Stanley, formerly known as Port Stanley, is the capital of the Falkland Islands. This city was founded in 1843, and today is home to more than 2,115 people.
Church with arch made from whale jawbones
Prior to the construction of the Panama Canal, Stanley was a major repair stop for boats traveling through the Straits of Magellan. The rough waters and intense storms found at the tip of the continent forced many ships to Stanley Harbour, and the ship repair industry helped to drive the island economy. Later, support for the Antarctic sealing and whaling boats became a major industry. Today, the vast majority of the town's residents are employed by the government, with tourism also being a major source of employment; on days when two or more large cruise ships dock in the town tourists may outnumber the local residents.
Depending on the language you use, you may find several names for Stanley. Some mistakenly think Port Stanley is the name that was used to rename the ancient settlement named Puerto Soledad (Port Solitude); this is a mistake, because that settlement is a different one that still exists under the name of Port Louis. Stanley was created independently from previous settlements in 1843. Argentina's claim to the islands has resulted in the invention of other names for the town, like Puerto Rivero before and during 1982, and from then to current times, the name Puerto Argentino. These names are used only by Argentinians and don't receive any recognition from Stanley locals nor Falkland Islanders.
Arrivals to Stanley either come by boat or from the airport. Most large cruise ships will dock near the center of town and allow passengers time to roam the city and possibly take trips by vehicle to nearby wildlife sites. When arriving by air, passengers will come in from Mount Pleasant airport, which is located 56 km from town. Taxis and a shuttle bus can drop passengers off anywhere within the town. The smaller airport located just outside of town is used for domestic flights, although it is possible to land on an international flight at Mount Pleasant airport and then take a domestic flight to Stanley.
Stanley is a small town, so walking is probably the best option for seeing the sights.
There are two taxi services operating within Stanley that service the town and the surrounding area.
- The Falkland Islands Museum. Extensive information about the 1982 conflict, as well as history of the Falklands, some exhibits on Falkland Islands flora & fauna, and exhibits on the islanders' involvement in Antarctic exploration. edit
- Government House. The Governor's functioning seat of government. You can take a peek of it from outside - entering inside is only possible through invitation. edit
- Christ Church Cathedral. This cathedral is the southernmost cathedral in the world. The much-photographed arch in front of the cathedral is made from the jawbones of two blue whales. edit
- St Mary's Church. This is the Catholic church in the islands. Peek inside and look for a list of the islands' Catholic chaplains, with acknowledges all their Catholic history, from Spanish times up to the present. edit
- World War One Memorial. A memorial dedicated to the 1914 Battle of the Falkland Islands. A little bit outside of the city proper, passing Government's house. edit
- 1982 Liberation Memorial. A memorial dedicated to the 1982 Falklands War and the British troop that liberated the islands. Complete with a monument to PM Margaret Thatcher. edit
- Pioneer Row. A block that displays listed buildings (cottages), built by the pioneers who founded Stanley in the 19th century. edit
- Gypsy Cove. A fifteen minute drive from town that can be easily arranged by taxi, Gypsy Cove is often the first place that visitors to the Falklands will encounter penguins. Be aware, though, that Gypsy Cove was a minefield in the past and that many areas are still off-limits for visitors. The beach and the wildlife will most probably be watched from a cautious distance. edit
The majority of shops in central Stanley cater to the huge number of cruise ship passengers that pass through the town in the summer. These places normally accept credit cards.
- FIC West Store, Ross Road. Open seven days a week and offering food, toiletries, phone cards, and other essentials. edit
- Capstan Gift Shop, Ross Road. Located across from the West Store, offers all manner of Falkland Islands gifts. edit
- Philatelic Bureau, Ross Road, . Falkland Islands stamps and first-day covers are known throughout the world and can be purchased directly from the Philatelic Bureau. edit
- Malvina House Hotel, 3 Ross Road (across the street from Government Jetty), . Dinner reservations may be required, especially during weekends. edit
- Woodbine Cafe, 29 Fitzroy Road, ☎ 21002. Fish & chip shop, also offering pizzas, burgers, chicken, empanadas, and a selection of beers. edit
- Shorty's Diner, West Hillside, ☎ +500 22855, . 1000-2030 weekdays; 1000-2000 weekends. Chargrilled burgers, steaks, curries, local fish and chips, local organic produce, homemade desserts. edit
- Globe Tavern, Crozier Place and Philomel Street, ☎ +500 22703. Located one block up the hill from the public jetty, offering beers as well as pub food such as fish and chips. Ask to meet all the lovely ladies that often pop in, and also go for the Karaoke on a Sunday night which is always good fun. edit
- Deano's Bar, Dean Street and John Street, ☎ +500 21296. Beer, liquours, pool tables and slot machines. edit
- Victory Bar, Philomel Street and Fitzroy Road, ☎ +500 21199. Beer as well as hot food. They also serve, on tap, the islands' only beer from a local microbrewery. If possible, visit the men's restroom to peek at a surprise for tourists. edit
Compared with nearby South America lodging in Stanley can be quite expensive. If you are on a strict budget inquire about pitching a tent; if allowed by the land owner the costs are often considerably less than paying for a room.
- Kay McCallum's B&B, 14 Drury Street, ☎ +500 21071 ([email protected]), . Clean and cozy, and Kay is very helpful with travel information and arrangements. As of November 2004 costs were £18 per night for a bed and breakfast. Camping was available for £5 per tent, with an additional charge of £2.50 for breakfast and use of the bathroom. edit
- Miller's Guest House, 46 St. John Street, ☎ 22950 ([email protected]), . A large guest house offering single, double and family rooms. edit
- Malvina House Hotel, 3 Ross Road (across the street from Government Jetty), ☎ +500 21355 / 21356 ([email protected]), . Top-end accommodation including sauna room. Accepts credit cards. Rates vary by season and room type with prices from £37 to £128.00. edit
Due to lingering tensions from the 1982 war with Argentina, Spanish-speakers should avoid using Spanish names for places (for example "Puerto Argentino" or "Islas Malvinas"), as doing so will undoubtedly be offensive to those who lived through that event.
Crime in Stanley is almost non-existent, but the weather can be challenging. After sunset, temperatures can drop to below-zero levels, and with the ever-present winds, this can be a unhealthy combination. Always carry clothes that can withstand such weather and climate.
- Kidney Cove. Home to a small colony of Gentoo and King penguins, as well as several Magellanic penguins.
- Volunteer Point. A white sand beach that is home to King, Gentoo and Magellanic penguins.
- Port Howard. Main settlement from the other main island, West Falkland. Reachable by ferry from New Haven or by FIGAS domestic plane.
- Goose Green. Settlement in the Lafonia region from East Falkland, home to some 1982 memorials.
- San Carlos. Settlement overlooking Falkland Sound, home to the British soldiers cemetery.
- Darwin. Settlement in the Lafonia region from East Falkland, home to the Argentinian soldiers cemetery.
- Fitz Roy. Settlement to the south of Stanley, home to more 1982 memorials.
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