Insular Chile

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Map of the three areas dividing the Chilean territory:
In blue: Continental Chile
In red: Insular Chile
In green: Antarctic Chile
Map of what is considered insular Chile.

Insular Chile, also called Las islas Esporádicas, or "the Sporadic Islands", is a scattered group of oceanic islands of volcanic origin located in the Chilean Sea, at some distance from mainland Chile, and which are under the sovereignty of Chile.

Confusingly, the Juan Fernández Islands and the Desventuradas Islands are considered "Continental Insular Chile"[citation needed] (despite not being continental islands); Salas y Gómez Island and Easter Island – both geographically situated in Polynesia – form the zone known as "Oceanic Insular Chile". All of insular Chile is administrated as part of the Valparaíso Region.

The Sporadic Islands are not the only Chilean insular territories; rather, these islands represent just 328 square kilometres (127 square miles), around 0.3%, of the total, the rest being 3,739 islands and 2,180 islets, the combined land area of which totals 105,561 square kilometres (40,757 square miles), nearly 14% of which is effectively under Chilean control, part of what officially distinguishes "insular Chile" from "continental Chile".[1]

Insular Chile consists of:

Of these islands, only Easter Island and Robinson Crusoe are inhabited. Of the two, Easter Island is the farthest from the continent, part of Oceania and culturally Polynesian, as is Salas y Gómez, while the Desventuradas Islands and the Juan Fernández archipelago are culturally South American.

The Sporadic islands are part of the Valparaíso Region. Easter Island and Salas y Gómez form the commune of Isla de Pascua, the only commune of Isla de Pascua Province. The Desventuradas islands and Juan Fernández belong to Valparaíso Province, and are part of the commune of Juan Fernández.

Insular Chile is located in various time zones: continental Chile, the Juan Fernández archipelago and the Desventuradas Islands are located in the UTC−3 time zone at summer timezone, and UTC−4 in winter timezone, while Easter Island and Salas y Gómez Island are both in Polynesia, (UTC−5 summer, UTC−6 winter).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Instituto Geográfico Militar (1998). Instituto Geográfico de Chile (ed.). Atlas Geográfico para la Educación (5.ª ed.). Santiago. ISBN 956-202-053-3.

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