French Guiana is the smallest country on the territory of South America. It has a population of 185 000 people. It borders by two countries – Suriname to the west and Brazil to the east and to the south. There is a wide outlet to the Atlantic Ocean. French Guiana is a French overseas department. There is no capital, but the city of Cayenne play the role of administrative center. Otherwise, the true capital of French Guiana is Paris, despite the great geographic distance. The country’s official language is French, and the official currency is, of course, the Euro.
The relief of French Guiana is flat in the northern parts of the country and hilly in the southern and central parts. There are not high mountains and mountain ranges.
There are only some very slight mountain heights. The highest point in the country is Mount Bellevue, which is located in the central parts of the country and reaches only 851 meters. The lowland territory of the country is barred by the dense river network.
Nature. Almost the entire territory of French Guiana is covered with dense and impassable equatorial forests. The significant daily rainfall has created one of the richest in animal and plant species habitats on the planet.
Here live undisturbed such animals as Jaguar, Tapir, toucan, dozens of species of monkeys and many, many other species. The environment of French Guiana is extremely clean and preserved.
In this respect it could serve as an example to many other countries. In addition to the dense forests, French Guiana has some very beautiful, wild beaches.
The majority of the coast, however, is occupied by the Mangrove, in like manner as Suriname. The mangrove forests are very important environment for many species.
Climate. French Guiana has hot and humid equatorial climate, with very heavy, almost daily rainfall throughout the year. Fall to about 3800 millimeters per year.
Like Guyana and Suriname, the daytime temperatures here are also moving in the range of 29 to 32-33°C, and the night temperatures are about 23°C.
Apparently,the temperature variations are very slight, which is typical feature of the equatorial climate zone. The most heavy rain fall during the first half of the year, but the maximum of precipitation falls in May.
The driest month (if it can be called dry) is September, when the rainfall is „only” around 30 millimeters.
As in the most places in the equatorial climatic zone, there is always a broken clouds, and do not forget about the heat, which is felt throughout the year and is one of the most specific features of the local climate.
The economy of French Guiana relies mainly to the mining and treatment of gold, bauxite, timber and agriculture.
The conditions are perfect for warm-loving and moisture-loving crops such as rice, cassava, sugar cane, bananas and so on. The sugar cane producing is in the base of the producing of the traditional drink of the Caribbean -the rum.
The main arable lands are located near the largest cities of Cayenne and Kuru near by the Atlantic coast.
French Guiana is part of France and as such has a high standard of living of the local population, which strongly differs the country from the most of the countries in the region.
But the high standard of living does not mean that French Guiana is a major economic power. The country is very sparsely populated and vast areas of it are wild and untouched, without any infrastructure.
This is one of the wildest and untouched countries of South American continent. The main transport routes are located in coastal areas, where are also and the biggest part of the cities in this country.
However, French Guiana enjoys many advantages as a French overseas department. Very important role for French Guiana play the space center which is located about ten kilometers west of the town of Kuru.
The location was chosen for launching spacecraft into the space because of its closeness to the equator. In terms of tourism French Guiana has potential for development.
The combination of warm climate, dense jungles, wild beaches can be quite profitable for this sparsely populated country.
Cities. The cities in French Guiana are small and concentrated along the coast. They form mini-agglomeration, because of the small distance between them.
The biggest city is the administrative center Cayenne, which has population of about 70 000 people or almost ½ of the population of the country.
The second largest city is Kuru and it is located approximately 40 kilometers west of Cayenne. Between the two cities there are smaller settlements of rural type. Inside the country there are some small towns mainly in the border areas, especially on the border with Suriname.