The Falkland Islands are a veritable zoo, a wonderland teeming with penguins, and if you need any convincing you should check out my top reasons to visit the Falkland Islands right here. Visiting the Falkland Islands does require some extra considerations though, because it’s a remote and unique location. Here’s everything you need to know about visiting the Falkland Islands!
What you’ll see
The Falkland Islands’ main attraction is the birds. Birders come here from all over the world to watch and photograph the penguins, cormorants, and other bird species around the islands. (See more of that over here!) Besides the wildlife, you have the chance to check out the main town of Stanley, the outer islands, the British culture, and the historic museum.
How to get there
The Falkland Islands are very remote in more ways than one! To get there, you have 4 options: 2 by air and 2 by sea. You can fly to there on the weekly flight that departs from Santiago, Chile and stops in Punta Arenas, Chile on its way to Mount Pleasant Airport on the Falklands, each Saturday. Once per month, the flight also stops in Rio Gallegos, Argentina. Book these flights at least on month ahead to guarantee a seat. There’s also a flight once per month leaving from the UK. Alternately you can arrive by sea! Many cruise ships bound for Antarctica will stop at the island for a day excursion, which gives you a glimpse at the island. Some visitors will also arrive by sailing here on their private vessel, which is a great way to access the outer islands.
How to get around
Within Stanley, everything is within walking distance so there’s no need to worry about that! You can go on some day excursions from Stanley by driving in a Land Rover. Either hire a driver/guide or rent your own Rover during your stay, but be sure to rent it at least a few months in advance! To get to the outer islands, you have to charter a flight with FIGAS, which is what makes it challenging to plan your trip without a travel agent.
Where to stay
In Stanley, there a few hotels to choose from. I stayed at The Waterfront and it was entirely lovely. Outside of Stanley, what they consider ‘camp,’ stay in a guesthouse or cottage. These can be arranged through falklandislands.com or with a travel agent who has easier access to the accommodations.
What to eat
Seeing as this is a British territory, get ready for all your favorite British cuisine! The fish and chips are an absolute must here. Try the afternoon tea time at The Waterfront and the Baked Alaska dessert at the Malvina House Hotel.
They use the Falkland Islands Pound, which is equivalent in value to the British Pound. Most places will also access British Pounds, Euros, and US Dollars. Have your credit card and some cash ready when you arrive since the one bank on the islands is only open Monday-Friday, and there are no ATM’s available!
Travelers from most nationalities need only to apply for the visitor’s visa upon arrival. As a fun bonus, the entry passport stamp is a penguin! Be sure to set aside £22 cash to pay when you go to the Mount Pleasant airport to go home, and arrive at least 4 hours early since there’s extra security at this military airport.
When to book
With limited internet around these remote islands, it can be difficult to arrange all the accommodations, flights, tours, and rides you’ll need on your visit to the Falklands. Start booking as much as a year in advance to ensure you arrange everything you need!
The Falkland Islands present their challenges, but their beautiful natural assets are worth the extra effort to see it yourself! If you need any more convincing, check out my post here about the king penguins on the Falkland Islands. So there you have it, your complete guide to visiting the Falkland Islands. You’re now ready to go ahead and book your once-in-a-lifetime trip to the Falklands!
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