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“such an amazing experience”
Review of Volunteer Point

Volunteer Point
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Volunteer Point in Falkland Islands
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed March 31, 2014

To walk side by side with penguins to the shore. Have Kings looking after their young in front of you, so close you feel like a proud father. watch sea lions on the shoreline looking for prey. strolling through the dunes being watched by wildlife as if you are family, life simply doesn't get any better. This trip I was lucky enough to witness a wedding on the beach with thousands of penguins playing nearby. be prepared for a long and bumpy drive from Stanley to the point but honestly, you won't regret it. wildlife everywhere. lie down, they are as inquisitive as puppies and will surround you. you may even get a friendly peck if you are lucky. DO NOT miss this opportunity. The Warden and his wife who look after the point are the friendliest people and are happy to let you know all about the wildlife as will the many tour operators.

2  Thank Andy_Trish_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"patrick watts"
in 48 reviews
"off road"
in 42 reviews
"king penguins"
in 84 reviews
"estancia excursions"
in 20 reviews
"cruise ship"
in 35 reviews
"hour drive"
in 12 reviews
"falkland islands"
in 40 reviews
in 15 reviews
"cross country"
in 11 reviews
"half the price"
in 6 reviews
"his wife"
in 8 reviews
"wheel drive"
in 11 reviews
"peat bogs"
in 9 reviews
"their natural habitat"
in 8 reviews
"south america"
in 9 reviews
"driver guide"
in 5 reviews
"different species"
in 4 reviews

167 - 171 of 251 reviews

Reviewed March 27, 2014

Estancia Tours to Volunteer Point- The use of the term “tour” is a misnomer as this tour company, the renowned Patrick Watts tours or any other Volunteer Point tour company really just provide transportation from the port in Stanley to Volunteer Point in 4-wheel drive vehicles that could comfortably seat 3-passengers but are crammed with four people so take pity on the middle passenger in the back seat. The vehicles are owned, maintained and driven by locals who only have “OJT” training as tour guides and off road driving skills. All have regular “day jobs” that they are taking a personal leave day from to take you to/from Volunteer Point.
Your experience will be “luck-of-the-draw”, hopefully getting a driver who has done this for many years who is knowledgeable with a well maintained vehicle. Our driver was very friendly and talked thru the entire journey but has just started doing tours beginning this year and had only 5-prior trips to Volunteer Point in his recently acquired fairly old Toyota 4-wheel drive vehicle. The ride to Volunteer Point takes 2-hours with the first hour of travel over paved and gravel roads which later you will appreciate. When you reach Johnson’s Harbor you will stop for a bathroom break before spending the next hour traveling extreme off-road navigation to Volunteer Point. The driver described a lot of the scenery as we drove and it is interesting to see the massive rock slide areas created from centuries of freezing and thawing. After Johnson’s Harbor it is slow going 4-wheel drive through and around mud holes and ditches with the vehicle constantly moving left & right then up & down as you navigate the difficult track (or lack of). It is a fun and interesting off-road journey for the 1st 5-10 minutes but remember while the vehicle is moving left & right then up & down, so are the passenger so by the time you reach Volunteer Point you feel somewhat beat up and are ready to get out of the vehicle. Our driver was the 1st of our group to get stuck in the mud and we were pulled out by another vehicle which is common. Over their radio we heard of 4-5 other vehicles who got stuck as well.
At Volunteer Point All Drivers, regardless of the tour company, point you in the direction of the penguin colonies and you are on your own to explore for 2-hours as the drivers congregate in each others vehicles. No one takes you to the different areas are to explain the types of penguins or anything else about them. In spite of not being guided, the penguin colonies are an incredible sight to see. At Volunteer Point we saw two varieties of penguins which numbered about 1,000.

5  Thank FLgolfer_2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 20, 2014

Wow. That's all I can say. THANK YOU JIMMY!

Volunteer Point is an exceptional place for any animal lover, however, I think it is only a part of what visitors to the Falkland Islands should experience. Thanks to Jimmy Curtis and Volunteer Point Tours, our time in Stanley and at Volunteers was exceptional from the moment we stepped off our tender until we returned.

Getting to Volunteer Point is not for the fait of heart. The travel there and back is mostly "off-roading" and for the four of us in Jimmy's 4x4, he ensured to make it a memorable experience. While there are a number of ways one can traverse the hills and fields to and from Volunteers, Jimmy promised and delivered a wild ride, which should be a shore excursion in itself! Of course, there are calmer ways to get there, and we had those options, but we asked for some excitement - and he delivered!

Upon arriving at Volunteers, we were able to spend nearly two hours walking amongst thousands of King and Magellanic penguins. While you can't, nor don't want to, disturb the penguins, they are nonetheless walking amongst the tourists, living their lives. You can head down to the beach and see them go for a swim, and just follow them everywhere. Unlike other colonies, there are very little restrictions as per what you can do. This place is incredible.

But one of the most important things for us, when having limited time at ports-of-call, is really trying to get a taste of the culture and life and I have to say that our day with Jimmy really made our time at the Falklands special.

Jimmy has lived on the islands since he was 8 years old. He actually immigrated there only six months before the war with Argentina, and he shared his memories with us as well as really gave us a peek into daily life on the islands. There were a number of tour options available (City tour, battlefield tour, etc.) and I think in just talking with and spending 4 hours in the car with Jimmy, we had everything rolled up into one.

Upon returning from Volunteers, Jimmy pointed out some important battlefields and wreckage along the way (satisfying my interest in the war) and gave us a tour of Stanley, allowing us to see all the highlights: government buildings, schools, memorials - and even his mother in law's house!

Everything was timed perfectly that we even had some extra time to grab a pint, with, you guessed it, Jimmy (and his wife, Tanya), before heading back to our ship!

While it is true that the Volunteer Point excursion, whether booked with the cruise ship or on your own, is not cheap, however, for the penguins alone, it is worth every penny. But when you get to spend your time with someone, it makes the experience definitely one you will never ever forget.

We read a bunch of reviews for other guides, but we are so so so happy we found Jimmy. We urge you to send him an e-mail at: curtis@volunteerpointtours.com. If you're heading out there. You'll thank us later!!!

14  Thank dsmajy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 9, 2014

Our final stop during our three weeks on the Falkland Islands was Volonteer Point. Located about 2 hours drive from Stanley, it is close enough for a day trip; however, we were fortunate enough to be able to spend the night with the Warden and his wife, in a tiny house heated by peat fuel, sharing their meals. A 15 minute walk from the house is the King Penguin colony. There are over 600 couples and, at the time we visited, dozens of small chicks, safely ensconced between the legs of a parent, protected from skuas and other birds of prey. This was the only location where we had to share the spot with others -- Land Rovers filled with day visitors. However, once they left, the beach was ours and we were able to spend several hours at sunset and sunrise watching the king penguins, gentoos, and magellanics walking down to the ocean or coming back. We spent hours watching gentoo chicks chasing their parents to get something to eat. It was well worth the off road experience of getting here.

Thank Shutterbugdi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 6, 2014

We went there with Estancia Excursions. Our driver was Nyree's mom. We really enjoyed this tour and she provided a lot of information about the islands. This tour was actually the highlight of our Celebrity Antarctica cruise last month. Nyree books up really quickly so if you know that you are going to the Falkland Islands, book with Nyree ASAP.

Nyree was great to deal with both prior to our cruise and during. Our cruise had a change in itineary and Nyree worked really hard trying to accommodate us with the date change so that we could still take the tour.

2  Thank Jake3337
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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