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The European space centre and jungle villages

With no railways and only 1,000 kilometres of roads French Guiana (Guyane) is the least developed of the Guianas. However it is not without its technological advances - the European space centre is in Kourou and rocket launches are a popular sight. French Guiana has an interesting history and has many old penal centres in St-Laurent du Maroni and other areas which are a reminder of the original purpose of the outpost. Other draws of the French départment are the unspoilt beaches and rainforest that takes up so much of the land area; home to scarlet ibis, leatherback turtles and hummingbirds amongst many others.

If you have time and budget (French Guiana is expensive), this makes a great addition to a Guyana and Suriname trip, crossing by land at Saint Laurent Du Maroni. You would need two nights in Cayenne, the administrative and commercial centre of French Guiana, from where you could visit a local H’mong village in the jungle with a market and plantations. Two nights in Kourou would give you time to visit the Guiana Space Centre and sail around Devil’s Island (actually triangle of three islands known as the Îles du Salut), seven miles off the coast.

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