DEVIL’S ISLAND, FRENCH GUIANA
For a century, this tropical island was regarded as anything but a paradise. The French prisoners shipped to this inescapable colony knew it as L’enfer Vert, “Green Hell” — and most feared of the three islands was dubbed Île du Diable, “Devil’s Island,” where Captain Alfred Dreyfus famously spent five years wrongfully imprisoned for treason. The heat and humidity, combined with the swift current and remote location, made this a brutal prison until it closed its gates in 1953. Today, the Îles du Salut, or “Islands of Salvation,” provide a lush environment for wildlife and plants, with monkeys and agoutis scampering through the ruins of the old prison facilities under the shade of coconut palms and rubber trees.