Traveling Luck for Falkland Islands

Falkland Islands is located in Southern South America, islands in the South Atlantic Ocean, east of southern Argentina.

Land in Falkland Islands is rocky, hilly, mountainous with some boggy, undulating plains.

Falkland Island land covers an area of 12173 square kilometers which is slightly smaller than Connecticut

As for the Falkland Island climate; cold marine; strong westerly winds, cloudy, humid; rain occurs on more than half of days in year; average annual rainfall is 24 inches in Stanley; occasional snow all year, except in January and February, but does not accumulate.

Falkland Islander(s) speak English.

Places of note in Falkland Islands

Falkland Island National Map

Falkland Island Map

Regions of Falkland Islands

Although first sighted by an English navigator in 1592, the first landing (English) did not occur until almost a century later in 1690, and the first settlement (French) was not established until 1764. The colony was turned over to Spain two years later and the islands have since been the subject of a territorial dispute, first between Britain and Spain, then between Britain and Argentina. The UK asserted its claim to the islands by establishing a naval garrison there in 1833. Argentina invaded the islands on 2 April 1982. The British responded with an expeditionary force that landed seven weeks later and after fierce fighting forced Argentine surrender on 14 June 1982.


Falkland Islands Country Profile

The economy was formerly based on agriculture, mainly sheep farming, but today fishing contributes the bulk of economic activity. In 1987 the government began selling fishing licenses to foreign trawlers operating within the Falkland Islands' exclusive fishing zone. These license fees total more than $40 million per year, which goes to support the island's health, education, and welfare system. Squid accounts for 75% of the fish taken. Dairy farming supports domestic consumption; crops furnish winter fodder. Exports feature shipments of high-grade wool to the UK and the sale of postage stamps and coins. The islands are now self-financing except for defense. The British Geological Survey announced a 200-mile oil exploration zone around the islands in 1993, and early seismic surveys suggest substantial reserves capable of producing 500,000 barrels per day; to date, no exploitable site has been identified. An agreement between Argentina and the UK in 1995 seeks to defuse licensing and sovereignty conflicts that would dampen foreign interest in exploiting potential oil reserves. Tourism, especially eco-tourism, is increasing rapidly, with about 30,000 visitors in 2001. Another large source of income is interest paid on money the government has in the bank. The British military presence also provides a sizeable economic boost.

Falkland Island natural resources include fish, squid, wildlife, calcified seaweed, sphagnum moss

deeply indented coast provides good natural harbors; short growing season

Falkland Island religion is primarily Anglican, Roman Catholic, United Free Church, Evangelist Church, Jehovah's Witnesses, Lutheran, Seventh-Day Adventist.

Natural hazards in Falkland Islands include strong winds persist throughout the year.

Travel Advice on Falkland Islands

Falkland Islands

This advice has been reviewed and reissued with an amendment to the Health section (EHIC).  The overall level of the advice has not changed.

SUMMARY

  • The Falkland Islands is a British Overseas Territory.  There is no formal British diplomatic or consular representation in the Falkland Islands and the local authorities deal with all requests for consular assistance.  The General section of this travel advice gives you more information about this.

  • Most visits to the Falkland Islands are trouble-free.

  • There is little crime or disorder.

  • The threat from terrorism is low.  But you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.

  • Falkland Islands Government regulations state that all travellers must have medical insurance, including cover for medical evacuation.  You should check any exclusions, and that your travel insurance covers you for the activities you want to undertake.  Please see:  Travel Insurance.


SAFETY AND SECURITY

Political Situation
Falkland Islands Country Profile

Crime

There is little crime or disorder on the Falkland Islands.

Local Travel

For longer distances, the Falkland Islands Government Air Service operate three Britten Norman "Islander" aircraft from Stanley Airport to other destinations throughout the Islands.   Due to weather and other restrictions it is always worth checking that your flight is confirmed before travelling to Stanley Airport.

Road Safety

Four wheel drive vehicles are most commonly used.  Stanley roads are metalled, as is much of the 35-mile Mount Pleasant Airport to Stanley road.  In addition, there are some 200 miles of unsurfaced roads.  Coach and taxi services are available to and from Mount Pleasant Airport for the RAF and LAN Chile arrivals and departures.  Taxi services are available in Stanley.  Local transport should be booked in advance.
Speed limits are 25 miles per hour in the Stanley area and 40 miles per hour on other roads.  Because of the condition of most roads and the strong winds, extreme care must be exercised when driving outside Stanley, especially on the road between Mount Pleasant Airport and Stanley.
Self-drive four-by-four vehicles are available for hire and a UK driving licence is sufficient.   Seat belts should be worn on all roads.   Laws on drinking and driving are strictly enforced.


LOCAL LAWS AND CUSTOMS

Customs officers are on duty at all inward international flights.  Travellers are warned that drug trafficking is considered a serious offence and will be dealt with severely.

The Falkland Islands still have an estimated 14000 mines leftover from the conflict in 1982.  These are well mapped and fenced-off. Entering one of these minefields is a serious offence, which will result in prosecution.  Detailed maps of minefield locations are available locally on request.

Mount Pleasant Airport is a military site and photography is not permitted.


ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

On arrival in the Falkland Islands you must have
  • a passport valid for a minimum of six months with a current visa if required
  • a return air ticket (or other evidence of pre‑paid onward travel)
  • pre‑booked accommodation
  • sufficient funds to cover your stay in the Islands
Visitors are prohibited from obtaining paid employment without first obtaining a work permit.

For further information on entry requirements and RAF Tristar ticket services, you are advised to check with the Falkland Islands Government Office, 14 Broadway, Westminster, London, SW1H OBH; (tel: 020 7222 2542); e-mail:  representative@falklands.gov.fk Website:  http://www.falklands.gov.fk/home.htm.


HEALTH

Falkland Islands Government regulations state that all travellers must have medical insurance, including cover for medical evacuation.  You should check any exclusions, and that your travel insurance covers you for the activities you want to undertake.  Please see: Travel Insurance.

The general standard of health in the Falkland Islands is good.  Treatment is free to UK Citizens but you will have to demonstrate proof of residence in the UK (eg.  medical card or driving licence).  The only hospital is located in Stanley and offers very modern facilities with a full complement of medical, dental and nursing staff.  There is no resident qualified optician.
The Ministry of Defence recommends inoculation against Yellow Fever for passengers travelling on the RAF Tristar service in case flights are diverted to a risk area.

You should seek medical advice before travelling and ensure that all appropriate vaccinations are up to date.  For further information on health, check the Department of Health’s website at www.dh.gov.uk.


GENERAL

If things go wrong when overseas, please see:  What We Can Do To Help.

The Falkland Islands is a British Overseas Territory and as such there is no formal British Consular representation.  In an emergency, Government House in Stanley will assist British nationals.

The Falkland Island pound is fixed at a rate of one pound Sterling.  Bank of England coins and notes are fully accepted in the Islands at full value.

LANChile Airlines currently operate a once weekly flight service to Mount Pleasant Airport from Punta Arenas in southern Chile.  Onward air connections from Punta Arenas are available to Puerto Montt and Santiago de Chile, and onward from Santiago to other international destinations.  Once a month this service stops in Rio Gallegos, on the southern coast of Argentina.  The service will pick up passengers in Rio Gallegos on one week (usually the second Saturday of the month), and drops off passengers in Rio Gallegos the following week.  You should check with LANChile in advance for up to date information on Chile/Falkland Islands air services.

The RAF operate a six or seven times a month fare-paying service from RAF Brize Norton (via Ascension Island) to Mount Pleasant Airport.  This service can be subject to delays due to hazardous weather conditions, especially during the Southern Hemisphere winter.  The total journey time takes approximately 20 hours.  For further information, and how to book this service visit http://www.falklandislands.com/.

Beware of weather changes.  The weather can change rapidly and it is often possible to experience several seasons in a single day.  Sunlight can be very bright and the wearing of good sunglasses, hats and a high-factor sunscreen is recommended.

There is a £20 departure tax on leaving the Islands.

The Falkland Islands Government maintains an office in London that can provide further information for people wishing to visit the islands.  Their contact details are:

Falkland Islands Government Office
14 Broadway
Westminster
LONDON
SW1H OBH

Tel:  020 7222 2542
Fax:  020 7222 2375
E-mail:  representative@falklands.gov.uk
Money
The Falkland Island pound is fixed at a rate of one pound Sterling.  Bank of England coins and notes are fully accepted in the Islands at full value.
In Stanley, many of the main shops, hotels and restaurants will accept MasterCard or Visa.  However, credit cards are not widely acceptable in Camp (the countryside).  You should check when making bookings.  There are no ATM cash machines on the Islands.  UK cheques can be cashed (for a fee).  You are advised to carry some currency in US$ in case the flight is diverted to South America or North Africa.


OTHER

Falkland Islands Tourist Board