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History, people and penguins

East Falkland can almost be split into two parts: a thin strip of land where Darwin and Goose Green are located, and the south (known as Lafonia), a very flat area of land in contrast to the more mountainous northern area. The road does not stretch much further than Goose Green. Mount Pleasant international airport is in the northern part of the island, which also has many sites of interest relating to the 1982 conflict. Here also is Port Louis, the original (French) settlement on the islands.

The majority of the human population lives in Stanley, an excellent base for trips around East Falkland which include wildlife areas and battlefields. It is a quiet capital with homely guest houses, coffee shops, a museum, golf course and various shipwrecks in the sound. All visitors should visit Volunteer Point, the largest most accessible king penguin colony.

Established in 1859 as a cattle ranch (and later for sheep farming), Darwin was once the largest settlement after Stanley, with almost 200 people working on the farm. By 1920 the population had diminished and the farm buildings, church, and most of the houses were transferred to nearby Goose Green. Nearby is the Argentine cemetery.

Bleaker Island is a small working sheep farm, about twelve miles long and just a mile at its widest point. It is fairly flat making it an ideal place for those looking for easy walks along the long sandy beaches. It is home to a large colony of Rockhopper penguins as well as colonies of Magellanic and Gentoo penguins.

Sea Lion Island is the most southerly of the Falklands’ inhabited islands, just five miles long and just over a mile wide. There are resident populations of rockhopper and Gentoo penguins, elephant seals and sea lions and every year brings exciting sightings of vagrants - such as pods of killer whales circling the island in pursuit of the young elephant seals and sea lions.

Our preferred accommodation

  • Cobb's Cottage image

    Cobb's Cottage

    Lodge/Hosteria - Bleaker Island
    The island is privately owned and run as an organic sheep and cattle farm. Cobb's cottage is a self catering unit.
  • Darwin House image

    Darwin House

    Inn/Posada - Darwin
    A charming guesthouse in the small settlement of Darwin (named after Charles). A conservatory overlooks the bay where you may spot dolphins and there is a large lounge, a dining room and even a small (honesty) bar. Mount Pleasant Airport is just forty minutes away.
  • Malvina House Hotel image

    Malvina House Hotel

    City hotel - Stanley
    Malvina House is the largest and best hotel in Stanley. It has an excellent restaurant and a comfortable lounge and bar area (it is one of the few places in town that serves draught lager).
  • Sea Lion Lodge image

    Sea Lion Lodge

    Lodge/Hosteria - Sea Lion Island
    Sea Lion lodge was purpose built for tourism in 1986. It is right next to the landing strip and also backs on to a magellanic penguin colony. Other sites of interest are within easy walking distance.
  • Waterfront Hotel image

    Waterfront Hotel

    Inn/Posada - Stanley
    A small hotel of just 6 rooms. It has been very nicely done and there is a lounge area for guests and a small breakfast room. Other meals can be taken at the Falklands Brasserie a block away.

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