Devil’s Island French Guiana

Today we visited Devil’s Island, French Guiana. Devil’s Island is the place that the book Papillon, starring Steve McQueen was based on , the film was made in 1973 .

The three Iles du Salut (Islands of Salvation or Health), off the coast of French Guiana are lush, tropical isles of abundant foliage, great views and open to visitors. Once however, they were the site of the infamous Devil’s Island penal colony, called the Green Hell. Ile Royale is now a resort destination for visitors to French Guiana.

The islands are located about fifteen miles off the coast from Kourou, which is now the center for the Space Center, but was earlier the mainland administrative center for the penal colony.


According to the book and the movie, Papillon, Henri Charriere , was the only person ever to escape from Devil’s Island, the penal colony was notorious for the location of the island, which was surrounded by deadly sharks, rocks and a treacherous current. However, according to our French Guinan guides,, the book was fasr from accurate andalthough Papillon DID escape, it was not from Devil’s Island, it was from Cayenne, a nearby island.

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