A Portuguese sailor once described the native Tehuelche people as ‘Patagones,’ which roughly translates to ‘people with big feet.’ This is how the enchanting location that is Patagonia got its name and came to be known as the land of the giants. The nickname came to be quite fitting as this famous and remote southern region does everything big.
Located across the southern regions of Argentina and Chile, it is easily identifiable thanks to the hugely proportioned mountains that make the location stand above all else. The softer side of Patagonia reveals sublime landscapes to help make you feel more relaxed.
A trip to this charming mountain region will introduce you to its elusive charm, rich history, and picturesque mountains that are perfect for enthusiastic shutterbugs. The wildlife here also never fails to impress.
Brimming Colonies of Spectacular Wildlife
You will not go far without encountering large colonies of marine mammals. The first thing you are likely to spot on the Argentine Coast in Punta Tombo is the largest colony of Magellanic penguins in the world.
At Bahía Inútil in Tierra del Fuego, Chile, you will encounter a colony of King Penguins. The elephant seals can always be found lounging around on beaches on Argentina’s Valdes Peninsula. If you are lucky enough, you may be able to spot an orca or two.
A deeper dive will introduce you to the distant cousin of the llama, the wild guanaco peacefully grazing on the meadows. To encounter with pumas, simply head down to Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park and watch them.
The Rich History
If you love exciting stories linked to people’s culture and history, you should visit Patagonia at least once. The history of this place is rich with legacies of all types of people that visited there.
One of the most captivating pieces of history is right near the town of Perito Moreno on the walls of La Cueva de Manos or the Cave of Hands. The walls feature hunting scenes and stenciled handprints of the native nomadic Tehuelche people.
You can also travel to the museum in Wulaia Bay, where you will learn about the Yámana aboriginal people. Their way of life and their interaction with European missionaries is all covered in the history tour.
The most interesting historical part of Patagonia however, can be found among the locals. On every turn, there is an unheard story waiting to be told.
Explore Patagonia on Horseback
Very few moments I life will come close to feeling magical. Exploring Patagonia on horseback is one of those things. Patagonia in the wintertime has frozen glaciers that you can explore on foot. The best way to explore these glaciers, however, is by horseback. Many local tour companies are happy to offer horseback tours and trails. From this perspective, the snowy landscape creates an extra sense of magic. Best of all, Patagonia in the winter is quiet so you will not have to deal with crowds or nose. Only the peaceful neighs of horses and mammalian cries in the distance.