Argentina

Antarctica: Way Beyond Expectations

I didn’t think the day could get any better as we witnessed a pod of magnificent orcas gliding by our ship, riding the waves around ice sculptures that could have been made by Michelangelo himself, but it did. As soon as we stepped foot on frozen land, we were greeted by a welcome committee of thousands of Adelie penguins dressed in their finest tuxes. They paraded all around us as they headed to and from their nests on the rocks to the sea on a well-trafficked path, or the ‘penguin highway’, as it’s often called. Most waddled in a perfect line, though occasionally a few would opt to slide down the hills to cut the trek short.

Cruising to Antarctica

For New Years this past year, I hopped on board the Ocean Diamond ice breaker for a ten-day cruise heading to Antarctica – home of no polar bears (in case you were unsure) – and to say it was epic would be an understatement. Hopping on board at Ushuaia in Argentina’s Tierra del Fuego province was a last minute decision that turned out to be the most amazing decision ever. Like all the best travel adventures, the journey was almost as exciting as the destination was amazing, so if you have the time, money and opportunity, you should definitely put this one on your ‘bucket list’. I can’t recommend it enough.

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 Full name: Argentine Republic

 Population: 42.19 million (CIA, 2012)

 Capital: Buenos Aires

 Largest city: Buenos Aires

 Area: 2.78 million sq.km. (1.073 million sq. mi.)

 Major languages: Spanish, Italian, English,  German, French

 Major religions: (nominally) Roman Catholic

 Monetary unit: Argentine Peso

 GDP per capita: US $17,400

 Internet domain: .ar

 International dialling code: +54

 Source: CIA World Factbook