First settled by the French in 1604, French Guiana was the site of notorious penal
settlements (collectively known as Devil's Island ) until 1951. The European Space Agency launches its communication satellites from [[Kourou]]. It is the only portion of mainland South America still governed by an overseas nation.
Tropical; hot, humid; little seasonal temperature variation.
Low-lying coastal plains rising to hills and small mountains, mostly an unsettled wilderness. It also consists of hill plateaus and the Tumuc-humac mountains.
Cayenne-Rochambeau Airport (CAY)
* From [[
Surinam]], with Surinam Airways - actually authorization is suspended * From [[Brazil]], formerly with Penta but now with Air Caraibes[http://www.aircaraibes.com] and TAF[http://www.voetaf.com.br] - TAF doesnt operate anymore in the area* From [[Martinique]] and [[Guadeloupe]], with Air France and Air Caraibes* From [[ France]], with Air France and Air Caraibes[http://www.aircaraibes.com] * From [[Panama]] with Air Caraibes[http://www.aircaraibes.com] * From [[Costa Rica]] with Air Caraibes[http://www.aircaraibes.com] * From [[Dominican Republic]] with Air Caraibes[http://www.aircaraibes.com]
* From [[Miami]] with Air France
From '''Brazil''' you
must take a private barge across the Oiapoque River. Its owner can be contacted in St Georges or in Oiapoque. From '''Suriname''', there is a ferry to cross the Maroni River .
From '''Brazil''' and '''Suriname''', to cross the rivers ''Oyapoque'' and ''Le Maroni'', which takes 15 minutes, it's not very expensive, but you have to [[haggle]].
3,400 km of French Guiana's waterways are navigable by native
craft; 460 km navigable by small oceangoing vessels and coastal and river steamers.
There is limited public transportation throughout the territory. Minibuses go between major towns but there may only be a few per day. Fares are fixed per route; if only going partial distance to Cayenne you may have to pay the full fare. Eg. St. Laurent du Maroni to Kourou you may have to pay the full fare to Cayenne. Fare for St. Laurent to Cayenne is €35.
[[French phrasebook|French]] is the official language of
France, although Creole is widely spoken. The majority of the population speaks French while few understand English. However, some officials, police, and gendarmes may speak English. Because of the presence of many Brazilians and Dominicans, lots of people understand basic Portuguese and basic Spanish. On the Maroni river, Taki-taki is often used