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How to Get to the French Guiana Brazil Border

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Traveling through the Guyanas is no easy task! Getting to the French Guiana Brazil border from the Guyanas was definitely an experience. While it was a bit time consuming, we were able to save a ton of money traveling to Brazil from the Guyanas this way.


There is very limited information on the internet, and most articles are at least a few years old. You can imagine that this gave us a lot of anxiety before we went, as we didn't really know what to expect. That's why we're here to help! Keep reading to learn all about traveling to the French Guiana Brazil border.

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Our Reason to Travel to the French Guiana Brazil Border Via Land

If you need to get down to Brazil or Argentina, it can be extremely expensive to fly from any of the countries in the Guyanas. This is why we chose to go by land down to Macapa, and fly from there. This is because once you are inside the country, the domestic flights are much more affordable.


We wouldn't say it's the easiest option, as it is a little less comfortable, and a lot more time consuming, but it is however an adventurous route, and will save you some money as well. 


Now we can say that we have successfully traveled from Guyana down to Brazil by land, and are here to help for those who want to do the same! Here is everything you need to know about traveling to the French Guiana Brazil border.

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Traveling to the French Guiana Brazil Border: Before the Journey

In order to book your trip, you simply just need to head to a special area will there will be plenty of vans lined up waiting to take people to the French Guiana Brazil border. (Just ask a local for the exact location the night before).


We woke up at 6:00 am to head to the center where we found the vans waiting for people to head to the border. At 6:30 we arrived and one van told us they were leaving at 7, which was awesome because we’ve been told that the vans don’t leave until they are full.


We went to the bakery there and got a quick breakfast and the van actually was ready to go for 6:45. We’ve been told the ride should cost 40€ a person, but our friend got it for us for 30/ person. We imagine it helps to try to negotiate in French. This is just covering the transportation to the border, not the entire journey of French Guiana to Brazil.

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Getting to the French Guiana Brazil Border

The ride was 3 hours and very smooth to the border town of Oyapoque. We had to request to our driver to bring us to immigration to make sure that we got our exit stamps, which took only just a minute.


Customs

The office is only open 8:00-12:00 and 2:00-6:00 pm which is why it’s important to leave 2-3pm the very latest to make sure you get your stamp. Neither side checks, however when exiting Brazil you will have issues leaving the country, so it is up to you to make sure you get the stamps. 


Arrival at the French Border

Once the van arrives at the French Guiana Brazil border there are plenty of people waiting to take you across with their boats. The ride is 15 minutes and costs 20 reals or 5€ per person. It’s nice to sit on the right as the views are pretty nice. 


The next step is to take a boat from the small dock at the border, The boat costs just 5 euros and is a scenic ride down the river between the two countries. You will sail right under the bridge that connects the countries, and our “captain” even put a seat out for us on the front of the small boat to take a picture in front of the bridge.

Oyapeque Boat to French Guiana Brazil border

Once you finish at the French Guiana border you will need to get a small boat.

The Bridge to Brazil

When it comes to the bridge, even after reading a million blogs and talking to multiple people, we still don’t quite have the clarification of what’s going on with it. Some people say the bridge is not in use and some say it is.


From our understanding, the bridge is in use only during certain hours, but of course this wouldn’t matter if you are taking the boat across, only if you are driving.

French Guiana Brazil border

The bridge was not in use when we went in 2020, so we had to sail across  to get to the border Brazil.


The Journey to Macapa

Great you've arrived in Brazil! Now if you are continuing to Macapa (like most are), here is what you can expect:


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Picking a Ride from the French Guiana Brazil Border to Macapa

Upon arrival to the French Guiana Brazil Border, you will immediately have guys coming up to grab your bags to put in their pick up trucks. 


Make sure you set a price with them and try to bargain. We’ve been told it’s normally 200 real (about $50 US at the time, and around $39 now- prices may have changed). However, we told them we had one for 150 already and they quickly dropped their price. We even got them down to 120.


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We know that there is a bus that leaves at 6:00 pm and rumors that there may be one at noon, but have heard stories that on a normal day it can take 12 hours, but if there is a lot of rain, or any incidents, it has taken up to 24 hours. Yikes!

French Guiana Brazil border crossing

We suggest going for the SUV option.

In our opinion, it’s worth spending the extra for the SUV. Also, if you have a flight from Macapa, like we did, make sure you are giving yourself plenty of time for this journey, as times can vary greatly. 

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The Ride from the French Guiana Brazil Border to Macapa

We got on the road about 11:00 to head on our long journey. We had to mention several times to the driver about stopping at immigration. When we got there it was completely empty and only took a minute.


Now for the long road- the beginning was a nicely paved road but shortly turned into a really unpleasant ride. The road is covered in potholes and goes up and down hills for 110 Km and looks just like this:

road to Macapa, French Guiana to Brazil

The condition of the road varies greatly along the trip.

Halfway through the ride we stopped by a small restaurant on the side of the road and had some local food buffet style. It was nice to be able to get out of the car after a few hours and get some food. Our driver offered, but it's worth asking to begin with if s/he plans on stopping. With the stop, the whole ride there took about 8 hours.


lunch road to Macapa, French Guiana to Brazil

Halfway throughout the 8 hour drive you will stop for a meal.


Tips for Traveling to the French Guiana Brazil Border

The journey of French Guiana to Brazil is a long one, and needs to be planned accordingly, so make sure you give yourself ample time, and start early.


We highly recommend getting good rest and not drinking the night before, as we were not feeling well even having a sober and restful night, and we were just imagining how horrible we would have felt being tired or hungover. 


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Make sure that you carry plenty of cash on you, as you will only be able to pay the driver in cash, as well as the few restauraunts that are on the route. Also keep in mind to bring snacks and water, as there is literally nothing along the way for quite a while.


Things to Bring on the Journey to the French Guiana Brazil Border

Here are some things we want to remind you to keep handy on your journey:

road to macapa, French Guiana Brazil border

The ride from French Guiana to Brazil is a full day event.


French Guiana Brazil Border Trip: Price & Time Breakdown

6:45-9:45 shared van to Oyapoque 30€

9:45-10:00 immigration

10:00-10:15 boat to Oiapoque 20 Real/ 5€

10:15-11:00 negotiating for van 150 Real each

11:10 immigration

1:30-2:00 lunch 30 Real

7:00 arrival into Macapa


Total time spent: 12 hours

Total money spent: $55-$60 USD in 2020 (It would be $44 USD now with the current exchange if prices didn't change until 2023)

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The journey from Cayenne, French Guiana to Brazil wasn't the easiest, and was definitely a little time consuming. However, we enjoyed the experience as it felt truly authentic and definitely a good story to tell. We saved a little bit of money, and now can help others to do the same!


Want to see other fun things to do in the Guyanas? We have several other guides for getting around this area of South America.


Need help planning your trip? We're here to help! Now with Scratch Your Mapa Travel Planning you can let us do the hard work. Explore more and spend less. Want to learn just how? Take a look at our non-commission based travel planning service packages that we offer.


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