Isla Robinson Crusoe (english)
Juan Fernández Archipelago is located in Region V of Valparaiso, at 667 Km. From Chile Continental, in front of the shores of San Antonio port.
Stone with Letters - La Virgen Mirador. Snupies 1 - 10
After passing the access portal to the National Park Juan Fernández Archipelago, you will reach the SNUPIE Nr. 1, located in a high erosion sector characterized by wood blocking, a measure used to minimize erosion effects caused by deforestation occurred during the island colonization period to cover the needs of housing construction, vessel construction, fuel and domestic heating. Following the signal, you could visit at a few meters downwards the well-known Stone with Letters, which shows an engraving stamping the signature of the colonist islander Pedro Arredondo, below the drawings of codfish and a chonta (Juania australis), an endemic palm of the island. The erosion produced decades ago is shown in the metal supports enclosed to a piping that supplies water to the town. As in other places, in the SNUPIE Nr. 2, located in the El Guindal sector, there are adventitious or introduced vegetal species, such as brambleberry (rubus ulmifolius), maqui (aristotelia chilensis), and murtilla (ugni molinae), which are considered a plague in the island, spread by the thrush (tordus falklanii) that through its faecal wastes, spreads seeds being a problem for the endemic forest. By turning the sight to the stream, at first sight you will observe some samples of eucalyptus (eucalyptus globulus) and, at a middle distance, insigne pine (pinus radiata), which were useful to reforest the sector, due to the needs produced by the lack of wood and erosion control. In the Morro del Medio sector, SNUPIE Nr. 3, it is observed how the species introduced suffocate the endemic forest, causing dead in some cases. At a side of the SNUPIE Nr. 3, a sample of luma de Masatierra (myrceugenia fernandeziana) is observed, a species prevailing in the sector. Besides SNUPIE Nr. 4, there is a blechnum chilense or costilla de vaca, which is being suffocated by a maqui (aristotelia chilensis). This situation repeats throughout the path until SNUPIE 11, showing the interaction of the species introduced with native and endemic species. If you move forward, you will arrive to the SNUPIE Nr. 5, which is very close to the first water supply. In this place, you can observe an endemic fern of big proportions called thyrsopteris elegans, a vulnerable vegetal species, only known with that name or with the name of tree fern. You are reaching to the first and unique water supply towards the Selkirk Mirador (SNUPIE 18). Here you will find greater abundance of endemic species. Upon the arrival to SNUPIE Nr.6, you will find the sector of La Aguada, where there is the only water supply available before reaching to Selkirk Mirador (SNUPIE 18), although it is recommended to bring bottled water. Besides the SNUPIE you could appreciate an endemic fern called polisticum tetragonum and, in addition, in the water bed you could find some samples of gunnera bracteata, known as nalca or panque. Besides the SNUPIE Nr. 7, you could observe a fern of triangular frond, where you appreciate that the stem has two channels or three ribs and it corresponds to a sample of rumohra berteroana. It is an endemic fern of the island very abundant and resistant to introduced plants. Downwards, at a floor level, there are two endemic samples called haloragis masatierrana, a small bush with closed leaf and, lower, an erigeron fernandezianus. On the arrival to SNUPIE Nr.8, you will reach the first mirador provided by the road, where you could appreciate the Cumberland Bay. This name comes from the observations made by Lord Anson in the year 1740 and that means bay of obstruction, due to the large amounts of stones of volcanic pumps found on the shore. In this place, you could appreciate very high endemic species such as the cinnamon tree of Juan Fernández (drimys confertifolia) and some ferns. As in most part of the road run, in the SNUPIE Nr. 9 you will find murtilla (ugni molinae), a plague suffered by the island. This introduced species is aggressive, since it replaces endemic species in its eagerness to occupy the fertile soil. This segment finishes with the access to the sector of La Virgen Mirador, where you find the SNUPIE Nr. 10. It is in the second point of observation of the bay. From this place you start entering in the path segment, here species of the endemic forest of the Robinson Crusoe Island prevail.
- Distance and expected time: 1,25 kms, 0h 30m.
La Virgen Mirador - Selkirk Lookout. Snupies 10 - 18
Unlike the previous segment, there is here a higher presence and variety of endemic and native species, since we are already in the original island forest. In this segment, native forest does not reach its highest density. It is located in the north or sunny spot hillside of the island, which does not allow it to capture the same humidity as in the south or sunny spot hillside. This segment starts in De la Virgen Mirador, SNUPIE Nº10, until Selkirk Mirador, SNUPIE Nº18. Upon arriving to Mirador Forest sector, at SNUPIE Nº11, you will enter the endemic forest, surrounded by ferns and trees, mostly luma de Masatierra (myrceugenia fernandeziana) and canelo de Juan Fernández (drimys confertifolia). In front of the SNUPIE, you will find a luma that contains in its trunk a native parasitic plant called pleopeltis macrocarpa, quite singular for its green leaves with white spots. At La Cueva sector, and around SNUPIE Nº12, you may observe some endemic arboreal species of the island. Downwards, species of Juan Fernández' cinnamon tree (drimys confertifolia) may be observed, and a trunk of naranjillo (fagara mayu) appears just above the SNUPIE. Both species may be confused due to the presence of luma d e M a s a t i e r r a ( m y rc e u g e n i a fernandeziana). Please note that naranjillo is the highest tree within insular arboreal species. At SNUPIE Nº13, La Vertiente sector, you will find one of the curves of this road, where we meet again a specie of luma de Masatierra (myrceugenia fernandeziana). If you look behind the SNUPIE, you will see water flowing that has been trapped by the island though maritime fog catchment, produced by volcanic formations and vegetation, providing this vital resource to the entire biotic system of Robinson Crusoe Island. Once you arrive to SNUPIE Nº14, you will get to El Canelo sector. If you pay attention to the environmental sounds, you will listen to the song of the Juan Fernández' red hummingbird to the soft warbling of cachudito de Juan Fernández (anairetes fernandezianus). From this point, you can see how the road has received the impact of stone slides and passage of cattle that walks from and to the village, generating serious erosion problems that, added to successive rains, wear the road. If you have had the chance to appreciate a diversity of floristic species, you have to consider observation of island flora, the first inhabitants of this landscape, lichens, mosses, and ferns. Three types of pioneer species of volcanic porous rocks may be seen in the wall located behind SNUPIE N°15. Once you arrive to SNUPIE Nº16, you will find a nalca or panque (gunnera bracteata) located immediately above. Here, as in other places where you have already been, you will be surrounded by endemic and native species, that compete against introduced species, such as, the blechnum chilense or cow rib. Getting into a rock passage formed by the excessive traffic of animals and people, to get to SNUPIE Nº17, close to Selkirk Mirador, where, among other species, you will appreciate a gramineous called uncinia douglasii. This segment ends at SNUPIE Nº18, corresponding to Selkirk Mirador, where you will know the path walked by Alejandro Selkirk since 1704 and during 4 years and 4 months, eagerly looking for finding from the north or the south any vessel or boat that could release him from his long wait. This only happened on January 31, 1709. In addition to assimilate the road that he used, it is possible to understand the panoramic view needed by Selkirk to descry any vessel and ask for help, since almost all the remaining segments to the Aerodrome (SNUPIE Nº25) can be seen from this point, and, from right to left, Tres Puntas Hill, Punta Isla and Santa Clara Island. Under favorable atmospheric conditions, it is also possible to see Alejandro Selkirk Island or Más Afuera, which is located slightly to the right side of Tres Puntas Hill, following the horizon. In this SNUPIE, you will see San Juan Bautista Village, and following to the west by the high peak line, you will encounter some species of chonta (juania australis), a palm that is proper to the island and one of its vulnerable species, as well as the typical luma de Masatierra (myrceugenia fernandeziana), that has accompanied you throughout most of this heritage road.
- Distance and expected time: 1,9 kms, 0h 55m.
Selkirk Lookout - Under Mt. Tres Puntas. Snupies 18 - 21
Following the road by this segment, you will get to a denser endemic - native forest, since it is located in the south hillside of the island, which receives higher humidity by catchment of water through the strong slopes of the sector. In this segment, you will walk from Selkirk Mirador, SNUPIE Nº18, to Tres Puntas, SNUPIE Nº21. Going down from SNUPIE Nº18 by a high rock step and strong slope path, you will get into the endemic native forest, which has in this sector a wide variety of vegetation, marked by the wind and environment morphology. When you arrive to Villagra, SNUPIE Nº19, you will see a panoramic view of all Bahia Villagra and Punta del Gualpón, littoral formations that dominate the south coast of Robinson Crusoe Island, some cattle breeders shelters, and the National Park, and behind them, a fenced rectangle where a cattle branding particular rodeo takes place every year. From here, you will see SNUPIE Nº20, corresponding to Plan El Gualpón, and Tres Puntas Hill. You can observe Santa Clara Island, Chamelos and Los Ramplones Islets, which are natural swimming pools made of eroded volcanic rock and block shaped molded by the power of waves, located at the east margin of Bahía Villagra. Plan El Gualpón sector receives this name because, behind this tip-ended silhouette, there is a very high cliff that gives shape to a big natural shed. Be careful not to walk to that sector. To the left, you will see a prairie called Plan El Gualpón, used by islander cattle breeders as a shepherding area for bovine cattle. Here, Los Ramplones can be seen from a shorter distance. To the south-west, you will observe the road to Tres Puntas, SNUPIE Nº21, with El Manzano water falls and Tres Puntas Hill silhouette. Nuco or neque (asio flammeus), pertaining to the owl and the eagle owl family, and part of the native fauna, may occasionally be seen. When you arrive to the end of the segment, SNUPIE Nº21, you will look at the sea and observe Chamelos Islets, three hills of rock or islets that are detached from the east edge silhouette of Bahía Villagra. More to the left, in front of us, we have Los Ramplones rocky formations, where El Yungue Hill south face slopes outline can be observed. Follow in this direction, where El Gualpón concave formation may be highlighted. The entire traveled road can be appreciated. Behind SNUPIE Nº21, upwards, the characteristic peaks of the Tres Puntas Hill shown up, a geomorphologic sequence of sharp peaks that dominate, from this place, mountain range volcanic forms of the south-east of the island.
- Distance and expected time: 7,19 kms, 2h 25m.
Under Mt. Tres Puntas - Berth. Snupies 21 - 27
If we really want to understand how Robinson Crusoe is, we must travel this last segment, that starts under Tres Puntas formation. Following the road, we have to get to Tierra Amarilla, where SNUPIE Nº22 is located. This is one of the most colorful sectors of all the road. In some sections of the road, landslides can be seen that evidence space dynamics accelerating morphologic and atmospheric processes. From the top, you can see some cliffs and to the front, Vinilla Islet, as well as some species of thicket, such as, the abundant myrtle (ugni molinae). At Punta Chupones, SNUPIE Nº23, you can have a wide angle of visibility that encompasses all the road, from south to north; the Aerodrome sector, Punta Isla and Santa Clara Island, Tierras Blancas Bay, La Barraca Cove, accompanied by Vinilla Islet. Chamelos Islets may also be seen, ending at Selkirk Mirador, passing by the large formation of El Yunque hill. Vegetation is gradually decreasing, being dominated by adventitious species. The lower the altitude, the less diversity of species. SNUPIE Nº23 is located at Punta Chupones formation, that separates Chupones Bay, by the North, and Tierras Blancas Bay, by the South. Looking at El Yunque hill silhouette, we can observe, to the right, La Pascua and La Piña hills, the natural reservations of highest conservation in all the island. Altitude of the road is still decreasing until pale colors dominate the soft greenness of the prairie. This is the arrival to SNUPIE Nº24, at Tierras Blancas sector. Here, you can see what is left to get to the aerodrome, as well as Santa Clara Island, at the bottom of the coast massif where the colony of lobo fino de Juan Fernández (arctocephalus philippi) is settled. It is the biggest in Robinson Crusoe Island, their sounds may be heard from this point. At the north sector, an arm falls into the sea dividing Tierras Blancas bay and Chupones bay. Here, you can see some species of kestrel (falco sparverius fernandensis), a small reddish bird of prey that feeds on the European rabbit (oryctolagus cuniculus), one of the plagues that have affected the island in the last decades. Rabbit communities have eroded hillsides and soil, which is already lacking, due to excessive goat and sheep shepherding. Passing by the entrance gate of the National Park, go to the Aerodrome sector, SNUPIE Nº25, one of infrastructures that support the economy of this island. Robinson Crusoe Island was connected by air to the continent on October 1966, with a safe place to land. The same technology used to build the first layout of the road to the village was used to implement the Aerodrome between the National Park and Punta Isla, together with Cumberland bay. The singularity of this aerodrome is that it is one of the few in the world which strip starts and ends in cliffs, an adrenaline loaded test only for experienced pilots. At one side of the welcome to the island sign, the road follows by an asphalt paving. Some meters away, you will find a sector similar to Tierras Blancas. The landscape still indicates soil scarcity. Poppy (papaver somniferum) is abundant, providing appealing colors in the summer. SNUPIE N°26 is located at the arrival of the start of the way down to the berth. A privileged view of Bahía del Padre, which is rounded, with a small entrance to the west and with a rocky formation in its east edge, called La Capilla, characterized by its transversal drilling on the inside. The bay is made up by a volcanic bubble beach. Reddish, gray and white colored strata may be seen in the walls, demonstrating the volcanic activity that gave rise to these islands. Punta Isla Peninsula, in the foreground, and Santa Clara Island, in the middle ground, are the oldest formations of all the Juan Fernández Archipelago. Bahía del Padre is one if the 7 extinct volcanoes that constitute Robinson Crusoe. Between Bahía del Padre and Santa Clara island we have El Puente isthmus and Punta Isla peninsula, with a moderate slope plain. To the west, we can see a calcareous surface sector, totally damaged by massive shepherding from early XXTH century that ended up ravaging vegetation and soil. One of the few coast margins of Robinson Crusoe Island is located behind the above described sector, where there is a fine material beach: El Arenal, a special place for the birth of the offspring of lobo fino de Juan Fernández (arctocephalus philippi). At the end of this road, you will have to go down by the above mentioned slope from SNUPIE Nº26 to the Berth. Here, you will find SNUPIE Nº27, located in Bahía del Padre, south-west Robinson Crusoe. Transshipment maneuvers of the passengers that arrive to the island take place in this pier, therefore, this SNUPIE is used as a connection between this circuit and Por el Sotavento and Por el Barlovento Ocean Circuits. There is a community of lobo fino de Juan Fernández (arctocephalus philippi) in the bay, the first colony that contacts the visitor from his/her arrival to the island. This sea wolf was killed and exported for a long time, almost resulting in its extinction, mostly by French vessels that took huge amounts of this specie, using its leather to manufacture boots for officers of Napoleon Bonapartes army.
- Distance and expected time: 16,69kms, 5h 25m.
- This trekking is described in full detail in the following topoguide of the Ministery of Public Patrimony. The printed guide can be obtained for free in the Ministery:56-2-3512100 -> 2325. It is hihgly recommended to take it to the walk, as it enriches the experience with descrptions of flora, fauna, geography and geology.
To see the full list of 308 routes of trekking and mountain climbing in Chile in spanish, click here
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▲ Isla Robinson Crusoe (english)