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Today’s post is part of a weekly series called “Travel Toss-Up,” in which we ask you to take your pick between two amazing travel experiences.

This week’s toss-up offers a choice of two up-close animal encounters.

Would you rather…

… meet penguins in Antarctica, or …

penguin photographer antarctica



… come face to face with a llama in Peru?

arequipa peru llama child


Penguins can be seen by the thousands in Antarctica; the best way to visit is by cruise ship. In Peru, llamas are commonly seen near Machu Picchu and in other areas of the Andes Mountains.

Photos: Amazing, Up-Close Animal Encounters

Vote for your preference in the comments below!

– written by Sarah Schlichter

Today’s post is part of a weekly series called “Travel Toss-Up,” in which we ask you to take your pick between two amazing travel experiences.

This week’s toss-up offers a choice of two awesome excursions for wildlife lovers.

Would you rather…

… travel to Antarctica to see penguins, or …

antarctica penguins



… look for polar bears in Arctic Canada?

polar bears arctic canada


Tell us your preference in the comments below!

Photos: 9 Up-Close Animal Encounters

– written by Sarah Schlichter

gentoo penguins antarcticaEach month, we’ll highlight one new trip review submitted by an IndependentTraveler.com reader. If your review is featured, you’ll win an IndependentTraveler.com logo item!

In this month’s featured review, reader Dileep Bhandarkar goes penguin- and glacier-spotting on a cruise to Antarctica. “The weather could not be any better!” wrote Dileep. “With temperatures in the mid-40’s, we dropped our jackets on the rock near the beach and hiked up to see the gentoo penguin colony. We were within 100 feet from a large group of penguins. Some were still building their nests — stealing rocks from each other. Some had eggs they were protecting. We even got to see some mating activity! … This was our most favorite landing site!”

Read the rest of Dileep’s review here: Air-Cruise with Antarctica XXI on the Ocean Nova.

Dileep has won an IndependentTraveler.com travel mug. Feeling inspired? Write your own trip review!

Slideshow: 9 Best Destinations to See from the Water

– written by Sarah Schlichter