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Falkland Islands

Falkland Islands travel guide

These rugged, isolated isles welcome birdwatchers and wildlife fans – the Falkland Islands are among the best places for a penguin encounter

An archipelago of more than 740 islands just 480km east of Patagonia, the Falkland Islands are a natural paradise in the South Atlantic Ocean. Half the size of Wales, the islands boast white sandy beaches, clear turquoise waters and an abundance of native and migratory wildlife with over 227 species of bird and 14 species of marine mammal.

Stanley is a colourful seaside capital, home to 85% of the population, but if it’s a walk on the wild side you’re after, head to the outlying islands and settlements.  Each spring, beaches are crowded with breeding elephant seals and sea lions and up to five breeding species of penguin.

Wanderlust recommends

  1. Hang out with tufty rockhopper penguins and lolling elephant seals
  2. Go horse trekking at Crooked Inlet, a sheep and cattle farm
  3. Pack your binoculars and head to Carcass Island; an idyllic place (despite the name) with superb birdlife
  4. Take a Land Rover safari to Sparrow Cove and Kidney Cove
  5. Visit the Falkland Islands Museum in Stanley, an Aladdin’s cave of island artefacts

Wanderlust tips

For added adventure, consider arriving by ship. Island shipping has a regular service to Punta Arenas in southern Chile. Pick up the weekly Penguin News, out on Fridays, to get a handle on island life.

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