Falkland Islands Travel Guide


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Falkland Islands

 

The capital of the Falkland Islands is Stanley, on East Falkland. East Falkland is the most highly populated island and also home to the British military base at Mount Pleasant.  

 

Stanley is the location of the only hospital in the islands, with care provided by visiting medical specialists from the UK.  Medical emergencies sometimes involve a patient being airlifted to the UK, or to Chile.

 

The currency is the Falkland Pound, which is interchangeable with the pound sterling.  The currency is produced in the UK and basically the same as UK currency, but with different designs.  The islands have their own stamps and the currency and stamps are popular collector items.

 

Despite their remote location, these ruggedly beautiful islands have experienced increasing tourism since the 1982 Falklands War with Argentina.  The islands have been subject to territorial disputes for centuries.

 

East and West Falkland are separated by the Falkland Sound.  The islands are rugged and mountainous with many natural harbours and inlets.   The highest point on the islands is Mt. Usborne on E. Falkland, at approx. 700 m (2,300 ft). The altitude of the highest peak on W. Falkland, Mt. Adam, is just slightly lower.

 

The islands attract adventure seekers and wildlife lovers from all walks of life. The waters surrounding the islands are inhabited by many types of marine life, including seals (notably fur seals) and elephant seals.  There are hundreds of bird species, including penguins and albatrosses.
 
Several cruise ships call at the islands, and popular attractions include the penguin, sealion, and seal colonies.  Golf, fishing and scuba diving (wreck diving) are also popular. 

 

The islands have two airports, at RAF Mount Pleasant, close to Stanley, and the smaller Port Stanley Airport.  The British RAF operates flights between RAF Brize Norton in England and Mount Pleasant.  Flights are also available between Chile and Argentina.  The British Antarctic Survey operates flights between Port Stanley and its research stations.  Cruise ships, sailing yachts, and boat charters are often the only way to go for those wishing to explore the areas, as well as neighbouring South Georgia island and the South Sandwich Islands and Antarctic Peninsula.

 

Battlefield tours are available for visitors.  The presence of unexploded ordinance from the Falklands War should be noted, but known affected areas are well marked and fenced-off. 

 



 

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