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Saint-Laurent du Maroni
French Guyana

Admiring these magnificent aerial views of the former penitentiary municipality and
the subtly shaded Charbonnière neighbourhood overlooking the Maroni River offers
a complete change of scenery. Saint-Laurent’s penitentiary past does not stop it from being a multicultural town which marches to the beat of the festive traditions recognised by its diverse communities.
© Ville de Saint-Laurent du Maroni / Aeroprod

Saint-Laurent du Maroni French Guyana 47
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The second city of Guyana, Saint-Laurent du Maroni is a historic town known for the penitentiary to which so many convicts were deported. Wandering through its small streets, you will come across the “Little Paris,” the soul of the city, where an authentic atmosphere fills the air via historic houses and bright colours. But while Henri Charrière, author of the bestseller “Papillon,” made its penitentiary history famous, Saint-Laurent is now home to many cultures (Asian, Amerindian, Creole, South American), whose art and festive traditions create a fabulous intangible heritage. Between the Carnaval and its “Touloulou” characters, Easter and its famous Awara broth, All Saints’ Day and its graveyard candles, flowers, and decorations, or the Kali’na Games, a yearly sports event featuring Amerindian sports such as canoe carrying or coconut tree climbing, Saint-Laurent offers fun for everyone throughout the year! Filled with flavours, exoticism, and colour, the city’s markets are also unmissable and always showcase a joyful cultural melting pot.