Best of Port Stanley: Volunteer Point

Approximately 7 hours
Strenuous Activity  Meal 

Volunteer Point is home to 1,200 adult king penguins, plus several hundred chicks. It is the largest colony of king penguins in the world outside of South Georgia Island. Seeing king penguins at all, let alone up close, is an almost unheard-of event. It is an enormous privilege for even the most experienced traveler, and is not to be passed up. In addition to the king penguins, there are also approximately 1,000 gentoo penguins and several thousand Magellan penguins at this location.

Volunteer Point is approximately 50 miles from Stanley -- it takes about 2½ hours of driving to reach it. Most of the route is on a gravel road, while the final quarter of the journey is an adventure in itself as it is over a grassy track in a 4x4 vehicle. The gravel road ends at the sheep farm of Johnson Harbour, where the real adventure begins. The route takes in a variety of challenges that fully test the skill of the off-road driver. Small streams, bridges, ditches and peat bogs are encountered along the way. Don’t be put off by the nature of the drive -- the reward is that eventually you will arrive at the king penguin colony situated between a beautiful, long, white-sand beach and a saltwater lagoon.

There are wonderful photo opportunities as the outgoing and friendly king penguins elegantly pose, dressed to kill in their superb coloring of white, gold, yellow and black feathers. They are unafraid and are happy to go about their business as if you were not there. A spring or early summer visit to the location provides a chance to see the fluffy brown chicks that match their parents in size. Within a half-mile radius, the high-nesting gentoo and burrowing Magellan penguins can also be seen.

A few minutes’ walk to the sandy beach allows you to view all three species mixing and moving as they head out to sea in search of food or return to their colonies. Again, there are superb photo opportunities as the penguins dive and swim with amazing agility. Depending on the weather, you will have 1-2 hours at the location to see the penguins at play and enjoy a small snack before setting off for the return journey to Stanley.

It cannot be overstated that this is a truly unusual opportunity to see all three species of penguin in such prolific numbers along with the stark and beautiful Malvinas/Falklands countryside, a typical small sheep farm, and the battle-weary mountains of 1982.


The ride will be bumpy. It is essential that you wear warm, layered clothing in order to fully enjoy and participate in this excursion. Outer layer should be waterproof and windproof. Bring gloves, a warm hat and a scarf. This tour is unguided; the driver is not a guide and does not offer commentary. The transportation is merely a transfer to Volunteer Point and you will observe the penguins on your own.


This excursion is led in English