French Guiana's prison islands, the "Green Hell", consisted of three islands called the "Iles du Salut". We visited Ile Royale, the administrative island where less dangerous prisoners were kept. The island seen on the right is Ile St. Joseph where more dangerous prisoners were kept. Out of view at the moment is "Devil's Island" for the most dangerous men and for political prisoners such as Alfred Dreyfus.
Collectively the islands are now called Devil's Island, made famous by the book and movie "Papillon".
In the years as a penal colony (1852-1946) only 30,000 of the 80,000 men sent here survived. Today it just seems like a paradise. The following photos were taken in our 2 hour walk around the island.
The cemetery was for guards and their families.
Ile du Diable (Devil's Island) can be seen here in the background. It is totally inaccessible due to rocky shores and rough currents.
We returned to the tender pier along the shore with Ile St. Joseph nearby. It is hard to imagine the island of today as the disease-infested equivalent of a death sentence for so many.