Falkland Islanders often say "The West is the Best." Its isolated farmsteads offer a traditional hospitality that recalls the days when your nearest neighbor was a day's ride on horseback and any visit was an event. Even then, it's no longer what it was in the days of "two-nighters," annual get-togethers for the widely dispersed population. Nevertheless, the neighborly feeling still survives. Reached by small aircraft and sporadic shipping vessels only, West Falkland has no towns as such, only scattered sheep stations.
The main settlements are Port Howard, which has a fine lodge that was once the farm manager's house and an improvised Falklands War museum.
Offshore Westpoint Island and Carcass Island, which has perhaps the homiest lodge on the islands, are home to large colonies of penguins and marine animals.
New Island offers rockhopper, gentoo and Magellanic penguins, as well as fur seals, small birds and stunning headlands.
Pebble Island, off the northern coast of West Falkland, is a great spot for bird-watching (which includes penguins).
Saunders Island has the ruins of Britain's first settlement, a magnificent assortment of wildlife and some of the Islands' best hiking.
Plan at least three days for West Falkland and surrounding islands, exclusive of travel time. Cars can be used on West Stanley, although they must traverse Falkland Sound by ferry. 90 mi/145 km west of Stanley.
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