Easter Island & Juan Fernandez Archipelago
Chile possesses two remote territories far, far out in the mighty Pacific. Both are tiny islands with national parks that are under UNESCO protection. Easter Island, known as Rapa Nui, is surrounded by huge expanses of ocean; it’s nearly halfway to Tahiti. Juan Fernandez Archipelago, closer to the mainland but equally remote, is punctuated by steep, jagged peaks and green foliage—a spectacular topography.
Easter Island, Valparaíso, Chile
Easter Island is a strange, remote, and magical place. After a full day of wandering around this tiny island, we were fortunate enough to witness an absolutely breathtaking sunset over the Pacific. The “beach” here is made up of pitch black volcanic stone. I found it to be utterly fascinating.
The Juan Fernandez Archipelago’s largest and only inhabited island, Isla Robinson Crusoe, started out as a pirates’ refuge, known most famously for Alexander Selkirk, a Scottish seaman who spent four years marooned there in the 18th century, which later became the base for Daniel Defoe’s classic novel, The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. This island is still a very far-flung destination and takes a sense of adventure to arrive. While just 670 kilometers from the coast of Valparaiso, only light aircraft make the trip, landing on a tiny airstrip among jagged peaks. To get to the main town, San Juan Bautista, takes another hourlong boat ride. The topography, however, is among the most spectacular in Chile, with jagged peaks, green foliage, azure seas, and some of the best diving and ocean fishing in the region. Photo: Crusoe Island Lodge