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8 places to see exotic marine animals on dry land

Penguins in surf at Sea Lion Island, Falklands

Photo: Dwilliams851/Flickr

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Sea Lion Island, Falkland Islands

Sea Lion Island, the southernmost inhabited island in the Falklands, is rich with wildlife that drop in on the sandy bays, sandstone cliffs and loads of shoreline. Many animals that spend the majority of their time in the sea, including elephant seals and sea lions, choose to come ashore on Sea Lion Island. Smaller land masses near the main island also have haul-out sites, where seals come out of the water en masse. There have also been sightings of three species of penguins on the main island, and during the November breeding season, killer whales are often sighted on the surface of the water just offshore.

Sea Lion Island is one of the most eco-friendly destinations on our list. The Sea Lion Lodge boasts wind and solar power, and the island's status as a national nature reserve means that it has strict rules that protect the local animal population (including laws that are meant to keep the island free of rodents and domestic pets).