Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni

Travel Guide South America French Guiana Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni

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Introduction

Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni is a commune of French Guiana, an overseas region and department of France located in South America. Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni is one of the two sub-prefectures of French Guiana and the seat of the Arrondissement of Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni. It is the second most populous city of French Guiana.

It is located on the Maroni River (in Dutch: Marowijne), opposite the town of Albina in Suriname which can be reached by ferry or pirogue. It does not, therefore, have an Atlantic coast; this may have affected the choice of the town's location, which can be explained by the desire of the penal authorities to avoid prisoners escaping by a sea route.

The ethnic composition of the town is, as everywhere in French Guiana, diverse: Taki-Taki-speaking Maroons are today the largest ethnic group, followed by Creoles, Amerindians, Haitians, métropolitains and Brazilians.

Maroons will mostly be found in the neighbourhoods called la Charbonnière (Djukas, Samarakas and Paramaccans), les Vampires and les Sables Blancs. Amerindians are located in a few villages on the outskirts of town: Balaté (Arawaks), Paddock, Prospérité, Terre Rouge, Espérance, Village Pierre (Kalinas).

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Sights and Activities

Camp de la Transportation

At the chilling Camp de la Transportation, prisoners arrived for processing and transfer to penal colonies throughout the territory. After walking through the same gates as former inmates, Alfred Dreyfus and Papillon, visitors will see rusty shackles and solitary confinement cells with tiny windows. Abundant foliage has softened some of the grim history here, but the impression of past brutality lingers. Self-guided tours are free, or for a fee, French-speaking guides will take travelers on a more detailed tour. Look for Papillon's name engraved in one of the cells.

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Weather

Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni features a tropical rainforest climate. The temperatures are uniform throughout the year, mostly around 30 °C during the day and 24 °C at night. It has a copious amount of rain throughout the year, classifying it as a rainforest climate as all months have more than 60mm of rain per month.

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Getting There

By Car

Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni can be accessed chiefly by road, the Route Nationale 1, from Cayenne.

By Bus

There are buses and minibuses (shared taxis) that ply the route from here to Cayenne, via Kourou.

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Keep Connected

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

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Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni Travel Helpers

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This is version 2. Last edited at 11:38 on Aug 1, 16 by Utrecht. 2 articles link to this page.

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