Robinson Crusoe Island (officially Isla Róbinson Crusoe, fka Isla Juan Fernandez, and Mas a Tierra) is the second largest in the Juan Fernandez Archipelago (Chile). The island is located in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, approx 180 km (112 ml) east of Alejandro Selkirk Island and approx 670 km (416 ml) west of San Antonio (mainland Chile). With population of around 900, Isla Róbinson Crusoe is the archipelago's most populous. The other inhabited island is Alejandro Selkirk.
- In the 18th century, for a short period Isla Juan Fernandez was a prison colony, then the island became again uninhabited before a permanent settlement (with around 50 people) was established in the late 19th century.
- On this island lived in solitude the marooned (as a castaway) sailor Alexander Selkirk (aka Alexander Selcraig, 1676-1721). He lived alone on the island for a total of 4 years and 4 months and is thought to have inspired Daniel Defoe for the character in his "Robinson Crusoe Island" novel (published in 1719). All that the sailor had left with him was some clothing, a musket (muzzle-loaded firearm), gunpowder, some carpenter's tools, a knife and a Bible.
- To attract international tourists to this location, the Chilean government renamed the island in 1966 from "Mas a Tierra" to "Isla Robinson Crusoe".
- Robinson Crusoe Island is mountainous (with steep valleys and ridges) formed by lava flows built up from numerous volcanic eruptions. Its highest elevation is El Yunque (915 m / 3002 ft). In the southwestern part there is a narrow peninsula (called Cordon Escarpado). The small Santa Clara Island is located just off its southwestern coast.
- The island's last volcanic eruption was in February 1835 - from a subsea vent 1,6 km (1 ml). The event was, however, minor, producing explosions and flames (litting up the island) and small tsunamis. On February 27, 2010, the island was hit by a tsunami (3 m / 10 ft high wave) produced by an earthquake with magnitude 8,8. The accident resulted in 16 dead and most of the San Juan Batista's buildings being washed away.
- The locals depend mainly on trading spiny lobsters. The island's amenities include few vehicles, satellite Internet, television. Tourists number (including cruise ship passengres) is in the hundreds annually. Among the island's popular activities is scuba diving, particularly in the area of the German warship wreck Dresden (in Cumberland Bay). The ship was scuttled by its crew in 1915 (during WW1).
Robinson Crusoe Island cruise terminal
Cruise ships to Robinson Crusoe Island dock (anchor) at San Juan Bautista - port town on the northern coast, located at the Cumberland Bay.
- There is an airstrip near the tip of the southwest peninsula, with flights from the capital city Santiago de Chile (under 3 hours air-travel time). There is a ferry connecting the town with the airstrip.