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Discover Amazonia, its animals, plants, and rivers-including the Maroni, Oyapock, Mana, and Approuague-and the people who live there (Amerindians and ...Read more
Îles du Salut (Île Royale and Île de St-Joseph)
Nine miles (15 km) north of Kourou, this small archipelago, consisting of Île Royale, Île Saint-Joseph, and Île du Diable (Devil’s Island), was used for the creation of a penal colony in 1852.
Over time, the penal colony of these islands became one of the most well known in the world with, in particular, such famous convicts as Captain Dreyfus, Seznec, and Papillon. Today, it is an enchanting place where you can enjoy a walk around the remains of the prisons and a swim in the crystal-clear water. The Îles du Salut are also a favorite place for big-game fishing.
Sailboat to the Islands
Sailboats provide a combined Île Royale -Île St-Joseph service and offers cruises and other excursions.
Leave at 8 AM or 8:30 AM from the fishing jetty in the old town or from the sailing club at Pointe des Rôches.
The islands are reached after a one-hour sail; a tour of the islands depends on the tide and the weather and is accompanied by commentaries on the history of the penal colonies. You then disembark to visit Île Royale.
Back to the boat at 12:30 PM or 2 PM to sail to Île St-Joseph (bathing, leisure time, etc.).
At 4 PM, leave the Îles du Salut to return to Kourou at about 5 PM or 5:30 PM.
1-day trip: from 39 € per person (1/2 price for children under 12)
2-day trip: from 65 € per person (1/2 price for children under 12)
La Hulotte: Depart from the fishing jetty in the old town
1, Rue Baudelaire
Phone: +594 32 33 81
Mobile: +336 94 21 13 81
Fax: +594 32 08 20
2 catamarans to explore the islands:
La Hulotte: 28 passengers.
L’Effraie: 20 passengers.
Royal Ti'Punch: Depart from the fishing jetty in the old town
97310 Kourou cedex
Phone: +594 32 09 95
Fax: +594 32 30 63
Mobile: +336 94 20 18 88
Catamaran: 28 passengers.
Depart from Kourou Sailing Club at Pointe des Roches
PK 8, Route des Plages
Phone: +594 25 10 10
Mobile: +336 94 40 20 20
Fax: +594 25 10 11
Web site: www.tropic-alizes.com
Catamaran: 28 passengers.
Tropic Alizés also offers a Cayenne/Kourou service:
A 9-seat minibus can pick up customers from a hotel or meeting place.
Round trip: 15 € per person.
You can lunch on board the boat by ordering packed meals in advance, or eat at the inn on Île Royale.
Packed meal: 15 €
Menu at the inn: 20 €
To visit Île Royale
When there are Ariane rocket launches, you can travel to the islands, but you can’t stay overnight.
Crossing in a 100- to 200-seat boat, to Île Royale only; departure from the landing stage opposite the fish market in Kourou old town.
Crossing time: 1 hour
Fare: 35 € (1/2 price for children under 12)
Reservation required, by
Phone: +594 32 09 95
+594 32 30 63
or through a travel agent.
(payment at the landing stage, in cash only).
Some travel agents provide a pick-up service from Cayenne.
For details about a guided tour of the remains on Île Royale (governor’s mansion, museum on the penal settlement, church, etc.) please contact:
L'Auberge des îles
Phone: +594 32 11 00
Fax: +594 32 42 23
Takari Tour/Espace Amazonie
Phone: +594 31 19 60
+594 32 34 30
Fax: +594 31 54 70
+594 32 57 02
Just over 40 miles (70 km) southeast of Cayenne, near the Kaw Swamps, this magical spot has preserved traces of the presence of French Guiana’s first inhabitants, the Arawak and Karib Amerindians. The hiking trail is the ideal way to penetrate the mysteries of that pre-Columbian period and discover the period’s remains.
The ruins of Favard House and its sugar kettles and mill recall the region’s colonial past, when sugar cane, cocoa beans, and coffee were cultivated.
You can see a true copy of this carved rock, made in synthetic resin, on the ground floor of the Guiana Tourism Committee’s offices in Cayenne.
To visit Mount Favard:
Take RN2 to Régina
After about 9 miles (15 km), at the Stoupan intersection, turn left and take the direction to Roura
Camp de la Transportation
Constructed in 1854, Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni, a subprefecture (administrative center) of French Guiana, now has 19,211 inhabitants. It was built as a reception center for convicts and contained a prison community until the end of the Second World War. In close to 90 years, between 50,000 and 70,000 convicts were sent to Saint-Laurent. Many of them knew Camp de la Transportation and its enormous buildings, which housed between 4,000 and 5,000 prisoners, watched over by 250 prison guards. Many prisoners were held there before transfer to the forest camps and other detention centers. Others served sentences determined by the tribunal maritime (marine court) for acts committed in French Guiana. These sentences were added to and combined with prison sentences that were already very long. The tour of the Camp de la Transportation, undergoing complete renewal, will allow you to better understand French Guiana’s historic heritage.
To visit the Camp de la Transportation:
Guided tour: 1 hour 15 minutes
Tours leave from: The “Chapelle - Cuisine” (Chapel & Kitchen) building
Monday to Saturday:
8 AM – 9:30 AM – 10:15 AM – 11 AM – 3 PM – 4:30 PM
Sundays and holidays:
9:30 AM – 11 AM
July/August: 3 PM – 4:30 PM
Adults: 5 €
Children, 6 – 12: 1 €
Children, 13 – 16, and school groups: 2 €
Adults in groups: 3 €
Pay in the reception area of the Tourism Office in St-Laurent,
1 Esplanade Laurent Baudin
BP 240 - 97393 St-Laurent-du-Maroni Cedex
Tourism Office Opening Hours
Monday to Friday:
7:30 AM – 6 PM
7:45 AM – 12:45 PM
2:45 PM – 5:45 PM
Sundays and Holidays:
9 AM – 1 PM
2:45 PM – 5:45 PM (July and August only)
Reception: +594 34 23 98
Main office / tourist information: +594 34 41 54
+594 34 00 42
Tourist information: email@example.com
Main office: firstname.lastname@example.org
Constructed at the beginning of the 19th century, the town of Iracoubo was made famous by the arrival of Father Prosper Raffray.
He was in charge of the church, which was painted entirely by hand by a famous convict named Huguet.
Not to be missed:
The Church of Saint Joseph – The Amerindian village of Bellevue – Bathing at Morpio Creek