Visit South America's French Guiana for a taste of exotic France and the European Space Agency. Book with Journey Latin America.
Guyane (French Guiana) is not an independent nation; it’s an overseas department of France and therefore part of the EU. The country is a melting pot of ethnic diversity – creole and immigrants make up 80% of a population which also includes metropolitan French, Amerindians and Maroons - the descendants of escaped slaves.
Geographically, the country is a tangle of rainforest with an incredible biodiversity. The mangrove swamps of Kaw are one of Guyane’s most accessible wildlife areas.
However, Guyane is most famous for the former penal colony immortalised in the film Papillon. The abandoned penal colonies are now historical monuments in themselves, and visitors are drawn to the Îles de Salut including Devil’s Island. The main island, Île Royale, offers an evocative insight into the conditions the prisoners faced, since many of the cells can still be visited.
Guyane seldom hits the news - except when there is activity at the European Space Station at Kourou. The space station visitors' centre is open except when the next launch of the Ariane rocket is imminent.
Holidays French Guiana
From expertly designed Private Journeys to trail-blazing Group Tours, browse our range of carefully crafted holidays.
Group - Discovery
/ Guyana / French Guiana / Suriname
Coq of the Rock: Trailblazing the Guianas
18 days from £3,962pp
Suriname / French Guiana / Guyana
Discovering the hidden Guianas
15 days from £5,100pp
Things to do
We proudly offer the widest range of activities, excursions and one-of-a-kind experiences across all our destinations, tried and tested personally by our travel experts.
Where to go when - our guide to French Guiana
The weather in French Guiana is wide and varied
A melting pot of ethnic diversity, Guyane (French Guiana) is most famous for its former penal colony immortalised in the book Papillon. Mostly covered in dense rainforest, French Guiana is a perfect destination for wildlife enthusiasts and is also home to the European Space Station where if you’re lucky you may see a rocket launch. The climate across the country is tropical and temperatures average 27°C throughout the year, although it can be cooler at night in the highlands than on the coast. The driest and sunniest season is Aug-Oct. In January and February carnival kicks off with street parades and parties bringing the entire country almost to a standstill.View our French Guiana weather guide
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Real Latin America Experts
Paul Winrow-Giffin - Travel Consultant
After graduating in Computer Science, Paul spent seven months travelling from Colombia to Argentina and came home hooked on Latin America.
Carrie Gallagher - Travel Consultant
A former JLA tour leader, Carrie brings a wealth of on-the-ground experience to our London-based Escorted Groups team.
Chris Rendell-Dunn - Travel Consultant
Anglo-Peruvian Chris grew up in Lima and spent much of his adult life in between London and Cusco as a tour leader, before settling permanently in our Sales team.
Ben Line - Travel Consultant
Ben fell in love with Latin America on a six month backpacking trip from Colombia to Mexico in 1995. Since then he has explored most of South America, including living in Peru for a year. He is now Manager of the Tailor-made Department.
Sophie Barber - Travel Consultant
Sophie lived in Chile before joining us and has travelled extensively across Latin America, from Mexico to the furthest tip of Patagonia.
Kathryn Rhodes - Travel Consultant
Kathryn backpacked across Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru before joining us. She has a degree in Philosophy and French and is a keen netball player.