People who live in the UK may well be familiar with the Falklands and they may also know the islands use the pound. But this is the Falklands pound rather than the British pound, although there are similarities between the two.
What coins and notes are available for this currency?
The currency is decimalised and as is the case with the British pound there are 100 pennies to each pound. The coins and banknotes are the same as those available in the UK too.
The coins are the 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p and £1 coins. There is also a £2 coin in circulation. As for banknotes there are just four – the £5, £10, £20 and £50 notes.
From past to present – the history of the Falklands pound
The Falklands pound has a long history. It was first brought in during 1833 when the British claimed sovereignty over the Falkland Islands. Back then the currency used was the British pound though, and this was before decimalisation so it was brought in with pounds, shillings and pence. The Falkland Islands pound was decimalised at the same time as the British pound in 1971, and this did away with shillings and made sure each pound had 100 pennies to it.
Even though the currency has the same coins and notes in denomination that the UK pound has, the coins look very different in appearance. The same applies to the banknotes. You cannot get one mixed up with the other.
How to get hold of the Falklands pound
The good news if you live in the UK is that the UK pound is accepted for use in the Falkland Islands. This means you do not have to worry about getting hold of the Falklands pound before you go. What’s more the Falklands pound is pegged to the UK pound so one is worth the same as the other.
The most important thing to remember is that you will end up getting hold of some Falklands pounds while you are staying there. In essence this is a closed currency in that you cannot usually get hold of it outside of the islands. Similarly if you were to bring back, say, £300 of Falkland pounds you would have trouble changing them. You cannot usually do this outside of the islands. So keep careful track of your money. Generally speaking you should try and whittle down your cash in the last few days of your stay so you have as little as possible left to go home with. You can then keep the coins and notes you have left as something of a souvenir.
Credit cards can be a little challenging to use when you are on the islands. For starters you might be able to use them in Stanley, but other than that you should not assume they will be welcomed anywhere else. You might get lucky but it is typically best not to assume you can use them there.
How to find out the latest exchange rate between your home currency and the Falklands pound
This is a moot point if you are in the UK and use the UK pound, since they work on a 1:1 exchange rate. If you have any other currency you can use a currency converter to work out how much one unit of your own currency is worth in relation to the Falklands pound.
If you wish to find out more about the Falkland Islands prior to travelling there, or you are considering a trip there and wish to know more, visit their official government site at http://www.falklands.gov.fk/.
Travelling safely with the Falklands pound
The Falkland Islands are officially another territory of Britain overseas. This means it is associated with the UK and is essentially an extension of the country abroad. If you do visit the country and you want some advice or assistance while you are there, you can get consular advice from the Governor’s office.
The majority of people who visit the islands have no problems and enjoy their time there. The crime rate is actually extremely low so there are no specific rules or suggestions about how to avoid being a victim to petty crime – not in the same way there would be in other countries.
The main thing to remember with regard to safety actually pertains to the weather conditions. The location of the islands means the weather can change very quickly indeed. Even if the sun is shining and there is hardly a cloud in the sky when you leave your accommodation, the story could be very different after just a few minutes. Do bear this in mind and make sure you really do plan ahead and assume anything and everything could happen with the weather!
Where to spend your pounds in the Falklands – and what to spend them on
The Falkland Islands are known as Islas Malvinas in Spanish. They are a group of islands otherwise known as an archipelago. You will find them in the South Atlantic Ocean. If you look at a map of South America you will find the Falkland Islands out to the east of the bottom end of Argentina.
The capital of the Falkland Islands is Stanley, which is also commonly referred to as Port Stanley. This is on East Falkland, which is one of the main land masses that make up the islands (one of the others is predictably called West Falkland and is on the western side of the group).
While this is the capital of the islands it only has a couple of thousand residents. This gives you a good idea of what to expect from the islands themselves. It is a great place to go because there are some things here you might want to spot during a trip. You won’t miss the lovely red telephone boxes or post boxes for starters. In fact there are arguably more red telephone boxes here than you’re now used to seeing in the UK!
If you want to learn more about the Falkland Islands as a whole while you are in Stanley, you should head for the Falkland Islands Museum. This is a fascinating place and there are collections on many topics. These include costume, maritime topics, natural history and of course the Falklands War.
Stanley Harbour also offers up a Maritime History Trail if you have an interest in this area. There are many shipwrecks in the surrounding waters and you can learn more about them this way. Also in the capital is a war memorial for the 1982 war and another for the Battle of the Falklands that took place in 1914.
However the Falklands are about far more than just the capital. Indeed there are many natural sights to enjoy here, and many outdoor experiences you can enjoy. Wildlife watching is a particularly popular pastime, since the islands are known for their huge number of birds. You can see Magellanic penguins here among other species, not to mention keeping an eye out for some of the marine mammals that make their home in the waters around the islands. If you head for Bleaker Island you can watch out for several species of penguins along with many other birds.
Bertha’s Beach is another popular spot and it certainly provides a pleasant location for an afternoon stroll. Many people go hiking or walking here and when the weather is good you won’t have a problem finding a good spot for a picnic. If you keep an eye out to the shore line you may even see dolphins nearby.
As you can see the islands are ideal for those with a passion for wildlife. Locations such as Port Edgar are perfect if you want to enjoy cliffs as well as shore-based walks. Penguins are once again frequently seen here, and you also have the chance to go whale spotting. It is quite easy to spend hours exploring the many delights that the Falkland Islands have to share with you.
Indeed one of the best ways to spend those pounds is to invest in all the ingredients you would need to take on a picnic. This will enable you to enjoy several hours out and about exploring all the natural sights the islands are famous for. If you love fishing you will be pleased to know you can do this there as well.
The Falkland Islands are known to many for the war that occurred there during the Eighties. However as you can see the islands are now peaceful and offer many wonderful sights and activities for visitors to enjoy. When you know just how appealing the islands are, it makes sense that so many people would want to go and see them – and to keep their beauty a secret from others!
You can never tell exactly which types of wildlife you will be lucky enough to see, but it could well turn out to be a long list. As such the best activities you can get involved with here are the ones that cost nothing.