Observe penguins in the Falkland Islands

Penguins found in Falkland Islands, South Atlantic
Penguins found in Falkland Islands, South Atlantic

The Falkland Islands, a territory of the United Kingdom, are the perfect place for those on a South American cruise to experience stunning natural scenery as well as the island's renowned bird and marine life.

Fans of animals will definitely fall in love with these small islands, as they boast one of the few non-Arctic environments where one can see penguins in their natural habitat. The best place to view these cute birds is in one of the many penguin colonies on the island.

You'll have several to choose from, but it helps knowing which species you'll be viewing. Gentoo penguins can be thought of as the more traditional of the two species - the black-and-white tuxedo penguins. Rockhopper penguins are immediately distinguishable by their bright yellow arched eyebrows - a feature that tends to be a hit with kids. You may also get to see Magellan or King penguins.

These colonies are officially recognized as nature preserves, and penguins are far from the only attraction. Many also feature sea lions, albatross and even dolphins. If you end up going to Bluff Cove, you'll also have the chance to tour a small museum that will explain the way of life in the Falklands.

After you've had your introduction to penguins, head back to the main port of Stanley. Take a quick tour of this small city and see some of the highlights, such as the Whalebone Arch and beautiful Christ Church Cathedral.

If you're looking to learn more about the history of the Falklands, head to the Britannia Museum. The entire history of the Falklands is covered here, but special attention is paid to the 1982 Falkland Wars, when the U.K. went into battle against Argentina after the two nations disputed control of the islands.