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Isla Robinson Crusoe, Chile

Robinson Crusoe is one of a trio of islands that comprise the Juan Fernandez Archipelago, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve that lies around 375 miles off the coast of Valparaiso. Robinson Crusoe Island gets its name from the iconic Daniel Defoe character—a nod to the fact that Alexander Selkirk, the real-life inspiration for Crusoe, was marooned here during the early 1700s. Another island in the chain was renamed for Selkirk. (Santa Clara is the third.) A biogeographic barrier caused by the Humboldt Current passes between continental Chile and the Juan Fernandez Archipelago, creating a distinct ecosystem that more closely resembles those found in the South Pacific than South America. The islands are home to numerous rare and endemic flora and fauna, including the Juan Fernández fur seal, the critically endangered firecrown hummingbird, and three species of petrel: the Juan Fernández, Stejneger’s, and Masatierra. They also are a mecca for diving enthusiasts, renowned for their clear waters and diversity of sea life. Spend your day on Robinson Crusoe snorkeling, kayaking, or trekking a series of trails to scenic lookouts. Sample the local lobster in the town of San Juan Bautista, where most of Juan Fernandez’s inhabitants live.