Exceptional nature photography and wildlife tour, featuring visits to huge penguin colonies and other seabirds including cormorants and albatrosses; elephant seal and sea lions rookeries; dolphin and possibly orca sightings; land-rover tours to remote wildlife spots in the outlying islands of the archipelago, scenic flights within the archipelago and the remarkable hospitality of the Kelpers, our hosts throughout the trip.
This trip offers you full privacy and flexibility to pursuit your own interests. If you are a nature photographer, a birder, a botanist, or simply a nature enthusiast or hiker, this journey of discovery is for you!
Next Departure: February 4-11, 2017 • 6 guests + Tour Leader Enrique Couve. 8-day trip from Santiago or Punta Arenas, Chile.
Custom departures: Available weekly (every Saturday) from September through April. Check out updates rates for 2016/2017.
On this journey we will discover the wildlife and natural history of a remarkable and remote group of islands, located in the South Atlantic Ocean, the Falklands. The archipelago comprises more than 700 small islands (most of them uninhabited) and is located about 350 miles northwest of Cape Horn, in mainland South America. The Falklands are simply the most accessible place in the world to observe breeding colonies of sub-Antarctic wildlife such as tame Black-browed Albatrosses, Rockhopper and King Penguins and marine mammals such as Southern Elephant Seals and Orcas.
Itinerary in Brief (8 days / 7 nights)
Day 1 • Flight to the Falklands - Transfer to Port Stanley
Day 2 • Volunteer Point
Day 3 • Flight to Carcass Island
Day 4 • Carcass Island - Optional boat trip to West Point Island
Day 5 • Carcass Island - Flight to Sea Lion Island
Day 6 • Sea Lion Island
Day 7 • Sea Lion Island - Flight to Darwin
Day 8 • Flight to Punta Arenas or Santiago, Chile
• Visit the impressive King Penguin colony of Volunteer Point.
• Up to six penguins species including Rockhopper, Gentoo and Magellanic.
• Great light conditions, ideal and highly recommended to serious nature photographers.
• Visit to marine mammal colonies of Elephant Seal and Sea Lions.
• Great wildlife lodges located in remote islands.
• Scenic flights within the archipelago.
This program is operated as a custom trip, and available upon request for individuals or small private groups.
The Difference of Travelling with Far South Expeditions
• Great accommodation and memorable dinning cuisine and picnic lunches.
• Small group experience with a maximum group size of 6 participants fully guided by one of our senior naturalist guides.
• Spacious vehicles that ensure a window seat to each trip participant.
• ...plus an useful pre-departure information package.
The Falkland Islands can be combined with the following optional extensions in mainland Chile & Patagonia:
• Patagonia Explorer: 9-day wildlife and photo adventure to Patagonia & Tierra del Fuego, the 'End of the World';
• Cruise to the Cape Horn and Tierra del Fuego (5 and 4 days); journey to the fjords, glaciers and history of the southern tip of South America. Leaving from Punta Arenas, Chile or Ushuaia, Argentina.
• Torres del Paine Explorer (3, 4 and 5-day options); photo safari and natural history trip to Patagonia's premier mountain and wildlife destination.
Detailed Itinerary and Activities
Day 1 • Saturday • Flight to Mount Pleasant, Falkland Islands – Meet and transfer to Port Stanley
This morning you will take a morning flight from Santiago de Chile (SCL) to Mount Pleasant airport in the Falkland Islands.
On arrival, you will be met by your local host and transferred to Port Stanley, the only town in the archipelago, with a population of approximately 2,000 people. You will have part of the afternoon to visit the very interesting local museum and some free time to make your own independent explorations.
Overnight at Hotel Malvina House, Port Stanley. (In-flight meal, Dinner)(Guide).
Day 2 • Sunday • Full day trip to Volunteer Point – King Penguin rookery
We will travel to Volunteer Point by 4x4 vehicles with a driver/guide in a journey of approximately 2.5 hours from Stanley. Named after the ship ‘Volunteer’ which called into the islands in 1815, the point is part of the Johnsons Harbour farm, one of the largest privately owned settlements. Volunteer Beach is approximately 2 miles of stunning white sand bordered by high grassy banks leading to large greens.
These wonderful areas provide the perfect habitats for three breeding species of penguin: Gentoo, Magellanic and the regal King penguin, of which there are over 1,000 adults which successfully rear over 200 chicks each year. This is the largest breeding group of Kings within the islands within easy access. King penguin breeding cycle takes longer than one year meaning that any pair rears two chicks in a three year period. The egg is incubated on the feet and should the egg roll off the parent can lose interest and the egg is lost. This is a critical stage in the parenting and visitors need to be vigilant and must not disturb the colony.
Overnight at Hotel Malvina House, Port Stanley. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)(Guide).
Day 3 • Monday • Flight to Carcass Island (c. 45 minutes) – Explore Carcass Island
Today we will fly to Carcass Island and enjoy the hospitality of one of the most comfortable lodges in the whole archipelago. This will the perfect base for the following two nights to explore the island on foot or by land rover, looking for the famous ‘Johnny Rook’ or Striated Caracara among several other avian specialties of the Falklands.
Over 100 years of habitation, Carcass named after the HMS Carcass, has had three environmentally conscious owners who have avoided the introduction of rats and cats. This care and freedom from predation has made a difference that is immediately evident and needs to be experienced rather than described. Magellanic penguins nest around the settlement and a Gentoo colony is only a short walk away. There is also a large number of Striated Caracara (Johnny Rook), most of them residing right outside the windows of the accommodation. Elephant seal, Sea Lion, King cormorants and Night heron are also to be found on the island in addition to the wonderful endemic Cobb’s Wren and other small bird species on this cat and rat free island. Your hosts are outstanding and offer a home away from home in the refurbished house.
Overnight at Carcass Lodge, Carcass Island. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)(Guide).
Day 4 • Tuesday • Carcass Island – Optional boat trip to West Point Island – Black-browed Albatross colony
The surroundings of Carcass Island are just phenomenal for wildlife encounters. We will be transferred by land rover to the wildlife sites, crossing moorlands and tussock grasslands with superb views of the coast and surrounding islands. We’ll use the morning to photograph the Elephant Seals visiting the beaches and maybe even see Orcas off the headlands. A variety of coastal birds including Magellanic and Blackish Oystercatchers, Crested Ducks, Kelp Goose and delicate Dolphin Gulls will be great subject for our wildlife photography. The lodge offers fantastic home-made cooking and simple and great facilities to relax after our photo and wildlife excursions.
If you are interested in photographing Albatross at their colonies we suggest you to consider the optional boat trip to West Point Island (weather permitting). The 2-hour crossing can be productive for the birders and photographers as we have great chances to see Thin-billed Prion, Grey-backed Storm-Petrel and up to two dolphin species, including Commerson's and Peale's. The main goal of the trip is to approach a nesting colony of Black-browed Albatrosses, where we will learn the fascinating details of their ecology and breeding cycles.
Overnight at Carcass Lodge, Carcass Island. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)(Guide).
Day 5 • Wednesday • Carcass Island – Flight to Sea Lion Island (c. 45 minutes) – Sea Lion Island
‘Sea Lion’ is a ‘must’ in any Falkland Islands tour as this fantastic island is truly is a paradise for wildlife. Here we will see three penguin species, huge cormorant colonies and a large Elephant Seal rookery. This place is simply fantastic for nature photography, with birds, marine mammals and plants, great views and comfortable accommodations. Sea Lion Lodge will be our base for two nights.
Overnight at Sea Lion Lodge, Sea Lion Island. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)(Guide).
Day 6 • Thursday • Full day exploring Sea Lion Island – Visit to penguin and elephant seal colonies
Sea Lion Island, the most southerly inhabited island of the Falklands group, is five miles long and just over a mile wide at its widest point, just the right size for exploring. Beautiful stands of spectacular tussock grass cover one fifth of the island and provide a perfect habitat and protection for much of the islands' varied fauna and wildlife, including Elephant seal (the largest population on the Islands, with up to 1,800 seals) and Southern Sea Lion. Besides the tussock, there are dazzling white sand beaches, dramatic cliffs and fresh water ponds.
The different bird species, which can be seen on the island, include four species of penguin and birds of prey such as Striated Caracara, one of the rarest raptors in the world. At certain times of the year, pods of killer whale circle the island in pursuit of Elephant Seal pups which can be found in the crystal clear nursery pools only a few minutes walk from the lodge’s front door! Sea Lion, a remarkable wildlife reserve where nature can really be experienced, to later share experiences and memories in the cosiness of your lodge.
Overnight at Sea Lion Lodge, Sea Lion Island. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)(Guide).
Day 7 • Friday • Sea Lion Island – Flight to Darwin (c. 40 minutes)
By noontime we will fly to the Darwin settlement. Darwin, Goose Green and San Carlos are probably best known today for the parts they played during the 1982 conflict between the British and Argentines. All locations have memorials to those fallen and Darwin is the site of the Argentine cemetery and San Carlos that of the British cemetery and small museum and Bomb Alley.Darwin was once the largest settlement after Stanley, with almost 200 workers on the farm payroll. The settlement, named after Charles Darwin, who spent some time here during his travels, was established in 1859 as a centre first for cattle ranching, and later for sheep farming. Today, the number of residents is much fewer but remains a large working settlement which offers superb full board accommodation in the form of Darwin House.
Overnight at Darwin House, Darwin. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)(Guide).
Day 8 • Saturday • Darwin settlement – Transfer to Mount Pleasant Airport – Flight to Santiago or Punta Arenas, Chile
You will have a leisure morning. After breakfast, you will have some time to explore the surroundings of the settlement and watch the common wildlife. We will be transferred to the airport in the afternoon to take our flight to Santiago where our trip will conclude.
Dates and Rates
Scheduled Departures: Group trip (up to 6 guests), fully guided by a Tour Leader from our company.
|Falkland Islands, A Wildlife Photo Adventure
||8 days, 7 nights
|Price per person
|Maximum group size: 6 participants
Custom Departures: Private trip (1-2 guests), partly led by local guides, some guided excursions.
|The Falkland Islands, A Wildlife Photo Adventure
||8 days, 7 nights
||Leaves every Saturday • From Sep through April
|Price per person
|Minimum party: 1-2 participants.
• The above rates are per person in USD, based on double occupancy. Single supplement charge is indicated.
• Departure tax from the Falklands (£22 - payable locally, not included)
Do you want us to arrange your flights from Santiago or Punta Arenas to the Falklands?
We can provide a competitive quote for your flight tickets (Santiago de Chile / Punta Arenas - Mount Pleasant, Falklands - Punta Arenas / Santiago de Chile).
Duration of the flight: From Santiago de Chile (c. 6-7 hours); from Punta Arenas (c. 2 hours).
What the trip includes/excludes
Single supplement will be added if requested.
The trip price includes: All accommodations and meals as stated in the itinerary, meet and greet, all transfers, all internal flights using FIGAS, and full day tour to Volunteer Point with drive/guides.
The trip price excludes: Flights from Santiago or Punta Arenas, departure tax from the Falklands (£22 - payable locally), tipping, travel insurance, excess baggage charges (20kg personal allowance, excess charged at £1 per kilo per flight thereafter), hotels in Santiago or Punta Arenas, à la carte dishes, snacks, drinks, laundry, telephone calls and anything else of a purely personal nature.
Enrique is an Industrial Engineer by profession, although a field naturalist by true passion. One of the two founders and original driving forces behind the Far South Expeditions concept and company, he has been birding and studying the natural history of Chile for more than 45 years.
He is co-author of more than 20 publications on the natural heritage of Chile and Patagonia, and among his published works is the praised 'Birds of Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego and Antarctic Peninsula'. Enrique is a very gifted field spotter, and he uses this skill on his nature photography work, as he has one of the most complete and extensive files on the flora and fauna of the country.
Enrique has extensively travelled throughout Chile and South America, its oceanic islands and Antarctica. He is the main author of an upcoming and long-awaited Field Guide to the Birds of Chile, now in its final completing stages. He is a skilled puma tracker and a pioneer of puma trips in Patagonia.
He is founding partner and manager of Far South Expeditions and lives in Punta Arenas with his wife Cecilia.
Check our our photo gallery with images of recent photo safaris and wildlife trips to the Falkland Islands.
Possible species of birds and mammals to be seen during this trip.
Penguins | Spheniscidae
King Penguin Aptenodytes patagonicus
Gentoo Penguin Pygoscelis papua papua
Rockhopper Penguin Eudyptes chrysocome chrysocome
Macaroni Penguin Eudyptes chrysolophus
Magellanic Penguin Spheniscus magellanicus
Grebes | Podicipedidae
White-tufted Grebe Rollandia rolland
Silvery Grebe Podiceps occipitalis
Albatrosses | Diomedeidae
Wandering Albatross Diomedea exulans
Southern Royal Albatross Diomedea epomophora epomophora
Black-browed Albatross Thalassarche melanophris
Grey-headed Albatross Thalassarche chrysostoma
Shearwaters & Petrels | Procellariidae
Southern Giant Petrel Macronectes giganteus
Northern Giant Petrel Macronectes halli
Southern Fulmar Fulmarus glacialoides
Cape / Pintado Petrel Daption capense
Blue Petrel Halobaena caerulea
Thin-billed Prion Pachyptila belcheri
White-chinned Petrel Procellaria aequinoctialis
Great Shearwater Puffinus gravis
Sooty Shearwater Puffinus griseus
Storm-Petrels | Hydrobatidae
Wilson's Storm-Petrel Oceanites oceanicus
Grey-backed Storm-Petrel Garrodia nereis
Diving-Petrels | Pelecanoididae
Common Diving-Petrel Pelecanoides urinatrix
Magellanic Diving-Petrel Pelecanoides magellani
Cormorants | Phalacrocoracidae
Rock Shag Phalacrocorax magellanicus
Imperial / King Shag Phalacrocorax atriceps albiventer
Herons, Egrets & Bitterns | Ardeidae
Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis
Black-crowned Night-Heron Nycticorax nycticorax
Ducks, Geese & Swans | Anatidae
Black-necked Swan Cygnus melanocorypha
Coscoroba Swan Coscoroba coscoroba
Feral Domestic Goose Anser anser
Upland Goose Chloephaga picta
Kelp Goose Chloephaga hybrida
Ashy-headed Goose Chloephaga poliocephala
Ruddy-headed Goose Chloephaga rubidiceps
Flying Steamer Duck Tachyeres patachonicus
Falkland Steamer Duck Tachyeres brachypterus
Chiloe Wigeon Anas sibilatrix
Speckled Teal Anas flavirostris
Crested Duck Anas specularioides
Yellow-billed Pintail Anas georgica
Silver Teal Anas versicolor
Cinnamon Teal Anas cyanoptera
Red Shoveler Anas platalea
New World Vultures | Cathartidae
Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura jota
Hawks, Eagles & Kites | Accipitridae
Variable Hawk Buteo polyosoma
Falcons & Caracaras | Falconidae
Striated Caracara Phalcoboenus australis
Southern Crested Caracara Caracara plancus
Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus
Rails, Gallinules & Coots | Rallidae
White-winged Coot Fulica leucoptera
Magellanic Oystercatcher Haematopus leucopodus
Blackish Oystercatcher Haematopus ater
Plovers & Lapwings Charadriidae
Two-banded Plover Charadrius falklandicus
Rufous-chested Dotterel Charadrius modestus
Sandpipers & Allies | Scolopacidae
South American Snipe Gallinago paraguaiae
Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus
Sanderling Calidris alba
White-rumped Sandpiper Calidris fuscicollis
Baird's Sandpiper Calidris bairdii
Sheathbills | Chionidae
Snowy Sheathbill Chionis alba
Skuas & Jaegers | Stercoraridae
Chilean Skua Catharacta chilensis
Falkland Skua Catharacta antarctica
Gulls | Laridae
Dolphin Gull Larus scoresbii
Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus
Brown-hooded Gull Larus maculipennis
South American Tern Sterna hirundinacea
Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea
Antarctic Tern Sterna vittata
Barn Owls | Tytonidae
Barn Owl Tyto alba
Typical Owls | Strigidae
Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus
Ovenbirds | Furnariidae
Blackish Cinclodes / Tussacbird Cinclodes antarcticus antarcticus
Tyrant Flycatchers | Tyrannidae
Dark-faced Ground-Tyrant Muscisaxicola macloviana
Swallows | Hirundinidae
Chilean Swallow Tachycineta meyeni
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
Wagtails & Pipits | Motacillidae
Correndera / Falkland Pipit Anthus correndera grayi
Wrens | Troglodytidae
Falkland Grass Wren Cistothorus platensis falklandicus
Cobb's Wren Troglodytes cobbi
Thrushes & Allies | Turdidae
Austral Thrush Turdus falcklandii falcklandii
Old World Sparrows | Passeridae
House Sparrow ( I ) Passer domesticus
Buntings, Sparrows & Allies | Emberizidae
Black-throated / Canary-winged Finch Melanodera melanodera melandera
Troupials & Allies | Icteridae
Long-tailed Meadowlark Sturnella loyca
Siskins | Fringillidae
Black-chinned Siskin Carduelis barbata
Dolphins | Delphinidae
Killer Whale / Orca Orcinus orca
Peale's Dolphin Lagenorhynchus australis
Commerson's Dolphin Cephalorhynchus commersonii
Eared Seals | Otariidae
Southern Sea Lion Otaria flavescens
South American Fur Seal Arctocephalus australis
True Seals | Phocidae
Southern Elephant Seal Mirounga leonina
"The Falklands also sometimes referred as 'The Galapagos of the South', indeed it is, seldom you can approach birds and wildlife so close. Not only interesting for taking pictures, but also because of observing the birds in its behavior. In fact it was a feast, where we found ourselves very privileged to enjoy colonies of Black-browed Albatross colony, four Penguin species and in particular the King's, Dolphin Gulls, King Cormorants, but also the solitaires like Canary-winged Finches, Long-tailed Meadowlark, Cobb's Wren, Falkland Pipits and many others. Not to forget the marine mammals like Southern Elephant Seal and the hours during hunting attempts of the Killer Whales in and near the famous pool."
– Gert Huijzers (The Netherlands).
How to Book
To register for this tour, complete the registration form and return it (by fax or email) with a deposit of US$ 750 per person. Full payment of the tour fee is due 90 days prior to tour departure.
Notice of cancellation can only be accepted IN WRITING from the person who signed the booking form and takes effect on the day such noticed is received by us.
Refunds are made according to the following schedule:
If cancellation is made 120 days or more before departure date, the deposit less US$ 200 is refundable.
If cancellation is made between 120 and 60 days before departure, the deposit is not refundable, but any payments covering the balance of the fee will be refunded.
If cancellation is made fewer than 60 days before departure date, no refund is available.
This policy and fee schedule also applies to pre-trip and post trip extensions, as well as any transfers from one tour to another. We strongly recommend the purchase of trip cancellation insurance to protect yourself.