Trip reference number: ITN-FLK007
Trip Operator: Rainbow Tours
The Falklands are one of the most rewarding wildlife destinations on Earth. Its remote location combined with rugged and wild landscapes make it truly unique. Spend your days walking amongst thousands of penguins, surrounded by seals whilst albatross and other Southern Atlantic bird life soar above. After spending time exploring this remote archipelago, our specialists easily came to the conclusion that there is so much to see and do in the Falklands, a 2 week trip is essential for those wanting to get the most out of it. This example itinerary is just a suggested itinerary that we know works well but we are more than happy to put together a tailor made itinerary based on the wildlife and island you as a traveller want to see.
Please note, the Falklands can be reached via scheduled flights from Chile, LATAM fly once a week (Saturdays) from Santiago via Punta Arenas to Mount Pleasant. Alternatively there is a direct charter flight from RAF Brize Norton.
Travelling within the Falklands is much more than just a mode of transport, it is a big part of the adventure. The light aircraft, inter-island flights are known as FIGAS (Falkland Islands Government Air Service) flights and FIGAS passengers will experience sublime views. Locals and tourists alike use the five Britten-Norman BN-2B Islander planes just like local buses – a means to an end to get to their final destination. Please be aware there is a luggage allowance of 20kg on FIGAS flights.
Day 1 Today you will fly from Santiago to Mount Pleasant in the Falklands, via Punta Arenas. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to Darwin House for 2 nights. Named after the famous naturalist Charles Darwin who visited the Islands in the 1830s, Darwin provides its visitors with an insight into the Falkland’s history. There is plenty to see from the 1982 conflict, and going back some 200 years’ remnants of the gauchos’ occupation in the 1800’s. Darwin House is a beautifully renovated farmhouse with views over Choiseul Sound and the picturesque settlement. The waterfront setting makes it a fantastic place to start your wildlife watching – Night herons, Ruddy-headed Geese and Blackish Oystercatchers are almost often spotted. Breakfast and dinner
Day 2 Enjoy a guided tour of the San Carlos, Goose Green and Darwin area to see some of the places that became household names during the 74-day conflict in 1982 between Argentina and England over the sovereignty of the Falklands. Experienced guides will bring these events to life as you take in both the British and Argentine war cemeteries as well as across many of the 1982 battlefields with an insight into the fierce battle for the reinstatement of a British flag over Goose Green. Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 3 Fly to Pebble Island for a 2-night stay at Pebble Lodge, a comfortable converted farmhouse with a warm and friendly atmosphere. Pebble Island is one of the largest outlying islands with a hugely diverse landscape from moorlands, large ponds and one of the longest beaches in the archipelago. This area is home to many thousands of Gentoo, Rockhopper and Magellanic Penguins. The ponds on the east of the island, many of which are within walking distance of the lodge, are home to Chiloe Wigeon, Grebes, Black-necked Swans and a multitude of other wildfowl and wading birds. During your stay, head out on a full day guided tour by 4x4 vehicle with ample opportunity allowing exploration further afield from the settlement. Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 5 On arrival you will travel overland, approximately 40 minutes’ drive, to the wildlife hotspot known as The Rookery. You will be staying in the fully equipped but isolated two-bedroom self-catering cottage located on the cliff top with spectacular views of the islands along the north of West Falkland. This 30,000-acre island is still an active sheep farm and is still of historical importance, being the site of the first British settlement in 1765. The attraction to wildlife enthusiasts is the Black-browed Albatross colony which stretches along the north coast. This island is unquestionably one of the Falklands best wildlife sites, all the wildlife is right on your doorstep here. Often spotted are King and Rock Shags (cormorants), Gentoo, Rockhopper, Magellanic penguins as well as albatross. Rather than not waste a moment’s wildlife viewing, pre-prepared home-made meals have been included in this itinerary or alternatively food can be bought in a small store at the settlement Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 7 Today fly to Carcass Island for a 2-night stay. This is one of the most picturesque outer-lying islands, with well-established hedges and trees attracting many small birds such as the Cobb’s wren, Black-chinned siskins and Falkland’s thrush to nest around the settlement buildings. The picturesque sandy beaches, rolling hills and low cliffs are superb platforms from which to view the multitude of sea and shore birds that either breed or feed on and around Carcass Island. From here, enjoy the settlement gardens, which have almost a tropical feel with their Monterey cypress trees, New Zealand cabbage palms and flax and colourful array of flowers. Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 8 Today enjoy spectacular sea-views on a full day boat excursion to West Point Island. Black-browed Albatross and magnificent cliff scenery on one of the Falklands most picturesque islands are the main attractions. The boat transfer can be extended to include whale and dolphin spotting as well as a circumnavigation around West Point Island, weather permitting. With around 500 pairs of rockhopper penguins, and nearly 2,000 breeding pairs of black browed albatross this area is a nature lover’s haven. Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 9 Today’s FIGAS flight is to Sea Lion Island, one of the smallest, most southerly inhabited island in the Falklands Archipelago. The island is renowned for the sheer abundance of wildlife in a relatively small area. An introductory tour by vehicle on arrival will point out areas of interest and you will be given a map and guidelines for safe wildlife viewing. Everything is within easy walking distance of the lodge. The internationally endangered Striated Caracara, Antarctic Skuas, Southern Giant Petrels, and a host of passerines can all be seen on this island. Not to be missed are the Southern Sea Lions at East Loafers, and the Elephant Seals which bask on the white sandy beach at the appropriately named Elephant Corner. The Gentoo penguins are close enough to be seen and heard from the lodge bar! Keep an eye open and you may spot the odd Killer Whale just off shore! Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 11 Transfer by FIGAS to Bleaker Island. Made up of wide sandy bays and sheltered coves, this low-lying island is a popular destination offering modern comfortable accommodation with a sense of isolation. The low silhouette of Bleaker makes it easy to explore on foot and it may also account for its rich maritime history. In the early part of the 20th century five ships were lost at Bleaker Island including the French barque Cassard wrecked in 1906. Privately owned, the island is run as an organic sheep and cattle farm which operates smoothly in conjunction with tourism. One highlight of the island is the Rockhopper penguin colony of some 750 pairs situated only a short walk from the cottages. At the centre of the island, Big Pond is an excellent place to view waterfowl including the White-tufted and Silvery grebe, Black-necked Swans, Chiloë wigeon, Speckled and Silver teal, and the flying steamer duck. Peregrine falcons and red-backed hawks plus Crested and Striated caracaras are also resident, whilst Southern sea lions and Elephant seals are regula...
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website
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