At nearly 14 million km2, Antarctica can be divided up into five regions – Antarctic Peninsula, East Antarctica, South Pole, West Antarctica, and the Ross Sea.

Antarctic Peninsula

This is the most visited region although it can only be reached by boat or ship. Most of the scattered islands along the west side house scientific research bases.

East Antarctica

This region accounts for the majority of the icy desert wasteland; the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. It is on the side of the Indian Ocean and receives fewer tourists than the Peninsula.

Read more: How was Antarctica formed?

South Pole

Although this region is open to tourism, it is rarely visited due to its inaccessibility via sea. It is home to the historical location of Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station.

West Antarctica

This region falls within the Western Hemisphere and it is a relatively desolate area with very few research stations. It is, however, the location of both Antarctica’s highest and lowest points. The highest is Vinson Massif (or Mount Vinson) at 4892 metres; and the Bentley Subglacial Trench is actually the lowest point in the world which is not covered by an ocean, at -2540 metres.

Read more: Antarctica’s amazing ascents

Ross Sea

This region is the main destination point for cruise ships that depart Australia and New Zealand. This area has a lot of sights to see, including Mount Erebus, the southernmost active volcano on our planet, which is situated on Ross Island.