Devil's Island (Isle Royale), French Guiana

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Main port photo for Devil's Island (Isle Royale), French Guiana

Today, a half-century after the last prisoners were sent to this tropical Hell, the name Devil's Island still invokes a vision of men broken by punishment, inhumane labor, unrelenting heat, and meager rations. In the century that France used the islands as a penal settlement, 80,000 prisoners were condemned to hard labor here. The prisoners included Alfred Dreyfuss, the French officer wrongly accused of treason, and Henri Charriere, the colorful thief who claimed to be the only man to escape from Devil's Island. His adventures were immortalized in the book and film "Papillon." These days, Ile Royale serves as a tracking station base for a small number of scientists employed by the European Space Program.

Scenic Cruising only.

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  • Prison Buildings Prison Buildings

    IIe Royale served as the headquarters for the prison commandant. Many original buildings of this once infamous French penal colony are still intact and include prison cells, eerie artifacts and the warden's convict-built rock swimming pool.

  • Hotel & Gift Shop Hotel & Gift Shop

    This small, charming hotel, the Auberge Îles du Salut, offers a restaurant, modest tourist facilities and a gift shop. The most coveted souvenirs are the woven tapestries created by the Hmong people.

  • Director's House Director's House

    The notorious inmates endured horrific conditions, but the Prison Director lived in comfort high on a hill. The house affords scenic views and is now a museum chronicling the penal colony's history.

  • Views of Devil's Island Views of Devil's Island

    Enjoy dramatic coastal views as launch ships take you to Devil's Island. Rising 131 feet above sea level, the jagged coastline gives way to a tropical jungle that climbs the abandoned prison walls.

  • Wildlife Wildlife

    Amid the atmospheric ruins of the island's old prison buildings you'll find an abundant assortment of vibrant flora and fauna. Be on the lookout for turtles, monkeys, agoutis and exotic birds.


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0 to 5+ hours


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