Antarctica is a more remote planet and one of the strangest but most fascinating destinations in the corner of the world. You must go to Chile or Argentina to go to Antarctica. Increasingly popular, the number of flights between South America and the White Continent reached a record in 2018 of 250 trips. The Antarctic is the driest and coldest continent on Earth with temperatures down to -10ºC on the coast and -80ºC in the elevated interior.
The Drake Pass, which separates South America from Antarctica, has some of the most turbulent waters in the world. Virtually virgin, the Antarctic lands remain almost without human intervention, and their landscapes stop the breath of the few scientists and travelers who get to know it. Arriving in Antarctica is a feat in itself, where the most turbulent waters of the world must be crossed. It separates humanity from this beautiful and giant ice giant. In general, all tourist trips to Antarctica are made in the warm months of the southern hemisphere, between October and March, when weather is most favorable. Read also: How to Travel With a Suit Everywhere in the World
How to go to Antarctica from Chile
To get to the white continent from Chile, you can do it by plane, boat, or sailboat. To arrive by plane, you must do so through the company DAP, which has flights between Punta Arenas and King George Island of Antarctica. The company offers full-day or two-day tours departing from Punta Arenas. The first has a value per person of USD 5,500 and the second of USD 6,500. On these tours, you can visit the Villa Las Estrellas (the largest settlement on the continent where 150 people live in summer), a Russian Orthodox Church, the Chinese Great Wall Base and zodiac navigations to visit penguin colonies and elephant seals.
Go Antarctica by boat
The most common is to travel on cruises departing from Punta Arenas. The programs usually last between one and two weeks, starting from USD 5,000 p / p and can reach up to USD 12,000 p / p for the most luxurious services. On the «Online Cruises» website, you can review and compare packages departing from this city. Accommodation and meals are always on top of the ship. Still, at different points of the tour stops are made to know colonies of penguins and elephant seals, trips in the zodiac to see glaciers face to face, and walks to points of historical interest such as military bases and ruins of whaling stations.
Some people have managed to travel to Antarctica on the Aquiles ship of the Chilean Navy. It would cost incredibly less than a cruise. We do not have official information on whether quotas for ordinary civilians are released or if the option exists only by a formal invitation.
The most extreme alternative to reach Antarctica is to make the sailboat trip, which is precisely the cover photo of this article. Trips can last from three to six weeks. This alternative is a unique experience, as travelers become part of the crew and must participate in various activities.
How to go to Antarctica from Argentina
Although the Argentine government announced in 2016 that flights would open between Ushuaia and the Marambio base. There is still no news of the progress of this process. For this reason, the way to get to know Antarctica from Ushuaia is by boat. It makes sense since the port of Tierra del Fuego is closer to the White Continent than Punta Arenas.
The services and prices are practically the same as the cruises that leave Punta Arenas. It is common for cruises from Ushuaia to add other visits to the route such as the Malvinas or the Georgias Islands. Sailboats also depart from Antarctica to Antarctica, an ideal experience for those who want to test themselves in the most extreme conditions in the world.
Active volcanoes, hot springs and ruins
Among the most impressive attractions in almost all Antarctic programs is Deception Island. It is surrounded by volcanic slopes, beaches with fumaroles and ash-covered glaciers. On Deception Island, there are thermal lagoons because, in reality, it is a sunken volcano. The Island has this name because all the settlements that have tried to settle here have failed due to volcanic eruptions. When visiting the Island you can also observe the ruins of these settlements.