Unlike much of Antarctica, Deception Island is not completely covered in ice so you’ll find great hiking opportunities here. Visitors can explore the abandoned whaling village and hike up to the lookout point known as Neptune’s Window. Adventurous visitors can go for a swim in the geothermal waters of Pendulum Cove and photographers will especially enjoy the interesting landscape in Telefon Bay.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Deception Island is home to the world’s largest colony of Chinstrap Penguins.
- Do not approach wildlife or walk on any fragile island vegetation such as moss or lichen.
- Don’t forget to bring a swimsuit if you plan to take the plunge into the geothermal waters at Pendulum Cove.
- Deception Island is home to several conservation areas, so several areas of the island are off-limits to visitors.
How to Get There
Deception Island is only accessible by boat. Most visitors arrive by cruise ship from Ushuaia in Argentina’s Tierra del Fuego. Visitors may also arrive by plane at the Eduardo Frei Base on King George Island Boat and then set out on a boat tour of Deception Island and the Antarctic Peninsula from here.
When to Get There
Antarctica is only accessible to tourists from late October through late March and the best time to visit depends on what you most want to see. Temperatures are still very cold in October and November making it the best time to see icebergs. With the warmest temperatures and the chance to spy penguin chicks and seal pups, December and January tend to be the most popular times to visit. For the best chance of seeing whales, visit in February or March.
The South Shetland Islands The South Shetland Islands are the first stopping point for most Antarctica cruises. The island group includes 11 major islands and many minor islands, islets, and skerries. King George Island is the largest and home to several research stations and Elephant Island is famous for sheltering the British explorer Ernest Shackleton and his crew when they were shipwrecked in 1916.