Patagonia encompasses the southern extreme of the South American continent. It comprises one million square kilometers. It consists of one third of the land mass of both Argentina and Chile and it contains 5% of each country’s population. Patagonia is huge!!
It is geographically diversified due to its tremendous expanse and harbors a multitude of habitats. The Patagonia of both Argentina and Chile exhibit great differences in terrain from glacial Andean peaks, ancient forests, pristine trout waters, and vast pampa steppe to oceanic shores with abundant avian and marine life. The coast of Chile is wild and wet, and a temperate rain forest in places with hidden fjords and hot springs. It can be compared in beauty to the coast of Alaska. The greater part of the Argentine Patagonia is a broad semi-arid plateau full of varied wildlife. Only where the two countries meet at the rise of the Andes do they reflect any geographic similarities. Here along the spine of the Andes are the majestic peaks and volcanoes with picturesque lakes at their bases, and crystal clear rivers that are home to the trout that have made Patagonia such a famous fly fishing destination.
Patagonia has held the fascination of geologists, biologists, archeologists, mountaineers, sailors, naturalists, explorers and adventurers ever since it was first discovered and named. Numerous scientific expeditions financed by universities and museums continue to unravel the wonders of this remote area.It remains very much as W.H. Hudson, the explorer and writer, first described it, “solitary wilderness, resting far off in its primitive and desolate peace, untouched by man, remote from civilization”.
It is as if one steps back in time upon arriving in Patagonia. This incredible region offers any type of outdoor activity imaginable. An extensive system of Nacional Parks has been established, and much of the land has been protected. The fly fishing on seldom fished or often private waters on large estancias (ranches) can be outstanding. The hiking and climbing, birding and horseback riding opportunities are unlimited, and available in all types of terrain from high mountain and open steppe to seashore.It is a land of such diversity and indescribable natural beauty that it should be visited and experienced at least once in one’s life time.
A visit to Chile and Argentina is a delightful cultural experience as well as an outdoor adventure. These are not third world countries as some of the other South American counties. The peoples of both Argentina and Chile are a mixture of indigenous peoples as well as descendants of immigrants from Great Britain and the European countries of Spain, Germany and Italy. They are friendly, kind, family oriented people, and visitors are well received.
The language of both countries is Spanish. There is little crime but for the usual petty crime of big cities, and one can travel without worry. These countries are both big and long and their different provinces and regions (states to us) vary tremendously geographically. Their residents exhibit the variety of life styles and customs warranted by location from being extremely cosmopolitan in the cities to having livelihoods of farmers, fishermen, weavers, wine growers, cattle ranchers, sheepherders, and cowboys (gauchos and guasos) found in the vast expanses of country. There is a plethora of culture to be experienced as one steps back in time.
Getting to Patagonia is not difficult and there are small and delightful towns to visit between any sojourns into the “wilds.” The stopping off points in Argentina and Chile to begin a Patagonian adventure are the capital cities of Buenos Aires and Santiago. Both cities have their own highlights and are a fun visit in themselves.
An international flight from the States is no more than nine hours (overnight flight is best) and there is less than a two hour time change, so the trip is painless. We recommend that you overnight in the appropriate capital for your destination and then a flight of two hours from either capital will take you into the southern region of Patagonia.
The prime time to visit Patagonia is during our winter months of November to April as it is in the Southern Hemisphere and that is their Spring and Summer. Patagonia now has a growing reputation as a well -established and favorite “winter destination” for outdoor enthusiasts and particularly fly fishermen. A fishing trip can be combined with a variety of other activities from bird watching, horseback riding and hiking.
Many of the well- known lodges book up quickly and it is advisable to start planning for your Patagonia trip well in advance of your travels. Remember, Guided Connections can arrange trips to the most famous areas as well as the most unique backcountry hideaways of Patagonia.
For information and/or help in planning your trip to Patagonia feel free to contact Guided Connections.