The Juan Fernández archipelago is located about 670 km from Chile’s coast, and comprises the islands of Robinson Crusoe, Alejandro Selkirk and Santa Clara. In 1935, the archipelago was made a national park, and since 1977 it has also been a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. This island group is thus one of Chile’s true treasures, offering a pristine natural environment especially inviting for lovers of the outdoors and divers. The islands are home to unique land and aquatic species, including the “picaflor de Juan Fernández” hummingbird and the “lobo fino de Juan Fernández” seal. A third of the local fish species can be found nowhere else. Due to this great diversity of wildlife, a visit to the Juan Fernández Islands is never dull, and divers especially delight in the crystal-clarity of the seawater, which permits visibility up to 30 metres deep.
The nearby ocean currents are largely responsible for the archipelago’s biodiversity: through the combination of the Humboldt Current and subtropical counter-currents from Peru, the archipelago is located in a climatically-unique area. The local sea environment has been well preserved, in contrast to many other Pacific island groups, because only local fishermen fish here – about three in four inhabitants live off the sea.
Hikers, too, will also love the islands. The green, mountainous landscape, not much changed since Selkirk’s four years as a castaway in the early 1700’s (the basis of Daniel Defoe’s famous novel) can be explored with licensed tour guides. In the sleepy fishing village of San Juan Bautista, visitors can watch lobster catchers work just as their forbearers have for generations. And despite the all-natural surroundings, comfortable accommodations are available, including the NOI group’s exclusive Crusoe Island Lodge. In short, the Juan Fernández archipelago offers uniquely-inviting combination of unspoiled land and sea – perfect for the trip of a lifetime.
For detailed information about our range of programs on the Juan Fernández archipelago, please contact your travelArt sales agent.