Overland French Guiana Travel
Pan American Highway > French Guiana
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- 1 Visiting French Guiana
- 2 Entering French Guiana with a Car or Motorbike
- 3 Driving in French Guiana
- 4 Gas price in French Guiana and Diesel price in French Guiana
- 5 Safety and Security Considerations
- 6 Camping in French Guiana
- 7 Navigation
- 8 Special Overland Travel interests
- 9 Vehicle Maintenance
- 10 Buy or sell a car or motorbike in French Guiana
- 11 References
- 12 Helpful External links
Visiting French Guiana
French Guiana is part of France (European Union). Expect to find French road rules, French policing, Euros and French language. The common Overland route is from Brazil (Oiapoque to St Georges) to Suriname (Albina to St Laurent du Maroni), there are very few roads to the interior.
Entering French Guiana with a Car or Motorbike
Correct as of: November 2014
New Update: As reported by www.tuckstruck.net on April, 5. 2017 They crossed from Brazil to French Guiana on the bridge.
(To check if you need a travel Visa for French Guiana, application instructions and fees see: French Guiana Visa online application at VisaHQ.com)
- Passport of registered owner.
- Drivers license of registered owner.
- Original vehicle registration.
- Proof of vehicle insurance.
- Visa if from a country requiring a visa to enter France.
Process at border
- Entering the other side of the river with the ferry, you first go to immigration.
- EU passport holders will not need to do anything (not even get a entry stamp), people of other passports will need to complete appropriate paperwork/ get officially entered into France.
- You should have vehicle insurance. We were only asked to show proof of insurance on exit. Insurance can be purchased in Albina (Suriname), but we didn't find any in Oiapoque (Brazil).
Cost of entry
European vehicles are free to enter French Guiana (France).
Permitted length of stay
- Europeans unlimited.
- Other countries will vary.
Extension of stay
Describe the process to extend the permitted length of entry for the vehicle, if possible.
Storing a vehicle and temporarily leaving the country
Some EU citizens leave their vehicles for unlimited periods, while they return to their home country or Metropolitan France.
Exiting with a vehicle
- In St Laurent du Maroni the immigration and Aduanas is conveniently at the same port as the vehicle ferry. In St Georges immigration is in Rue du Commandant Kodij, Aduana is on the river front.
- If you are traveling to (or from) Brazil (Oiapoque) the bridge is not open (November 2014) and you will need to take a vehicle ferry. It is operated privately by Lunay, details as follows:
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (might be worth emailing them in advance to try to coincide your journey with others, as this makes the price significantly less).
Open hours: 8.00-12.00 and 14.00-18.00. New Update: As reported by www.tuckstruck.net on April, 5. 2017 They crossed from Brazil to French Guiana on the bridge.
Driving in French Guiana
Recommended books for Overlanding in French Guiana
Travel insurance for French Guiana
Vehicle insurance requirements
European third party insurance is required.
Cost of vehicle insurance
State the price of insurance and a time period.
Where to purchase vehicle insurance
Can be purchased in Albina (Suriname). Europeans can buy from their home country.
State the kind of driving licenses required. i.e. International Driving Permit.
Driving side of road
Right hand side. Right hand drive can be legally driven.
Mandatory items in vehicle
State any mandatory items that must be carried in the vehicle. (i.e. safety triangle, first aid kit, fire extinguisher, etc.)
General Road quality
Roads are generally very good, there is asphalt from the Brazil border to the Suriname border.
European quality of signs, French.
No tolls have been experienced.
Bribery in French Guiana
Do not expect bribery in French Guiana.
There was a checkpoint between the Brazil border and Cayenne (on the river), and another between Cayenne and St Laurent du Maroni. Both checked passports of driver and passenger, but did not check vehicle papers (but they could).
Traveling with pets
List the entry requirements and anything else required to travel with a pet.
Gas price in French Guiana and Diesel price in French Guiana
Last updated: Jan 2014)
Currency and unit to display:
Gasoil = diesel
Essance = Gasoline
Fuel prices seemed to be about 20% more than in Europe.
|Unleaded||$0.00 USD per Gallon (US)|
|Diesel||$0.00 USD per Gallon (US)|
Gas and Diesel Availability / Frequency
No gas shortages are known.
From the Brazilian border there isn't a gas station until you are almost in Cayenne. Cacoa has an unmanned station with a phone number to call. Filling up in Brazil is generally less expensive.
Gas and Diesel Quality
Gasoline and diesel are to a European standard.
State the sulfur content of diesel, if known.
Safety and Security Considerations
Driving at night
Discuss driving at night and if it should it be avoided. Mention why.
In St Laurent du Maroni we parked overnight beside the river behind the tourist information. Police came and warned us that it might be a problem spot, but we had no problems. If vehicles can not be parked on the street, list the other options that exist.
Special driving considerations
A List of special things to be careful of (i.e. Unsigned speed bumps, abnormal road rules, people or animals on the road, etc.).
List any roads that are not recommended to drive for safety or other security reasons.
Security advisories and information
- Country Specific Information - U.S. Department of State
- Travel Reports and Warnings - Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
- Travel advice by country - Foreign and Commonwealth office (U.K.)
- Travel Advice for French Guiana - Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Camping in French Guiana
No paid camping facilities were found in French Guiana.
List the approximate average price range of camping in organized campgrounds.
In the absence of paid camping, wild and street camping (pamping) is the only option. No problems were experienced in using pamps varying from street camps to beachside to hotel parking areas to picnic grounds. Sometimes you might find "carbets en foret" where people can hang a hammock free and you can also pamp overnight (and sleep).
Camping guide books
List and link to books specifically for camping.
Describe if the regular tap water is safe to drink. If not, describe where safe water can be purchased and the approximate average price range.
Reise Know-How are amoung the best paper maps. Purchase paper maps before arriving in French Guiana
GPS Maps of French Guiana
Review different GPS companies, quality and coverage (Tomtom, Garmin, OSM, Tracks4Africa). (with links to each).
GPS co-ordinates for camping, propane, gas, repairs, etc. in French Guiana
- iOverlander is a website and iPhone application designed by Overlanders, for Overlanders. It contains GPS co-ordinates and reviews for camping, hotels, propane, water, mechanics, borders and much more.
Link to sites that have a list of GPS co-ordinates (or directions) for camping locations (including "wild" campsites), propane filling, gas stations, repair shops, places of interest, etc.
Special Overland Travel interests
If you wish to see a shuttle launch in Kourou then you should check the schedule and book in advance (up to a week ahead should suffice). Go to www.cnes.fr for information. You can also book at the tourist office in Cayenne or Kourou.
French Guyana is a good place to enjoy Cheese, Salami, French Wine.
In Cayenne there are several coin operated Laundry places.
4x4s / Trucks
- Toyota Global Dealer Locator
- Land Rover International Dealer Locator
- Mercedes Benz International (select country on bottom right)
- Jeep International site locator
Add known good mechanics here.
Buy or sell a car or motorbike in French Guiana
Describe how a foreigner can buy a vehicle. List any difficulties or limitations on where the vehicle can be driven. Things are generally expensive in French Guiana.
Describe how a foreigner can sell a foreign-plated vehicle, or list not possible.'
Links to the source of any information - blogs or discussion forums, etc.
Add any helpful external links here.