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Visiting the Falkland Islands

If more people knew about the Falklands, I think it would be higher up on the list of destinations for most people

by Gary Arndt Posted on 20 November 2012
Stanley Cathedral and Blue Whale Jawbone Archway

Most people's knowledge of the Falkland Islands begins and ends with the Falkland Islands War which took place in the early 1980s between Great Britain and Argentina. Beyond the conflict, however, few people know much about the island.

It is not a popular destination for visitors. It is difficult to get to and far away from any populated areas. Moreover, the lingering feelings from the war means that there are no flights from the closest major cities: Buenos Aires and Montevideo. Nonetheless, for travelers who are willing to make the journey, the Falklands is well worth the effort.

Our trip to the Falkland Islands had three shore excursions: New Island, West Point Island and the capitol of Stanley.

Given its location in the South Atlantic, the Falklands are a wind swept land with no trees to be seen anywhere. The primary vegetation is grass and the primary fauna are sea birds and aquatic mammals. The geography is flat in the inland areas with dramatic sea cliffs on the shores.

The Falklands is one of the largest penguin and seal breeding areas in the world. It is home to numerous species of penguin including rockhoppers, king penguins, magellanic penguins, gentoos and macaroni penguins. Seabird species which can easily be seen include albatross, cormorants, petrels, swans, geese and ducks. Marine mammals include fur seals, elephant seals, orcas, humpback whales and the elusive blue whale.

If more people knew about the Falklands, I think it would be higher up on the list of destinations for most people.

Governor's House in Stanley
Albatrosses on New Island
The grassy fields of New Island
Rockhopper penguin with chick
Falkland Islanders remain fiercely and stubbornly British
Crew member John during a shore excursion
Rockhopper colony on West Point Island