Cayenne is the capital city of French Guiana which is part of France, the EU and Schengen community. Cayenne offers the following points of interest for tourists and photographers;
- Place des Palmistes (and Suriname consulate)
- Trips to Salvation Islands (Les Îles Du Salut)
- Prefecture building
- Statue of Felix Eboue
- Fort Cépérou
- Botanical gardens
- Cathedral of Saint-Sauveur
- Alexandre-Franconie museum
Is it possible to be in Europe and South America at the same time? If it is, then French Guiana is where it’s possible. The people speak French, the currency is Euros and you enter the country under the same conditions you enter France and the EU.
In downtown Cayenne you’ll find lots of restaurants and bars, as you’re in France the baguettes and bread are very good.
Cayenne is a walkable city, you can see most of the sites of the city on foot. It can get quite hot so walking early morning or evening is a good idea. You’ll be able to photograph French colonial buildings (above), architecture and historical monuments such as the statue of Felix Eboue whilst exploring the city.
I had to make a stop in Cayenne because I needed to get a visa for the next country, Suriname. Getting the visa is a very simple process. You hand over your passport and €20 and they put a tourist card in your passport. Probably the easiest visa you’ll ever get! The price of the tourist visa has recently gone up to €30 but the process remains the same. The Consulate of Suriname is located at 3 avenue Léopold Héder in downtown Cayenne close to Palm Tree Park (Place Des Palmistes).
I took a 1 hour, €10, share taxi from Cayenne to Kourou. From there I took a Catamaran to the Salvation Islands (Les Îles Du Salut), these are about 10km further north and cost €30 return.
The Salvation Islands (Les Îles Du Salut) offer the following points of interest for tourists and photographers;
- Devils Island (Île du Diable)
- Royal Island (Île Royale)
- St Joseph Island (Île Saint-Joseph)
- Wildlife including tufted capuchin, agouti, humming birds, iguanas, macaws, squirrel monkeys
I had about 4-5 hours on the Royal Island, which gave me plenty of time to walk around, take lunch and to take lots of pictures of the wildlife.
There are plenty of quiet areas just off the path on the island, if you go alone and sit quietly, the wildlife will come to life around you. Just be careful of the monkeys!
You’ll have about 6 hours on the Salvation Islands which gives you plenty of time to photograph the wildlife. There is a good quality restaurant located on the Island which I recommend whilst waiting for the return Catamaran to Kourou.