In the dizzying cliffs of Cerro Tres Puntas echo the howling of the wolves, but, rather, are dry, hoarse roar, because they are sea lions, weighing up to several hundred kilos, and instead of legs, have a powerful flippers allow them to emulate the prancing and pirouetting dolphins underwater. On the island of Robinson Crusoe, stranded in the middle of the Chilean South Pacific, divers can go, live and direct, one of the strongest performances of the animal kingdom: the dance of the fur seal fur, a species endemic existing only in these remote waters.
Robinson Crusoe Island (which is so named because here came the story that inspired Daniel Defoe to write his famous novel about the famous wreck of the same name) is part, along with the islands of Santa Clara and Alexander Selkirk, the small islands Juan Fernández, located 667 kilometers off the coast of Chile, halfway between the city of Valparaiso and Easter Island. It's a real lost world where a small village called San Juan Bautista, a little more than 600 people, sharing the stage with a natural paradise, where everything is endemic. In 1935, the Juan Fernández Islands National Park was declared by the Government of Chile and in 1977, Unesco declared it a World Biosphere Reserve. Today it remains a real adventure to get here, although every effort is always rewarded.
For Chilean divers, the island of Robinson Crusoe is, next to Easter, the best place in the country for this sport. While the remote Easter is more attractive warm, clear waters, in terms of marine biodiversity, the islands of Juan Fernandez may well take the upper hand ... and immersed in a world where everything is a rarity nature, since you can only find here, the fur of the Juan Fernandez fur (Arctocephalus philippii) is the true king of the islands.
Sought for tourism
This extraordinary animal, happy and carefree life (spent the day playing in the sun and fighting with other males), has become a major attraction for tourism. Not only do the divers are able to cross the world to have one of the most rewarding experiences gained under the water, but many visitors flock to the sea lions swimming Robinson surface thousands of these individuals, many of whom even be touched and stroked. However, the fur seal fur was not always such a happy life, as it began to be exploited after the discovery of the islands, in 1574, continuing his pursuit, even after 1880, which declared sort extinction.
Today the fur seal fur is not in danger and a population of about 30,000.
Until the late nineteenth century, the sea lions were hunted mainly for its fine fur, almost to extermination. Only a few copies found refuge in the numerous caves of the island coastline. The cunning of the animal to escape the man was all that allowed the survival of the species. Today, thanks to conservation programs of the Chilean Government, the fur seal fur is not in danger and a population of about 30,000 copies, distributed among the three islands.
Robinson Crusoe In several colonies, sea lion colonies where animals are concentrated (although almost all dive sites always appears a group of wolves that accompany the divers), one of the most popular the Three Points, where you can see to over a thousand of these mammals swimming in the water or resting on the rocks. Under the direction of Peter NIAID, one of the official guides Juan Fernández National Park and one of the most experienced dive guides on the island, the Viking, a small fishing boat, goes into the bay formed by towering walls more 100 meters high.
Curious sea lions
A gentle but smelly sea lion scent envelops everything and playful screams of these animals warn that goes into the wild. The surface of the sea is like a public pool in the middle of August, with thousands of heads and bodies floating without direction. Wolves curious, who are usually younger, they approach the boat and stretch their necks trying to see what happens inside. They are very curious.
As a torpedo, the wolves begin to develop a strange tribal dance, without apparent choreography visitors around
When the divers jump into the sea, huge and fast figures of these marine mammals are rushing to them before, even, to dissipate the last bubble that caused the entry into the water. As a torpedo, the wolves begin to develop a strange tribal dance, without apparent choreography around visitors. Pirouettes, reversals, bizarre twists ... Anything is allowed to catch the eye of the diver. Centre Court is like a big circus, clowns, acrobats that struggle to get the best applause.
Sometimes, the proximity of these animals and the speed that they give their movements give some respect, since we are speaking of individuals measuring from 65 inches to over two meters and can weigh close to 200 kilos. But in the water are completely harmless, something different than on land, where they are a bit short-sighted, and where they have developed a strong sense of territoriality. It is advisable not to approach them when they are resting on the rocks. The fur seal fur sea lions live in colonies where there is established a strict social hierarchy, which always dominates a large male who controls a couple of females and several juveniles. The submission of your family is complete and, often, the party leader can not approach any other issue that may pose a threat to its undisputed leadership.
Beautiful underwater scenery
But Robinson Crusoe seabed are many other attractions. The volcanic origin of this islands has resulted in a beautiful underwater scenery and bizarre shapes, full of veriles, cliffs, caves and crevices where many fish species are protected from predators. After passing in the first meters of pampanitos dense schools (scorpis chilensis), blue and silver and yellow fins, and face the hounds of small malapterus reticulatus, a species of wrasse that there called old (not to be confused with our old Canary Islands, which belong to the family parrot fish), the most striking diver is the huge amount of lobsters.
In continental Chile are dying to taste one of these locusts, so famous for its taste.
Underwater walls full of cracks, resembling a supermarket shelves filled with copies of these crustaceans, some of them more than a meter in length. On the continent, in Chile, dying to taste one of these locusts, so famous for its taste and the north of Spain.
Apart from the famous cold Humboldt Current, Juan Fernandez is influenced by other currents subtropical from Indo not only noticed the water temperature (in summer can reach 20 º C) but in the presence of some species characteristics of warm seas, such as the striking butterfly fish (amphichaetodon melbae) or inactive but no less colorful, scorpion (Scorpaena uncinata). It is known that species endemic to the islands (the majority of fish that live in this ecosystem) have a higher vículo with Polynesian areas, attributing its origin to distant and exotic countries such as New Zealand, Australia or Hawaii.
Crusoe Island Lodge
Telephone: (56 -22) 432 68 00
(56 - 22) 346 01 03
Cell: (56 - 9) 83 41 5672