Patagonia is a sparsely populated region encompassing the vast southernmost tip of South America, shared by Argentina and Chile, with the Andes Mountains as its dividing line.

Patagonia has two coasts; a western one towards the Pacific Ocean and an eastern one towards the Atlantic Ocean.

Argentine Patagonia is for the most part, a region of steppelike plains, rising in a succession of 13 abrupt terraces about 100 metres (330 feet) at a time, and covered with an enormous bed of shingle almost bare of vegetation. In the hollows of the plains are ponds or lakes of fresh and brackish water. Towards the Andes, the shingle gives place to porphyry, granite, and basalt lavas, animal life becomes more abundant and vegetation more luxuriant. It is characteristic of the flora of the western coast, and consist principally of southern beech and conifers.

This is a great article from one of the companies we use for travellers going to Patagonia.

10 Facts About Patagonia… 


Over all the climate is cool and dry. The east coast is warmer than the west, especially in summer, as a branch of the southern equatorial current reaches its shores, whereas the west coast is washed by a cold current. However, winters are colder on the inland plateaus east of the slopes and further down the coast on the south east end of the Patagonian region. For example, at Puerto Montt, on the inlet behind Chiloé Island, the mean annual temperature is 11 °C (52 °F) and the average extremes are 25.5 and −1.5 °C (77.9 and 29.3 °F), whereas at Bahía Blanca near the Atlantic coast and just outside the northern confines of Patagonia the annual temperature is 15 °C (59 °F) and the range much greater, as temperatures above 35 °C and below −5 °C are recorded every year. At Punta Arenas, in the extreme south, the mean temperature is 6 °C (43 °F) and the average extremes are 24.5 and −2 °C (76.1 and 28.4 °F).

The prevailing winds are westerly, and the westward slope has a much heavier precipitation than the eastern in a rainshadow effect; the western islands close to Torres del Paine receive an annual precipitation of 4,000 to 7,000 mm, whilst the eastern hills are less than 800 mm and the plains may be as low as 200 mm annual precipitation.

The high rainfall against the western Andes (Wet Andes) and the low sea surface temperatures offshore give rise to cold and humid air masses, contributing to the ice-fields and glaciers, the largest icefields in the Southern hemisphere outside of Antarctica.




Patagonia’s unit of currency, the Chilean Peso ($ or CLP) in Chile and the Argentinean Peso (ARG$) in Argentina.

Credit Cards, ATMs…We suggest the use of Credit Cards and cash as a standard. In Chile and Argentina, banks are open from 9.00am to 2.00pm Monday to Friday. Automated Teller Machines (ATM) are widely available at banks, along main shopping streets and in malls.

Mastercard and Visa are the most accepted Credit Cards. American Express and Diners Club are also accepted in many places. In some stores, you may get a 5% discount if you pay in cash. International credit cards and ATM cards will work as long as they have a four-digit PIN encoded. Check with your bank before leaving home. Even though you may use your card for cash advances in ATMs, you may end up paying undesirable commissions or more than you get because of the exchange rate. Most ATMs operate under Cirrus/Maestro system allowing you to withdraw money directly from your home bank account. ATMs seem to be more secure and cheaper than Travellers Checks.

Tipping…It is ok to tip about 10% of the bills in restaurants. Some people think that family run establishments do no apply but we think it is a matter of satisfaction. If the service has been great you can tip whoever you like to. If you feel happy doing so, it is ok. Taxi drivers do not expect tips but you can round up if it is not too much: CLP 940 may round up to CLP 1000.

Travel Tips:

Check out what Danielle, one of our South America Experts has to say about her recent trip to Patagonia.



Want to see more articles like this?

Click Here To View Our Blog

Travel With Purpose Proudly Supports The Albany Community Hospice

Albany Community Hospice Logo