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Awala-Yalimapo, French Guyana

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Awala-Yalimapo, French Guyana

Travel Update: Most destinations are open — check the official websites and read our crucial BEST TIME tips below to help you AVOID CROWDS (Travel with at least 15% off | booking.com)


When Is the Best Time 

The nesting season starts in March and last until August. The best months to observe leatherbacks laying eggs are from April to July.  (French: Tortue Luth). The best time is two hours before or after high tide.  Most of them hatch from June to August and it last until September.

French Guyana is also the nesting site for the Green Turtle and the Olive Ridley Turtle.


It is tropical hot and humid year-round. A little cooler at the rainy season from December to June. Most precipitation from April to June. "Driest" months from August to November. The minimum temperature is 23° C / 73° F and the maximum between 29°-32° C / 84°-90° F.

French Guiana, Les Hattes, Frans-Guyana
Review and Tips 

Awala Yalimpo is a village "Amérindiens Galibi" or Galibi Indians, who manage the coastal reserve. It's the world's largest nesting site for giant leatherback turtles. You can rent a hammock in the village and stay overnight to see the leatherback turtles. There are strict rules of conduct to visit and photograph the huge animals at Hattes Beach / Plage Les Hattes. A very impressive experience.

Thousands of visitors come each year to observe this breathtaking spectacle. French Guyana is an oversea province of France. Although it is not part of the Schengen territory it's easy to visit visa-free.

Facts about Leatherback Turtles

They are the largest sea turtle on earth but unfortunately vulnerable and even endangered in the US. They can be up to 2.4 m / almost 8 feet long and weigh up to 900 kg / almost 2000 lbs. They are in existence for more than 150 million years and survived the extinction of the dinosaurs. Their preferred diet is jellyfish. They can be found almost everywhere in the open ocean due to their ability to tolerate cold water. For mating and nesting season they migrate to tropical and subtropical coastal regions.

Top Tip:
It's a malaria risk area. Bring repellent and a mosquito net. A yellow fever vaccination is necessary. 

(updated by When to be Where)