D A T C O T O U R
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Highlighting the Best of the Falkland Islands
Hosted Independent Tour
ITINERARY (Subject to change without notice):
Wednesday - Depart Miami: Evening departure for overnight flight south to Chile.
Thursday - Arrive Santiago: Morning arrival and meeting and transfer to the Ritz Carlton Santiago. Afternoon visit to the main points of interest in Santiago including the Pre-Columbian Museum, a drive up Cerro San Cristobal for a bird's-eye panoramic view of the city and wine tasting at the Enoteca wine museum. (B)
Friday - Santiago: Full day excursion to the Pacific seaside resort of Vina del Mar and its twin city, Valparaiso, Chile's main seaport, visiting all the main points of interest. Also visit Isla Negra, the eclectic museum-home of the poet Pablo Neruda. A stop for lunch is made (cost of lunch is not included). Late afternoon return to Santiago. (B)
Saturday - Santiago - Falkland Islands: Lan Chile's once-a-week flight from Santiago to the Falklands leaves in the morning and makes a stop in Puerto Montt and Punta Arenas (for Chilean customs and immigrations) before proceeding 400 miles out into the Atlantic to the Falkland Islands. Upon arrival at Mount Pleasant Airport on East Falkland Island, meeting and transfer aabout one hour to Goose Green and nearby Darwin House.
ABOUT THE DARWIN HOUSE: The Darwin House was built on the ate 1970's to replace the original "Managers House". It is a modern farmhouse with 5 bedrooms, all offering views over Choiseul Sound, the picturesque settlement and Wickham Heights. There is a large and very comfortable lounge with TV and video, a pleasant dining room and a cosy, well-stocked bar.
ABOUT THE AREA: The highlights of the area include access to 1982 battlefields, San Carlos and cemeteries; South American Gaucho history; southernmost suspension bridge, typical and largest Falklands farm at Goose Green and Gentoo Penguin colony. The wildlife checklist includes, besides the Gentoo penguins, the King cormorant, Night heron, Upland goose, Ruddy-headed goose, Magellancia oystercatchers and Blackish oystercatchers.
NOTE: Because of luggage restrictions on the local flights, come prepared to leave your large luggage with the transfer person to take back to Stanley to await your arrival.
Sunday - Goose Green - Port Howard: This morning begin your exploration of "Camp", which is what everything outside of Stanley is called. Your locla hosts will transfer you to the airport to catch your local FIGAS flight to Port Howard. Once at the airport you won't need the ticket you've been given - your name on the manifest is sufficient. Whether your flight is direct or a true sightseeing adventure, you'll be flying over East Falkland Island, one of the two big islands. Upon arrival at Port Howard airport (yes, there is a sign stating so), you'll be met by the lodge and transported to the Lodge just 3 minutes from the airstrip. This afternoon your hosts will show you around Port Howard and introduce you to the traditional camp hospitality. (B/L/D)
GETTING AROUND THE ISLANDS: FIGAS (Falkland Island Government Air Service) is the way to get around. FIGAS flies Islander aircraft - twin engine 9-seater aircraft with wings above the windows for excellent viewing as you fly at an average altitude of 500 to 1000 feet. There are weight restrictions - you are allowed only 14 kilos (28 pounds) of luggage; if you have more and IF there is weight allowance to carry it, you will be allowed to take it at an overweight charge; if weight allowances do not allow transport, it will be left behind. Therefore, pack to take only 28 pounds with you. You will also be weighed and seats in the aircraft will be assigned based on weight distribution.
In order to know what time your flight leaves and what routing it will take, listen to the radio the evening before. Flight schedules and passengers' names are announced following the news report. Generally flights leave Stanley around 8:30 AM so arrivals and departures at Camp destinations will be based on routing. Generally the hotel or lodge where you are staying will be paying attention to the flight announcements as it is their responsibility not only to pick you up or take you to the airstrip, but also to act as airstrip managers - put up the wind sock, open up the shed with the fire equipment, talk to the pilot on approach, swap paper work with the pilot, receive and deliver the mail for transport, etc.
One tradition you need to know right away and are asked to follow everywhere in Camp: be prepared to take your shoes off and leave them at the door; indoors you walk around in socks or slippers but your outdoor shoes stay outside the house. All houses have sun rooms facing north that provide a barrier between the outdoors and the inside and provide a comfortable way for this tradition to be followed.
ABOUT PORT HOWARD LODGE: Port Howard is one of the few remaining large farming settlements in the Islands and offers an excellent introduction into life in the Falklands countryside. Home to a community of 40 persons, Port Howard supports 42,000 purebred Corriedale sheep, 800 cattle, raised for beef, and a herd of 80 Ayrshire dairy cows. The Lodge was originally the farm manager's house. There is a large living room with peat fireplace, an honesty bar-lounge, dining room with fireplace, and 8 rooms, several of which have private facilities and the rest share two large, spic & span bathrooms. The Lodge is well known in the islands for its cuisine and meals are not only sufficient but country-gourmet.
During your stay your local host will see that you experience life in Camp - you'll visit the community, the sheep shearing sheds, the peat bog, the South Atlantic Knitwear workshop where machine knitted garments use local wool, and a variety of other activities, depending on your interests. Some of the best sea trout fishing is nearby; boat trips to Narrows Island can be arranged for wildlife viewing, or you can play golf on the nine-hole Clippy Hill course. There is also a small museum housing relics from the 1982 Conflict - the lodge has some very interesting stories about the human side of this conflict.
Monday - Port Howard: Today you will have plenty of time to experience life in Camp and to enjoy local activities as may be arranged with the lodge and allowed by weather. (B/L/D)
Tuesday - Port Howard - Carcass Island: Morning FIGAS flight to Carcass Island in the northwest. Here your hosts are Robin and Lorraine McGill. They will meet you at the airstrip, provide you with all your meals and see that you have transportation and all the necessary information to explore Carcass Island and its wildlife. (B/L/D)
ABOUT CARCASS ISLAND: In over 100 years of habitation, Carcass Island (named after the H.M.S. Carcass, has had only three owners, all environmentally conscious and neither cats nor rats. This care and freedom from predation has made a difference which is immediately evident and needs to be experienced rather than described. There is a great number of shoreline birds, penguins and seals, all within walking distance. In the settlement itself is a colony of night herons, magellanic penguins and many small birds. Elephant seals are on the North West Point and can be visited by Land Rover.
ABOUT ACCOMMODATIONS: The McGills offer two cottages, both situated in the settlement. The Valley Cottage sleeps six persons; the Rose Cottage sleeps four persons. Meals will be provided by the McGills at their home. Each cottage has private facilities, fully equipped kitchen and oilfired heating.
Wednesday - Carcass Island: Today you will visit West Point Island by boat, a great opportunity to see black-browed albatross. The boat ride takes about one hour each way, you'll spend time viewing the albatross and the spectacular cliffs, including Devil's Nose. Whale watching and dolphin spotting are also possible. (B/L/D)
Thursday - Carcass Island: Today you will have a full day to explore the island and its wildlife at your own pace. (B/L/D)
Friday - Carcass Island - Pebble Island: At the appropriate time The McGills will take you to the airstrip for your FIGAS flight to Pebble Island. Upon landing at Pebble Island airstrip, you'll be met by your local hosts at the Pebble Island Hotel. This afternoon you'll have your first true Land Rover experience as your host takes you over seemingly impossible terrain and along almost invisible tracks to visit wildlife. (B/L/D)
ABOUT PEBBLE ISLAND: Pebble Island is 25 miles long with large expanses of marshland and inland fresh water ponds with some of the best conditions to view a great variety of fauna. Wild duck, grebe and black-necked swans are easily viewed. Colonies of southern sea lions are often seen along the beaches and rocky coast, as are four types of penguins: Gentoo, Magellanic, Rockhopper and in summer the Macaroni. The island has long sandy beaches, well suited to beach combing. The island is named for the semi-precious stones which are found along its coast - you can walk from one cove to another turning over pebbles, occasionally finding yellow or red stones polished by the endless action of the waves. Just a short walk from the hotel is Elephant Bay, one of the longest white sand beaches in the Islands, which serves as the airstrip during winter.
ABOUT PEBBLE ISLAND HOTEL: The hotel is situated in the settlement of the 22,000 acre farm and was originally the farm manager's house. It has been totally renovated and has 6 twin rooms and 1 single room, each with private bath. There is a large living room with peat burning fireplace and well stocked honesty bar. There is a dining room with meals featuring the fresh produce grown in their own gardens. There is also a gift-shop table with small collection of hats, t-shirts, sweat shirts and other souvenirs.
Saturday- Pebble Island: Today you will explore more of the wildlife of the area, once again by 4WD land rover. You may also have time to walk to Elephant Bay or explore the small community. (B/L/D)
Sunday - Pebble Island - Sea Lion Island: Morning FIGAS flight south to Sea Lion Island where your host will meet you at the airstrip for the short ride to Sea Lion Lodge. Once you are settled in, your host will take you on an introductory visit of the island to point out areas of interest. In the afternoon you'll have plenty of time to return to the beaches or the inland lagoon for wildlife viewing. (B/L/D)
ABOUT SEA LION ISLAND: Sea Lion is the most isolated of the Falkland's inhabited islands and today boasts a resident population of only two persons but more than forty species of birds, southern elephant seals and southern sea lions. Measuring one mile wide by five miles long, it is a virtually flat island with spectacular beaches and rocky coastline. While it has an interesting human history, wildlife is the highlight. Over forty species of birds visit and nest on the island including one of the rarest birds of prey on earth, the Striated Caracara (called Johnny Rook locally), four species of penguins including Gentoos, Rockhoppers, Magellanic and occasionally the Macaroni; large tussac area with lagoon and many fresh water ponds are home to many small birds and ducks; the beaches are frequented by a variety of ducks, marine birds, the southern elephant seals and south american sea lions; fur and leopard seals can be seen at times and the beaches are patrolled by Orca killer whales. All in all, Sea Lion Island is a spectacular wildlife experience.
ABOUT SEA LION LODGE: Sea Lion Lodge is the only "purpose-built" lodge in the Falklands. Built in 1986, it's one of the world's most southerly hotels and one of the most remote. There are six twin bedded rooms, one double bedded room all with private bath; 2 single rooms share a bathroom. There is a comfortable lounge-TV room with extensive library of reference books and magazines and videos; a well stocked cozy bar-lounge and a dining room. Many wildlife sites are within walking distance and transportation to the far end of the island can be arranged.
Monday- Sea Lion Island: Day at leisure to explore the island at your own pace - linger as long as you want or move about at your own pace. Sea Lion Island is sure to delight you with its variety of wildlife within walking distance of the lodge. (B/L/D)
Tuesday - Sea Lion Island: Another day to explore the island's beaches, ponds and cliffs, all homes to abundant wildlife. (B/L/D)
Wednesday - Sea Lion Island - Stanley: Morning return flight back to the Stanley airport. Meeting upon arrival and transfer about 10 minutes to town and the Malvina House Hotel where you will stay for three nights. This afternoon you'll take a 20-minute motorlaunch transfer through the harbor to Sparrow Cove with great photographic opportunities of Stanley. From Sparrow Cove it is about a 30-minute ride overland to the gentoo penguin colonies on the grassy banks of Kidney Cove. There is also a small colony of King penguins. Other widlife to look for includes Magellanci penguins, red-backed hawks, Falkland skua, upland geese and the Falkland flightless steamer ducks. (B)
ABOUT THE MALVINA HOUSE HOTEL: Malvina Felton gave her name to the original Malvina House back in the 1890's. The modern Malvina House, built in the late 1960's, was converted into a hotel in 1983 and has since been extensively renovated. Located on Ross Road, it is within easy walking distance to all points of interest. With 18 rooms, it is the largest of the two hotels in Stanley. All rooms have private bathrooms. There is a bar-lounge and the Conservatory Restaurant provides dining in a relaxing atmosphere of plants and shrubs in the renovated original 19th century conservatory, with full a la carte menu. Because it is THE place to dine in Stanley, reservations are suggested. Make arrangements with the hotel to store your large luggage while you travel in the Islands.
Thursday - Stanley: This morning you'll enjoy a guided visit to the main points of interest in historic Stanley and make a stop at the small but outstanding Falkland Islands Museum. You'll have time to explore this town at your own pace. You may want to arrange locally for an excursion to Gypsy Cove, Seal Bay, Mount Tumbledown or Smylies Farm at Port San Carlos. (B)
Friday - Stanley: Today you will visit Volunteer Point which boasts a colony of King Penguins and one of Gentoo Penguins with Magellanic penguins in burrows all along the area. Today is the epitome of travel in Camp. The first 30 miles are over all weather roads, and take about one hour. You'll pass stone runs and Mount Tumbledown. Then the road ends and the next 19 miles are by "track" through the countryside - up and down and along seemingly invisible tracks and along beaches, across streams - two hours of amazing travel. Volunteer Point's King Penguins are stately, almost elegant, with their orange muffs, scarf and lipstick. The brown balls of fluff of varying sizes are the babies, juveniles and teenagers and it's difficult to image how they grow up to be the aristocratic adults. Plenty of time to observe the King Penguins - they are curious fellows and it would not be unusual for them to saunter up to inspect you. You will also visit the Gentoo colony but today is mostly devoted to King Penguins and land rover travel in Camp. Box lunch is provided. (B/BL)
Saturday - Falkland Islands - Santiago: Day at leisure until mid-afternoon transfer back to Mount Pleasant airport for departure flight on Lan Chile back to Punta Arenas. The hotel will hold your luggage until you are ready to depart so you'll have time to shop, take the Maritime History trail and explore at your own pace. Fly from the Falklands back to Santiago, arriving in the evening. Meeting and transfer to the Ritz Carlton for overnight stay. (B)
Sunday - Depart Santiago: Morning at leisure. Mid-day check-out and transfer about one hour to Santa Rita Vineyards where you will enjoy lunch at the very popular Dona Paula's. After lunch enjoy a visit to the installations of the winery. Late afternoon return transfer directly to the airport for your overnight departure flight.
Monday - Arrive Miami: Morning arrival in Miami. Clear customs and immigrations and make connections to your home city.
RATES and DETAILS:
|SAMPLE LAND RATE PER PERSON: (All rates subject to change without notice)|
|YEAR||Single Occupancy||Twin Occupancy - P/P||Triple Occupancy - P/P|
|Oct 2011 - Mar 2012||on request||$9,995 to $10,750||on request|
|Oct 2012 - Mar 2013||Estimate 10% increase|
|NOTE: Plus Air fares and USA Departure Taxes|
|PAYMENTS: By credit card; special form required & must carry Card Holder's signature|
|Deposit - Per Person||2nd deposit - Per Person||Full Payment Due|
|$750 in order to confirm||To compelte a total deposit of 30% upon confirmation of all space||65 days prior departure|
|After reservations confirmed||If new documents are required|
|$2100 per change||$100 per change + $100 re-issue documents|
|CANCELLATIONS: (Exact fees depend on room-cabin occupancy)|
|Cancelled Between||Up to 91 days||89 to 61 days||60 to 31 days||30 to 00 days|
|Fees Per Person||$750||30%||50%||100%|
|TRIP CANCELLATION INSURANCE: Highly reccomended|
|RATE DOES NOT INCLUDE:|
was last updated on January 01, 2012. Information & rates subject to change.
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