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Experience
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Falkland Islands & Chile 

Unsurpassed walks and wildlife in one of the world’s most remote places

Clear blue waves rolling in on an endless white sandy beach. A gaggle of penguins waddle over to you with mild curiosity. Later, on a wind swept mountain top, marks of respect to those who lost lives here fill every crevice and niche. A glance out to sea, a black fin disappears under the waves as a sea lion breaks the water and is gone. Hunter and hunted. Nature raw in tooth and claw.

We fly from London to Santiago in Chile with a quick sightsee around the city and overnight before continuing via Punta Arenas, 1,300 miles south and onwards to the Falklands.

We have a week here to take in the best of the wild country and wildlife spotting. We’ll see four species of penguins, sea lions and fur seals and innumerable kinds of sea birds. Here, wildlife often comes close to you, so the photo opportunities are endless. We are based in Stanley and have much to see: the sites of the conflict of 1982, the remains of the field kitchens and gun emplacements on Mt Tumbledown behind Stanley, a site of some fierce fighting during the campaign, is another important location and well known to many of us.

We fly to Sea Lion Island for two nights, one of the best places in the world to get away from it all. Other than hotel staff and the huge diversity of wildlife, we will have the island to ourselves. Look out for orcas off shore.

Our walking will take us to beaches deserted except for the penguins and over open moorland. From the hills and particularly the inter island flights we can enjoy fantastic views across the islands. This is a land of big skies and wide horizons. The Falkland Islands will stay in your memory long after you have left. Travelling back to Chile and Santiago we have a bonus day in the mountains before our flight home.

Activity Level
alt
You enjoy the great outdoors and possess a moderate spirit of adventure. For you, nothing beats exploring the natural world, whether by foot, wheels or water. You enjoy filling your days with great scenery and a range of different experiences. You are moderately fit. Previous outdoor activity experience is preferable.



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  • Dates, Prices & Holiday Information Sheet (PDF)
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    Date
    Nights
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    Date
    02 Nov 2017
    Nights
    12
    Grades
    Level B
    Depart From
    Provisional Date Only
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    Status
    Provisional
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  • Itinerary & Map
    02 Nov 2017 - 14 Nov 2017

    Day 1 - Santiago de Chile
    We depart London for our overnight flight to Santiago de Chile via Madrid.

    Day 2 - santiago de Chile
    After check-in at our hotel and some rest, we will have a local guide to take us on foot around the city centre and further afield by coach to see Chile’s answer to the Christ the Redeemer in Rio: the Madonna on Cerro san Cristobal which offers great views over the city and up to the Andes which rise from the suburbs. You should consider buying a snack for the flight to Punta Arenas tomorrow, in flight catering is not substantial, remembering you are not allowed to bring fresh food into the Falkland Islands. Anything you buy will have to be eaten before arrival in Mt Pleasant.

    Day 3 - Stanley
    After breakfast we will transfer to the airport and fly to Stanley via Punta Arenas, hopefully arriving around lunch-time at Mt Pleasant airport. The transfer to Stanley will take about an hour. Our hotel, the Malvina House Hotel, is a comfortable and welcoming place situated on the harbour front in Stanley and a short walk from everything of interest. After settling in we should have plenty of time for an introductory stroll around town to get our bearings.

    Day 4 - Stanley
    Today we will walk from the hotel around to Gypsy Cove to the north and east. The terrain is gentle but the views and interest along the way fantastic. We should enjoy our first sight of penguins, (Magellanic, or ‘jackass’ in local parlance) and, if lucky, schools of dolphin. The walk takes about 4-5 hours and other than the wildlife there is plenty to see. Look out for the ship wreck of the Lady Elizabeth in Stanley harbour and the WWII gun emplacements on Ordnance Point.

    Day 5 - Sea Lion Island
    Today we fly down to Sea Lion Island on FIGAS, the Falkland Islands Government Air Service. We fly in 10 seater Islander aircraft and will likely have to make two trips so the group will be split. On Sea Lion we will probably have the lodge to ourselves other than the staff that work there. The airstrip is right next to the lodge and everybody will be made welcome regardless of when they arrive.

    Day 6 - Sea lion Island
    The island is about 5 miles by 1 mile so we can explore nearly everywhere. We will have our first encounter with Elephant Seals, Sea Lions (not unsurprisingly), Rockhopper and Gentoo Penguins. The beaches close by the lodge are beautiful but as with all beaches in the Falklands it would be a brave person that went for a swim. On a clear warm day it all looks like the Caribbean until you put your hand in the water, which is freezing.

    Day 7 - Stanley
    We fly back to Stanley today, looking out for whales breeching in the sea below us on the way. In the afternoon having checked back into the Malvina House Hotel we will take a guided walk up on Mt Tumbledown behind Stanley. The name is known to some who remember the conflict as one of the major battles of the Falkland’s campaign. It is still possible to see the remains of field kitchens used by the Argentine army during the battle. Aside from the historical interest it is a beautiful walk giving great views of Stanley harbour and on a clear day Cape Pembroke lighthouse.

    Day 8 - Stanley
    We will drive around to Kidney Cove today to enjoy a beautiful cliff walk starting at a Rockhopper colony and finishing behind the beach at Kidney Cove. It is a great walk with great views and finishes at a hut where we can have cup of tea. Invariable a waddle of Gentoo penguins will collect around the hut to see who we are and what we want. The road only goes half way to Kidney Cove so we travel in Land Rovers and drive slowly over open countryside on a section of the journey. The penguins are particularly curious about Land Rovers and will crowd around and peck at them until shooed away.

    Day 9 - Stanley
    Volunteer Point might provide the best wildlife encounter of all on the trip. Again we drive out in Land Rovers on and off road to Cow Bay, a beautiful beach even by Falklands standards, and walk around the coast taking about 90 mins to Volunteer Beach. This is another great beach but an added highlight will be our first sighting of King Penguins, to the author’s mind the most beautifully marked bird you will see. They are proud and elegant creatures, utterly indifferent to humans and easily photographed and observed. This is apparently the most accessible colony in the world so it a rare treat to be able to observe them.

    Day 10 - Santiago de Chile
    Today, alas, we must return to Mt Pleasant for our flight back to Santiago via Punta Arenas. Schedules should allow us the morning in Stanley to get a last few photos and check out the local shops. We arrive in Santiago late and will transfer straight to the hotel for dinner and bed. It makes sense to buy a sandwich in Stanley to eat on the flight back to Chile as catering is limited.

    Day 11 - Santiago e Chile
    Today we have an excursion up into the Andes to enjoy very different views from the Falkland islands. Birdwatchers may tick off a few more species but everyone will enjoy the fresh air. Hopefully we get to see Andean Condors.

    Day 12 - In flight
    We have some time for a last minute city walk, shopping or a visit to a nearby museum or the Opera House before catching our transfer to the airport for our flight back to the UK.

    Day 13 -
    We arrive back in the UK.


  • Accommodation

    Comfortable tourist class hotels/lodges.

  • What's Included

    Holiday Price Includes:

    • Return flights and transfers.
    • Half board en suite accommodation.
    • Local guides in Chile and the Falklands to make sure we get the best of the wildlife and history.
    • All local transport and excursions.
    • A day trip into the Andes from Santiago by way of contrast.
    Supplement for single room: £430

  • Holiday Highlights

    Holiday Highlights:

    • Sea Lion Island. Isolation and unrivalled wildlife.
    • Penguins, including the Rockhoppers who surf with a smile!
    • Seals, sea lions and elephant seals.
    • Fantastic insights from our guides into history, flora and fauna.
    • Superb photographic opportunities. 

  • Travel Information & Regional Departures
    • Arrival transfer by road (c1hr).
    • Flights: Heathrow-Santiago via Madrid (c15hrs 30mins + stop), Lan Airlines.
    • Some dates may operate with TAM Linhas Aereas via Sâo Paulo.
    • Heathrow-Madrid-Heathrow operated by Iberia or British Airways.
    • Internal flights: Santiago-Mount Pleasant, Falkland Islands (via Punta Arenas both ways) (c5hrs + stops).        
    • UK add-on flights from £95 return, British Airways.
    • Upgrades: Business Class available, please ask for a competitive quote.

  • Holiday Photo Gallery
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  • Private Group Enquiry

    Planning a holiday for a group? For a quote or to simply enquire about the possibility of booking this holiday for your Walking Group please fill out the enquiry form below and our dedicated Private Group Department will get in touch with you shortly to discuss your options.

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Activity Level
alt
You enjoy the great outdoors and possess a moderate spirit of adventure. For you, nothing beats exploring the natural world, whether by foot, wheels or water. You enjoy filling your days with great scenery and a range of different experiences. You are moderately fit. Previous outdoor activity experience is preferable.



YOUR STORY STARTS HERE ...

Please select a departure date






 
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