Many people travel to Patagonia to bear witness to the spectacular scenery at the bottom of the world. But from the bottom of the world, you can go even further. Roughly 300 miles off the coast of Argentine Patagonia, buffeted by the cold seas and salty wind of the south Atlantic, sits the Falkland Islands, an archipelago of two large main islands and over 700 smaller ones.
Mainly known to the world as the site of the 1982 Falklands War between Argentina and the United Kingdom, there is so much more to this remote cluster of islands than a bloody conflict. It’s a sanctuary for a huge variety of wildlife, including various species of penguins, marine life like seals, and over 200 types of birds. Its landscapes consist of idyllic grassy moors, dramatic sea cliffs, and white sandy beaches, where you can walk for miles with only the occasional red-roofed farmhouse on the horizon. And thanks to a diverse history of immigration, the traditions of English, Scottish, Welsh, and South American settlers have created a unique multicultural community. Isolated from the rest of the world, here you’ll experience tranquility and off-the-beaten-path wonder as you explore the remarkable biodiversity, culture, and history of these resilient islands.
Your Falkland adventure starts with arrival at Mount Pleasant Airport, the Falkland’s only international airport, in the early afternoon. After arrival, you’ll board an 8-seater Britten Norman Islander aircraft owned and operated by the Falkland Islands Government Air Service (FIGAS) for a short 25-minute flight to Sea Lion Island. The short flight time and low flying altitude allow for excellent views of the coastline and inland scenery. After landing on Sea Lion Island, you’ll be taken to your accommodations at the Sea Lion Lodge, a three-star British Lodge with picturesque views of the surrounding island, coastline, and beaches.
After arriving and getting settled in, staff and guides will take you on a short introductory tour of the nearby areas of interest, all of which are within walking distance of the lodge. You will also be presented with a map and guidelines for where and how to safely view wildlife. The next few days will be spent exploring and learning more about the island’s many species of birds and marine life. As the smallest and most southerly inhabited of the Falkland Islands, Sea Lion Island’s small size, isolation, and tiny human population make it a prime destination for spotting wildlife like southern sea lions and a multitude of bird species like the internationally endangered striated caracara, Antarctic skuas, and southern giant petrels. From the lodge bar, you can even see elephant seals basking on the white sand at Elephant Corner Beach. And if you’re really lucky, you may even spot killer whales in the waters offshore as well.
On Day 3, you’ll board another FIGAS aircraft for the short flight to Pebble Island, one of the larger outlying islands. Here, the landscapes vary from moorland and large ponds to rocky cliffs and long, sandy beaches. On the east end of the island, where your Lodge accommodations are located, you’ll find deep ponds that are the home of a wide variety of bird species including Chiloe wigeon, grebes, black-necked swans, and many more.
The next few days can be spent either embarking on full-day guided tours in 4×4 vehicles to see the abundant wildlife and spectacular scenery, looking for the semi-precious stones and pebbles that give the island its name, or relaxing at the Lodge, which was converted from a farm manager’s house into a cozy high-end lodge with superb views. History lovers can also comb the island for artifacts and debris from the 1982 Falklands War.
A FIGAS air transfer will next take you to Carcass Island, one of the most picturesque outlying islands and another popular birding destination, home to Cobb’s wren, Black-chinned siskins and Falkland’s thrush. The sandy beaches, rolling hills, and low cliffs are excellent places to view the multitude of sea and shorebirds that either breed or feed on and around Carcass Island. Here you’ll have the opportunity for self-guided exploration, as there are no guided excursions here, so you’re free to roam this small island at your leisure. You can also enjoy the historic settlement gardens with their Monterey cypress trees, New Zealand cabbage palms, and colorful flowers, which were brought and planted here by settlers.
The day starts with a FIGAS air transfer to Stanley, the capital city of the Falkland Islands. After arriving at Stanley Airport, you’ll be taken on a city tour to explore both the historic and modern districts of this small and remote city. The tour will include a stop at the museum, and a visit to the Magellanic penguin colony at Gypsy Cove. Then you’ll be transferred to your lodgings at the Waterfront Hotel for the night.
HIGH SEASON: NOV/DEC/JAN/FEB – USD 3,225 per person based on double occupancy
LOW SEASON: MAR-SEP – USD 3,061 per person based on double occupancy
SINGLE TRAVELLER SUPPLEMENT: + USD 596 (based on high season)
This itinerary is not available April to August inclusive as Sea Lion Lodge is closed during this
INCLUDED IN THE TARIFF:
• Full board accommodation (all meals included) at Sea Lion Island
• Full board accommodation (all meals included) at Pebble Island
• Full board accommodation (all meals included) at Carcass Island
• Hotel accommodation including breakfast at The Waterfront Hotel, Stanley
• All domestic flights
• Airport transfers as listed
• Excursions as listed:
– Introductory tour on Sea Lion Island
– Introductory tour on Pebble Island
– Boat trip to West Point Island on Carcass Island
– City tour & museum visit in Stanley
Duration: 8 days
Price: USD$ 3,225 / personCustomize This Trip