Isla Robinson Crusoe, Chile

January 23, 2010

We were privileged to be the first Holland America ship to stop at the remote Isla Robinson Crusoe, one of the three islands that constitutes the Juan Fernandez Archipelago.  The islands are situated about 300 miles west of Valparaiso, Chile and Robinson Crusoe Island, the largest of the three is a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.  There are many endemic species of flora and fauna.  The island is populated with about 500 people, most of whom make their living fishing for spiny lobsters.  There are few motor vehicles there, but there are some horses, and plenty of friendly dogs running around loose.  We walked most of the way up the road in this photo, and also up another path that took us to a lookout point above the caves, and also to an old fort that still has six rusty canons that are set on new wooden carriages.  The views were spectacular from everywhere we went on the island.  When we first saw the island it reminded us of Moorea in French Polynesia, right down to the cloud over the highest mountain peak.  Although there was a pretty strong wind blowing, the weather was quite nice.  The seas had been rough enough that the captain was not sure we’d be able to tender in to shore, but the tender ride was easy, and the sea was calm in the bay.                                        

Even though there really is nothing to do on the island, it was still fun to go there.  It would be nice to have more time to explore and see some of the endemic fauna as well as more of the flora.  It was also a pleasant change from all the official excursions, since we could wander at will and at our own speed, without trying to decipher a tour guide’s speech.                     

Check out the additional photos in the album.

© Susan L. Stone 2015