Located on the northeastern coast of South America, French Guiana is an overseas department of France.
With a population of around 300,000 people, French Guiana is the largest and most sparsely populated region of France. Despite its relatively small size, French Guiana is home to a vast array of flora and fauna, including the Amazon rainforest, which covers more than 90% of the territory. French Guiana is also known for its diverse cultural heritage, with indigenous peoples, French colonizers, and African slaves all contributing to the region’s rich and complex history.
Let’s explore the wonders of this beautiful and diverse region of France with these 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.
4. French Guiana is larger than you think!
The total land area of French Guiana is 32,253 square miles (83,534 square kilometers), 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 kilometers) 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!
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.
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.
FAQs about French Guiana
Do you know any fun facts about French Guiana? Share them in the comments below!
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