Everything about Patagonia

Fitz Roy Massif in Patagonia

What is Patagonia? Where is the Patagonia Located? Is Patagonia in Argentina or Chile? Is Patagonia a country? I’ve noticed that many individuals are inquiring about Patagonia, prompting me to compose a post to delineate the region. The first question: Is Patagonia a sovereign nation? The answer is a resounding no, or perhaps two. Technically, it’s an expansive territory spanning a diverse array of captivating tourist destinations across two countries: Argentina and Chile. Hence, we have both Chilean Patagonia and Argentinian Patagonia, unified yet separated by the Andes Mountain range stretching from north to south (with an exception in Tierra del Fuego Island where the Andes extends from west to east). Now, let me pinpoint the exact location of Patagonia on the globe. Where is Patagonia situated precisely?


Patagonia: Where is the Patagonia region located?

The Patagonia region spans both Argentina and Chile, encompassing a vast area in the southern part of South America. In Argentina, Patagonia is comprised of the provinces of La Pampa, Neuquén, Río Negro, Chubut, Santa Cruz, and Tierra del Fuego. Covering an area of ​​930,731 km2 and with a total population of 2,037,545 people, each corner of Argentine Patagonia offers a plethora of opportunities for relaxation, recreation, and adventure amidst its stunning natural landscapes.

In Chile, Patagonia is not delineated as a distinct political entity but is rather seen as a geographical region. It traditionally extends from the Corcovado Gulf to Cape Horn, covering the entire national territory from the Pacific Ocean to the border with Argentina. This includes the province of Palena and the regions of Aysén and Magallanes, excluding the Chilean Antarctic Territory.

However, recent geological studies highlight the interconnectedness of the South Patagonian Massif with the North Patagonian Massif, suggesting that Patagonia extends further north than previously thought. This expanded definition incorporates regions such as Los Ríos and Araucanía. It’s essential to consult a map to visualize the exact extent of Patagonia on the planet and understand its geographical and geological complexities.

Patagonia location map. Patagonia in South America


The origin of the name Patagonia

The origin of the name Patagonia remains mysterious, with various theories linking it to Magellan. One hypothesis suggests that the explorer observed large footprints of the Tehuelches, indigenous people known for their height. Another theory proposes that Magellan used the term “Patagón” in reference to a mythical creature from a medieval tale. Despite its uncertain etymology, Patagonia has emerged as one of the world’s most captivating destinations, offering travelers immersive and vibrant experiences.


What to see in Patagonia? Which are the best places to visit?

We have many places to visit in Patagonia, in both countries: Argentina and Chile. Let me describe briefly some of the must-see in the area of influence of Perito Moreno Glacier, there are other options of course, but let´s focalize in theses four amazing places:


Perito Moreno Glacier

One of my favorites. The Perito Moreno Glacier is a must-see because it´s unique and different. The glacier is still growing or at least in balance. But maybe the most important point is that you will be in front of this colossus of ice, for hours, watching enormous blocks of ice falling into the lake, some of them with a thunderous crash. The landscape is fantastic, really unique. Definitely a highlight on your next trip if you´re visiting Patagonia.


El Chaltén and Fitz Roy Massif

El Chaltén is a charming village located in the southern Patagonian Andes, near the border with Chile in Argentina. It is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes and serves as the gateway to explore the majestic Mount Fitz Roy and surrounding areas.

Mount Fitz Roy, also known as Cerro Fitz Roy, is one of the most iconic peaks in the region, standing tall at an elevation of 3,375 meters (11,073 feet). Its distinctive granite spires and dramatic peaks attract climbers, hikers, and nature enthusiasts from around the world.

The Fitz Roy area offers an array of outdoor activities, making it a paradise for adventure seekers. Visitors can embark on exhilarating treks and hikes along well-marked trails that lead to stunning viewpoints, crystal-clear lakes, and lush forests. Some of the most popular trekking routes include the Laguna de los Tres trail, which offers breathtaking views of Mount Fitz Roy, and the Laguna Torre trail, which leads to the picturesque Cerro Torre.

In addition to hiking, visitors can indulge in rock climbing, mountaineering, birdwatching, and photography amidst the pristine wilderness of the area. El Chaltén itself is a vibrant hub with cozy lodges, charming restaurants, and friendly locals, providing a comfortable base for exploring the surrounding natural wonders.

The Fitz Roy area is known for its ever-changing weather, with conditions ranging from sunny skies to fierce winds and sudden rain showers. It’s essential for visitors to come prepared with appropriate clothing and gear for outdoor adventures.

the amazing Fitz Roy massif in El chaltén, Patagonia


Ushuaia and the magic of the end of the world

Ushuaia, with all its enchantment as the End of the World, stands out as a remarkable destination. As the southernmost city globally, nestled in Tierra del Fuego Island, it magnetizes numerous international tourists from around the globe. From Ushuaia, visitors can explore Tierra del Fuego National Park, embark on Beagle Channel cruises, delve into history at the Jail Museum and Train to the End of the World, embark on captivating treks to Carbajal Mount and Esmeralda Lagoon, venture into Tierra Mayor Valley, and explore Fagnano and Escondido Lakes. Moreover, during the winter season, Ushuaia transforms into a different realm, offering skiing experiences at Cerro Castor and in local valleys where Nordic skiing takes center stage. Including Ushuaia in your next Patagonian adventure is undoubtedly a splendid choice.

Torres del Paine National Park

Another extraordinary destination in Chilean Patagonia is Torres del Paine National Park. This park is truly exceptional and stands as one of the most significant protected wilderness areas in Chile. Covering nearly 230,000 square kilometers, it is internationally renowned for its stunning landscapes, attracting over 280,000 visitors annually, the majority of whom are from abroad. Recognized by National Geographic magazine as the fifth most beautiful place in the world, Torres del Paine is undoubtedly another must-see attraction when exploring Patagonia.





Picture of Ramiro Rodriguez

Ramiro Rodriguez

25 years working in travel market, as Sales & Marketing Manager in RipioTurismo, Marketing Manager in Nuevas Ideas Travel Consulting Group. Writer and travel lover.

Table of Contents