papagaio-new-banner

Our Real Latin America Expert

Sophie Barber
Sophie Barber - Travel Expert

Sophie lived in Chile before joining us and has travelled extensively across Latin America, from Mexico to the furthest tip of Patagonia and beyond to Antarctica.

Antarctica Penguins

Travel Specialist Sophie shares some tips for travelling to Antarctica.

1. Prepare for all weather types
Antarctica is cold and you will definitely need lots of layers but remember that you’ll be there during the Antarctic summer when temperatures are often above freezing. I took layers with me that I could add or remove according to how cold it was. Also, remember that inside the boat it’s warm with the heating so you’re likely to be wearing trousers and T shirts. I even took flip flops for inside the boat.

Don’t forget waterproof gear either. Getting off Zodiacs on shore landings is wet and although your rubber boots will protect your feet, waterproof trousers are also vital. I took 2 pairs – one pair of ski pants that kept me warm and dry for less active excursions and one pair which was lightweight and went over my walking trousers and thermal leggings for excursions with more walking.

2. Prepare for changes to the itinerary
Weather and sea conditions change regularly and as such changes to itineraries will likely happen. Your safety is paramount so if the sea looks too rough or the wind starts to pick up, changes will be made. Don’t focus on visiting a particular island in case you can’t visit it; instead, enjoy the fact that you’re in one of the most remote and awe-inspiring places on earth!

3. Don’t forget the essentials

Lip balm, sun screen and moisturiser are essential. The weather can be harsh and even when the sun is shining, the wind can whip around your face so it’s important to protect yourself. Other essentials include ear plugs and sea sickness tablets. There will be a doctor on board who can provide sea sick medication but it’s worth speaking to your GP before you travel to get advice and be prepared.

4. Listen to the expedition staff
We are privileged to be able to explore Antarctica and the expedition staff is there to make sure we get the most out of the experience whilst still protecting the flora and fauna. If they mark a path, don’t deviate from the route they’ve marked as there is a good reason it’s there – there could be a colony of penguins nearby or a sheer drop on the other side of the path that you can’t see! Usually we’re allowed 5 metres from penguins (the staff will advise) but penguins don’t know this. If you crouch down quietly and stay still, the curious adolescents may come and investigate.

5. Bring spare camera batteries
The cold weather in Antarctica causes camera batteries to drain more quickly so make sure you take spare batteries as well as spare memory cards. I used an SLR, a GoPro and my iPhone and got great photos on all devices. I think it’s also important at times to put the camera away and just appreciate your incredible surroundings. I’m no photographer (can you tell by the use of an iPhone?!) and knew I would not get many decent shots of the whales so I decided to put down my camera and just enjoy the experience of being there.

Browse some of our Antarctica holidays:

Signature Antarctica: Highlights of the Antarctic Peninsula
Antarctic Peninsula: Fly and cruise
Antarctica: In search of the Emperor penguin

Tailor-made holidays

Flexible, custom-made holidays to Latin America created to match your exact requirements: our tailor-made itineraries are as unique as the clients for whom they are designed.

Design my trip

Papagaio

Your edit for Latin American inspiration

Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.

View Extraordinary Inspiration

Real Latin America Experts

  • Sophie Barber
    Sophie Barber - Travel Expert

    Sophie lived in Chile before joining us and has travelled extensively across Latin America, from Mexico to the furthest tip of Patagonia and beyond to Antarctica.

  • Chris Rendell Dunn
    Chris Rendell-Dunn - Travel Expert

    Anglo-Peruvian Chris grew up in Lima and spent much of his adult life in between London and Cusco as a tour leader, before settling permanently in our London-based Tailor-made and Group Tours sales team.

  • Kathryn Rhodes
    Kathryn Rhodes - Travel Expert

    Kathryn backpacked across Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru before joining us. She has a degree in Philosophy and French and is a keen netball player.

  • Lina Fuller
    Lina Fuller - Travel Expert

    Lina's passion for the continent where she was born really took off when she moved to Córdoba (Argentina) to study, spending the holidays travelling between Argentina and her native Colombia.

  • Hannah Donaldson
    Hannah Donaldson - Travel Expert

    Having spent part of her childhood in Colombia and worked in Brazil and Costa Rica, Hannah's ties to Latin America run deep. Hannah is a much valued Travel Expert in our Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tours sales team.

  • Paul Winrow Giffen
    Paul Winrow-Giffin - Travel Expert

    After graduating in Computer Science, Paul spent seven months travelling from Colombia to Argentina and came home hooked on Latin America.

Meet the team