Join us for a journey from Central Chile to Rapa Nui, Chile’s most distant province -even Antarctica is closer to Santiago than Easter Island is! Leaving from Valparaiso, a UNESCO World Heritage site, we will explore the Juan Fernandez Islands, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, to see its endemic plants and animals, and to follow the traces of Alexander Selkirk, the Scottish sailor whose story of being marooned on Juan Fernandez seems to have inspired Daniel Defoe to write his Robinson Crusoe. We will pass by Salas y Gomez and the Salas y Gomez Marine Park and will end at Easter Island, where the national park is yet another UNESCO World Heritage.
Throughout the voyage, learn about the history, geology, wildlife and botany of this spectacular area from lecture presentations offered by your knowledgeable onboard Expedition Team.
Robinson Crusoe, Chile –
Mas a tierra, as Robinson Crusoe was commonly known in Chile, has had a very interesting history. From its discovery by Juan Fernandez in 1574, Alexander Selkirk’s sojourn as a marooned sailor in the early 18th century that seems to have inspired Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, to its use as a prison for political exiles in the 19th and 20th century the island has seen various uses. The endemism of its plants and animals is so high that UNESCO has declared it to be a World Biosphere Reserve and has put it on the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Alexander Selkirk, Chile–
Named after the Scottish sailor marooned on Robinson Crusoe (then known as Mas a tierra), the island has rarely been visited. The feral goats still on the island indicate that European sailing ships had considered this to be a possible place to obtain fresh meat. Nobody has lived permanently on the island for long and today some 20 fishermen will live on Alexander Selkirk from October to May each year, trying to catch crayfish for export to mainland Chile. Next to Robinson Crusoe Alexander Selkirk is the best place to see the endemic Juan Fernandez fur seals.
Isla Salas y Gomez, Chile –
Some 226 nautical miles east-northeast of Easter Island is the tiny island of Salas y Gomez. Although known to Easter Islanders in olden times as Motu Motiro Hiva, the island was never inhabited and is a haven for seabirds. Of the twelve species recorded on Salas y Gomez Sooty Terns and Great Frigatebirds are the two bird species that have a direct connection to Easter Island and its birdman cult. Easter Islanders considered Salas y Gomez to be the site of their creator god Makemake. The Chilean government has established one of the Pacific’s largest no-take marine reserves around Salas y Gomez and in 2018 the Marine and Coastal Protected Area of multiple uses of Rapa Nui, the largest of its kind for South America, brought these two to an area of 72 million hectares.
Easter Island, Chile –
Next to Torres del Paine, Easter Island’s National Park Rapa Nui is probably one of Chile’s most famous sites. The many mysteries and histories surrounding the settling of the island and the hundreds of stone statues known as moai make this island a dream for archaeologically interested visitors.
- Visit the island and see the spot where the original Robinson Crusoe kept a watch for passing ships.
- Reach Easter Island, its national park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Wildlife Watch List:
- Juan Fernandez fur seals (endemic)
- Dolphins: common and bottlenose dolphins
- Seabirds: Peruvian Pelicans, Masked and Brown Boobies, Kelp Gulls, Sooty Terns, Juan Fernandez and Herald Petrels, Great Frigatebirds, Red-tailed Tropicbirds
- Land and water birds: Green-back and Juan Fernandez Firecrown, Chimango Caracara
Expedition highlights and wildlife listed here are possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed. Your Expedition Leader and Captain will work together to ensure opportunities for adventure and exploration are the best possible, taking into account the prevailing weather and wildlife activity. Expedition Team members scheduled for this voyage are subject to change or cancellation.
Not sure what to wear while onboard? Visit our shop and gear up. We've got layers to keep you dry and warm, breezy wear to keep you covered and cool, and accessories to keep everything packed up and ready to go. So, no matter the weather, you'll be better prepared for your expedition.
Our Gear Shop has an expert outfitting staff and features all the essentials: