Top Ten Chile Off-the-Beaten-Path Adventures

Find Island Solitude

It's Robinson Crusoe come to life: Though Daniel Defoe placed his fictional castaway on an island in the Caribbean, the real-life Robinson Crusoe was Alexander Selkirk, a Scotsman marooned more than four years on a tiny volcanic island 300 miles west of the Chilean port of Valparamso. And it's the perfect place to pretend you're a castaway as well. Don't worry, there's a bit more infrastructure here than when Selkirk landed in 1704. Now visitors to Isla Robinson Crusoe, most of which is national parkland, can hike to Selkirk's lookout through forests of rare endemic plant species and observe endangered fur seal colonies in local boat launches.

Since only a few hundred people live on the island, it's very easy to feel yourself a castaway here, but you do come back to a comfortable bed at night. Accessible mainly by air taxi from Santiago, Isla Robinson Crusoe has a handful of decent B&B accommodations that consistently serve local lobster. Flights are few outside the November to March period, and windy or rainy weather can abort takeoffs and landings.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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