For many Islanders and visitors alike, remote and tiny Carcass Island is their favorite island in the Falklands . At the northwestern edge of the archipelago, it’s full of wildlife but, at the same time, it’s equally notable for a home-style hospitality that belies its dependence on the tourist trade.
On the island’s south shore, Carcass settlement is a sheltered beauty spot whose honeysuckle aroma and 10-foot dracaenas lend it an almost tropical aura. Curious caracaras perch in the Monterey cypress windbreaks outside the lodge’s dining-room windows, the younger ones playing like kittens with string that droops from the limbs.
Unlike the larger islands, Carcass has always been a family farm, though it’s changed hands several times in nearly a century and a half. The present owners, Rob and Lorraine McGill, run only about 800 sheep and make much of their living from brief cruise-ship visits and overnight guests. On meeting the FIGAS flight, Rob McGill even offers chocolates and juice on the Rover ride into the settlement.
On the shoreline in front of the settlement, the birdlife is abundant and diverse, with kelp geese, steamer ducks, Magellanic oystercatchers, Patagonian crested ducks, Cobb’s wren, and tussock birds (small birds flourish in the absence of cats, rats, and mice). South of the settlement, there’s a large tussock grass plantation with gentoo and Magellanic penguins.
At Northwest Point, several miles from the settlement but not far from the airstrip, there’s a colony of perhaps 200 elephant seals. The highest point, 723-foot Mount Bing, yields views of the remote, uninhabited Jason Islands to the northwest.
Carcass, which takes its name from the 18th-century naval vessel HMS Carcass, has rooms with private baths in the main house (£100 pp with full board). Thanks to a wind turbine and backup generator, it now enjoys 24-hour electricity. For reservations and/or information, contact Rob or Lorraine McGill (tel. 41106, lorraine [at] horizon [dot] co [dot] fk).