Sea Lion and Pebble Islands, plus Stanley area

Falkland Islands Extension

February 8 - 17, 2018
Cost: $4,990
Leader: Scott Davis
Group Size: 8
Days: 7

Safari Overview

Explore the diversity of the Falkland Islands with three nights on Sea Lion Island, two nights on Pebble Island, and two nights in Stanley on East Falkland Island. Sea Lion Island is the most species-rich site in the Falklands. Observe dramatic cliffside Rockhopper Penguin colonies, burrowing Magellanic Penguins, South American Sea Lions, and Orcas patrolling for unwary Southern Elephant Seals. Enjoy more variety on Pebble Island as its landscape changes from long sandy beaches to moor lands and rocky cliffs. Deep ponds and wetlands provide habitat for Chiloe Wigeon, Black-necked Swans, and Silvery Grebes. Discover the largest accessible King Penguin colony in the Falklands along the turquoise waters of Volunteer Point.

HIGHLIGHTS
• Walk along Southern Elephant Seal and Gentoo Penguin colonies at Sea Lion Island.
• Spend a full day at Volunteer Point, a surreal experience with King, Gentoo, and Magellanic penguins along white, sandy beaches.
• Stroll pristine beaches on Pebble Island in search of Rockhopper Penguins and the few resident Macaroni Penguins.

This is a pre-trip extension to our Antarctic Peninsula expedition on February 18 to March 4, 2018.

Itinerary Updated: January 2017



Print Trip
Date Description Lodge Meals
Feb 8 Depart from home.
Feb 9 Arrive in Santiago. Santiago Airport Holiday Inn, Santiago, Chile
Feb 10 Fly to Mount Pleasant, Falkland Islands, then fly to Sea Lion Island. Sea Lion Lodge B, L, D
Feb 11 - 12 Introductory tour and explore Sea Lion Island. Sea Lion Lodge B, L, D
Feb 13 - 14 Fly to Pebble Island. Explore the diverse landscapes and wildlife habitats. Pebble Island Lodge B, L, D
Feb 15 Fly back to Stanley for city tour and museum visit. The Malvina House Hotel, Stanley B, L, D
Feb 16 Full day excursion to Volunteer Point. The Malvina House Hotel, Stanley B, L, D
Feb 17 Transfer to airport, fly from Mount Pleasant to Punta Arenas to join Antarctic Peninsula tour. B, L

Our Trip Leaders

Scott Davis

Scott Davis is a professional photographer specializing in wildlife, nature, travel, and editorial imagery. Originally trained as a wildlife and marine biologist, Scott's research and photo assignments have taken him to far corners of the globe and all seven continents. His photographic work has appeared in numerous national and international magazines and newspapers, commercial websites, prestigious stock agencies, and corporate reports. His patience for teaching and love of capturing the essence of his subjects make him one of our most popular tour leaders.

Detailed Itinerary

A glimpse into our journey

Depart home

Feb 8

Arrive in Santiago, Chile

Feb 9

Arrive in Santiago, Chile. Transfer to our hotel for a free day to rest or explore historic and colorful Santiago.

Fly to Falkland Islands, then fly to Sea Lion Island

Feb 10

Flightless Steamer Ducks by Debbie Thompson

Take the once-weekly flight from Santiago to Mount Pleasant Airport in the Falkland Islands (not included in trip cost). Upon arrival, you will be greeted with a packed lunch and escorted to your flight to Sea Lion Island.

Sea Lion Island

Feb 11 - 12

Rockhopper Penguin on Falkland Islands

Sea Lion Island is one of the smallest in the Falklands archipelago (just five miles long and just over one mile wide at its widest point), and the most southerly-inhabited island. The sheer abundance of wildlife in such a small area makes it a must on any Falklands itinerary. Sea Lion Island hosts over 47 species of bird, including Rockhopper, Gentoo, and Magellanic penguins; you will be graced by some of the 2,800 breeding pairs of Gentoo Penguins with hatched chicks, and scatterings of Southern Giant-Petrels. Please give giant-petrels a wide berth, they can be very nervous and abandon their nests with minimal disturbance. Other birds you may encounter are South American Snipe, Rufous-chested Dotterel, the endemic Cobb’s and Sedge wrens, small birds that have recently been afforded protection from the tall grass that has been allowed to grow after the removal of sheep from the island. The biggest attraction is the large number of Southern Elephant Seals that breed here, principally on the white sandy beach at the appropriately named Elephant Corner. In February, the young pups and recently weaned are plentiful on the beach, making for great behavioral watching. Also not to be missed are the South American (or Southern) Sea Lions at East Loafers. Pods of Killer Whales are also often seen circling close offshore (usually a treat for the early risers) attracted by the prospect of penguins and seals.

Pebble Island

Feb 13 - 14

Magellanic Penguin in a burrow by Debbie Thompson

Pebble Island is the third largest offshore island and is home to the longest sand beach in the Falklands. Pebble was named in the 1760’s after the beautiful semi-precious pebbles that were discovered on its western beaches. The landscape of Pebble Island varies greatly from pristine beaches, moor lands, and rocky peaks to an extensive area of ponds and wetlands, and dramatic coastal cliffs. All of these provide vital breeding habitats for an incredible list of resident bird species. The deep ponds on the east of the island, many of which are within walking distance of the lodge, are home to Chiloe Wigeon, Silvery Grebes, Black-necked Swans, and multitude of other wildfowl and wading birds. Many thousands of Gentoo, Rockhopper and Magellanic penguins breed on Pebble Island each summer.

Return to Stanley for city tour and museum visit

Feb 15

You’ll bid the outer islands farewell to return to Stanley, capital of the Falkland Islands. The timing of your charter flight depends on weather and other flight schedules, but will likely be around midday. With a population of around 2,000, Stanley is the smallest and most remote capital city in the world, in many ways like an English village from decades ago with the addition of a Government House, a cathedral, and a wide range of amenities and services. The city is built on a north-facing slope to catch the sun throughout the year, looking across Stanley Harbor with its wealth of seabirds and trickle of shipping. Stanley’s historical interest is associated with the great age of sail when rounding Cape Horn was the most daunting nautical passage on the planet. Some of those ships still lie in the harbor, abandoned after a Cape Horn battering. A self-guided Maritime History Trail has been set up in Stanley and guidebooks are available from local shops.

Stanley depicts a new vibrant Falklands, and is home to many successful businesses, with deep-sea fishing, tourism, farming and most recently oil prospecting being the principle earners.

Excursion to Volunteer Point

Feb 16

King Penguins

After about a 2.5-hour drive by Landrover, you’ll arrive at the white sandy beach and turquoise waters of Volunteer Point, a destination with almost a Caribbeanesque feel to it, but the King, Gentoo, and Magellanic penguins will bring you back to the Falklands. Discover the largest accessible King Penguin colony in the Islands outside of South Georgia, containing approximately 1,000 adults. You may also find other wildlife such as Long-tailed Meadowlarks, Austral Thrush, South American Snipe, and South American Tern, Blackish and Magellanic oystercatchers, and Upland, Kelp, and Ruddy-headed geese. Enjoy the spectacular scenery as you traverse the north of East Falkland.

Fly to Punta Arenas to join Antarctic Peninsula Voyage

Feb 17

You’ll fly out on the once weekly flight to Punta Arenas where you will meet up with passengers for your Antarctic Peninsula Deep South expedition. We will have optional day excursions planned for February 18 and 19, flying to King George Island on February 20. More details on these optional excursions will be in the Trip Materials documents.

Falkland Extension

Explore the Falkland Islands with nights on Sea Lion and Pebble Islands, and in Stanley on East Falkland Island.

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Cost & Payments

Costs (in US$)

Type Cost Per Person
Extension Cost, double occupancy $4,990
Single Supplement $650

The cost will be added to your final payment on the main safari.


The payment schedule is the same as the main safari.


Included

  • Internal flights in the Falklands (Stanley to Sea Lion Island, Sea Lion to Pebble Island, and Pebble Island to Stanley).
  • Meals from breakfast on February 10 through lunch on February 17.
  • Accommodations for the nights of February 9 through February 16.
  • Airport transfers on February 10 and 17.

Not Included

  • All airfare (except flights listed as included), airport and departure taxes, and excess baggage fees.
  • Passport and visa fees.
  • Gratuities: Tipping is, of course, discretionary, however we suggest budgeting about $10 per participant per day for February 11 to 16 for our island guides and hotel staff (total of $60 per participant) for guides and hotel staff.
  • Accommodations in Punta Arenas on February 17 and 18. We can arrange these nights for an extra cost.
  • Optional day excursions in Punta Arenas on February 18 and 19.
  • Emergency medical and evacuation insurance and trip cancellation insurance. Read more about travel insurance.

Climate

Daytime temperatures are generally 40 to 50°F (10 to 15°C). Wet, penetrating cold is not usually a problem, but you will need to protect against almost constant wind and sea splash, especially when riding in the Zodiacs. Mittens, warm hat, layers of clothing, parka, and waterproof outer garments are necessary.

Fitness Level

This safari requires the ability to hike moderate distances, perhaps up to three miles, with small elevation gains. Please contact us if you have any health concerns that may make this trip challenging.

Flights

International airfare is not included in trip costs, but internal flights in the Falklands are included. Detailed logistical information and the contact information for our recommended flight-ticketing agent are included in the Trip Materials we will send you. Please let us know if you are arriving earlier or staying later.

Flights you (or a travel agent) book: Arrive in Santiago, Chile (SCL) by February 9. Continue to Stanley, Falkland Islands (MPN) via Punta Arenas, Chile on February 10 on a once-weekly LAN Airlines flight. Depart from Stanley on February 17 to Punta Arenas.

Flights we book for you: Flights from Stanley, Falkland Islands to Sea Lion Island, Sea Lion Island to Pebble Island, and Pebble Island to Stanley. The cost of these bookings are included in the tour cost.

FAQ

Accommodations

The accommodations vary among the islands and outside communication is limited.

Seasickness

Transportation

You’ll travel by bus, land rover, small boat and small plane. Repacking and leaving some luggage temporarily in Stanley may be necessary as there will be strict luggage weight limits and space on flights. More information will be provided in the Trip Materials.

Conditions