February 2012
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Travel – Saint-Laurent – a city in French Guiana (South America)

Saint-Laurent is a city located in French Guiana (which in turn is located in the Amazon region of South America) and is under French control and hence the name French Guiana. French Guiana has a border with Atlantic Ocean. It lies between Brazil and Suriname, to the east lies Brazil and to the west Suriname. It is an overseas region of France, and as a result, and would seem a bit strange, its currency is the Euro. Saint Laurent is one of French Guiana’s administrative divisions, which are divided into 2 arrondissements and 19 cantons and 22 communes in overall. This city is located on the Maroni River that forms the natural border between Surinam and French Guiana.
The official language is French, but Creole is also widely spoken. Few understand English here. On the Maroni rive, Taki-taki is spoken and basic Portuguese and basic Spanish are understood.

Attractions of Saint-Laurent and around:
• The Camp de la Transportation: This is on rue Tanon in Saint-Laurent. This is where prisoners are arrived for processing. There are Guided tours for 90 minutes which includes the cells and public execution areas.
• Emerald jungle village: This village is one of the most famous for eco tourism. It is in the cayenne region and has a solar powered lodge which is also a French Foreign Legion post and is abandoned now. The building comprises of a library and on the property lie the botanical trail.
The lodge conducts excursions through eastern French Guiana; canoes and mountain bikes are also available on rent.
• Hattes Beach: This is the single nesting site for the giant leatherback turtles in the world. These turtles nest from April to July which is peak season for more than 200 leatherbacks. Their eggs are known to hatch from July to September. Even green turtles nest here along with Olive ridley turtles and hawksbill turtles. This beach also has a local museum giving information regarding turtles.
• Salvation islands: Its Local Name is Îles du Salut, these are tropical islands and a group of islands that are known for being a brutal penal colony starting from 1852. The group of islands have three islands, they are Île Royale, Île St Joseph, and the Île du Diable which is also known as the “Devil’s Island”, being a penal colony from 1852 to 1953.
The population of these islands is about 2000. These islands are located in shark infested waters.
• Marshes of Caw: This is located in the Cayenne region and is a natural reserve. It is a good place for nature lovers to visit. One can see abundant wildlife in here.
• Cayenne Zoo: This is also in the Cayenne region, and is a zoo that is located in a tropical rainforest.
• Place des Palmistes: This is known as the “place of the cabbage trees” and has monuments and gardens. This place is full of palm trees because of which it’s got its name.
• Avenue du General de Gaulle: This is also in the Cayenne region. This is a well known street for hotels, eateries and boutiques.
• Place Grenoble: This is also in the Cayenne region. This is one of the main town squares full of public buildings.
• Place Victor Schoelcher Market: This is also in the Cayenne region and is Cayenne’s main vegetable market.
• Cayenne River: This is a river where people come to take a walk and enjoy the atmosphere around.
• Musee Departemental: This is also in the Cayenne region and is a museum that was an old Creole home.
• Fort Ceperou: This is also in the Cayenne region and is a fort that dates back to the 17th century and is on a high hillside location with some great views.
• Fort Diamant: This is also in the Cayenne region and is a government structure dating back to the 17th century.
• Remire-Montjoly Beach: This is a beach that is in the Cayenne region; there is an old sugar mill with some ruins. It has great views of the beach.
• Village Chinois (Chinatown): This is also in the Cayenne region. This village is full of Restaurants and markets and a bustling fish market.
• Kourou Space Centre (Centre Spatial Guyanais): This is a Science museum and a space centre in the Kourou region of French Guiana. It is known for more than 500 launches that started in the 1960s. One can take a guided tour and view its six launch sites that are the region’s most popular attractions. This is the space launch center for the European space agency.
• Kourou River: This is in the Kourou region of French Guiana. There are organized rides in pirogues, traditional hollowed-out log canoes.

Best time to visit / climate:
The climate of Saint Laurent is Tropical; hot, humid with minimal seasonal temperature variation.

Location on Google Maps:

View Larger Map

How to get there:

By plane
Cayenne-Rochambeau Airport (CAY) is the local Airport that serves this part of French Guiana.
The flights that serve this region are:
• From Surinam, with Surinam Airways.
• From Brazil, formerly with Penta but now with Air Caribbes.
• From Martinique and Guadeloupe, with Air France and Air Caraibes
• From France, with Air France and Air Caraibes.
• From Panama with Air Caraibes.
• From Costa Rica with Air Caraibes.
• From Dominican Republic with Air Caraibes.
• From Miami with Air France.

By car:
From Brazil a private barge serves across the Oiapoque River.
From Suriname, there is a ferry to cross the Maroni River.

By bus:
From Brazil and Suriname, once you reach the border, cross the river with a motorboat or a dugout canoe.

By boat:
From Brazil and Suriname, one has to cross the rivers Oyapoque and Le Maroni.

Get around: One can take a native craft or vessels and coastal river steamers or take minibuses to go between towns.

Places to stay (hotels / restaurants along with website / contact numbers):

More hotels

Blogs / Sites about Saint Laurent:


Images and photos of Saint Laurent

Google Image Search
• travel-pictures-gallery Link1, Link2
Images of Saint Laurent on Flickr

Space in the Tropics: From Convicts to Rockets in French Guiana Amazon River WILD ROUTES

Videos from youtube:

Crossing the border Suriname – French Guyana

The French Guiana

French Guiana/Guyane

The French Guiana

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