The only settlement is located on a narrow isthmus close to Elephant Beach, the longest sand beach in the Falklands at just over 4 miles (6½ km). In the heart of the settlement is Pebble Island Lodge.
Originally built as the farm manager's house in 1928, it has always been a focal point of this remote island community. Converted to a lodge in 1987, it is now ideally adapted to suit the needs of visitors from around the world. Great care has been taken to ensure that it retains the warm and friendly atmosphere of a traditional Falkland farm house.
It provides a superb base from which to explore a wildlife-rich environment and experience a large Falkland farm at work. Your hosts, both Falkland Islanders, offer a full-board service and extend a very warm welcome to their guests. The lodge can accommodate up to 11 people in comfortable rooms of various configurations, all of which are en-suite.
The following guided, off-road tours in comfortable 4WD vehicles at additional fees:
WEST END TOUR:
This covers the elongated, more rugged part of the island to the west of the settlement, where a mixture of fine scenery, nature and war history can be enjoyed. The basic highlights are:
* The memorial for HMS Coventry, located on the eastern shoulder of First Mountain. This peaceful spot offers superb views and a variety of interesting Falkland flora.
* A large colony of Gentoo penguins near Middle Mountain.
* The pristine sand beaches of Green Rincon, where Gentoo and Magellanic penguins, Giant petrels and sometimes Commersons dolphins are to be seen.
* Pebble Beach at the western end of the island, in a scenic area known simply as "Marble" which looks out to neighbouring Keppel and Saunders islands. While searching for the attractive Falkland pebbles (which give the island its name), Gentoo penguins, Kelp geese & Magellanic oystercatchers may be encountered. Out at sea albatrosses, petrels & cormorants can be seen flying by.
* A memorial for 5 Argentine airmen who died during the 1982 conflict when their photo reconnaissance Lear-jet was shot down and crashed on Pebble Island.
* A large colony of Rockhopper penguins, that is occasionally visited by other crested penguins such as the Macaroni.
* The wreckage of an Argentine aircraft destroyed by British Special Forces during a war-time raid on the airstrip. A small cairn commemorates that action.
EAST END TOUR:
This covers the low-level, wetland part of the island to the east of the settlement, and is very much a wildlife extravaganza including the following:
* A drive along 4-miles long Elephant Beach, the longest sand beach in the Falklands. Steamer ducks, Oystercatchers, Kelp geese and gulls forage in the inter-tidal zone. Commersons dolphins can sometimes be seen offshore.
* A large colony of King cormorants, located on the dramatic cliff coastline of Tamar Point. Rockhopper penguins can also be found in the colony, on which skuas, dolphin gulls and Turkey vultures are constantly preying for their next meal.
* A large Gentoo penguin colony close to the eastern end of the island.
* The rugged cliffs at Cape Tamar, where Southern sea lions sometimes haul out on the rocks to rest. This is also a good place to look for Turkey vultures, Red-backed hawks and Peregrine falcons, and watch for seabird activity offshore.
* The "Penguin Coast", one of the highest concentrations of Magellanic penguins in the Falklands.
* A drive through one of the most important wetland regions in the Falklands. Black-necked swans, grebes, rare ducks and geese inhabit this area.
* Explanation of settlement buildings and overview of sheep farming operation.
The third largest offshore island in the Falkland Islands, Pebble Island's diverse terrain offers pristine sand beaches, moor lands and rocky peaks, an extensive area of ponds and wetlands, and dramatic coastal cliffs.
At 19 miles (31km) long and some 22,000 acres (8,900 hectares), Pebble Island is located in the northern part of the archipelago and adjacent to Falkland Sound, forming the eastern end of a chain of islands that runs the length of the north coast of West Falkland. The first record of the island goes back to 1594 when Sir Richard Hawkins sailed along the north coast of the Falklands in the Dainty, naming the east end of Pebble 'The Faire Island'. In or about 1766 the name Pebble Island came in to use, when the beautiful, semi-precious pebbles - many of which are translucent and quite colorful - were first noticed on beaches at the west end of the island. Since 1846, the island has been run as a sheep farm and today is home to some 10,000 fine-wool sheep.
This was my first experience with Adventure Life - and I couldn't have been more pleased with the trip. The guides and local staff in both Buenos Aires and Uruguay were terrific - extremely helpful and accommodating. I really enjoyed meeting the friendly staff in Buenos Aires in person (I left my bags with them for the afternoon).