Devil's Island, Cayenne

4.3
The penal colony of Cayenne, commonly known as Devil's Island, was a famous prison of the 19th and 20th century. It operated at several locations in French Guiana. Opened in 1852, it was notorious for being used for internal exile of French political prisoners during that period, the most famous of whom was Captain Alfred Dreyfus. It is also known for its harsh treatment of criminals, who were deported there from all parts of the French empire. The system was closed down in 1953.OrganizationThe prison system stretched over several locations, on the mainland and in the off-shore Îles du Salut group. Île Royale was the reception centre for the general population of the penal colony; they were housed in moderate freedom due to the difficulty of escape from the island. Île Saint-Joseph was the Reclusion, where inmates were sent to be punished by solitary confinement in silence and darkness for escapes or offences committed in the penal colony. Île du Diable was for political prisoners. In the 19th century, the most famous such prisoner was Captain Alfred Dreyfus. In addition to the prisons on each of the three islands in the Salut island group, the French constructed three related prison facilities on the South American mainland, just across the straits at Kourou; 30 miles east in Cayenne, which later became the capital of French Guiana; and a hundred miles west at St. Laurent.
Put Devil's Island and other Cayenne attractions into our Cayenne online holiday planner , and watch your holiday take shape.
Source
Create an itinerary including Devil's Island
map
Devil's Island Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
169 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • September 18, 2017
    The attraction listing is titled incorrectly, I think these are reviews for all three of the Îles du Salut not just the least interesting of the three. Île Royale is particularly enjoyable, with lots ...  more »
  • September 1, 2017
    The islands of Salvation are magnificent, populated agoutis, and shy little monkey, but unfortunately very dirty. The behind the scenes is deplorable, and if one can accuse some visitors leave dustbins, say some washing machines, taps...! Guided tour as possible, the guide would have retired. Passage nonetheless for the history and the beauty of the site (with his smart little in hand) we have not tested the hostel.
    View original
  • August 21, 2017
    The Iles you salute you can take, if you have a day. From my point of view, visit the îles Royale is not a requirement. Monkeys and some birds can be seen somewhere else. In the only restaurant/hotel staff not particularly friendly towards us.
    View original

Plan your trip to Cayenne

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Where to stay in Cayenne

Appealing to a rather exclusive set of travelers, chain hotels and resorts in the west of town offer a great range of luxury services, modern facilities, and rooms overlooking the river. Step back from the water to find humbler lodgings at basic hotels, guesthouses, and rental properties catering to budget-conscious travelers.
Live like a local, find unique places to stay
Millions of travel reviews on TripAdvisor

Plans in Cayenne by other users

3 days in Cayenne BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES January, popular PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 23 days in Brazil, Cayenne & Paramaribo BY A USER FROM FRANCE October, culture, outdoors, historic sites, fast-paced, hidden gems PREFERENCES: October, culture, outdoors, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 21 days in Manaus, Paramaribo & Cayenne BY A USER FROM FRANCE October, culture, outdoors, historic sites, hidden gems PREFERENCES: October, culture, outdoors, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 7 days in Cayenne & Saint Helena Island SEE PLAN December, culture, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: December, culture, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 23 days in South America BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, culture, historic sites, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: December, culture, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 9 days in French Guiana BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, popular PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 4 days in Cayenne BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: November, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 31 days in South America & Caribbean BY A USER FROM QATAR October, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 10 days in Cayenne & Arrondissement of St-Laurent-du-Maroni BY A USER FROM SURINAME November, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 12 days in Cayenne & Suriname BY A USER FROM TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO November, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in French Guiana BY A USER FROM PORTUGAL November, culture, outdoors, historic sites, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: November, culture, outdoors, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 21 days in Cayenne BY A USER FROM FRANCE September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium
View more plans