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Clearing in French Guiana

By SV Vesper III — last modified Sep 15, 2014 03:04 PM

Published: 2014-09-14 23:00:00
Countries: French Guiana

 

I have tried to get cleared in to French Guiana - but it is not like clearing in anywhere else.

I went up the Mahoury River to the marina occupied by long term sailors which is just past the only official port in the country. People there were very nice & helpful to me. I doubled up with another boat at first. I cleared customs during one of the rare times they were open (times = closed at 13.00hr on Monday, Wednesday and Friday / closed for lunch from 13 to 15.00 hr and finish at 18.00hr on Tuesday & Thursday). Beware of many holidays.  French Customs used to be the one that was stamping the passport before, but not anymore & they are not certain who does it now (it is La PAF, probably at the airport) but Customs will give you an in & out clearance for free.

You can go to the Grand Port Maritime de Guyane to pay the slip, but the locals will try to discourage you to do so as lots of them do not pay. I paid 107.01 Euro for 15 days for my 36’ sloop. They will give you the official list of prices. The price includes very good water and 240 vlt electricity. They have a shower but the door is hard to open. A project is scheduled to improve all of the facility.

The tourist office is in Cayenne @ 12, Rue Louis Blanc. The bus in town is very good at about 1.10 Euro per line. There are big chain supermarkets like Giant, Super U, Leader Price, Carrefour across that small Country with lots of choice but with big prices. Hitch hiking does work but be patient.

I also went up the Kourou River. Customs is close to the bridge, use the third wharf if you go with your dingy. It is not necessary to visit Customs if you already did your in and out at another port. Do not take pictures of the first wharf as it is the one that receives the space ship Ariane and they are very keen on the security. Ask permission to the French Foreign Legion (at the end of the wharf) to leave your dingy for an hour or so. There is a good marine store and a Leader Price close by. If you go in to town and want to travel by the excellent bus system, go to the town hall (la Mairie) & they will provide you with the bus schedule & plan. I only found Wi-Fi at the sport bar in front of the post office (La Poste) for 2.50 euro hour. You are in France and it is hard to get communication at the price you would get anywhere else. The tourist office has moved to Avenue de l’Anse on the beachfront & also will be closed for the big lunch.  No one seems concerned if you did an entry or not. The centre of town does not look typical or evident. A fresh fruit market is open between the town hall and the local wharf on Wednesday, Friday & Saturday (Avenue du General de Gaulle).

The rivers are very well buoyed. I prefer Kourou because everything is closer to the boat.

A couple of internet addresses:

tourisme@ville-cayenne-fr  
Ot-kourou@orange.fr

Pierre Lebrun
S/V Vesper III

 

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