Almost 500 years have passed since Patagonia was discovered, but the words that we use to describe it are the same as those invoked by the first explorers and naturalists: exotic, remote, vast, infinitely beautiful, wild and untamable.
It is easy to lose yourself in this area, which is roughly the size of Britain (240,000 km2) but has a less than one inhabitant per km2. Over 50% of Chilean Patagonia is a Protected Wilderness Area. Here, it’s just you and the wild nature that serves as a backdrop to such diverse activities as fly-fishing, trekking, cycling, mountain climbing, rafting, kayaking and horseback riding.
The region’s surprises include the vastness of the Ice Field that gives way to majestic glaciers and the splendor of mountains like Torres del Paine, San Valentín and Cerro Castillo. You also will be dazzled by the color and scale of General Carrera and O’Higgins Lakes, the vigor of the Baker, Palena and Futaleufú Rivers and the huge maze of fjords and canals that are home to dolphins and whales.
In this rugged and beautiful landscape you also will find cities and villages like Coyhaique, Punta Arenas and Puerto Natales, which are home to gauchos and centuries’ old ranching traditions.