The Falkland Islands (also known as the Islas Malvinas) is an archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean that operates as a self-governing British Overseas Territory. It is located 300 miles (about 480 kilometers) off the coast of Argentina, which continues to claim it as sovereign territory, Islas Malvinas.
In the summer (between November and March in the Southern Hemisphere), the two main islands become tourist hotspots due to their diverse natural attractions. The location has outstanding scenic beauty and is well known for the conservation of several species of penguins.
Things to Do for Travelers in the Falkland Islands
The rugged landscape of the Falkland Islands offers several opportunities for exploration and hiking. It is not a standard destination with museums, plazas, cafes, and so on. Instead, it provides a glimpse into unspoiled natural beauty. It is mostly desolate, and the population is only about 3,000. If you want to be by yourself and contemplate, there is no better place. Some highlighted attractions include the following.
Walk around Stanley: The capital, Stanley, is home to two-thirds of the Falkland Islands’ entire population. Due to the British influence, Stanley looks more like a prosperous English village rather than a capital city. The architecture has a late Victorian look, and it is quite easy to wander around the city streets from one end to the other in less than two hours. Cafes, bookstores, and tourist souvenir shops line the main avenue. Several monuments proclaim the might of the British Navy, as does a small museum.
Trip to Albatross Colony: The massive seabirds that fly gracefully above the Atlantic come to the Falkland Islands to give birth to chicks, as well as nurse them. Most of the albatrosses that are found in the south Atlantic come here to breed. The largest colony is at Steeple Jason, a tiny island. You have to hire a boat from Stanley to visit the location.
Tour the War Zone: War erupted in 1982 between Britain and Argentina over possession of the Falkland Islands. Almost four decades have passed, but the scars still remain. Visit the war zone, where you can find trenches and battle positions from which the British Army defended the island. The rocky terrain was the scene of several conflicts between the two armies, and guided tours explain their unique history and significance.
Hiking: If you like to stretch your legs and carry a backpack with a tent and food, there is no better place than the Falkland Islands. The whole area is a vast hiking trail, and you could set off in any direction and be greeted by miles and miles of uninhabited farmland. One of the advantages of hiking here is that you are never too far from a farmer's home if you need assistance in an emergency.
Go Seal Spotting: Many of the smaller, uninhabited islands are home to seals and sea lions. These amphibious creatures like nothing better than to sprawl on rocks by the seaside on a sunny afternoon. Besides seals and sea lions, you would also find three species of penguins, including Gentoo. As with almost all destinations here, getting there requires you to hire a boat.
Travel to Pebble Island: The third-largest island of the archipelago is up for sale. However, the 19-mile strip of rock and sand has not found a buyer yet. Pebble Island is known for its bird sanctuary, which contains more than 40 varieties of sea and land birds of the region. There are also huge farms that raise sheep and cattle. Pebble Island can be accessed by a small prop plane used for island hopping.
Travel Risks for International Travelers in the Falkland Islands
You take a vacation for respite from your daily problems at work and in life. But, at times, you run straight into them while relaxing in the great outdoors. A simple, carefree outing may end with a trip to the hospital. Alone and in the middle of a vast ocean very far from civilization, it is easy to be overwhelmed. Though the Falkland Islands is one of the safest travel destinations in the world, you can never be too careful.
Travel by boat between islands can cause seasickness. The Atlantic is choppy, and a boat ride is anything but comfortable. Add to it the cold spray, and you have the perfect setup to come down with the flu, accompanied by nausea due to seasickness. If you do not like turbulent waters, do not venture out by boat.
Hiking through desolate areas is a calming experience—until someone slips on a rock and sprains their ankle. If you do not have adequate experience in hiking, do not start off at the Falkland Islands. If you become ill, you will have to drag yourself for miles until you arrive at a farmhouse.
Though crime is almost unknown, it is not non-existent. Be careful about your interaction with locals, and do not accept offers from strangers for homestay.
Eating seafood can cause intestinal problems. Be sure that all the fresh crab and shrimps you devour are properly and hygienically processed in the kitchen.
Be wary of tourist guides who offer sightseeing around remote islands. There is nothing more dangerous than being on a leaky boat in the middle of the Atlantic.
Falkland Islands Travel Medical Insurance for International Travelers – FAQs
Sea lions and penguins would most likely never harm you, but pneumonia and seasickness are another matter. The Falkland Islands have a robust healthcare system, but in case of critical illness, you would need to be evacuated. That means a long trip to Brazil or the UK by air ambulance.
Do I need travel medical insurance for the Falkland Islands?
Buying travel medical insurance is not mandatory when visiting the Falkland Islands. However, keeping in mind that out of pocket medical expenses are hard to meet, it is simply common sense to purchase adequate coverage.
Why buy travel medical insurance for the Falkland Islands?
Sightseeing and fun can turn into stressful times without any notice. You may fall ill or develop breathing problems or chest pains while hiking. While medical care is available at the Falkland Islands, it is not free. It is best to think ahead and buy travel medical insurance for your overall well-being.
Falkland Islands Trip Cancellation Insurance for International Travelers – FAQs
You have been planning a vacation for months. The night before you depart, someone close falls ill. You have no other option but to cancel the trip. It is frustrating and could cause serious financial loss.
Why buy trip cancellation insurance for the Falkland Islands?
You have paid for most of the trip in advance. The flights and hotel rooms have been paid for. Trip cancellation means you are staring at huge sunk costs. Falkland Islands vacation insurance can help you recoup the costs of this loss and plan another trip in the future.
What all is covered under trip cancellation insurance for the Falkland Islands?
Most trip cancellation insurance plans are quite comprehensive. They take care of postponement due to inclement weather, floods, riots, illness, and the death of loved ones. The most common causes of trip cancellation can be insured. That is why it is best to buy travel insurance before you set off for the Falkland Islands.
Before You Travel to the Falkland Islands - Do These
Enjoy your time in the Falkland Islands and be one with nature, but do not forget these crucial travel tips:
- Maintain your travel documents such as passport and visa in a separate folder. Keep this folder with you or in a safe location at all times.
- It is best to be restrained in your activities. Too much enthusiasm in an unknown part of the planet can land you in deep trouble.
- Before you depart, buy adequate travel insurance coverage to protect your well-being and loved ones who travel with you.