Duration 15 days / 14 nights
Port Howard: 2 nights. Pebble Island: 2 nights. Saunders Island: 2 nights. Carcass Island: 3 nights with day trip to West Point Island. Sea Lion Island: 2 nights. Stanley: 3 nights.
Day 1 - 2: Arrival and Port Howard - 2 nights
Arriving at Mount Pleasant Airport early afternoon you will be met by your International Tours & Travel advisor. Your travel advisor will assist with your onwards transfer by Falkland Islands Government Air Service (FIGAS) 8-seater Britten Norman Islander to Port Howard with a flight time of approx 25 minutes. The low level flying gives exceptional views of the Falklands landscape. Your accommodation at Port Howard Lodge is ideal to explore camp life Falkland’s style. Camp is the word given to everywhere outside of the capital Stanley. A chance to see one the Falklands few remaining large farms (and one of the most picturesque) in action, with a guided tour of the settlement taking in a visit to the shearing shed where the 76,000 hectare farms 38,000 sheep are shorn, the 1982 war museum, and dolphin spotting in the harbour. On Day 2 you will travel by Land Rover to Fox Bay settlement with a picnic stop at Hawksnest Pond while viewing some 18 species of freshwater fowl, including Black-necked swans. Included in this full day excursion may be a visit to 1982 aircraft crash sites, and one of the Falklands richest fossil beds. Alternatively you may opt for a wildlife based tour to Gladstone Bay.
Day 3 - 4: Pebble Island - 2 nights
Begin your next adventure with a FIGAS flight to Pebble Island, with landscapes varying from large ponds to vast sandy beaches and rocky cliffs. This diversity offers shelter to a wide-ranging population of birds and mammals. Many thousands of Gentoo, Rockhopper and Magellanic Penguins breed each summer along with Southern Sea Lions. The deep 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. On Day 3 your full day guided tour will focus on the abundant wildlife and spectacular scenery, as well as hunting for the semiprecious stones that give the island its name. Pebble Island also has something for the historian having played an important role in the 1982 conflict. Your accommodation is at Pebble Lodge, previously the farm manager’s house, situated in the centre of the farm settlement. Now ideally adapted to the needs of visitors while retaining the warm and friendly atmosphere of a large farmhouse.
Day 5 - 6: Saunders Island - 2 nights
Today’s FIGAS flight will take you to Saunders Island. On arrival you will travel overland to the wildlife hotspot know as The Rookery – a drive of about 40 minutes. Rookery Inn is a comfortable two bedroom self-catering cottage located on cliff tops with magnificent sea views. The highlight for any wildlife enthusiast is the Black-browed Albatross colony which stretches along the north coast to the sandy isthmus known as The Neck. Saunders is unquestionably one of the Falklands best wildlife sites with King and Rock Shags, Gentoo, Rockhopper, Magellanic penguins to be seen as well as the albatross. All this wildlife is right at your doorstep at this fully equipped but isolated self-catering style accommodation. Pre-prepared home-made meals can be included so you won’t miss a moment’s wildlife viewing.
Day 7 - 9: Carcass Island including boat trip to West Point Island - 2 nights
Today’s FIGAS flight will take you to Carcass Island. This is one of the most picturesque islands, with tropical style gardens including Monterey cypress trees, New Zealand cabbage palms and colourful array of flowers attracting many small birds such as the Cobb’s wren, Black-chinned Siskins and Falklands Thrush to nest around the settlement buildings. The sandy beaches, rolling hills and low cliffs are superb platforms from which to view a multitude of birds and Elephant Seals. You have the opportunity to explore at your own leisure or if you prefer Rob, the owner, is always happy to give you a lift. On Day 8 enjoy a full day excursion by boat to West Point Island. Black-browed Albatross and magnificent cliff scenery are the main attractions of this trip. Weather permitting the trip can be extended to include whale and dolphin spotting as well as a circumnavigation around West Point Island.
Day 10 - 11: Sea Lion Island - 2 nights
Today’s FIGAS transfer is to Sea Lion Island where you will stay at the purpose-built lodge. This is one of the smallest islands in the Falklands archipelago, and the most southerly inhabited island. The sheer abundance of wildlife in such a small area makes it a must on any Falklands itinerary. An introductory tour by vehicle will show you areas of interest with everything in easy walking distance of the lodge. The internationally endangered Striated Caracara, Antarctic Skuas, Southern Giant Petrel can all be seen. 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 for Killer Whales as well.
Day 12 - 14: Stanley - 3 nights
Today you will bid farewell to the Falklands outer-lying islands with a transfer by FIGAS to Stanley. On arrival at Stanley Airport your guide will meet you for a city tour taking in both historic and modern parts of this remote capital, a visit to the museum and the Magellanic penguin colony at Gypsy Cove. On Day 13 a full-day guided battlefield and general interest tour will take you to San Carlos, Goose Green and Darwin – places that became household names during the conflict in 1982 between Argentina and England over the sovereignty of the Falklands. Your experienced guide will bring these events to life and will tailor the tour to your interests. On Day 14 your full-day guided 4x4 excursion to Volunteer Point will be a trip highlight. With the white sandy beach and turquoise waters this destination has a Caribbean feel, however the iconic King and Gentoo penguins will bring you back to the Falklands. There is a host of other wildlife to be seen as well as spectacular scenery as you traverse the north of East Falkland.
Day 15: Departure
Today you will sadly say goodbye to the Falklands with a private overland transfer to Mount Pleasant Airport for your onwards international flight. Keep your eyes open for Variable Hawks en route!
Included in the Itinerary:-
• Full board accommodation (all meals included) at Port Howard, Pebble, Carcass & Sea Lion Islands
• Self-catering accommodation with meal packs at Rookery Inn, Saunders Island
• Hotel accommodation including breakfast at The Waterfront Hotel, Stanley
• All domestic flights
• Airport transfers as listed
• Excursions as listed: - Full day guided tour and walking farm tour at Port Howard - Full day guided tour on Pebble Island - Roundtrip transfer from the settlement on Saunders Island - Full day excursion by boat to West Point Island - Guided introductory tour on Sea Lion Island - City tour & museum visit in Stanley - Full day battlefield tour of San Carlos, Goose Green & Darwin with packed lunch - Full day Volunteer Point with packed lunch.
Note: The accommodation on Saunders Island is only self-catering. There is a small store in the settlement which sells a basic but adequate range of tinned, dried and frozen foodstuffs, and the landowners can sell you fresh meat, eggs and bread. However if you/your clients would rather not worry about any catering, we can highly recommend pre-catered homecooked meal packs which are sent out from Stanley. These contain everything for breakfast (bread, cereal, yoghurt, juice etc.), packed lunch material (savoury pastries, sandwich fillers, fruit, chocolate, drinks etc.) and a three course evening meal with simple reheating instructions.