From the Dreyfus Affair to Papillon, the stories of suffering connected to Devil's Island, the world's most notorious penal colony, are legion. From 1852 to 1953, some 70,000 prisoners served their sentences at this former leper colony, in the most humiliating and inhumane conditions.
In 1965, the French government gave the islands to the CNES space agency, which has since restored many of the prison administrative buildings on Ile Royale, which are classified as historical monuments.
The islands now receive more than 50,000 tourists each year most stay on Royale, because the shark-infested waters and treacherous crosscurrents around Devil's Island make for too dangerous a voyage.
Les Îles du Salut (Salvation's Islands)
Comité du Tourisme de la Guyane (CTG - French Guyana Tourism Comittee)
12, rue Lallouette
+594 (0)5 94 29 65 00