On the top shoulder of South America rests the three countries of the Guiana Shield: Suriname, Guyana, and French Guiana. All three countries are located along the Caribbean coast and all are part of the Guiana Shield, a 1.7 billion-year-old Precambrian geological formation and one of the highest biodiverse regions in the world. Indeed, the shield boasts 1,400 vertebrate species and 1,680 bird species and is overlain by the largest expanse of undisturbed tropical rain forest in the world.
Despite this shared commonality, each country in the Guianas has its own distinct cultural heritage. This is because each has been colonized by a different European nation.
French Guiana, or “Guyane” as it is frequently (and confusingly) called locally, is a Department of France. Therefore, visiting French Guiana means you are also visiting the European Union. And it shows: late-model Mercedes or Volkswagon line the paved roads, coffee shops offer endless supplies of espresso, and residents use the Euro as currency. The history of French Guiana, however, is filled with stories of prisoners and possibility. Wonder at the Space Center and relive the story of Papillion at Devil’s Island.
Join Ker & Downey as we travel the Guianas: Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana. Contact a Ker & Downey expert to customize your next adventure in this untouched and unique part of the South America.