Latin America

The Falkland Islands Nature’s Last Stand

written by | Posted on January 31st, 2012

Like everything else we discovered on the Falkland Islands, it’s an idyllic landmark in a country where beauty is the norm and serenity is king.

Package It Goway Travel (goway.com) has two 8-day programs to the Falkland Islands—Falklands Wildlife and the Wildlife and Battlefields—both of which, says Don Forster, product and marketing manager for the company’s Latin America division, are “…aiming at the Galapagos type clients so we’re talking about an age demographic from the early-30s and up—a nature-based focus, obviously, people who are looking for something unique and different.” And different and unique, it is, he says, pointing out that it’s not that heavily “touristed,” other than the cruise ships that drop into Stanley and do the quick day trip.

“I wouldn’t say it’s untouched, but it’s definitely one of the more remote destinations out there. It’s sort of like Easter Island in that both of them are literally out there and hard to get to and because of that, a lot of people don’t go there. So it’s that uniqueness that we’re trying to tap into.”

He also likens it to the Galapagos where virtually everyone wants to go, so if someone wants to go somewhere like that, then the Falklands are ideal. “What we’re saying is, it’s the next Galapagos.”

Goway is offering a special incentive—5 percent off of both Falklands trips if booked by April 30 using ref RECFAL.

Getting There LAN Airlines takes Falkland Islands visitors from North America aboard one of its 767 aircraft to Santiago, Chile, on the first leg to the Falkland Islands, connecting there aboard one its 762 aircraft, which stops at Punta Arenas in Patagonia for immigration documentation before flying on to Mount Pleasant in the Falkland Islands.

All in all, the weekly flight is about 15 hours of flight time but the service aboard the 767 on the Santiago leg makes for a very pleasant time. In business class, the dining is truly superb with imaginative menus and delicious meals and an excellent wine selection. Economy service is no less so, judging from the meal service we saw, and the entertainment selections in both cabins make the time go by quickly. The flight crew on both legs is friendly, knowledgeable and quite willing to ensure your maximum comfort. Quite frankly, though, meal service on the 762 aircraft is not so great. Only snacks, sodas and water are served, so one would be wise to pick up some sandwiches or additional snacks before boarding because six hours is a long time to travel on an empty stomach. Be aware also that clients have to go through Chile customs going to and returning from the Falklands, so making the connection can be stressful if one only has a short time between flights.

We would advise arriving in Santiago at least one day before the weekly flight to ensure the connection and a stress-less vacation travel experience and book the latest flight back to the states or enjoy another night in Santiago, returning from the Falklands.

For more information on the Falkland Islands Tourist Board, visit falklandislands.com.