Geography of Southern Patagonia  
Climate & Weather
Ecology & Environment
National Parks
People & Society




Surface: 800,000 km2.
Begins: south Puerto Montt in Chile and south of Colorado River in Argentina, These two regions are separated by the Andes Mountains but have in common scenery dominated by glaciers and plains.
Ends: in Tierra del Fuego, the southern extreme of America, where Cape Horn is located.

Southern Patagonia, includes Calafate, Fitz Roy, Magallanes and Tierra del Fuego. It is a different world, where the pampa meets the glaciers sculpted by the Andes. El Chaltén is the perfect place for trekkers, and Calafate for those who want to see the great Perito Moreno glacier. Torres del Paine National Park is a famous World Biosphere Reserve, preserving habitat for guanacos, foxes, rheas and flamingos. Puerto Natales is small city to the south which is a begining and end for ferries and a headquarter base for hiking and horseback trips, glacier cruises, and overland trips. Punta Arenas is the capital of the Magallanes province. Facing the Straits of Magellan and Tierra del Fuego, Punta Arenas is the principal departure point for cruises and flights to Tierra del Fuego, to the Canal Beagle, Isla Navarino, Cape Horn and Antarctica. Ushuaia is an important tourism city with an important transit of cruises, has a big tuorism activity, including ski courts.

The Andes
The Andes act as a barrier of predominant winds of the west capturing their humidity and leaving the east with smaller precipitations which is the cause of the steppe. To the east of the Andes, the Patagonia pampa is immense. the west of the Andes is another world. Here both the Central Valley and the Coast Range have sunk into the Pacific; what once were glacial valleys are fjords now, and what once were mountaintops are islands now. Hotsprings lay revealed by coastal erosion, while great glaciers further fragment the landscape, necessitating maritime or air travel. Great forests cloak the Andes from the Pacific shoreline to the continental divide, bisected by surging emerald rivers carrying glacial silt to the sea and providing habitat for fearless trout and salmon. This immense territory is best understood as two separate regions, separated by the vast expanse of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field.

Puntas Arenas is the only city in Chile in the other side of the Andes, the sun rises inthe sea and sets in the mountain.

The strong winds that are typical of this region originate mainly in the Pacific Ocean. The humidity they carry causes precipitation on the mountains and thus the wind that reaches the Argentinean side arrives with low humidity. Thus the Patagonian steppe is a semi-arid area, especially on the northeast, despite its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean.








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