PATAGONIA, THE PLACE OF THE RACE!
At South America's southernmost tip lies a vast and wild land that has been barely settled or civilized since humans first arrived tens of thousands of years ago. Patagonia is, as Bruce Chatwin famously wrote, "the farthest place to which man walked from his place of origin," and to this day it retains near-mythical status in the minds of the world's adventurers.
Spanning both Chile and Argentina, Patagonia is home to fantastic mountain peaks, vast and empty steppes, glaciers and icefields, and stunning national parks. It is an incredibly display of natural beauty, virtually untouched by the hands of man.
The term Patagonia comes from the word PATAGON used by Magellan in 1520 to describe the native people of the region. At the time Magellan believed the natives to be giants, however it is now believed that these Patagones were actually Tehuelches, who were somewhat taller than their European counterparts.
The weather is incredibly unpredictable; never rely on local weather forecasts when planning a trip. The ideal time to visit is between October and March (their summertime) as weather is warmer and there is more daylight.
There are many national parks located in Patagonia, each with their own unique charms. Some of the most famous in the Chilean side are: Torres del Paine, Laguna San Rafael, Queulat, Chiloé and Cabo de Hornos (Cape Horn).
The region offers some of the world's best trekking circuits as the famous “W” and “O” circuits in Torres del Paine. You can also find tours to see whales, orcas, penguins, condors, puma and many other beautiful creatures up close. Valdes Peninsula is home to Patagonia's famous Welsh communities, descendants of colonists who still speak Welsh. Crossing the Magellan Straight is not complicated at all and provides the opportunity to explore Tierra del Fuego, one of the most remotes places on Earth, where the beautiful town of Ushuaia serves as getaway for the courageous who would venture into an Antarctic journey.
Chile was recognized by the Lonely Planet guide as the #1 country to visit highlighting Patagonia. Visit Lonely Planet's article
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