Cruising in French Guiana
First settled by the French in 1604, French Guiana was the site of notorious penal settlements until 1951. The European Space Agency launches its communication satellites from Kourou.
Location: Northern South America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean,
between Brazil and Suriname
Territorial sea: 12 nm
Tropical; hot, humid; little seasonal temperature variation
Low-lying coastal plains rising to hills and small mountains
Lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
The economy is tied closely to the much larger French economy through subsidies and imports. Besides the French space center at Kourou (which accounts for 25% of GDP), fishing and forestry are the most important economic activities. Forest and woodland cover 90% of the country. The large reserves of tropical hardwoods, not fully exploited, support an expanding sawmill industry that provides sawn logs for export.
Cultivation of crops is limited to the coastal area, where the population is largely concentrated; rice and manioc are the major crops. French Guiana is heavily dependent on imports of food and energy. Unemployment is a serious problem, particularly among younger workers.
Airports: 11 (2005)
3,760 km; note: 460 km navigable by small oceangoing vessels and coastal and river steamers, 3,300 km by native craft (2003)
Sailing Specifics: Ports and terminals
Degrad des Cannes
Other Sailing Destinations in the Region
Argentina - Belize - Brazil - Chile - Colombia - Costa Rica - Ecuador - El Salvador - French Guiana - Guatemala - Guyana - Honduras - Mexico - Nicaragua - Panama - Peru - St. Pierre and Miquelon - Suriname - Uruguay - Venezuela