Deception Island, one of the main islands of the South Shetland chain, off the coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, is actually the sunken caldera of a semi-active volcano. Approached through a narrow, hidden channel called Neptune's Bellows, the entrance to the perfect harbour of Whaler's Bay is spectacular. The mile-wide flooded caldera bay is ringed by bubbling fumaroles, a reminder of the volcanic activity which took place between 1967 and 1970, wiping out two scientific stations. It is also the site of the long-closed Hektor Whaling Station, and home to a huge Chinstrap penguin rookery (the largest in Antarctica).
Hot springs are also found along the shoreline of Pendulum Cove where the sea is heated to comfortable swimming temperatures, because the hot springs generate scalding water. Polar dips may be attempted on visits to this cove.
You may also hike over the lunarlike terrain, dotted with thousands of chinstrap penguins. At Telefon Bay the most recent evidence of volcanic eruption on Deception Island can be seen. Today, there are only two summer stations: Spain's station, Gabriel de Castilla, and Argentina's station, Decepción.
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