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 Saint Laurent du Maroni - Profile

Location

Saint Laurent lies on French Guiana's biggest river, the Maroni, which marks the border with Suriname. The port is about 15 miles from the entrance and is opposite the town of Albina in Suriname.

It contains many restored buildings from the period when it served as a French penal colony and is a wonderful historical centre with lots of character.

A new small marina opened here in 2015 which offers lots of services to cruisers.

Position 5°30.2' N, 54° 1.5' W.

Photo courtesy of Terry Teperson.

Clearance

This is an offical Port of Entry.

David (of the Marina/Moorings and Nereid Rally) takes care of all clearance procedures for cruisers, whether you are at anchor or on one of his moorings. He will do all the paperwork and drive you to the PAF (police aux frontières ) at the car ferry dock, to have your passport stamped (entry and exit).

Note, this is not obligatory for European citizens, but prevents issues when your next stop is Suriname.

Last updated December 2016.

Docking

Approach

A buoyed channel for cargo vessels marks the route. Following the latest survey of the Maroni River, the minimum depth at high tide is over 4m. The survey and buoy positions can be obtained at: http://marinaslm.com/rally/Downloads.php

If in doubt (buoys are widely spaced), keep as close as possible to the French side of the river.

Beware of fishing nets when approaching the Maroni river's safe water mark.

While night entry is possible, it is not recommended as buoys closer to Saint Laurent are not lit.

Docking

A new marina opened here early 2015 with 20 mooring buoys and a club house / restaurant. The swinging moorings are regularly inspected and can accommodate yachts up to 60 feet.

The marina can now supply fresh water from one of their floating docks. Yachts can now come along-side to fill up (no more jerry jugs from the marina office!). The charge is Euro 0.03 / Litre and is available for all yachts, even if not staying at the marina.

Anchoring

Anchoring is not allowed within the marina zone. Whilst there is no official anchorage, yachts will be asked to move if they drop their hook within 150m of the mooring field.

The Gendarmerie and the Municipal police can issue fines to yachts that do not comply.

Security

The first-known security incident against cruisers occured here in March 2016 when four crew were robbed of their personal items whilst venturing up the Maroni River in their dinghy. See report here.

Last updated November 2017.

Marina Saint Laurent du Maroni
1 Esplanade Laurent Baudin BP230 , 97393 Saint Laurent du Maroni CEDEX , French Guiana
Tel:+594 (0) 694946157
Secure mooring buoys, WiFi, secure dinghy dock, club house/cafe, check-in check-out assistance, water, laundry, ice, extensive electronic library and small book exchange, transport to supermarket, technicians & spare parts, assistance with repairs, fuel bunkering, yacht & freight management, airport pick up & drop off, mail order chandlery, commercial diving. Showers available close by (small fee payable).

Saoirsemor
Saoirsemor says:
May 02, 2016 05:37 PM

We have just been told that you are not allowed to anchor within 150m of the marina moorings or you will be fined. The marina moorings now take up all of the anchorage behind the wreck with the trees growing on it. It seems the anchorage now is about 800m downriver from the marina area.

orionde
orionde says:
Mar 24, 2016 04:59 PM

In March 2016, we stopped here for a couple of weeks with our (french) ovni "Orionde". Everything went wonderfully. Davide (he is Australian/Italian) started this marina (20 buoys and a pontoon for dinghies) only a couple of years ago and we really wish he can develop it.

We leaved the boat on the buoy a few days to have a trip in the forest. We recommand Saül (45 minutes and 130 euros by plane), a village formerly built by gold miners ans now a wonderful place to trek in the forest).

At the marina, we found everything we needed: gaz, conviviality, beer, advices, washing machine, everything...except showers but the water of the river is fresh and the soap works fine!

French Guiana is rather expensive, everything comes from France, so be prepared to pay your noodles more than brazilian or caribbean ones.

If you like french food, go to the restaurant "La Goélette" and try the "Tartare de buffle", raw buffalo meat finely cut and spiced, I'm still dreaming of it!

svRevelations.com
svRevelations.com says:
Jul 24, 2015 10:43 PM

We have been here in Saint Laurent du Maroni for the past two weeks and I can confirm everything "tscott" above says. David Matelicani, the owner of SLM Marina, really went the extra mile assisting us in just about everything we needed. He arranged the complete check-in and check-out procedures and it was done extremely quickly and efficiently - it took 30 minutes to do the entire check out procedure. There are several restaurants in Saint Laurent and you have to try their local dishes. The super market, called "Super U" is well stocked with quality food products - essentially from France. There are numerous anchorages on the wide river with dense forest on it's banks, but not too close to the water edge as it can be quite shallow. At the time of writing, at low tide the sandbar at the entrance is around 2.5 meters deep - but once in the river and within the beacons, the water is much deeper. The tourist office is the place to arrange a number of excursions and events. The main language spoken here is French, so it will be helpful for you to learn the basics - we also met a couple of people who can speak English. As yet, there is no electricity nor any fresh water available at the marina. Fresh water on tap (fully drinkable) is a short distance away from the marina and you will need containers.

Wiets
svRevelations.com

tscott
tscott says:
Jun 24, 2015 10:46 AM

Wow! What a wonderful and underrated town St Laurent is! While the rest of French Guiana was nice, we wished we had spent less time elsewhere and more time in St Laurent! The town is clean, safe, friendly and packed with history. The waterfront area near the main town jetty is a social area for sailors and locals both. A new floating pontoon provides an easy and secure place to leave the dinghy, while the new Marina SLM is up and running providing many services for cruisers. For less than the cost of 2 beers in town you can take one of the secure moorings, which also includes free wifi with a strong enough signal to reach you on the boat! Davide, the owner, has a small cafe where cruisers meet and hang out, drinking cheap beers and proper European coffees. He also has laundry, ice, and an extensive electronic library and small book exchange. Depending on what valve you have, he may be able to fill your LPG bottles. He will help with all clearance formalities, and also offers transport to the supermarket in town which had a selection and prices comparable to the bigger cities. There is a local market just a few minutes walk into town every Wed and Sat, and smaller mini-marts nearby if you just need a few things. Good restaurants and clubs all within walking distance. There is a tourist info center next to the Marina SLM office. Rental cars are available locally which can allow one to drive back to Kourou to see the Space Center, or to Mana to see the leatherback turtles. Also, while the river is still muddy here, the water is clean enough to swim in from the beach (or at slack tide from the boat). The river is easy to navigate and offers several free anchorages along the way if being in the jungle is more to your liking. This is a "must do" stop if visiting French Guiana, and a secure place to leave the boat if you have to fly home.

French Guiana
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Saint Laurent du Maroni
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