True adventure: in French Guiana with Alex Vizeo

Nocturnal canoeing, a meeting with sloths, a night in a hammock 20 metres above the ground... This isn't blogger Alex Vizeo's first travel experience by any means, but he's unlikely to forget French Guiana in a hurry. Here he tells us about his dream itinerary.

A surprising encounter near Cayenne.

Allow yourself some time to settle in when you reach Cayenne. Soak up the atmosphere in the market and the colonial architecture. Then follow in my footsteps on the Rorota trail: 90 minutes of rambling through Equatorial forest, finishing up on a lovely beach. And if you look carefully, you can spot the lazy sloths up in the trees...

Sunday in Cacao

Why Sunday? For the market – an experience not to be missed. French Guiana has an incredibly diverse population. In Cacao, the Asian Hmong community enjoys a strong presence, and I enjoyed into sticky rice, fried fish and spring rolls every bit as good as in Vietnam! But before you sit down for lunch, don't miss the amazing guided tour of Le Planeur Bleu insect museum.

A night on the Kaw marshes

You arrive by pirogue at nightfall, at your all-wood floating ecolodge right in the heart of the marshes. Enjoy a festive atmosphere at dinner time. And then, in the dead of night, embark on your canoe again to go and spot the caiman crocodiles. Unforgettable!

Digital detox in Saül

45 minutes on a helicopter and you're officially at the end of the world (remember to pick up a few supplies before you set off from Cayenne). No screens or internet in sight – just your own two feet, authentic encounters and superb walks through the Equatorial forest.

A pirogue trip down the Maroni

Your canoe guide will guide you from Maripasoula to Grand-Santi in 4 to 5 hours. But plan at least two days to go on to Saint-Laurent. You'll want to linger for a while at every stop – the local villages alongside the river offer a truly unique ambiance.

A night in the treetops

Sleeping up in the trees is every kid's dream. In Camp Canopée, you'll set up your hammock in a 'carbet' (tree house) 20 metres high, connected by hanging bridges. Your stay will even include a guided tour of the forest and an accrobranching experience.

A last stop at Salvation's Islands

Adventure to the very end... you thought you'd finish your trip with a relaxing break on paradise beach, but you find yourself in an Indiana Jones mood. Stone paths crawling with vegetation will lead you to the ruins of an ancient prison, surrounded by monkeys and cute local rodents known as agoutis.

Ready for more?

  • The village of Awala: for its quiet beach, (respectful) observation of sea tortoises and discovery of the Amerindian culture of Kali’nas.
  • Kourou: for the Space museum of course, but also for a taste of madras (French Guianan burger) from one of the caravans in the palm-lined square.

Getting to French Guiana