FX Excursions

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Discover the Perils of Deception Island

by Benjamin Kerns

Feb 24, 2020

ID 19045225 © Steve Allen | Dreamstime.com

Trends / Adventure

Deception Island is one of two active volcanoes in Antarctica, and one of the most unique in the world. The unique landscape is a mixture of barren slopes, burning beaches and glaciers covered in ash. The island is actually the caldera of the volcano, and a must-see destination for travelers.

 

The caldera creates a horseshoe-shaped island flooded with water. It derives its name from the natural sheltered harbor created through the channel at Neptunes Bellows. The channel is one of the only places in the world where a boat can sail right into the caldera of an active volcano.

 

Wildlife on Deception Island is sparse, with little to no vegetation for animals to feed on. However, several species of bird visit the island each year to breed on the surrounding cliffs. Just outside of the island’s primary circle you’ll find Bailey Head. The natural amphitheater is often open to roughly 50,000 pairs of Chinstrap penguins. Visitors also occasionally encounter seals that traveled to the center of the caldera to enjoy the thermally heated waters.

 

Visitors will typically have to travel with a research team in order to visit the island, though you may find the occasional outfitter willing to make the trip. Though you probably shouldn’t go skinny dipping right in the middle of the volcano, Whaler’s Bay and Pendulum Cove offer ample opportunities for swimming. While there are plenty of glaciers on Deception Island, there’s also plenty of land suitable for hiking. Walking up to Neptune’s Window offers incredible views from the summit of the surrounding craters.

 

Deception Island might not be your typical travel destination, but it certainly is a once-in-a-lifetime trip that will make all your friends jealous.

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