When Do You Want To Go?
The Falkland Islands attract more people than you might think. The perfect surroundings, incredible wildlife and intriguing history and culture make for an unforgettable trip.
The islands are home to more than one million penguins and half a million sheep, but they also have sizeable populations of sea lions, elephant seals, dolphins and killer whales. This means that you will be able to spot species like - Magellanic penguins, Gentoo penguins, king penguins, white-tufted grebes, rock cormorants, black-crowned night-herons, upland geese, ruddy-headed geese, Falkland steamer ducks, crested ducks, turkey vultures, crested caracaras, hawks, peregrine falcons, Magellanic oystercatchers, blackish oystercatchers, two-banded plovers, white-rumped sandpipers, South American terns, barn owls, hawks, dolphins, sei whales, southern sea lions, and so many more. And when it comes to plants, there are also a few interesting ones as in the islands you will be able to find - Fuegian saxifrages, gaudichaud’s orchids, gorses, orange hawkweeds, scurvy grass, vanilla daisies, as well as pale yellow maidens.
If there is one thing that we can promise you is that while on the Falkland Islands you will never run out of things to do. You can explore as much as you want, whether you want to fish, trek, hike, climb, kayak, mountain bike; or take your time and enjoy the islands at your own pace, you will never be bored here.
Encompassing more than 740 islands this little treasure is in the south Atlantic Ocean, 483km (300mi) off the coast of South America. The Falklands islands have been a British Overseas Territory since 1833 and are heavily influenced by British culture. This is easily spotted in the currency, the Falkland Island’s pound; the spoken language, English; even the islands’ name, ‘Falklands’ sounds distinctively Scottish, if that wasn’t enough, in Stanley, you will see red post boxes. Apart from a minority of Scandinavian descendants (whose ancestors were whalers in the 19th century), most people living in the archipelago (known as the “Kelpers”) come from families with English roots. All of this within a population of no more than 3,000 inhabitants.
Another proof of the island's character is Stanley, the capital, which looks like a small English village mixed with a port town.
Even though the Falklands War left its mark on the archipelago, that doesn’t make this destination any less beautiful. Memorials have been built as a tribute to those who died in the war, and you can even do a battlefield tour which will take you through the most important battles of the short conflict.
The sites include - the Argentine and British Cemeteries and memorials; the HMS Coventry Memorial; Mount Harriet where many positions and remnants of Argentine equipment can be seen; Fitzroy where you can view Welsh Guards and RFA memorials; and many others depending on your preference.
What you may find most remarkable about the islands, isn’t just their human story, but their incredible surroundings. From white sandy beaches to clear turquoise waters and incredible wildlife. These are among the myriad of reasons why people are so curious and eager to visit the Falkland Islands. With an abundance of native and migratory wildlife that includes over 230 species of birds and 14 species of marine mammals - this is a natural paradise.
Whatever you decide to do, there is one thing which you won’t be able to control- that you will fall in love with these incredible islands the very moment you set foot on them.
Any element of your holiday can be made truly individual to your requirements, including the places you want to see and the things that are important to you. Just contact one of our Travel Specialists today.
In this journey, you will get the full experience of the Falkland Islands. Discover a fascinating wildlife like the King penguin, Albatross or Elephant seal. Travel to different islands and admire stunning landscapes and beautiful beaches, a 19-day holiday.
Truly Individual Holiday
Price from £5,885 pp
You will travel through different islands and see the majestic King penguin as well as Albatross, seals and much more. You will also visit the capital, admire the beauty of the city and experience the lifestyle of the Falklands Islanders, in a 14-day holiday.
Truly Individual Holiday
Price from £4,538 pp
In this journey, you will discover majestic landscapes like Devil’s Nose and its rocky promontory or Carcass Island and spot seals, whales and dolphins. It surely gives you the opportunity to admire a formidable wildlife and beautiful scenery in this 12-day holiday.
Truly Individual Holiday
Price from £3,949
When visiting the Falkland Islands, you can’t miss Stanley; the capital of the Falkland Islands. Formerly referred to as Port Stanley, this city was founded in 1843, and is home no more than 1,500 people. Here you can visit lots of different museums and churches where you will be able to find lots of information about the maritime exploration, natural history, as well as the 1982 Falklands War and Antarctic heritage.
Stanley is also home to Christ Church Cathedral, which is the southernmost cathedral in the world. The cathedral was built in 1890-92, and a very interesting fact about this area is when visiting the cathedral, you will also be able to view the arch that was built in 1933 to celebrate 100 years of British rule on the islands. What’s so exciting about this arch? It was made from the jawbones of two blue whales!
Other important stops at Stanley include - the Falkland Islands Museum where you will be able to find extensive information about the 1982 conflict, the history of the Falklands, and exhibitions on the archipelagos flora and fauna. St Mary's Church which is a cathedral that was all built in wood back in 1899 and also the only Catholic church present on the archipelago (make sure not to miss the western wall where you will find oil murals created by a local article, James Peck); the Government House is also worth admiring as this is a mid-19th-century residence that has been listed on the Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest, plus, the famous explorer Shackleton stayed here during his Trans-Antarctic Expedition; you can also visit a few Falklands War memorials built in the memory of the British troops, namely - the 1982 memorial, the 1982 Memorial Wood (Watson Way), or the 1914 Battle Memorial.
If you are in Stanley, make sure to pop by Gypsy Cove. This location is only a fifteen-minute drive away, and it is one of the best places to encounter penguins as Magellanic penguins gather around here.
Sea Lion Island is easily accessible from Stanley (40-minute flight) as the island is located 17km (10 miles) to the south of mainland East Falkland.
For many years the island was a sheep farm but due to the decline of the wool market The Falkland Islands Development Corporation had to change their plans and transformed the island into a premier wildlife tourism location in the Falkland Islands.
The Sea Lion Island is the largest of the Sea Lion group (which also includes; Brandy, Whisky, and Sea Lion Easterly islands) and it is made up of two rocky plateaux joined by a broad sandy beach. It also boasts large stands of tussac grass around the coastline, but its highlight will always be the incredible wildlife, which is sure to make an impact on anyone visiting the island. The geology of the island is characteristic of sandstone and mudstone from more than 250 million years ago, and some minor fossils have even been found here.
There are 56 species of flowering plants many of which are unique to the archipelago. These include the endemic vanilla daisy, the coastal nassauvia, or the Fuegian violet which is only known to exist in the Falkland Islands. All of this brought a new title to the island in 2017, the one of a designated National Nature Reserve.
What can’t you miss here? Elephant seals, as this island is the most important breeding site for them in the Falklands, with more than 1,000 individuals living here while in their breeding season (October). However, these are not all the animals that you can find here, so do make sure to keep an eye out for killer whales (seen here from October to February); Gentoo penguins (on the island all year round); Magellanic penguins (they arrive here in September but will leave by April to migrate to the north as far as Brazil); and finally, Southern rockhopper penguins (here to breed on cliff tops in October).
Carcass Island’s name originates from HMS Carcass which visited the area in the late 18th century. This island is the nearest land on West Falkland as it lies northwest of the archipelago, 6.5km (4 miles) off Hope Point. From Stanley, it will take you about one hour by plane to get here, but it is all worth it, as there is so much to discover and explore here. The Twins - two nature reserve islands with an important population of southern sea lions and southern elephant seals -are located just off the northwest tip of Carcass Island and are a fantastic addition to your itinerary when visiting the island.
But there is so much more to discover here after all the island covers 1,894ha (4,680 acres) of land with lots of natural surprises for you to unveil. There are beautiful views surrounding the island, and the highest points on it are Stanley Hill, and Mount Byng at 220 m (720 ft) which has been a sheep farm for more than a century. Here you can find lots of songbirds, penguins, and a diverse plant life that includes areas of mature tussac grass.
The fauna and flora on the island are rich from one tip to the other. On the north-eastern side of the island, you will find cliffs and slopes, while on the northwest side large sandy bays and rocky landscapes dominate the area. Due to the nonexistence of cats or rats here, the birdlife really thrives here. Examples of this include - the Falkland steamer ducks, ruddy-headed geese, Gentoo penguins, southern rockhopper penguins, Magellanic penguins, black-browed albatrosses, striated caracaras, blackish includes, Cobb's wrens, Tussac birds, dark-faced ground tyrants, Falkland Pipit, Falkland grasswrens, Falkland Thrush and long-tailed meadowlarks, and White-bridled finches. But birds are not the only ones thriving here, one hundred and seven different plants have been identified on the island including; the uncommon yellow orchid, the rare endemic hairy daisy and whitlow grass.
There are also several colonies of Gentoo penguins, and a generous number of the rare striated caracara as well a good amount of ruddy-headed geese.
Darwin is another must-visit location on the eastern side of the Falkland archipelago, also known as Port Darwin. The settlement is named after Charles Darwin, who spent a night here after carrying out a zoological survey of the Falkland Islands on the Beagle's second voyage.
When Charles Darwin visited the area, the settlement was a centre for cattle ranching and sheep farming. There was even a time when it was the largest centre of the population outside Stanley with over 200 workers. The small community consisted of just shepherds, farmhands, a master craftsman, a doctor, a schoolmaster, and a person. Even though the settlement doesn’t have a farm today, you can still find many traces of this period. Examples can be seen in the original gaucho stone corral (built-in 1874), as well as the Galpon a building (built in 1894) that was home to nineteenth-century gauchos. You can also visit the Argentine Military Cemetery also located in Darwin.
In the end, and just like in most places of the Falkland Islands, what stands out most is the idyllic surroundings that boast the most incredible flora, fauna, as well as animal species. And in Darwin specifically, there are so many to admire. In terms of animals you could spot anything from - Magellanic penguins, white-tufted grebes, rock cormorants, black-crowned night-herons, upland geese, ruddy-headed geese, Falkland steamer ducks, crested ducks, turkey vultures, crested caracaras, hawks, peregrine falcons, Magellanic oystercatchers, blackish oystercatchers, two-banded plovers, white-rumped sandpipers, South American terns, barn owls, and finally, Falkland thrushes. In terms of plants you find - Fuegian saxifrages, gaudichaud’s orchids, gorses, orange hawkweeds, scurvy grass, vanilla daisies, as well as yellow, pale maidens.
Lastly, don’t forget that Darwin is 2km away from Goose Green, and only a 30-minute drive to New Haven or Port Howard. If you are interested, you can add these to your itinerary on the day you visit Darwin.
The stunning Volunteer Point peninsula is located on the northern side of East Falkland and is a privately-owned natural reserve. The Peninsula was named after the ship Volunteer which arrived at the Islands in 1815 and is a 3-hour drive from the Falklands capital.
Once you arrive at Volunteer Point, you will not only fall in love with the white sandy beach, high grassy banks, sand dunes, but also with its inhabitants. And no, we are not talking about humans, we are talking about penguins! There are three distinct species of these cute birds living here; King, Gentoo and Magellanic penguins. Not only that, but Volunteer Point is home to the largest king penguin colony in the entire Falkland Islands. To be more precise, 1000 king penguins breed at Volunteer Point and raise around 500 chicks each year, so if you are a fan of these graceful penguins add Volunteer Point to your itinerary.
But penguins aren’t the only birds here, and in fact, Volunteer Point has been identified by Birdlife International as an Important Bird Area (IBA). A total of over 40 birds bird species have been recorded here so don’t be surprised in case you spot - Falkland steamer ducks (75 breeding pairs), ruddy-headed geese (100 pairs), Gentoo penguins (100 pairs), Magellanic penguins (2000 pairs) and White-bridled finches, South American terns, rock cormorants, kelp gulls, peregrine falcons, hawks, Magellanic and blackish oystercatchers, as well as upland geese.
Other than that, you might also be able to spot dolphins, sei whales, along with southern sea lions which can usually be spotted on the coastal waters waiting for penguins. And when it comes to plants you will see some sea cabbage, carpets of cushion-bog, daisy-flowered shrubby machine, as well as the tasty teaberries.
This is a place to enjoy nature and to feel its undeniable harmony.
When Do You Want To Go?
From your first booking with us, you’ll become a member of My Routes Rewards and begin collecting points for every holiday you book!
Our Truly Individual Holidays allow you to choose the destinations, inclusions & budget
Our Escorted Small Group Tours offer fantastic itineraries, travelling with like-minded people
Winner of 'Tour Operator of the Year - Small' at the 2021 Travel Industry Awards by TTG
Winner of 'Best Tour Operator' at the 2019 & 2018 L.A.T.A. Achievement Awards
All of our holidays are ATOL protected (11104), for your complete peace of mind