Traveling to the worlds end in southern South America will take you to the region known as Patagonia, the southernmost point of South America is an area made up low plains and plateau that give way to the start of the mighty Andes as they rise upward and wind north forming the back bone of South America.
First discovered by Magellan, Patagonia takes its name from patagon (giants) which was given to the natives by Magellan who thought the natives were giants. Straddling the countries of Argentina as well as Chile, Patagonia is home to some of the most assorted wildlife and some of South America’s most unbelievable landscape.
Argentina’s Patagonia lies in the most southern portion of the country. The Andes run through the area to the south and east as they make their way to the southernmost point of South America. The provinces of Neuquen, Chubut, Santa Cruz, Rio Negro and Tierra del Fuego are found in this region. Tierra del Fuego (land of fire) which is separated from the mainland of Argentina is separated by the Straits of Magellan. To the north are low lying plains and beaches rising to the south to mountains and valleys with glaciers.
Chile’s Patagonia, along the southern coast of Chile is a maze of glaciers, inlets and islands. The southern portion is home to prehistoric forests and captivating lakes with surreal scenery. The Andes run through the area to the south and east as they make their way to the southernmost point of South America which is Cape Horn. Cape Horn is the southernmost point of Chile and is bordered by the turbulent waters of the Straits of
Magellan. Two main areas make up Chile’s Patagonia, in the south lies Magellan’s region with the Parque National Torres del Paine, the area with impenetrable mountains can only be reached by land from Argentina or by air. Punta Arenas, located on the Pacific side of the Magellan straits has offered access to the Magellan region of Patagonia. To the north is the Aisen region of Patagonia and home of the Parque National Laguna San Rafel. The Aisen region is one of Chile’s least populated areas.
Tierra del Fuego, located in both Argentina and Chile is an archipelago that is separated by the straights of Magellan and the southernmost tip of South America. The largest city, Ushuaia, is located in Argentina and the eastern section of Tierra del Fuego. Chile’s main city located in the western section of Tierra del Fuego is the city of Punta Arenas.