Getting Away From It All In the Falkland Islands
by Roy Witman © 2009
Do you feel like you've seen everything worth
seeing? So often, vacationers have tunnel vision
when it comes to choosing a vacation destination.
There are the standard top 10 locations and then there
are some little known yet extraordinary spots few will
visit during their lifetimes. If you're the adventurous
type and a true nature lover, do I have a suggestion for
The Falkland Islands are honestly located at the
ends of the earth. Trailblazers who long for unique
and inspiring holiday destinations will find this little
corner of the world absolutely enthralling. Naturalists
often compare the Falkland Islands to the Galapagos
Islands because of the widely diverse collection of
wildlife that make it their homes. With over 70 species
of birds and 17 different species of mammals, there's
no shortage of photo opportunities.
Take A Walk On the Wild Side
Marine mammals and birds are extremely
abundant on the Falkland Islands. You can't throw a
rock without hitting a penguin! (Not that you'd want to.)
In fact, five types of penguins can be found including
feisty little rock-hoppers all the way up to giant king
penguins. With the world's largest colonies of black-
browed albatross, birdwatchers will get a special treat
while visiting the islands.
In addition, elephant seals, sea lions, fur seals,
dolphins and killer whales fill the surrounding ocean
in such large quantities that sightings are frequent and
common. Just as with the animals on Galapagos, the
creatures found in the Falkland Islands are no
strangers to humans.
Accessible at every turn, you'll likely discover that
these animals are as curious about you as you are
about them. While walking on the beach, don't be
surprised if a colony of several thousand gentoo
penguins begins to approach and surround you.
Things To Do
Fly-fishing is big on the Falklands. September,
October, March and April are the best months for fly-
fishing on the Chartres River. As with all other
animals, there's an abundance of fresh-run sea trout in
the rivers here. Daily catches of 30 or 40 trout have
been repeatedly reported as well as a record-setting
22-pound catch! If fishing isn't your thing, there are
plenty of other activities that draw visitors to this area
of the world.
Sea kayaking is a fun adventure that takes you out
into the open waters of the south Atlantic. On guided
tours, you'll navigate the coastline in search of
encounters with sea life including massive whales and
Mountain bikers will enjoy treks up numerous
ranges on both the east and west sides of the islands.
Climbers and hikers can take to many of the same
routes as they absorb the great outdoors.
What You Don't Get
Probably the most surprising aspect of the
Falkland Islands is what you don't get. In this
peaceful, casual British-run country, you won't find
crowds, flashing neon signs, fast food restaurants or
stress. According to the official Falkland Islands
website, "This is a land where nature is sovereign, and
mankind is the minority."
What you will receive during your vacation is
clean air, personal security, greetings from friendly
people, delightful inns and hotels, an abundance of
seafood and an authentic, up close and personal visit
with Mother Nature.
When following the masses isn't appealing for
your next getaway, change the tone of your holiday
and escape to nowhere. The Falkland Islands will
give you a much-needed break from the typical and
open your eyes to the extraordinary.