana: Attractions

Major cities in the country

Cayenne

Cayenne has around 60,000, making it the largest city and the capital of French Guiana. The city is located on the Cayenne peninsula on the Atlantic coast. Kourou Kourou has around 25,000 residents, making it the third largest city in the country. The city is about 40 km northwest of Cayenne on the Atlantic coast.

Special buildings

Prefect’s

residence The prefect’s residence from the 19th century. located in Georgetown

Place Victor Hugo

The colorful quarter around Place Victor Hugo in Cayenne is very attractive because of the preserved colonial architecture.

Special facilities

Lausat Canal The Lausat

Canal in Cayenne dates from 1777.

Military base of the Foreign Legion

France maintains a military base of the Foreign Legion here in its overseas territory in Rochambeau. The official tasks are to secure the borders and especially the protection of the space station. But the base is also intended as a starting point for military operations in the region, so soldiers of the Foreign Legion started from here in March 2004 on a mission to Haiti.

Jungle

Fighting School The jungle fighting school (Center d’entraînement à la forêt équatoriale, CEFE) of the Foreign Legion, which is maintained by the French military in Régina, also trains special units from other countries – for example the KSK from Germany (Special Forces Command) or the Navy Seals from the USA.

Kourou Space Center

From the Kourou Space Center (Center Spatial Guyanais – CSG) the Ariane rockets, which were launched from here for the first time in 1979 (Ariane-1), start. And since 2010 the Russian Soyuz rockets have also started here. For this purpose, a new launch ramp comparable to the rigid ramp in Baikonur was built. The launch site is close to the Atlantic at a geographical latitude of approx. 05 ° North, which has the advantage that this proximity to the equator gives the rocket an initial speed of 0.46 km/h due to the rotation of the earth. At higher latitudes, this earth speed is correspondingly lower and the rocket is therefore faster relative to the earth’s surface. Furthermore, there are no hurricanes or earthquakes here. Since the launch site is close to the Atlantic,

The launch site was built by France in 1964 for its national missile program, but was taken over for its missile launches after ESA was founded in 1975. The spaceport has the official designation CSG (Center Spatial Guyanais).

During the first few years there were only smaller launch systems for the then Diamant rocket and the Europa rocket, but over the years newer and more powerful systems were built. The new launch facilities built for the Ariane rockets are known as ELA (Ensembles de Lancement Ariane).

ELA 1 (Ariane 1 to 3) was dismantled in 1991.

ELA 2 (Ariane 4 and three times start of Ariane 2 or 3)

ELA 3 (start systems for Ariane 5)

In addition to the Ariane and the Soyuz, the smaller “Vega” solid-fuel rockets will also be launched from here in 2010. The Vega is intended to bring smaller loads into lower orbits. It takes off from the modified ramp from which the first Ariane-1 rocket was launched in 1979.

Museums

Haut-Maroni and Haut-Oiapoque,

The two Indian villages of Haut-Maroni and Haut-Oiapoque can only be visited with the permission of the prefecture.

St. Laurent du Maroni

St. Laurent du Maroni was originally the arrival station of the exiles. Besides the colonial architecture, the attractions are some cells and rooms that show the tough everyday life of prisoners at that time.

Opera and theater

Îles du Salu

North of Kourou are these islands, made famous by novels like “Papillon”. It was a penal colony guarded by inhuman guards and sharks in the surrounding water. The small Île du Diable (Devil’s Island) is the main attraction of this archipelago, which was discovered by settlers in the 18th century as a mosquito-free paradise. Sea turtles (which go ashore at Mana from April to September), coconut palms, and some ruins add to the islands’ appeal.

Churches

Eglise Saint Joseph

This church is in Iracoubo.

Université des Antilles et de la Guyane

The University of Antilles Guiana was founded in 1969 and acts as the French “overseas” university for French Guiana, Guadeloupe and Martinique. Approximately 12,000 students are currently enrolled at this university.

Natural beauties

Soft ecotourism is en vogue in French Guiana. The rainforest covers large parts of the country and is the largest contiguous forest area in France and the European Union.

Botanical Garden

The Botanical Garden in Cayenne with a size of 48 (!) Hectares is worth a visit.

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