For approximately $550 per week, according to Private Islands Online, the more than 25-acres of Robinson Crusoe Island off the coast of Chili can be yours. Accessible only by boat or helicopter and located in the Juan Fernandez Archipelago, just ten minutes from Viti Levu, the island is an award winning eco-tourist destination.
Visitors Experience History and Unblemished Eco-system
Popular with backpackers, survivalist fans, and even literary adventure lovers (think, what else, Robinson Crusoe), this island offers a jungle river cruise, fishing, snorkeling, interaction with the Fiji culture, and beautiful vistas including unblemished rainforests.
This destination screams to the survivorists. Purists will wish to walk where the original ‘Robinson Crusoe,’ a Scottish pirate and ship’s master navigator Alexander Selcraig (also known as Selkirk), was marooned. Aguas Buenas, renamed Robinson Crusoe Island in 1966, was home to Selkirk for four years. Captain Woodes Rogers rescued Selkirk in 1709, and wrote an account of what he saw, including Selkirk’s navigational instruments.
A recent archaeological dig on the island revealed the campsite of an early European occupant dated by the find of a pair of navigational dividers that could only belong to a ship’s master or navigator, such as Selcraig or Selkirk. The dig also gives evidence to how Selkirk survived on the island, including postholes where he built his shelters.
Selkirk of course was not the first inhabitant of this island, which at that time was an infrequent stop for pirates and ships in need of fresh water and renewed food and fuel supplies or repairs. Also known as the sacred island of Likuri, inhabitants date back 3,500 years to the arrival of the first Polynesians in outrigger canoes. Five hundred years later the Melanesians arrived. The island, chiefly used for traditional ceremonies and gatherings, now supports a small village of no more than 500 people, desendents of the mix of the two cultures – Polynesian and Melanesian.
Robinson Crusoe Island Accommodations
Only recently has the island been opened up for tourism thanks to the High Chief – Ka Levu Tui Nadroga and family. They are partners in the eco-cultural budget resort. A variety of accommodations from dorms to private bures are available. And a variety of activities are included in the price. The advertisements proclaim a high level of cleanliness. And a fresh and healthy Fijian as well as European style cuisine featuring the freshest seafood caught from nearby coral reefs along with vegetables and fruit supplied by nearby villages. All is experienced to the accompaniment of south sea island guitars.
Prices seem quite economical, but anyone planning a trip to Robinson Crusoe Island should understand this is primitive eco-tourism – no mod coms and air conditioned hotel rooms.