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Falkland Islands travel guide

About Falkland Islands

Nineteenth-century shipwrecks and a plethora of marine life are among the attractions awaiting visitors to the Falkland Islands. Although these islands are perhaps best known as the battleground of the eponymous 1982 war between Britain and Argentina, but this archipelago in the Atlantic is an intriguing and relaxing holiday destination.

Situated nearly 500km from Patagonia, the Falklands – or Islas Maldivas, depending on who you talk to – are a frequent stopping point on Antarctic voyages, and with such an abundance of rare animal life, it's not hard to see why. There are two main islands, East and West Falkland, as well as several hundred islets. Wildlife lovers will find strewn among them five different species of penguins (including macaroni, king, Magellanic, gentoo, and rockhopper), as well whales, and sea birds. Head to Volunteer Point for the islands' largest group of king penguins, while there are a predictably vast amount of sea lions to be found on Sea Lion Island.

Reminders of the 1982 conflict do remain, with battlefields, such as Goose Green and Pebble Island, now tourist attractions. Also claimed by Spain, France and Argentina over the years, the Falklands have been British Overseas Territory since 1833. Argentina famously still contests this status and there have been recent political ramblings on the matter by that country's government. However, a recent referendum found that an overwhelming majority of the 3,000 or so islanders want to remain under British rule.

Most of the Falkland Islands' population live in the capital Stanley, over whose harbour much avian life can be seen circling above the waves. More than a thousand members of the British military live at the Mount Pleasant Base. There's a rural feel to the islands, with hamlets and sheep abounding, while you'll find no traffic lights on the Falklands' country roads. There are more than a dozen endemic plants, including Felton's flower, thought to be extinct in the wild until recently, which gives off a whiff of caramel. Also, look out for the ubiquitous snakeplant.

Key facts


12,173 sq km (4,700 sq miles).


2,912 (UN estimate 2016).

Population density:

0.2 per sq km.




British Overseas Territory, which is not recognised by Argentina, as it considers the Falkland Islands to be part of Argentina.

Head of state:

HM King Charles III since 2022, represented locally by Governor Alison Blake since 2022.

Travel Advice

The Falkland Islands is a British Overseas Territory, so there is no British Embassy, and the Falkland Islands government will support you if you need help.

Before you travel

No travel can be guaranteed safe. Read all the advice in this guide and any specific travel advice that applies to you:

Travel insurance  

If you choose to travel, research your destinations and get appropriate travel insurance. Insurance should cover your itinerary, planned activities and expenses in an emergency.

About FCDO travel advice

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) provides advice about risks of travel to help British nationals make informed decisions. Find out more about FCDO travel advice.

Follow and contact FCDO travel on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. You can also sign up to get email notifications when this advice is updated.

This advice reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British citizen’ passport from the UK, for the most common types of travel.

The authorities in the Falkland Islands set and enforce entry rules. If you’re not sure how these requirements apply to you, contact the Falkland Islands Government London Office.

COVID-19 rules

There are no COVID-19 testing or vaccination requirements for travellers entering the Falkland Islands.

Travelling through Chile

You can travel to or from the Falkland Islands through Chile. Make sure you meet Chile’s entry requirements, see Chile travel advice.

Passport validity requirements

To enter the Falkland Islands, your passport must be valid for the duration of your stay.

Check with your travel provider that your passport and other travel documents meet requirements. Renew your passport if you need to.

You will be denied entry if you do not have a valid travel document or try to use a passport that has been reported lost or stolen.

Visa requirements

You can visit the Falkland Islands without a visa. You’ll get permission to stay one month on arrival but can apply in advance to stay longer. See Falkland Islands visitor permit.

To work you must have a Falkland Islands work permit.

Vaccine requirements

For details about medical entry requirements and recommended vaccinations, see TravelHealthPro’s Falkland Islands guide.

Customs rules

There are strict rules about goods you can take into or out of the Falkland Islands. You must declare anything that may be prohibited or subject to tax or duty.


There is a high threat of terrorist attack globally affecting UK interests and British nationals, including from groups and individuals who view the UK and British nationals as targets. Stay aware of your surroundings at all times.    

UK Counter Terrorism Policing has information and advice on staying safe abroad and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. Find out how to reduce your risk from terrorism while abroad.

Terrorism in the Falkland Islands

Although there’s no recent history of terrorism in the Falkland Islands, attacks cannot be ruled out.


The crime rate in the Falkland Islands is low, and there is rarely any disorder.

Laws and cultural differences

The Falkland Islands is a British Overseas Territory and has its own laws.    

Illegal drugs and prison sentences

Drug trafficking and possession are illegal in the Falkland Islands and can lead to a prison sentence.    

Using cameras at Mount Pleasant Airport

You must have a permit to take photos at Mount Pleasant Airport as it is a military site. The UK Ministry of Defence only issues permits for work purposes or in exceptional circumstances.     

LGBT+ travellers

Same-sex marriage was legalised in 2017. LGBT+ travellers are unlikely to encounter difficulties in the Falkland Islands. Read more advice for LGBT+ travellers.

Unexploded weapons

People still find landmines and unexploded weapons from the 1982 conflict on major battlefields and washed up on beaches. If you find a weapon, follow Royal Falkland Islands Police guidance. You should:

  • not touch or approach the item
  • clearly mark the area
  • take a picture if it is safe to do so
  • call 999 from a safe distance and wait for the police to arrive


Credit and debit cards are not widely accepted outside Stanley. Check when making bookings and carry cash in British pounds or US dollars.

There is only one ATM on the islands. If it’s not working, you can get a cash advance from the bank in Stanley, using a Visa or Mastercard.

Some travellers have experienced difficulties exchanging Falkland Islands notes at their bank in the UK. Limit the amount of Falkland Islands currency you leave with.

Transport risks

Road travel

If you are planning to drive in the Falkland Islands, see information on driving abroad.

You can use a UK driving licence to drive in the Falkland Islands for up to 12 months.  After this time, you must apply for a Falkland Islands driving license. See Royal Falkland Islands Police / driving licences.

Take care when driving outside Stanley, especially the road between Mount Pleasant Airport and Stanley, because of hazardous road conditions and strong winds. People have died on this road and accidents are common.

There are around 600 miles of unsurfaced roads on the islands. You can use your UK driving licence to hire a self-drive 4-wheel-drive vehicle.

The speed limit is 25mph in Stanley and 40mph in other areas.     

Air travel

The Royal Air Force (RAF) operates a fare-paying service from RAF Brize Norton to Mount Pleasant Airport twice a week. This flight also stops in Ascension Island. It can be delayed because of poor weather, especially during the southern hemisphere winter. Carry some US dollars in case the flight is diverted to South America or North Africa.

The Falkland Islands Tourist Board has information on travelling to the islands.

You can fly between the islands with the Falkland Islands Government Aviation Service (FIGAS) from Stanley airport. Book through FIGAS or a local tour operator. Check your flight has been confirmed the afternoon before your departure. In bad weather, check your flight is going ahead before you leave for the airport.

There are weekly scheduled flights to Mount Pleasant Airport from Chile, operated by LATAM Airlines. Check before you travel for up-to-date information.

Extreme weather and natural disasters

The weather can change rapidly and you can experience several seasons in a single day. The sun can be very strong, so wear good sunglasses, a hat and high-factor sunscreen.

Before you travel check that:

  • your destination can provide the healthcare you may need
  • you have appropriate travel insurance for local treatment or unexpected medical evacuation

This is particularly important if you have a health condition or are pregnant.

Emergency medical number

Call 999 and ask for an ambulance.

Contact your insurance company quickly if you’re referred to a medical facility for treatment.

Vaccine recommendations and health risks

At least 8 weeks before your trip:

See what health risks you’ll face in the Falkland Islands, including insect and tick bites.


The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or bought in the UK can be different in other countries.

Read best practice when travelling with medicines on TravelHealthPro.

The NHS has information on whether you can take your medicine abroad.

Healthcare facilities in the Falkland Islands

The Falkland Islands has a good, modern hospital in Stanley with medical and dental staff. There is no resident qualified optician. You may need to be medically evacuated to Chile or Uruguay for more complex treatments.     

You can access free medical care in the Falkland Islands through the UK-Falkland Islands Reciprocal Healthcare Agreement, which covers:

  • hospital treatment
  • other medical treatment
  • prescribed medicines
  • ambulance travel

You will need proof of UK residency, such as an NHS medical card or passport. You must take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance which includes at least 2 million US dollars for medical evacuation as this is not covered under the arrangement. Other medical costs are also not covered. Find out more about healthcare for UK citizens in the Falkland Islands.

There is also guidance on healthcare if you’re living in the Falkland Islands.    

Travel and mental health

Read FCDO guidance on travel and mental health. There is also mental health guidance on TravelHealthPro.

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) cannot provide tailored advice for individual trips. Read this travel advice and carry out your own research before deciding whether to travel.

The Falkland Islands is a British Overseas Territory, so there is no British Embassy, and the Falkland Islands government will support you if you need help.  

Emergency services in the Falkland Islands

Telephone: 999 (ambulance, fire, police)

Contact your travel provider and insurer

Contact your travel provider and your insurer if you are involved in a serious incident or emergency abroad. They will tell you if they can help and what you need to do.

Refunds and changes to travel

For refunds or changes to travel, contact your travel provider. You may also be able to make a claim through insurance. However, insurers usually require you to talk to your travel provider first.

Find out more about changing or cancelling travel plans, including:

  • where to get advice if you are in a dispute with a provider
  • how to access previous versions of travel advice to support a claim

Support from the Falkland Islands government

If you’re in the Falkland Islands and you need emergency help, contact the relevant government department.

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