The 7 Islands of Chile Travel and enjoy our programs ...
Islands of Chile.
Chile has 4,300 kilometers of coastline and exceptional wealth in island territories. You will be surprised to know that the country has 3,739 islands counted, not counting the islets of less than a square kilometer that add another two thousand. Despite this, the proportion of the population that lives in islands is very small, and it gives us the opportunity to discover almost virgin places, embraced by the omnipresent Pacific Ocean. Here, our selection of the best islands in Chile.
1) Damas Island
How to get there: 130 km north of La Serena, from Punta de Choros, boats leave for this Reserve.
Attractions: Wildlife and paradisiacal beaches.
It is one of the three islands (along with Choros and Chañaral) that make up the Humboldt Penguin National Reserve, with more than 800 hectares.
Being supervised by Conaf, boats initially border the islands full of life: sea lions, dolphins, sea otters, birds, and the Humboldt penguin, which forms large colonies here. On Isla Damas, it is possible to disembark to enjoy the natural environment and lie on its white-sand beaches and turquoise waters (bathing was recently prohibited to preserve the marine ecosystems of the place).
2) Robinson Crusoe
How to get there: Weekly flights from Tobalaba airfield (Santiago). Navy ship from Valparaíso.
Main attractions: Endemic flora and fauna. Landscapes.
The largest of the three islands of Chile, the Juan Fernández Archipelago receives this name because it was where the Scottish sailor Alejandro Selkirk survived alone after a shipwreck and inspired the famous novel by Daniel Defoe (Robinson Crusoe).
The island is a Biosphere Reserve, as it has a flora with one of the highest rates of endemism in the world (64%). Its landscapes, with huge cliffs, will cut your breath.
3) Easter Island
How to get there: Daily flights from Santiago.
Main attractions: Moais, Rapa Nui culture.
At 3,800 km from the Chilean coast, it is the most remote island in the world.
This magical place, annexed by Chile in 1888, is famous internationally for its mysterious monolithic stone sculptures, scattered throughout its territory. It is still a mystery how the natives were able to carve more than 8 hundreds of gigantic figures and transport them with their rudimentary technology. The Rapa Nui Polynesian culture has very different characteristics from those of continental Chile.
The viewpoint of the Rano Kau volcano (cover photo) is undoubtedly one of the best in the country.
4) Mocha Island
How to get there: By boat, departures from Tirúa (3 hours approx) or by light aircraft.
Main attractions: Virgin landscapes, isolation.
Herman Melville’s famous novel “Moby Dick” (1851) was inspired by what was originally Mocha Dick, a giant albino sperm whale that roamed these waters.
The island, with a long history of shipwrecks and pirate incursions, was forcibly uninhabited in the 16th century and, perhaps thanks to this, today 45% of its territory is a National Reserve that stands out for its good preservation. Long virgin beaches and little human presence, make this the perfect place for those who want to get away from it all.
5) Chiloé Island
How to get there: Daily flights from Santiago to Castro airport.
From Pargua (60 km from Puerto Montt) there is a ferry that crosses people and vehicles through the Chacao canal.
Main attractions: Landscapes, culture and traditions Chilotas.
The Isla Grande de Chiloé, 180 km long, is the largest of this magnificent archipelago that hides other island jewels such as Lemuy Island, Quinchao Island and which borders Melinca Island in the south, in the Guaitecas archipelago. Nearly one-third of the Chilote territory are national parks and reserves of lush Valdivian forests.
The 168,000 inhabitants of this island are distinguished by a very particular culture and character, with religious fervor and deep-rooted cultural and mythological traditions. Do not miss its palafitos and magnificent churches built-in pure wood.
6) Wellington Island
How to get there: From Puerto Natales by boat.
Attractions: Remote and wild place.
They may not know anything about this island of the Ultima Esperanza Province, but it is the third-largest in Chile with an area of more than 5,500 km², in the heart of the Bernardo O’Higgins National Park.
Wellington Island has one of the most virgin environments on the planet, full of vegetation and endemic fauna. It also has the Pío XI Glacier, a gigantic mass of ice that is born in the Southern Ice Field and expands to become the largest in all of South America.
In Puerto Eden (250 inhabitants), you will find most of the human presence of the island.
7) Navarino Island.
How to get there: Flights from Punta Arenas to the Puerto Williams airfield. / By boat from Punta Arenas or Ushuaia (ARG), to Puerto Williams.
Attractions: The southernmost trekking in the world.
Only 30 kilometers above Cape Horn, we find Navarino Island, with the southernmost town in America: Puerto Williams. This island is part of the Tierra del Fuego Archipelago and, despite its extreme latitudes (10 degrees maximum temperature), it enjoys a great wealth of flora and fauna (especially marine).
One of the biggest treasures of the island is the Teeth of Navarino, magnificent 4-day trekking between peaks, views of the Beagle Channel, lagoons and huge rocky Farallones.