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Robinson Crusoe Island

Why visit Robinson Crusoe Island?

Exploring this lovely little island (just 20 sq. miles), it’s fascinating to imagine the 18th century buccaneer Alexander Selkirk spending four lonely years here after being marooned here by his captain. His story was immortalised in the book ‘Robinson Crusoe’ – although, with artistic licence, Daniel Defoe moved the location to the Caribbean – and you’ll see plenty of reminders of it here.
The main island in the Juan Fernández Archipelago, national park and world Biosphere Reserve, it is also known for its fine dive sites and endemic wildlife such as South American fur seals and endangered firecrown hummingbirds. In short, you can enjoy all the activities you’d expect from a South Pacific Island, with the added thrill of knowing that it was one home to a real castaway.
Reasons to visit Robinson Crusoe Island include:

  • Go diving amongst the coral reefs, spotting golden crabs, octopus, sea urchins and fur seals. 
  • Eat the traditional local delicacy, spiny lobster – lobster fishing is also the key local industry. 
  • Hire a ‘chalupa’ – a motor boat with a small stove – catch fish and then cook it on board, or sail out with a lobster fisherman and get him to catch one and cook a lobster stew for you. 
  • Go kayaking, trekking or sailing. 
  • Visit the island’s main village, San Juan Batista. See the canons that guard the remains of the Spanish-built 18th century Fuerte Santa Bárbara and the Patriot Caves grottos.

When to go to Robinson Crusoe Island

The island has a Mediterranean climate, with the most popular months for visitors being October to the end of April.

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facts and information

Time: GMT -4 hours

Flight time:

There are direct flights from London Heathrow to Santiago, which operate 4 times a week and take 14 hours 40 minutes. The Chilean airline, LATAM, flies via Madrid.

Language: The official language is Spanish. but other local languages are also spoken. English is spoken quite widely.


Visas are not currently required for British passport holders staying for up to 90 days, who are issued with a ‘Tarjeta de Turismo-Tourist Card’ on arrival. You must retain this and present it to immigration on departure.


Generally none is compulsory but we recommend the following: hepatitis A and B, typhoid, diphtheria, meningitis, tetanus, rabies and polio. There is no malaria in Chile. A yellow fever certificate is required if you are coming from an infected area.



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