FEBRUARY 2020: FALKLAND LOST ARCHIPELAGO PART 1
22 – 29 February
Exclusive departure for our group, 9 persons max. During this adventure we will have the rare opportunity of observing 4 different penguin species species (if we are lucky even 6, sometimes Macaroni breed among Rockhopper and Chinstrap are rare visitors in Sounders) and among them the King Penguin, as well as Sea Lions and Elephant Seals, Cormorants and Albatros. We will fly over the archipelago 4 times on board small airplanes, the relatively low level flying provides passengers with exceptional views of the Falklands coastlines and inland scenery. All this in the comfort of the local Lodges. This expedition will be guided by Piero Bosco.
22 – 23 February
Meet at Punta Arenas airport and flight Punta Arenas – Mount Pleasant.
Arrive Mount Pleasant Airport early afternoon, transfer by Falkland Islands Government Air Service (FIGAS) 8-seater Britten Norman Islander aircraft to Saunders Island. This 30,000 acre island, situated about three miles off the north west coast of West Falkland, is still an active sheep farm and is important historically for being the site of the first British settlement in 1765. It is one of the Falklands supreme wildlife sites, with Gentoo, Rockhopper, Magellanic and rare sighting of Macaroni and Chinstrap penguins. Since 1980 a small breeding colony of King penguins has become established. Four species of raptors, King and Rock cormorants, Black-necked swans and many other shorebirds are easily accessible from the settlement or at the many and varied wildlife ‘hotspots’ around the island. However the attraction to the wildlife enthusiast is undoubtedly the Black-browed albatross colony which stretches along the north coast from The Neck, so named because it is a narrow sandy isthmus between two high parts of the island. The northern beach is covered in stunning white sand pounded by majestic surf and is home to all of the penguin and bird species listed above. The wildlife colonies continue along the north coast to Rookery Mountain. The “shower” formed by fresh water running down over the cliff and used by the Rockhopper penguins to preen their feathers makes for great photographs. On rare occasions Fin and Sei Whales have been seen off the island. In all cases amazing photo opportunities abound, and Saunders Island is the perfect place to escape from the pressures of urban life.
On Saunders Island our accommodation will be at the settlement Lodge.
24 – 25 February
Transfer by FIGAS to Pebble Island. Pebble Island is one of the larger outlying islands, and the landscape varies greatly from large ponds and moorland, to long sandy beaches and rocky cliffs. This diverse countryside offers shelter and protection to an equally wide-ranging breeding population of birds and mammals. Many thousands of Gentoo, Rockhopper and Magellanic Penguins breed each summer along with raucous congregations of Southern Sea Lions. The deep ponds on the east of the island, many of which are within walking distance of the lodge, are home to Chiloe Wigeon, Grebes, Black-Necked Swans and a multitude of other wildfowl and wading birds. The full day guided tour in 4×4 vehicle offers ample opportunity to see the abundant wildlife and spectacular scenery further afield from the settlement, as well as hunting for the semiprecious stones that give the island its name. Pebble also has something for the historian with some 1982 conflict debris and the memorial to HMS Coventry. Your accommodation on Pebble Island will be at Pebble Lodge, previously the farm manager’s house and situated in the centre of the farm settlement. Now, although ideally adapted to the needs of the visitor, it retains the warm and friendly atmosphere of a large farmhouse
26 – 27 February
Transfer by FIGAS to Weddel Island. During the panoramic flight we will once again have the opportunity to admire the breathtaking views of the Falklands. The largest of the off shore islands, Weddell was once known as Swan Island, the island later changed its name in honor of the Antarctic explorer, Captain James Weddell. In the 1920s John Hamilton, once the island’s owner, imported many exotic animals to Weddell and the nearby islands of Beaver and Staats. Today on Weddell it is still possible to see the Fox of Patagonia and the Reindeer herd introduced more recently. Weddell offers opportunities to see Gentoo Penguins and Magellanic Penguins, Sea Lions, Striated Caracara and Crested Caracara and Hawks. Commerson Dolphins regularly frequent the waters surrounding the island. Weddell also hosts over 100 species of flowering plants, including the Silver Buttercup that is endemic. The wonderful rugged coastline and white sandy beaches offer unmissable views. A half-day tour of the The Loop nature reserve is available by expert guardians, and we will have free time to explore the island better.
Overnight at the Hamilton Lodge.
In the morning transfer to Stanley aboard FIGAS aircraft, panoramic flight, new fantastic views await us! Upon arrival at Stanley, departure for a guided tour in 4×4 vehicles at Seal Bay. A real wildlife paradise, Seal Bay, located on the north coast of the East Falklands. This pristine and wild bay offers one of the few opportunities to see all five penguins inhabiting the Falklands in one place: King Penguin, Gentoo, Magellanic, Rockhopper and even the elusive Macaroni. Seal Bay is the ideal breeding habitat for a wide range of wildlife and is home to the largest Rockhopper colony of the Falklands. In addition a large number of Sea Lions frequents this coast. To end the experience the crossing of the Swan Pond aboard a 4×4 car is certainly an exciting experience.
Overnight at the Malvina House Hotel.
* ALTERNATIVE YOU MAY CONTINUE THE JOURNEY WITH PART 2 AND VISIT OTHER ISLANDS (SEE PROGRAM FALKLAND 2), TODAY INSTEAD TO BE TRANSFERRED TO STANLEY YOU WILL MOVE TO SEA LION ISLAND WHERE YOU WILL HAVE AN EXTRA DAY OF TIME FOR EXCURSIONS.
Transfer to Mount Pleasant Airport by private vehicle. Keep your eyes open for Red-Backed Hawks en route!
Flight Mount Pleasant – Punta Arenas.
PRICE PER PERSON
TOUR RATE Leg 1 – Euro 4300,00
TOUR RATE Leg 1 + Leg 2 – Euro 7500,00
*Exchange Rate 1 GBP = 1,10 Euro