Best time to visit the Falkland Islands

The stargazing was incredible, but it hadn’t occurred to us that we would see the Aurora Australis in the Falklands.
Most people visit as part of a once in a lifetime trip to Antarctica, so shipping schedules are often what dictate the best times to visit the Falkland Islands. Which means Nov-Mar generally, when the ice breaks up enough to let ships through. For wildlife watching, these are great times. Elephant seal pups are a big attraction in Oct-Nov, and adorable baby penguins are prolific around Dec-Jan. As nature’s needs must, they attract the orcas and other cetaceans for feeding time too. Max temperatures between Dec-Feb are 15-28°C, dipping to between 0-5°C in the southern winter.

Falkland Islands Weather Chart

 
MIN °C
MAX °C
RAIN (mm)
JAN
6
13
72
FEB
5
13
51
MAR
5
12
53
APR
3
9
53
MAY
1
7
55
JUN
1
5
49
JUL
0
5
46
AUG
0
5
43
SEP
1
7
37
OCT
2
9
38
NOV
3
11
43
DEC
5
12
64

MONTH BY MONTH GUIDE

If you are going to the Falklands as part of an Antarctica expedition, November until March is the only season this is possible, as this is when the ice melt enables smooth passage. The days are longest during December and January, and a bit warmer too. October sees the arrival of spring, and with that, mating season, so the wildlife all comes out to play. It is still pretty cold, however, with an average temperature of around 9°C. The best time for bird watching is generally October to March. Rockhopper and macaroni penguins are here from the beginning October until April, while gentoos are here all year round. Magellanic penguins arrive early September and use the same burrows every year for laying eggs. They leave again end April. King penguins are here all year round, with chicks hatching late January.

Our top Falkland Islands Vacation

Falkland Islands wildlife tour

Falkland Islands wildlife tour

10 day Falklands birds and wildlife adventure

From £2894 10 days ex flights
Tailor made:
This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
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Mary Curry, from our supplier Adventure Life, on an unusual time in the Falkland Islands:

“I was in the Falklands in March, and people said – why are you here now? Our penguins are all ugly because they’re molting, the elephant seals are all lounging on the beach, they’re really lazy. But March is really the best time to see whales, February and March are fabulous. My colleague was down there in March and she saw whales every single day. She saw a couple of blue whales, all kinds of species. But if you want to see the penguins busy nesting, if you want to see the elephant seals breeding, you want to go in the beginning of the season – October to November.”

What happens when in the Falklands

Did you know about…?

Elephant seals on Seal Island
On Seal Island, there is a bit of a vicious display by southern elephant seals as they mark their territory in September, October and November. There are moments that can be like a scene from a Greek tragedy, at the beach. At this time, the peak of the breeding season, you can get as many as 1,800 seals on the beach here.
Written by Catherine Mack
Photo credits: [Page banner: Falkland Islands] [Aurora Australis: A. Sparrow] [Mary Curry: Thomas Kelley] [Elephant Seals Seal Island: Chris Pearson]
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