Iles Du Salut, Guiana Cruise Port, 2019 and 2020 Cruises to Iles Du Salut, Guiana | The Cruise Web
 

Iles du Salut, Guiana Cruise Port

The Iles du Salut, or the Salvation Islands, is a grouping of small volcanic islands lined up along the coast of French Guiana. They got their name from the missionaries who years ago fled the African mainland to avoid the plague and sought solace among these three islands. Many years later, beginning in 1852, the French converted the islands into a notorious penal colony where they sent their worst criminals. Ile Royale was the most lax, and allowed the prisoners to roam around semi-free because of the difficulty in escaping the islands. Ile Saint-Joseph housed the worst of the worst criminals and kept them much more restrained. Ile du Diable, or Devil’s Island, was reserved for political prisoners, most notably Captain Alfred Dreyfus who was tried, convicted, imprisoned, and eventually exonerated for treason. The other notable prisoner was author Henri Charriere whose memoir, Papillion,documented his imprisonment and escape from Devil’s Island.

 

  • Ile Royale is an interesting place to visit and walk around. The paths may be poorly maintained and at times hard to navigate but the island is welcoming with a restaurant/bar and friendly staff.
     
  • Ile du Diable, unlike Royale, is not open to visitors but its preserved structures can be observed with binoculars or a high-resolution camera.
     
  • The island’s fauna is beautiful and features monkeys, a variety of tropical birds, and some of the larger rodent species running free around the island’s forests.
     
  • The Royale is a vast and interesting place to hike or explore by bicycle. Besides exploring the remaining buildings, it’s intriguing to imagine how the prisoners navigated the area.
     

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