The Falkland Islands are an archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast
of Argentina. Although the total number
of islands exceeds 740, there are two main islands: East Falkland and West Falkland.
The capital city of Stanley is located on the coast of East Falkland, and though
its population numbers only 2,000, it is larger than any other town on these
rugged and rural islands.
Although the Falklands have been the subject of many territorial disputes throughout
history, they are now considered an overseas territory of the United
Kingdom and therefore an associate territory of the European Union. Because
of their long history with England, the official
language of the Falklands is English and the official currency is the Falkland
Pound, equivalent to the British Pound Sterling. The primary cuisine found on
the Falkland Islands is traditional British food, though there is some influence
from nearby South America. For a long time, the majority of visitors to the
islands have been from the UK, but there have recently been efforts to increase
the popularity of Falkland Islands holidays through eco and adventure tourism
packages, as well as including Stanley as a port offered on several cruise packages.
Falkland Islands travel is perfect for lovers of nature and wildlife. The rugged and hilly terrain offers an amazing array of wildlife, especially bird and marine species. Penguins, seals, porpoises, dolphins, and whales are only a few of the creatures that draw visitors from all over the world to take vacations here. Additionally, the Falkland Islands are very diligent to conserve their delicate eco-system. Visitors are asked to remove their own litter and not to disturb or handle the flora and fauna on the islands. There is an advisory against campfires in all boggy areas that contain peat, and animals always have the right of way.
Although temperatures are cool year-round, Falkland Islands travel is best enjoyed during the warmer months between November and March. Sunscreen is highly advised between August and September, since the islands are affected by the ozone hole and the risk of sunburn is significantly higher than in other places. The most popular destinations during Falkland Islands holidays include Sea Lion Island, Pebble Island, Saunders Island, Carcass Island, New Island, and West Point Island. Also popular are East Falkland's town of Goose Green, West Falkland's town of Port Howard, and the 2,300 foot Mount Usbourne.
Upon arrival to the Falklands, you will most likely fly into Mount Pleasant
Airport, 35 miles from Stanley. Falkland Islands travel does not require visas
from citizens of Britain, North America, Chile,
and most Commonwealth and European countries, but all visitors must provide
proof of accommodation, sufficient funds for their travels, and a return ticket
to depart the islands. There are taxis as well as a single shuttle bus from
the airport into the town of Stanley, and two taxi services are available for
transportation within the town. Accommodations available in Stanley include
several bed and breakfasts as well as a small selection of hotels.
Shorter flights to other towns in the Falklands are run solely by the Falkland Islands Government Air Service and depart from the smaller airstrip at the Stanley airport. Reservations are required for these flights. Outside Stanley, accommodations range from old farmhouses to lodges to self-catered camping, requiring permission from the landowner.
It is important to note that the Falkland Islands have remained rural even in today's age of technology. Therefore, all visitors are advised not to depend on credit cards or wireless internet access, though broadband internet and a GSM cell phone network is available.