French Guiana is one of the five overseas departments of France, situated on the northern Atlantic coast of South America. It is the only country in South America to be fully integrated into a European Country.
The country is entirely covered in rainforests, with several small rivers and creeks.
The country’s unspoiled wilderness is home to a diversity of wildlife. French Guiana doesn’t have a very structured tourist infrastructure; hence, it is recommended to hire a tour company to take you around this beautiful country. Before you leave, be sure to purchase
travel insurance or
travel medical insurance
to stay protected against the unexpected.
Things to Do for Travelers in French Guiana
We promise that you won’t miss the hustle and bustle of city life in this beautiful tropical country. French Guiana can have a therapeutic effect, and here are the top experiences worth your time:
Centre Spatial Guyanais (Guiana Space Centre): The French government in 1964 chose this rainforest for a space center, due to a low population density and distance from earthquake zones and storm tracks. Assisted by French-speaking guides, you can watch a movie about the history of the Space Center and take a tour of the Jupiter Control Center and Ariane facilities. The tour and film will last about three hours. The center conducts up to nine rocket launches throughout the year, and if your trip happens to occur during any of these launches, you can book tickets and enjoy the event.
Tresor and Kaw Nature Reserve: This is French Guiana’s most accessible rainforest, spread over 2 kilometers (about 1.4 miles). It is a great way to experience its rich diversity and wildlife. Inside the rainforest, you can book a boat tour and witness caimans, alligators, and several species of water birds. The nature reserve trail is relatively short; however, you can spot thousands of plant species, several fish, amphibians, birds, bats, and several varieties of mammals.
Stroll along the Remire-Montjoly Beach: The long but narrow beach is ideal for swimming, and the palm trees, grey rocks, and red clay-colored sand make a perfect backdrop for exciting photos. Turtles crowd the beach more than people during the nesting season. Strong winds and calm waters make this perfect for kitesurfing. The beaches are never packed, making it the highlight of a quiet relaxing French holiday.
Fort Cépérou: This is a wooden fort built on a hill overlooking the mouth of the Cayenne River in 1643. The fort gives a birds-eye view of the capital city of Cayenne. It is the main historical site of French Guiana and depicts the country’s rich history before the French took it.
Take a Tour of the Last Remaining Amerindian Village: Such visits are limited, and a permit must be obtained from the Prefecture. You can visit riverside Amerindian villages along the north coast of South America. The villagers still follow traditional cultural lifestyles and supplement their incomes by selling handicrafts to visitors.
Travel Risks for International Travelers in French Guiana
Travel can give you a much-needed break, but any new place presents its own set of dangers. French Guiana is generally safe, but staying vigilant can safeguard you from facing problems in the country.
Here are some common risks that international travelers are exposed to in French Guiana:
Travelers to French Guiana are at high risk of the Zika virus. Dengue fever and malaria are also common to the region, and outbreaks can happen throughout the year.
Prevent mosquito bites and carry required medicines, practice standard precautions, and get appropriate vaccinations before traveling.
Water-related mishaps pose a high risk for tourists in French Guiana. Trained tour guides with a proper license can help you evade such events.
Crime rates are low in this quaint South American country. However, avoiding isolated areas, including beaches and particularly after dark, is recommended. Avoid carrying a lot of cash or jewelry with you during site visits.
The high frequency of heavy showers, severe thunderstorms, and flooding is a part of French Guiana. Thus, staying safe during such times is advisable.
Due to the inaccessibility of tourist spots and the absence of English-speaking population in the country, tour guides are essential. Many local tourism companies dupe international travelers. Canceled rides and tours are possible due to unprofessional agencies.
French Guiana Travel Medical Insurance for International Travelers – FAQs
In a new country, if you ever need medical attention, you don’t want to pay all expenses out of your pocket. This can become a cause of concern, both financially and mentally.
The healthcare system in French Guiana is not very developed due to the area’s remoteness. Hence, evacuating to a nearby country with better facilities would almost certainly be mandatory. All these procedures can go much more smoothly if you have travel insurance.
Do I need travel medical insurance for French Guiana?
Tourists are required to produce vaccination proof for yellow fever upon arrival in the country. Travel medical insurance is not strictly required for entry into the country. However, as discussed, the healthcare system is not very efficient. Medical insurance coverage is definitely recommended when you visit the country.
Why buy travel medical insurance for French Guiana?
Social unrest, natural calamities, and accidental injuries are possible risks when you travel to this South American country. When you buy travel medical insurance, you will have one thing less to worry about.
You must buy travel medical insurance to ensure you stay stress-free during your trip.
French Guiana Trip Cancellation Insurance for International Travelers - FAQs
Touring in French Guiana is comfortable when you book a tour agency. But natural calamities, political unrest, or dishonest tour companies can ruin your trip.
When you buy trip cancellation insurance, you will not be stressed about any party cancelling the tour.
Why buy trip cancellation insurance for French Guiana?
Trip cancellation is almost always an unforeseen event. It could cause serious financial loss due to prepaid, non-refundable expenses like airfare and lodging. Buying travel insurance can eliminate these losses and accompanying frustration caused by trip cancellations.
What all is covered under trip cancellation insurance for French Guiana?
Travel insurance can cover:
- Medical expenses coverage
- Medical evacuation
- Support for loss of baggage and loss of passport
- Cashless treatment during a medical emergency
- Accidental dismemberment
- Legal liabilities
- Trip delays
When you buy travel insurance for your trip, take a detailed description of what all is included in the coverage to enjoy a peaceful vacation. Be sure to pick the plan that best fits your individual needs.
Before You Travel to French Guiana - Do These
- Get vaccinated for routine vaccines. Remember to carry the proof for yellow fever vaccination.
- Make copies of all your essential documents such as visa, travel insurance, passport, etc. Keep them safely along with the original ones.
- Carry lots of mosquito repellents and other medicines to avoid unnecessary hassles during your trip.
- Understand your insurance needs and get the right insurance plan before you reach your destination.