This second largest city in French Guiana is in fact a border town located along the Maroni River close to the northwest boundary with Suriname. Formerly, a famous historic prisoner’s camp, Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni is a chosen point of departure for several eco-tourism circuits now being offered within these regions. Originally founded by the French in 1858, Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni offers a distinct unique mix of colonial style and penitentiary architecture which allegedly served a specific purpose during the 19th century.
Most of these landmark reminiscent buildings are located on the Boulevard Mallouet, and De Gaulle and Lieutenant-Colonel Tourtet avenues, and which eventually underwent major restoration works during the early 1980s. These jailhouses are now notable sights and which have turned out to be major tourist attractions for the growing number of visitors to Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni. Several hotels have also come up within this historic penitentiary town so as to accommodate an expanding tourism demands.