Travel guide to the Falkland Islands being Argentinian (or from any other nationality)
Yes, you can be Argentinian and travel to the Islands. So, I would like to share my experience as an Argentinian traveler to this place that is so unique.
I will tell you how to get there, tours you can take and some useful tips for your stay.
Of course, this article can also be used by non-Argentinian people that would like to visit the Falkland Islands.
First of all, I would like to say that the Falkland Islands are an archipelago; its capital city is Stanley (or Puerto Argentino). There are two main islands: East Falkland (Soledad), with an extension of more than 6000 km2 and West Falkland (Gran Malvina), which extends for more than 4000 km2; and, of course, more than 200 minor islands. The official language in the Islands is English, even though there are people who speak Spanish. Most of the products come from Chile and England.
There are two options to get to the Islands from the South American continent, LAN being the company offering the flights. The first option is to go to Punta Arenas, in Chile, and to take a flight to the Islands on Saturdays. That same flight returns on next Saturday, so the stay in the Islands is of one week. The second one is to take the flight in Rio Gallegos, coming from Punta Arenas every second Saturday of the month, and then go to the Islands. This flight returns every third Saturday of the month to Rio Gallegos. I recommend LAN’s website to buy the tickets. This is the flight that I took, and it lasted around 1:30 hours. There are also flights coming from London twice a week, but, obviously, they are more expensive. This year, there is supposed to be a new monthly flight coming from Córdoba (Argentina). However, it is not available yet.
In general, wind and weather play an important role in the Islands, reason why peak season goes from October to April. I travelled in December, there was a lot of wind, but days were sunny and pleasant. Lucky me! For instance, temperature in January tends to be around 10°C and maximum temperature in July tends to be around 4°C. Another option is to visit the Islands by taking a cruise. This option is much more expensive, and cruises usually stop by just for a few hours or a few days in the Islands (not enough time). I recommend taking coats and to be ready for rains, for example, by taking also raincoats or tracking shoes.
Stanley (Puerto Argentino in Spanish), is the capital city. It has 2000 inhabitants and it is the administrative center of the Islands. You can visit it in just one day. It has restaurants, supermarkets, hotels and souvenir stores. I recommend that you should go to some of the typical English bars. I stayed there for 7 days and I took tours the whole week.
What to see
It is in Stanley and it tells us about the history of the Islands. Very interesting. I definitely recommend it!
What can you do outside Stanley?
I recommend taking tours. You can ask me, and I will reach people located in the Islands that specialize in these tours. They speak both Spanish and English.
Bertha ‘s Beach
You will be able to see penguins, seabirds and dolphins
This ship, called “Lady Elizabeth”, is there from 1936, reason why it became a postcard of the Islands. It was a ship that departed from Sunderland in England and carried load. Great place to take pictures!
The seaweed that surrounds the archipelago is called “kelper”, that’s why its inhabitants take that name.
Darwin Cemetery and Jose Green farm
Argentinian soldiers that passed away during the 1982 conflict are buried there. The First Battle of 1982 took place in Goose Green. There is also a farm there, where you can get information about what happened during the war and enjoy good food.
There, Britain’s army also had their greatest troop landing in 1982. You can visit the Britain cemetery there, too.
Local Airport Figas – Gypsy Cove
There are very beautiful views of the Islands from the lighthouse in Cape Embroque. The local airport of FIGAS is where airplanes that fly over the Islands take off. This same place was the one used by the Argentinian Army during war. In Gypsy Cove, you can see Magellan penguins and, very close to that area, you can see fields that are still mined.
During my stay, I was able to share some time with Argentinian ex-combatants and we went up to Mount Longdon, which were the last Argentinian positions during war. Also, I was able to see the “Two sisters” mount and I learnt a lot about the war.
- Address (example: hotel’s name)
- Life insurance covering a minimum of USD 200,000. It is important to mention this, since you are going to be asked for this when you arrive to the Islands.
The official foreign currency is the Falkland Islands pound, but don’t worry because you can take pound sterling, which can be bought in a bank close to your house, even though euros and US dollars are also accepted. Both have the same value. I recommend using pound sterling. Once in the Islands, you can get Falkland Islands pounds, which are only used there, at least you can see how they look out of curiosity. I also recommend taking cash with you, since I haven’t seen ATMs in the Islands. However, there’s a bank to exchange currency.
Falkland Islands pounds, passport, stamp
Some other information
I travelled in December 2017 and I spent approximately:
Round-trip ticket from Buenos Aires to Rio Gallegos: ARS 3,000.
Round-trip ticket from Rio Gallegos to Stanley: ARS 4,000 plus airport taxes: GBP 25.
Life insurance: ARS 2,000. This insurance policy coverage must be of USD 200,000
Accommodation: from GBP 60 (family homes or hotels).
Lunch or dinner GBP 10. Good news! You can go to the supermarket, buy groceries and cook food yourself. You will be able to eat during your 7 days’ stay in the Islands with only GBP 100.
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