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French Guiana

Modern French Guiana is a land of idiosyncrasies, where European Space Agency satellite launches rattle the market gardens of displaced Hmong farmers from Laos and thinly populated rainforests swallow nearly all but the country's coastline. It boasts the highest standard of living of any 'country' in South America, but look beyond the capital city and you'll still find backwoods settlements of Maroons and Amerindians barely eking out a living. French Guiana is among South America's costliest destinations. Travelling in French Guiana isn't easy, but it is part of the adventure. And if you have Francophile leanings, live in the Americas, and enjoy roughing it in the rainforest, then it's one place where you can have your canapé under the canopy.