15 Best Places And Things To Do in Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni, France

Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni is a vibrant city located in French Guiana, an overseas department of France. Situated on the western border of French Guiana, near the Maroni River, the city offers a unique blend of cultural diversity, natural beauty, and historical significance. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni:

1. Camp de la Transportation

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One of the city’s most significant historical sites, Camp de la Transportation was a notorious penal colony during the 19th and 20th centuries. Explore the remains of this former prison, learn about its dark past, and gain insights into the lives of the prisoners who were sent here.

2. Musée de l’Espace

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This space museum is dedicated to the history of space exploration in French Guiana. Discover the region’s connection to the European Space Agency (ESA) and learn about the launches that take place from the nearby Guiana Space Centre. The museum houses interactive exhibits, models, and artifacts related to space exploration.

3. Maroni River

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Take a boat tour along the Maroni River, which forms the border between French Guiana and Suriname. Enjoy the scenic beauty of the river, its lush green surroundings, and the opportunity to spot diverse wildlife. You can also visit riverside villages and interact with the locals to learn about their culture and traditions.

4. La Pointe Liberté

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This picturesque area is located at the confluence of the Maroni and Lawa rivers. It’s a great spot for a picnic, where you can relax and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere while taking in the beautiful views. The site also has historical significance as it was once an important point for the arrival of goods and immigrants.

5. Saint-Jean-Baptiste Church

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Visit this charming church, which is one of the oldest buildings in Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni. The church’s architecture reflects its colonial past, and it serves as a reminder of the city’s historical roots.

6. Plage les Hattes

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Located a short distance from Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni, Plage les Hattes is a stunning beach known for its nesting grounds of leatherback turtles. Take a leisurely stroll along the sandy shores, swim in the crystal-clear waters, and if you visit during nesting season, you might witness the incredible sight of turtles coming ashore to lay their eggs.

7. Hiking and Nature Exploration

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The surrounding region of Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni offers numerous opportunities for hiking and nature exploration. Head to the nearby Montagne des Singes (Monkey Mountain) or the Nouragues Nature Reserve for a chance to see diverse flora and fauna in their natural habitats.

8. Balaté Village

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Located just outside the city, Balaté Village offers a glimpse into the indigenous cultures of French Guiana. Discover the traditional way of life, learn about their customs and traditions, and witness artisanal crafts being made. This cultural immersion experience provides valuable insights into the region’s rich indigenous heritage.

9. Cultural Center

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Pay a visit to the city’s cultural center, Maison du Patrimoine, which hosts various exhibitions and events throughout the year. From art exhibitions to live performances, this cultural hub offers a platform for local artists and provides an opportunity to engage with the dynamic arts scene of Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni.

10. Kayaking and Canoeing

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With its proximity to the Maroni River and other waterways, Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni is an ideal destination for kayaking and canoeing enthusiasts. Rent a kayak or canoe and embark on a thrilling adventure, navigating through scenic waterways, and immersing yourself in the natural beauty of the region.

11. Local Cuisine

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Indulge in the flavors of French Guiana by exploring the city’s culinary scene. Sample traditional dishes influenced by Creole, African, and indigenous cuisines. Try local specialties such as cassava bread, pimentade (spicy fish stew), and acoupa fish. Don’t miss the opportunity to savor the vibrant flavors and unique culinary traditions of the region.

12. Festival of Saint Laurent

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If you happen to visit during the Festival of Saint Laurent, you’re in for a treat. This annual celebration takes place in August and features vibrant parades, music performances, dance shows, and a range of cultural activities. Join in the festivities and experience the lively atmosphere of this colorful event.

13. Guiana Space Centre

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Just a short distance from Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni lies the renowned Guiana Space Centre. Take a guided tour of this state-of-the-art facility and learn about the fascinating world of space exploration. Witness the launch pads, visit the control room, and gain insights into the cutting-edge technology used in space missions.

14. Saint-Laurent Market

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Explore the vibrant Saint-Laurent Market, a bustling hub of activity where you can find a wide array of fresh produce, spices, handicrafts, and local products. Engage with friendly vendors, immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere, and get a taste of the local flavors by sampling regional delicacies.

15. Attend Cultural Events

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Keep an eye out for local cultural events and festivals taking place during your visit. From traditional music and dance performances to art exhibitions and theatrical shows, these events provide an opportunity to immerse yourself in the vibrant culture and creative expressions of the region.