Highlights and main attractions of the Falkland Islands

Forgetting the instant association with its chequered history, the windblown archipelago of the Falkland Islands is actually a fantastic place to visit, each island with its own unique combination of stunning, desolate landscapes, curious wildlife and all with an air of sheer isolation and anonymity that belies the ubiquitous name. 

Located to the southeast of South America approximately 480 kilometres, close to the Antarctic and Cape Horn, the infamous islands were discovered in 1520 during a Spanish expedition, before settlers from Saint-Malo arrived only to be chased away by the Spanish. Later populated by Argentina and conquered by Great Britain in 1833 they have long been the subject of well-documented power struggles, but the serenity of the landscape and position at the end of the earth could not be more aloof from this.

Included as part of an itinerary combining other attractions within Antarctica, tourism here is now more established so the time to visit is most definitely now.

Where are the Falkland Islands?

Wildlife and Variety

Comprising over 740 islands in total, most of which are uninhabited, this natural paradise is filled with rugged coastline interspersed with grassy tufts.The two main islands are East and West Falklands, with Stanley on East Falkland being the capital city, with picturesque hills as a backdrop and a relatively lively and colourful waterfront.

The wildlife to be experienced in the Falklands is undoubtedly abundant, with in excess of 227 bird species and 17 marine mammal species. Among the highlights are tufty rockhopper penguins, Volunteer Point is a true haven for wildlife, with the largest colony of king penguins outside of South Georgia, Magellanic, macaroni and Gentoo penguins, who are easily spotted by their distinctive orange crest. Lolling sea lions and seals can also be found lazing about, and Kidney Cove and Sparrow Cove are two great spots to explore and observe the flora and fauna. 

Heading out from Port Stanley by boat, excursions out to some of the smaller islands hold huge appeal. For example; Carcass Island has its colony of striated caracaras as well as elephant seals or the southerly Sea Lion Island is where you can spot orca whales offshore as well as larger whales, from spectacular and idyllic white sand beaches.

Horse trekking to the sheep and cattle farm located at Crooked Inlet is also recommended.

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