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Wonders of French Guiana

Launch of Ariane 5, Kourou
Launch of Ariane 5, Kourou / Douglasfugazi, / CC BY-SA 3.0

WorldBlue  Highlights

French Guiana is an overseas region and overseas department of France.

This country is mostly covered with tropical rainforest and a major part of it is taken the 33,900 km² large Guiana Amazonian Park.

Climate in this lowland rainforest is humid and very hot – thus French Guiana has lots of known (and yet unknown) values of biological diversity, but not that many man-made landmarks. This remote country has been used as a prison in the 19th and 20th centuries but now there is located one of the main spaceports of the world.

Map with the described wonders

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WorldViolet Top 11 wonders of French Guiana

Geological wonders

Voltaire Falls


Comparatively low but picturesque waterfall.

Biological wonders

Savane-Roche la Virginie


Granite inselberg with a barren summit. Extremely rich with bromeliad species, some of these might be endemic to this mountain.

Nouragues Inselberg


In the middle of the equatorial lowland rainforest rises a granite hill (411 m above sea level). It is covered with specific, dry, low forest rich and rock savanna, rich with rare and endemic species. Equatorial Sun heats the rock up to 75° C hot. In French Guiana are more than 100 such inselbergs.

Sight from Nouragues Inselberg, French Guiana
Sight from Nouragues Inselberg / Thibaud Syre, / CC BY-SA 3.0

Archaeological wonders

Les Roches Gravées at Pavée stream


A group of prehistoric petroglyphs.

Les Roches Gravées of Mount Carapa


Group of petroglyphs in the industrial suburb of Kourou.

Les Roches Gravées of Mount Carapa, Kourou in French Guiana
Les Roches Gravées of Mount Carapa, Kourou / Philipp Weigell, / CC BY 3.0
Fawara Mountain petroglyphs near Kaw


A cliff that is covered with intricate petroglyphs. Among the many abstract drawings is seen a drawing of a snake.

Petroglyphs of Maroni River


Rocks that are covered with prehistoric engravings.

Architecture wonders

Iracoubo St. Joseph Church


This church was built by villagers in 1893. The interior of the church is beautiful – covered with 600 m² large, naive frescoes, painted by the convict Pierre Huguet.

Interior of Iracoubou church, French Guiana
Interior of Iracoubou church / Spooky, Wikimedia Commons. CC BY-SA 3.0
Guiana Space Center


One of the busiest and technically most convenient and advanced space centers in the world. Built in 1968 and used jointly by France and the European Space Agency.

ĂŽle du Diable, ĂŽle Sain-Joseph and ĂŽle Royale


Former French penal colony. A fortress was built here in 1793 and soon here arrived the first political convicts. Used as a prison until 1947. On Île Royale were located administration and hospital, Île du Diable – for political enemies and spies, and Île Sain-Joseph – for dangerous criminals. There were other prisons in French Guiana, in the middle of the forest. These prisons were even more deadly.

ĂŽle du Diable, French Guiana
ĂŽle du Diable / Ronan Follic, / CC BY 2.0
Cayenne historical center


The city was established in 1664 and the ruins of Fort Cépérou from this time still are visible but most of the colonial-style buildings are from the 19th – early 20th century. Many buildings are renovated, thus returning a charm to the city.

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