Saunders Island in the north-west of the archipelago is the place to find some of the most iconic vistas of the Falkland Islands. Dramatic sweeping shorelines characterise the second largest of the offshore islands, named after a British Admiral.
The isthmus of the Neck is flanked on both sides with sandy beaches. The long stretch of white sand to the north is irresistible. The whole area is crowded with birds. Magellanic penguins make their way ashore, gentoos congregate and there is a small colony of king penguins.
Saunders Island is one of the few places where visitors can see black-browed albatross. The bird is graceful in flight, but amusingly clumsy in landing. Nests are small stacks, somewhat precariously balanced on the cliffs, with fluffy grey chicks, once hatched, atop waiting patiently for food. It’s easy to while away an hour on more just watching the activity.
Close by are rockhopper penguins and another birdwatching treat awaits. Along the coast is the “rockhopper shower” where the birds wait for their turn under the refreshing falling stream. Imperial cormorants breed noisily alongside.
The striated caracara is always on the look-out for a meal of any sort. Take care of your packed lunch! Also around the island you’ll find water-birds and endemic plants. There are many walking opportunities with the highest point, Mount Richards 457 metres (1,462 feet) providing great views across this unusually shaped island.
Accommodation is available at three locations, the main settlement, the Rookery and the Neck.
The ruins of the first British settlement are at Port Egmont, a short walk away from the main settlement. A plaque marks the spot and a flag can be raised in commemoration.
Cruise visitors may find Saunders Island featured on their itineraries, usually to take in the fantastic wildlife at the Neck.
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