When you think of the Falklands, you think of penguins. And why wouldn’t you? There are up to a million penguins on the island during the summer and with no natural land predators it’s practically a utopia for them.
No trip to the islands would be complete without saying hello to these adorable locals, but with the penguins in the spotlight, we want to know what’s hiding in the background?
Beyond birdwatching, the Falklands are a paradise for adventure lovers, with rugged terrain, vast waterways, and rocky cliffs. You can climb, surf, kayak and hike your way over this truly unique landscape, with some famous feathery friends cheering you on as you go.
The Falklands by Land
It’s unlikely that you’ll see another person outside of the capital, Stanley, when you’re hiking on East Falkland. A modern rarity, you can truly connect with your surroundings in their full, unspoiled glory.
And the island is certainly glorious. You’ll be treated with wide open skies and vast plains dotted with rock forests. The air is clean and crisp and the summers are temperate which make for the most perfect days in the hills.
Even more sweet are the views you get once you’re at the coast. A favourite hike of ours is to Gypsy Cove, part of the Cape Pembroke Peninsula. Sheltered from the ocean winds, the bay offers up a pristine white sand beach, rock pools, and of course, penguins.
If you want more inspiration to get walking in the Falklands, check out our other favourite hikes here.
If walking isn’t your speed, the Falklands introduced a new marathon and ultra-marathon route last year.
Fantastically unique, the East Falkland trail roughly follows the route taken by the British forces in 1982. Mostly off-road, the route is rugged, wild, and unbeatable when it comes to views.
The courses are 100 miles, 62 miles, and your standard 26.2 miles, and there’s even the option to do them as a four person relay team.
This year’s race has already been run but you can explore the route in your own time, or take part in the many other running events that take place all year round.
If you’re looking to pioneer some new climbs, then the Falklands is the destination for you. Most of the accessible rocks are found on West Falkland and are vey unique.
The sport is growing in popularity, so more crags are being made safe to climb all the time. You could be one of the first to take on any number of routes on the island, but we’d recommend reaching out to a local guide before you give it a go.
Biking has never been the activity of choice in the Falklands because of the rough terrain and strong winds. However, with the introduction of e-bikes, the adventurous souls among us can set off on a guided tour or with a trusty rental bike.
The stretch of land between Stanley and the Cape Pembroke peninsula is perfect for exploring by bike, and you’ll still get to see all of the beaches, shipwrecks, and historical sites that you would at a slower pace.
Like we said, you haven’t really visited the Falklands if you haven’t said hello to the penguins. You will have ample opportunity to do so, with colonies scattered all across the islands. We’d recommend heading to Carcass Island, Pebble Island, and Whale Point for the chance to see each of the 5 species living on the archipelago.
For keen birders, the Falklands offer so much more than just penguins. They are home to more than 70% of the world’s black-browed Albatross population as well as two endemic species.
You can head out on a day’s adventure to try and spot the Falkland steamer-duck or the Cobb’s wren for a truly unique birding experience.
The Falklands by Water
Surfing and Windsurfing
When the winds are right, the countless beaches of the Falklands make it a great surfing and windsurfing destination.
Surf Bay, near Stanley, is an obvious choice for catching some waves, but Bertha’s Beach also comes highly recommended.
One of the best ways to feel like a VIP in the Falklands is on a sailing adventure. Joining an expedition vessel around the islands will give you exclusive access to hidden coves, wildlife colonies and far-off islands.
You can also take out an inflatable boat, a ‘Zodiac’, for some thrills around the archipelago’s never-ending waterways.
With 770 islands in the Falklands, you will never get bored when out on a kayak. It is the best way to get up close and personal with the amazing marine animals who call the waters of the Falklands home.
You can spend your day with such amazing creatures as dolphins, sea lions, and often whales.
Ready to Go?
We love the penguins down in the Falklands, but hopefully we’ve convinced you that there is more to these islands than flightless birds.
If you want to know more then head to the Falkland Islands Tourist Board via this link, or keep up to date with them on their Facebook or Instagram.