Falkland Islands (Malvinas)
A true haven for wonderful, diverse wildlife watching, Stanley invites you ashore to soak in the untouched beauty of the Falkland Islands. Rolling farms and animal-covered coves and cliffs unravel nearby, while reminders of the war that scarred these islands in 1982 also reveal themselves on closer inspection. The Falkland Islands - a tiny, southerly outpost of the United Kingdom - lie a long way from the nearest land at Patagonia, and their isolated location has helped to maintain this unblemished, unhurried world of wonderful animals and wind-whipped scenery.
The ghostly, rusting wreck of the Lady Elizabeth ship welcomes you into port - and is a reminder of the historically treacherous nature of these 740 islands' remote location. Stanley sits as the capital, and even here there’s a quiet village ambience, as you wander quaint streets below colourful roofs. The small cathedral has an unusual decoration outside – a dramatic archway constructed from the giant jawbones of a blue whale.
While Stanley oozes quiet appeal, you’ll quickly want to head out into the ‘Camp’ – the local word for practically any part of the Falklands except for Stanley. Home to thousands of Gentoo and Magellanic penguins, you can meet their larger siblings - the tuxedo-clad king penguins, who rest on the shores. With five varieties of penguins living here, or dropping in during migrations, it’s one of the best places in the world to see the flightless birds squawking and waddling adorably. Cape Dolphin is the perfect position to spot exciting marine mammals cruising offshore, and you’re just as likely to bump into the island’s penguin and elephant seal populations here too. With varied birdlife filling its skies and sweeping over the waves, the scale and diversity of animals close to Stanley makes for a truly awe-inspiring visit.