interesting facts about French Guiana

🇬🇫 15 Interesting Facts about French Guiana 🇬🇫

Want to learn some interesting facts about the countries of South America? Take a look at these interesting and fun facts about French Guiana.

1.    Funnily enough, it’s property of France!

French Guiana is a French Overseas Territory on the northeast coast of South America.

2.    French Guiana borders some big countries

It is bordered by Brazil to the east and south, and Suriname to the west. It also has a coastline along the North Atlantic Ocean to the north.

The coordinates for French Guiana are 4.0000° N, 53.0000°.

3.    French Guiana has a varied terrain

The terrain here is a beautiful mix of low lying coastal plains, rising to hills and small mountains covered in dense rainforest.

Flag of French Guiana

Flag of French Guiana

4.    French Guiana is larger than you think!

The total land area of French Guiana is 32,253 square miles (83,534 square kilometres), making it slightly larger than Scotland.

French Guiana’s population was 290,691 in 2020, roughly the same as Milton Keynes!

5.    French Guiana is a long-term property of France

Amazingly, the French have been inhabiting French Guiana since 1624!

6.    French Guiana has a bustling capital city

The capital is Cayenne; it covers an area of 9 square miles (24 square kilometres) and had a population of 57,614 in 2015.

7.    The people of French Guiana have long, happy lives

The average life span here is 75.9 years (2020).

8.    You can keep in touch with French Guiana

Want to call your friends in French Guiana?  You’ll need to use the international dialling code of +594.

9.    French Guiana is a huge animal reserve – of sorts!

The beaches in French Guiana are popular turtle nesting sites, particularly for the Leatherback turtle!

facts about french guiana

10. French Guiana was once an exile point

Devil’s Island is an island off the coast of French Guiana where French prisoners were exiled between 1852 and 1953; it was notorious for harsh treatment towards the criminals held here.

11. French Guiana is sweltering!

French Guianese enjoy a tropical climate with hot and humid weather, with little temperature variation throughout the year.

12. French Guiana has a few languages

The official language of French Guiana is, as you may have guessed, French! English and Creole Patois are spoken here, too.

interesting facts french guiana

13. Payments in French Guiana are not what you might expect

Despite being in South America, the official currency of French Guiana is actually the Euro!

14. French Guiana has a famous space centre

French Guiana is home to the ‘Le Centre Spatial Guyanais’, known as the Guiana Space Centre to you and I; the launchpad used by many European countries to launch rockets and satellites into space.

15. French Guiana has an intriguing export scene

Due to a lack of minerals in the soil, commercial scale agriculture is very difficult to achieve here. Despite this, French Guiana grows rice, sugar, cocoa, bananas, vegetables and manioc (a woody shrub of the spurge family, like cassava and tapioca), rears cattle, poultry and pigs and catches fish.

Its industry consists mostly of eco-tourism and forestry.

French Guiana also exports fish, rum, timber, gold and clothing.

Frequently Asked Questions about French Guiana

What is French Guiana best known for?

French Guiana's region of Cayenne is the supposed origin of Cayenne pepper. It's a spice made from dried and ground hot chilli pepper.

Is French Guiana its own country?

French Guiana is classed as an overseas territory of their colonisers, France - it has never gained independence.

What language is spoken in French Guiana?

The official language is French, although regional languages are also spoken - these include Amerindian and Maroon Creole.

What is the capital city of French Guiana?

The capital is Cayenne; it covers an area of 9 square miles (24 square kilometres) and had a population of 57,614 in 2015.


Do you know any interesting or fun facts about French Guiana?  Share them in the comments below!

Are you fascinated with the countries of South America?  Check out these amazing facts about Brazil

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