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Devil's Islands

A little History

Devil IslandLocated at 15 kms north of Kourou, "Les Iles du Salut" got their french name from the survivors of the tragic expedition organized by Choiseul, a french politician, in 1753 in order to populate French Guiana. Their english name is still "Devil's Islands".

Decimated by fever on the continent, the survivors settled these islands, after finding their salvation they gave this name to this litlle archipelago.

The largest of the islands was named "Royal Islands" after King Louis XV, the second one "St Joseph" because the expedition was placed under his patronage and the third one kept the original name "Devil Island".

In 1852, Napoleon III decided to transfer the penitentiaries of Toulon, Rochefort and Brest to Guiana.

He wanted hard labor to be more useful, less expensive and more humane by using it to populate this French Colony. During almost a century, up to 1946, 80.000 convicts where transferred to French Guiana.

Upon their arrival, the convicts were directed to the "Transportation Camp" of St-Laurent-du-Maroni, where they were dispatched to different camps...

The most important centre was undoubtedly "Les Isles du Salut". The population varied from 500 to 2.000 people.


How to get there

There's two different possibilities to go to Islands. A ferry and several sailing boats.

Both options take a complete day, leaving 8-9 a.m and return around 6 p.m.

We can help you with the reservation which is necessary for this trip...

To enjoy the day we recommend that you take care of the sun by using lotion, hat and having a small back pack with water, swimming equipment and your camera... You can bring a sandwich along or eat at the restaurant on Royal Island.