Where is Patagonia? Patagonia occupies 260,000 square miles spanning Argentina and Chile in the southernmost part of South America. This region is popular for its dramatic mountain peaks, having an abundance of glaciers, and being home to an array of unique wildlife.
Patagonia offers a sensory overload like few other places on Earth. It is a truly breathtaking place that many adventurers have dared to explore for years.
Today we’re going to share 10 amazing facts about Patagonia, in the hopes that you’ll be the next person to travel and discover this mythical beauty.
Where is Patagonia?
Patagonia covers an area of just over 1 million square kilometers distributed between Chile and Argentina. The region comprises the southern section of the Andes Mountains with lakes, fjords, temperate rainforests, and glaciers in the west and deserts, tablelands, and steppes to the east.
Patagonia shares borders are the Colorado and Barrancas rivers in the north, while the Tierra del Fuego archipelago lies in the south. To the east lies the Atlantic Ocean and to the west the Pacific.
10 Facts About Patagonia
1. Home To Many People
Before the arrival of the Spanish, Patagonia was populated by ethnic groups including the Tehuelche, Cuncos or Veliches, Huiliches, and Mapuches. Today, Patagonia has a population of nearly 2 million people who speak Spanish, English, Welsh, or Mappudungun.
2. The First European To Explore Patagonia
Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan was the first European to set foot in Patagonia in 1520.
3. It’s Name
The name “Patagonia” comes from the word “patagón” which was used to describe the native people that Portuguese sailor, Ferdinand Magellan first encountered when he landed here in the 1520s.
4. The Southernmost City In The World
Patagonia is home to the world’s southernmost settlements. Ushuaia is proud to claim the title of the city at the “End of the World” with its location at 54.8° south latitude.
5. Amazing Natural Landmarks
Patagonia is brimming with spectacular natural landmarks that have been shaped by natural forces over millions of years. The granite peaks of Torres del Paine, Perito Moreno Glacier, Glacier Alley, and the Chilean fjords are just some of them.
6. Perito Moreno Glacier
Argentina’s Perito Moreno Glacier, which contains the world’s third-largest reserve of fresh water, is one of just two glaciers in all of South America that is growing.
7. Archeological Discoveries
Some archaeological discoveries in Patagonia date human habitation here to more than 12,000 years ago. The most popular one is the Cave of Hands (Cuevas de las Manos), dating back to 8000 BC.
8. Home of Penguins
Patagonia has a human population of 2 million and an estimated Magellanic penguin population of 1.7 million. Aside from Magellanic, Patagonia is also home to gentoo and king penguins
9. Opossums Found in Patagonia
Two unusual opossums inhabit the Patagonian Steppe: the 4-inch-long dwarf mouse opossum and the rare Patagonian opossum.
10. Wild Horses
The Darwin Mountains around Cape Horn are home to one of the world’s last and largest remaining herds of wild horses.
Let’s Visit Patagonia!
Now that you know where is Patagonia and everything that’s waiting for you, it’s time to start packing your backs.
Traveling to Latin America is certainly an experience like none other. The continent is full of extraordinary places like Patagonia, which will be better enjoyed if you speak the language of the locals. Want to learn more Spanish? Our expert staff will get in touch within 24 hours, and you can start practicing your Spanish right away. Sign up for a group class (online or in person) or test your level for free with our free quizzes.