Such beautiful palm tree-filled islands bear such a sad history. These islands were named Îles du Salut (Salvation islands) after the missionaries came to escape the diseases on the main land. There wasn’t much salvation on these islands, but prison camps for the French. It wasn’t the worst place of all the French prison camps in Guiana but still life was tough, escape nearly impossible and many people didn’t survive this place. The islands are owned by the space centre and are being renovated. During a rocket launch they get completely evacuated.
The main island, Île Royale, is where you can stay overnight in either guard houses or in a hammock in a prison quarter. There are trails all over the island with beautiful views to the other islands, monkeys, parrots and plenty of agoutis, a rodent somewhere between a rat and a hamster. Île St Joseph is smaller and is also worth a visit. The prison buildings here are decayed and overgrown by trees which gives it an even more spooky feeling. The third island, Île du Diable, is closed for visitors.