Your guide to being an expatriate in French Guiana

Caffeinate Your French Guiana Expat Journey: Find Essential Info and Connect with Expatriates Today!

French Guiana is a French overseas territory located in South America. Bordered by Brazil and Suriname, this region has a population of approximately 215,000 people, with most of them living in the capital city of Cayenne. The official language is French, but several indigenous languages such as Palikur, Wayampi, and Galibi are also spoken. With a tropical climate and lush rainforests, French Guiana is a picturesque destination that attracts many expats from all over the world.

French Guiana

Expat destinations in French Guiana

Demographics of French Guiana:

Ethnic groups

The population of French Guiana is diverse, with Creole, European, Amerindian, and Afro-Carribbean heritage. Some of the native tribes include Palikur, Wayampi, and Galibi.


French is the official language of French Guiana, but several indigenous languages such as Palikur, Wayampi, and Galibi are also spoken.

Religion Overview

French Guiana is a secular society, and religion is not a prominent part of daily life. However, the majority of the population identifies as Christian, predominantly Catholic.

Major Religions


French Guiana has a tropical rainforest climate, with high humidity and rainfall throughout the year. The wet season is from December to June, while the dry season is from July to November. The average temperature is between 25°C to 30°C.

Economy Overview

French Guiana's economy is driven by the public sector, with the majority of jobs being provided by the government's space center and military installations. The main sources of income are tourism, forestry, fishing, and agriculture.

Key Industries

  • Space missions
  • Tourism
  • Forestry

Major Companies

  • Thales Alenia Space
  • European Space Agency (ESA)
  • CNES (French Space Agency)

Culture and Language Overview

French Guiana has a unique mix of French and indigenous culture, where Creole, Galibi Carib, Palikur, and Wayampi languages are widely spoken. The cuisine is a blend of French and Amerindian flavors, with dishes such as cassava bread, plantain, and fish stew being popular.

Cultural Highlights

  • Z'Époque festival in Cayenne (October): A celebration of French culture, featuring concerts, theater, dance, and film screenings.
  • Fête de la Caraïbe (August): A six-day festival showcasing Caribbean culture with competitions, concerts, and traditional food.
  • Fête de la Foret (December): A tree-planting ceremony to celebrate the World Forest Day ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference.
  • Marron Raffiné Fest (July): A five-day festival in Saint-Georges de l'Oyapock, featuring cultural events, boat rides, and traditional music.
  • Fête des Peuples (November): A four-day festival in Kourou, celebrating the ethnic and cultural heritage of French Guiana.

Geography and Landmarks Overview

Nestled between Brazil and Suriname, French Guiana is home to vast rainforests, sparkling waterfalls, and pristine beaches. The region's most renowned landmark is the Guiana Space Centre, which has launched various satellites and space missions.

Notable Landmarks

  • Space Centre in Kourou
  • Kourou Lighthouse (1881)
  • Salle de Mars (Space Hall) in Cayenne
  • Roche Hambourg (1786)
  • Mount Mayor (949 m)

National Holidays

  • January 1 - New Year's Day
  • May 1 - Labour Day
  • July 14 - Bastille Day
  • August 15 - Assumption of Mary
  • November 1 - All Saints' Day
  • November 11 - Armistice Day
  • December 25 - Christmas Day

Political Stability

French Guiana is politically and geographically connected to France, and its political system is similar to that of France. French Guiana enjoys political stability, but some of the key issues include environmental conservation, economic development, and reducing poverty.

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