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The Falkland Islands – Remote beauty close to Patagonia

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The Falkland Islands

Have you heard of the Falkland Islands?

A few small spots on the map west of the southern tip of Argentina. For a long time we thought about whether we should visit the Falkland Islands during our five week trip to South America or not.

There is the possibility to visit Falkland with a cruise ship or individually. I would always choose an individually planned trip. In one day, more people come to the islands on the cruise ship than there are residents in the entire Falkland Islands. You have very little time and you have to share nature and wildlife with too many people. With an individually planned trip you have time, loneliness, pure nature and wildlife for you. An amazing experience.

Best time to visit

The best travel time is from September to March. If you want to see penguin chicks it is best to come in December / January. The orcas on Sealion Island are best and most often seen between mid to late November.

There are a few things you have to consider e.g. you can only travel to the Falkland Islands with LATAM from Saturday to Saturday. Domestic flights are required to travel between islands, but not as classic as you know it. Often an island consists of a house or a few. The aircraft lands in the middle of a green meadow. Sometimes, due to the rapid changes in the weather, the aircraft cannot land for days because the pilots cannot see anything through the low fog or strong winds.

The accommodations are often fully booked one to two years in advance as there are only a few places to sleep.

I planned the trip as follows:

Carcass

Arrival on Saturday on the main island and onward flight to Carcass. We had three nights there. Rob will provide you with delicious cookies and tea. On one side of the island you will find elephant seals and on the other side gentoo penguins on a unique, white sandy beach and turquoise blue sea. You can cross the island on foot or Rob will drive you if he has time.

It is most beautiful to watch the penguins in the morning or in the evening, during the day they are often foraging.

We stayed here for three nights. You will always find out the flight times one day in advance.

Saunders

Then we went on to Saunders. Here we had an overnight stay in a small house that we shared with a father and son from America. You can watch wonderful albatrosses and rockhopper penguins. The morning ritual is a shower under the waterfall. On a nearby beach we saw a couple of king penguins.

Sealion Island

Our third stop was Sealion Island. Unbelievable the penguins are walking around right in front of the front door, there are elephant seals on the beach five minutes away and if you get up very early on some days even orcas are close to the shore. The orcas try to snatch baby elephant seals from the rock pools. Super exciting to watch. And you are so close….

The feeling in the Falkland Islands is so unique. Great nature, no houses, supermarkets, streets … Just nature, animals and you in the middle of it all.

We stayed for two nights but would have loved to stay longer. I guess 3-4 nights would be sufficient.

Volunteer Point

Our last stop was Volunteer Point. We were picked up by Derek at the airport and drove about three hours over meadows and gravel roads. Super exhausting. But this view, the long, white beach and the unique king penguin colony more than made up for it. You will be fed by Derek’s wife, a super nice couple. 

We stayed for 2 nights. Like Sealion i would recommend one more night.

Final Thoughts

The Falkland Islands are so unique and cannot be compared with the rugged nature and wildlife. You can also visit a few other islands like Bleaker or Pebbels. 

I am happy to plan your trip to the Falkland Islands. Please note that you have to book very early, sometimes 2 years or more in advance, to get the dates and lodges you would like to have. Don’t be afraid to ask me if it is also on short notice, sometimes you are lucky if someone cancels, etc. We booked a year in advance.