Far out in the South Atlantic Ocean, some 300 km from the shores of Latin America yet still relatively close to Antarctica lays the unique archipelago which is still part of the British Empire. The Falkland Islands are mostly associated with pristine nature, big blue skies and precious fauna – especially local rich penguin population. Those who come here should not expect a touristy place. The population of the Falklands is very small and the only ‘bigger’ destination is the capital Stanley. Other settlements are usually referred to simply as ‘camp’.
Once at Stanley, the tourists are encouraged to start their trip at the Jetty Visitor Centre, located at the head of the Public Jetty. Here, they may learn about the history and culture of the Falkland Islands, find out about the 1982 war conflict over the archipelago with Argentina, or get tips regarding local attractions and appealing sites.
Local wildlife is absolutely sensational; the scenery takes one’s breath away and the fauna is surprisingly rich. Birdwatchers love to visit Falklands to observe the various species of penguin; altogether, there are five distinct kinds to be seen here as well as four species of seal, albatross, petrels, the Falkland Flightless Steamer duck, geese, hawks, falcons or the Striated Caracara – a rare bird of prey found only on the Falkland Islands and some islands off Cape Horn.
The peak season for wildlife observation is between the months of December and January, however in general, tourists tend to visit here between October and April. Many travelers claim that the perfect way of discovering the Falklands is via cruising. Thousands of tourists come here on board cruise ships of various sizes. Usually, they pass local waters and explore the shores while on their way to South Georgia and Antarctica.