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Last Updated on May 23, 2022 by Jackie
Sorry, but this blog is mostly photos of the most adorable creatures on Earth! Itcomes with a warning!!! Cuteness Overload!!! But, there is also some great information on where to find penguins in the Falkland Islands.
Magellanic Penguins, Gentoo Penguins, King Penguins!!! Literally millions of penguins inhabit the Falkland Islands. They are absolutely adorable and I could have spent an entire month there just watching their antics! But we did not have a month… we had just one day. And, what a day it was! The photos I got with my Nikon – WOW!! I had a really hard time choosing which photos to put into this article (which is why there are SO many!).
About The Falkland Islands
Note: As of May 2022, travel to The Falkland Islands is currently permitted, with major restrictions. Find updates on travel to The Falklands here.
The Falkland Islands are about 300 miles off the coast of Argentina in South America. There are over 200 islands that make up the Falklands, and in total the Falklands are about as big as the State of Connecticut.
Argentina and Great Britain have been fighting over these islands for years, but Britain won the last battle in 1982. Although Britain won the war, the Argentines still want to take back these islands known to them as Islas Malvinas.
There are only about 3,000 people living in the Falklands, but over 700,000 sheep and over one million penguins of all types and sizes.
Also on this island are about 20,000 landmines left over from the Falklands War. The landmines are all along the beaches and pastures inland. And since penguins are light enough so as not to set off any of the mines, this is a perfect place for them to hang out. But, we humans are not light enough! So, if you see warning signs to stay away from penguins anywhere, you’d better stay away from them.
There are a few places where you can walk freely among the penguins and enjoy their antics… and their lovely aromas (stay upwind!), without getting blown up. One of these best places is at Volunteer Point.
How to See Penguins in the Falkland Islands
Tour With Estancia Excursions
The only way to see penguins in the Falkland Islands is with a tour. Six months before we left for this trip we had done a lot of research into penguin tours on the island. Rather than book a tour with the ship, we opted to go with Estancia Excursions. This tour to see King penguins at Volunteer Point was $159 and included a great boxed lunch and refreshments. This is $150 less per person than going with the ship!!!
Another great thing about booking directly with Estancia was that there were only 4 of us in the jeep (plus the driver), and we left early and arrived before the hoards of people from the ship!!
Since they never know what the weather or the seas will be like, this company doesn’t even collect a deposit when you book, but you will need cash (British Pounds only) upon arrival for your tour if you go with Estancia. However, if you would rather pay for a tour by credit card,Viator offers what looks like the same tour to Volunteer Point.
Bring British Pounds
In the Falklands they have their own currency, the Falkland Pound, which is equal to the British Pound. Most places do not accept credit cards, including Estancia Excursions, and there are NO ATM’s on the island, so grab plenty of cash before getting to the Falklands.
Where to See Penguins in the Falkland Islands
Our tour began with a two-hour bumpy four-wheel Landrover drive through acres and acres of barren, flat land with not a whole lot to see. Then we finally arrived at Volunteer Point.
Volunteer Point has the largest variety and number of penguins on the island. As soon as we arrived we took the short walk from the parking area to where the penguins hang out.
The first penguins we came upon were the cute little Gentoo Penguins. Gentoos have a longer tail and stand about 20-35 inches tall. They are completely monogamous and if they cheat on their mate, they are banished from the colony!
We then came to the colony of Magellanic penguins who nest in burrows in the ground or under bushes. They are about 2.5 feet tall and can swim up to 22 mph.
Magellanic penguins mate with the same partner year after year. The male goes back to the same burrow as the previous year and waits for his female partner to come and meet up with him. Females recognize their male mate by their call. They look so cute huddled together in their little holes.
The absolute best part of seeing penguins in the Falkland Islands was the 3 foot tall King Penguins. King’s are the second largest penguin in the world, after the Emperor.
These penguins are so majestic! They have a bright patch of yellow/orange along their cheek, more yellow and orange under their chin and orange on their long, straight beak. That contrasted with their black and white feathers makes them stand out as one of the most beautiful type of penguin in the world.
The King is also monogamous, faithful to one mate for the year. And, their breeding cycle takes about 14-16 months from laying the egg to hatching. Unfortunately, they are only successful about every 2 years.
Also unfortunate is that many of these eggs and chicks do not make it. Giant Petrels and Skua take the eggs and the smaller chicks for food. Sometimes they even will kill adult King penguins that are ill or injured.
Sadly, we saw a few eggs that had been poked by these predators, as well as a few penguin skeletons. But, such is nature…
Hundreds of babies were snuggled up next to their mom and dad, and even underneath their parents. They were the cutest little fuzz balls. There were also quite a few eggs being protected under the parents who take turns sitting on them.
It was also fun to watch the parents feeding the babies. But it’s kinda gross… the parents eat fish, hold it in their digestive system and then regurgitate it to feed the babies… ych.
Frolicking Penguins on the Beach
After a couple of hours of watching them in the fields we headed down to the beach where we watched as penguins made their way down to the water. They were walking so closely together that they almost looked like they were holding hands or guiding each other.
The penguins made their way into the water and frolicked in the surf like a bunch of little kids on summer break from school.
We were able to spend about an hour with the penguins before the rest of the ship showed up – awesome!! In all, we spent about 4 hours enjoying them. I just LOVE penguins!!! They are so cute, and they matefor life… I love, love, love them!
The Town of Stanley
It was time to head back to Port Stanley and back to our ship. Before dropping us at the port our tour guide took us through the extremely small town of Stanley with its tiny British pubs, Christ Church Cathedral and its whale bone arch, and fishing boats.
Tips for Visiting The Falklands
- Expect all 4 seasons in one day and bring layers of clothing
- Stay upwind of the penguins (pew)
- Make alternate plans to see penguins somewhere in South America just in case you can’t get off your ship in The Falklands due to wind or high seas (Punto Tumbo is the best for Magellanic Penguins, but you will not see any King Penguins there… in this part of the world King’s are only in The Falklands)
- Bring a really good camera
- Bring cash in British Pounds (no ATMS on the island and no credit cards accepted)
- If you’re there on a cruise, don’t take a tour with the ship
- Be ready for lots of fun and adventure
Top Tours for the Falkland Islands
Annual Festivals and Events
Plan a trip around one of the Falkland Islands’ annual festivals and events.
Best Time to Visit
The Falklands are in the Southern hemisphere, so the seasons will probably be the opposite of what you’re used to. The best time to visit is between September and November, which is their Spring and the driest time of year. Temperatures in the summer are more comfortable, but with the warmer weather you also get more rain.
Where to Stay
There are not many choices as far as places to stay in the Falklands. Go to Booking.com to find deals on the few available accommodations in Port Stanley.
How to Get to the Falkland Islands
I had always wanted to see King Penguins in the wild. So we took a 23-day Holland America cruise in January starting in Santiago, Chile and continuing through Antarctica, The Falkland Islands, and then ending in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
You have to tender in the Falklands, and our understanding was that we had about a 50% chance of getting on land. The ship captains watch the weather and the seas very closely, and if the seas are even the slightest bit rough, they will not tender and you miss out on the Falklands experience. We got lucky and were able to get off the ship and into Port Stanley.
This is one of the very best cruises we have ever taken. And that one day in the Falklands with the King Penguins was one of the best days in my life.
If you’re not into cruising and want to do it on your own, you can fly into The Falklands on LATAM. These flights go in and out every Saturday from either Santiago or Punta Arenas, Chile. Flights arrive daily from the US and Europe into South America. See how to get the best deals on flights.
DON’T FORGET YOUR PASSPORT, and make sure your passport is up to date! Most countries will not permit you to enter unless your passport has more than six months remaining before it expires.
Do you need a Visa or Vaccinations?
With ivisa.com, you can check to see what documents you will need to enter The Falklands, and you can apply right there for expedited travel documents, including visas and health declaration forms.
Share Your Travel Tips & Comments
As always, if you have any of your own travel tips to add to this post, any remarks on the article, or if my information needs an edit or addition, please leave your comments below. I value all of your input.
Thank you all for your continued support.
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One of the most popular sites for bird watching is Volunteer Point, home to the largest king penguin colony on the Falklands. Bleaker Island and Bull Point also have a healthy choice of penguin species to observe.When can you see penguins in the Falklands? ›
Falklands in November-February
By November, most of the Falklands' penguin and albatross species are incubating their eggs; December is hatching month, while January is a good time to see gentoo and rockhopper penguins in their creches. Magellanic penguins emerge from their burrows in February.
The smallest of the Falklands' penguins, these spiky-haired birds are wonderful to watch as they hop around the rocks with both feet together! With 320,000 pairs found across the islands, these amazing penguins return to their cliff-top nests to breed each October.Do emperor penguins live in the Falklands? ›
There, five penguin species make the Falkland Islands their home, including the Macaroni, King, Magellanic, Gentoo, and Southern Rockhopper. If you want to see adorable babies with ~500,000 breeding pairs, visit the Falklands in December and January. Indeed, it's the best time to see the fluffy penguin chicks.Which island has most penguins? ›
The southern rockhopper penguin, a vulnerable species, also calls the Falklands home. All in all, there are thought to be almost 500,000 breeding pairs of penguins on the islands—that's nearly 1 million penguins, which means that penguins outnumber people nearly 3 to 1.
During the breeding season, they generally come to shore at dusk and leave at dawn. Onshore they are often quite noisy, and you may hear their loud screams, wails, trumpeting and deep growls when they come ashore at night. Little Penguin colonies are spread all around our coastline.What is the best time to visit penguins? ›
BEST TIME TO VISIT
Go in late autumn or early spring when it's not too cold and sunset is earlier so the kids can avoid a late night.
Most penguins return from the sea after dark. They can often be heard calling from out in the water and usually come ashore in small groups pausing briefly before heading off to individual burrows. Due to their movements on land penguins are often mistakenly thought of as nocturnal.
Trivia: There are no chain shops or restaurants operating within Falkland Islands. That means there are no McDonald's or Starbucks in the island.Who owns Falklands now? ›
Unfortunately, nearly 1,000 Falkland Island, British and Argentine lives were lost as a result of the war. The Falkland Islands are a United Kingdom Overseas Territory by choice. The United Kingdom has no doubts over the sovereignty of the islands and supports the islander's right to self-determination.
The conflict generated unprecedented economic support from Britain, but also gave the islanders a future to believe in and a point to prove. Thanks to fishing revenue and oil exploration, the Falklands are now considerably wealthier per capita than Britain, and just as cosmopolitan.Can you touch emperor penguins? ›
Even if a penguin comes extremely close to you, however, remember: you're not allowed to touch or hold them.Are there sharks in the Falkland Islands? ›
Situated 300 miles east off the Patagonia coast of South America, the waters surrounding the Falkland Islands are a hotspot for sharks, skates and rays. Including around 18 different species of skate. The Falklands have a productive foreign fleet fishery managed by the Falkland Islands Fisheries Department (FIFD).Can you hug emperor penguins? ›
As has been pointed out by many others, adult penguins aren't anywhere near as cuddly and while you may sometimes pet them under supervision, hugging them would be ill advised.Where can I touch a penguin? ›
If you want to swim with them without traveling the world, there is only one place where you can actually swim with penguins in the US. Tanganyika Wildlife Park in Wichita, Kansas, is the only place where you can actually dive in a pool with penguins for 30 minutes and even touch them under the guidance of a trainer.Where can I walk with penguins? ›
Walk alongside charismatic Magellanic and Gentoo penguins. See the curious animals up close as you make unforgettable memories, and enjoy a visit to the Harberton Ranch and nearby Marine Museum.Where can tourists see penguins? ›
- Phillip Island, Australia. ...
- Cape Town, South Africa. ...
- Otago Peninsula, New Zealand. ...
- Tierra del Fuego, Argentina & Chile. ...
- Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. ...
- Book Online Visa. ...
- Musafir Visa Services. ...
- Book Holiday Packages.
For families, Penguin Island has always been a favourite day trip destination. Apart from the ever popular penguin feeding, the safe, shallow beaches on the front of the island are an ideal natural playground for young children to swim, snorkel & fish.Is Penguin Island worth visiting? ›
As Penguin Island is so close to Perth, we highly recommend it as one of the Best Perth Day Trips. Once you have arrived at the Penguin Island ferry terminal, it is just a short ferry ride (about 5 minutes) to take you to Penguin Island Perth!Which country has the most penguins in the world? ›
New Zealand is the penguin capital of the world. Of the 19 species of living penguins, nine breed in New Zealand or its territories, including the Ross Sea sector of Antarctica, and another six are visitors. New Zealand is home to the greatest diversity of penguins, and has more fossil species than any other region.
Summer is prime time to visit Boulders, and its when you'll see the most penguin action. However, you can see the penguins throughout the year. Between September and October the birds spend much time feeding out at sea, so there are fewer penguins on the beach.Where are penguins during the day? ›
Best time to visit. Little penguins generally spend the day out in the ocean and the night in their nests, so the best time to see them is at dusk when they return from their adventures out at sea to have a snooze in their burrows.Where are little penguins located? ›
However, when they do come to land, they are only found along the southern coast of Australia as well as New Zealand. This is their natural habitat and has been for decades, long before the growth of humans. Back in the day, little penguin colonies were common on Australian Mainland.What do you wear to encounter a penguin? ›
What should I wear at the Ski Dubai Penguin Encounter? You are advised to wear comfortable clothes. You will be provided with all the necessary attire to stay warm including jackets, trousers, disposable socks, snow boots, and fleece gloves.Is the Penguin Parade worth it? ›
Definitely worth the trip! The penguins arrive at sunset and you can watch them in their natural environment. Just amazing! The gerneral Admission is good enough as you can see the penguins on the walk ways as soon as they leave the beach.How much does it cost to see the penguins at Boulders? ›
Tours that visit the penguins at Boulders Beach and Cape Point generally cost around US$70 per person for guided tours, and US$100 per person for private tours.Do penguins stay up all night? ›
Penguins have unusual sleeping patterns. Instead of sleeping for many hours at night, they take short naps during the day and evening. They have the unique ability to sleep while standing up or in the water. Sometimes they sleep with their bills tucked under their wings.What time of year do penguins hatch? ›
They need 13 months to raise a chick. They start (one year) breeding in November(early summer) and when the chick hatch in January, after 54 days, it will be well fed till April. But growing up takes more than one summer period. Therefore it takes more and more time to search for food.How far do penguins travel in a day? ›
On a day-to-day basis, the penguins' journeys increased over time. During the first third of their journey, they swam about 20 kilometers (12 miles) per day, increasing it considerably to an average of 80 kilometers (50 miles) or more per day toward the end of the trip.Is there a pub on the Falkland Islands? ›
Great place to meet the locals in the evening. The Victory Bar is a bit of a throwback to what pubs were like in the 1970s and I love it. This is where the locals drink and at the weekends it is always busy with a great atmosphere, good reasonably priced drinks, good Jukebox and most importantly very friendly locals.
Popular dishes include:
Dishes tend to include mussels, oysters, scallops and snow crabs. Favourite fish like sea trout and Atlantic rock is often grilled and served with fritters or steamed vegetables.
Stanley boasts a variety of eating opportunities including cafes, pubs and restaurants. Don't miss typical tastes of the Falklands - squid, upland goose pate, lamb, mutton and beef. Vegetarians are also taken care of with tasty options on menus around the town.Did Us Help UK in Falklands? ›
The United States supplied 12.5 million gallons of aviation fuel diverted from U.S. stockpiles, along with hundreds of Sidewinder missiles, airfield matting, thousands of rounds of mortar shells and other equipment, they said.Can I move to the Falklands? ›
Permanent Residence Permit: A Permanent Residence Permit grants indefinite leave to the holder to enter, depart and reside in the Falklands and to take any lawful employment or pursue any lawful business, trade, profession, or vocation in the Falklands without needing a work permit.Did America help in the Falklands? ›
The USA provided a wealth of political and diplomatic support (some grudgingly at first, but they were utterly steamrollered by Thatcher) plus they sped up the supply of AIM-9L Sidewinders (note: they were not “given" and had been paid for in 1981) plus they sent a few Shrike anti radar missiles for field testing, ...Who is the richest person in Falkland Islands? ›
The richest man on the island is thought to be Stuart Wallace, who co-owns the fishing company Fortuna. It has five boats employing 170 people. Wallace also owns prime property in the capital, Stanley, and a chain of convenience stores.Can you drink water on Falkland Islands? ›
The islands' water supply is safe to drink.Does it snow in the Falklands? ›
The weather in the Falklands is changeable and often quite windy. In Stanley maximum summer temperatures (December - February) are around the mid 20oc mark. Winter temperatures tend to fluctuate between 0 and 5oc. Snow does fall but it rarely lasts for long.Does a penguin bite hurt? ›
“They hit, they bite, they peck,” explains Rebstock, who has personal experience with such encounters. “These penguins can do some damage. I've been whacked. It hurts!”Should you hug a penguin? ›
You Can't Hug the Penguins
These minimum distance rules avoid causing birds and seals any concern or distress. Moving quietly and slowly is the best way to take in the splendour of your surroundings while observing these amazing creatures as they go about their daily business.
They're super friendly with people. Penguins' main predators (seals, sea lions, whales, and sharks) all reside in the water, so these birds feel much safer on land around researchers and tourists — for better or for worse.Are there snakes in the Falklands? ›
The Falkland Islands have no native reptiles or amphibians, and the only native land mammal, the warrah, is now extinct.Are there sea lions in the Falklands? ›
There are three breeding species of pinniped in the Falkland Islands, the Southern Sea Lion, the South American Fur Seal, and the Southern Elephant Seal.Are there wolves in the Falkland Islands? ›
|Falkland Islands wolf|
|†Dusicyon australis (Kerr, 1792)|
|Location of the Falkland Islands|
The male penguin will dip its head and point its beak at the other bird's feet (Seaworld, 2013). The male bows of interest in that particular female penguin and wants to attract her (Jonas, 2005). Thus the bow is a courtship behaviour or in laymen terms, “flirting”.Will penguins let you touch them? ›
It should really go without saying, but you cannot go around touching the penguins. Penguins are tiny birds that are susceptible to human interference, and the last thing they want are some annoying touros getting down into their nests and trying to pick them up.Do penguins cheat on their partners? ›
Nearly a third of female Humboldt penguins cheat on their partner, in many cases with a member of the same sex. One in 10 female Adélie penguins has a bit on the side.Can you see King penguins on Falkland Islands? ›
The king penguin, largest of the Falkland penguins, is at its most northern edge of its global range in the Falklands. The Falklands population (1,500 breeding pairs) is almost entirely concentrated at one site at Volunteer Point on East Falkland.When can you see penguins at lillico Beach? ›
Penguin viewing from the viewing platform is generally between September to April.Where is the penguin sanctuary? ›
Operated by the Dyer Island Conservation Trust, the African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary (APSS) is an innovative, first of its kind facility based near Dyer Island, home to over 29 species of seabird, including one of the large strongholds of the endangered African penguin in the Western Cape of South Africa.
All the Kairuku are found in the Northwest corner of the Island map, in the arctic biome, which seems like a logical place to find penguins. You will find the most penguins and the safest place to harvest the organic polymer on the iceberg island offshore.Where can I see an emperor penguin? ›
Alternatively, you can see penguins galore on any expedition voyage that visits the Antarctic, and some trips to the Galápagos where you can see penguins of the same name. To see emperor penguins, however, you need to visit Snow Hill in the Weddell Sea – the only place where they can be seen.What time do penguins come to shore? ›
The availability of feeding grounds also determines the size and success of a colony. Most penguins return from the sea after dark. They can often be heard calling from out in the water and usually come ashore in small groups pausing briefly before heading off to individual burrows.Where is the largest penguin exhibit? ›
The world's largest penguin facility just happens to be at the Detroit Zoo and has reopened to the public after more than two years of renovations. "Millions of visitors, from all over the world, have flocked to this conservation center since it opened in April 2016, and we are so thrilled to open the doors again," Dr.Can you walk to Penguin Island? ›
Their advice is 'Do not walk or wade across the sandbar to Penguin Island. Strong rips and currents can occur, water depth and conditions change rapidly. People have drowned attempting this crossing. Use the ferry service at all times.Can you take alcohol to Penguin Island? ›
Penguin Island is a public open space so the consumption of alcohol is at the discretion of The Department of Parks & Wildlife. Alcohol may be consumed on a BYO basis if done so in a responsible manner (2 standard drinks in the first hour and 1 for every hour after that).