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Patagonia is a geographic region containing the southernmost portion of South America. It is located in Argentina and Chile, integrating the southernmost section of the Andes mountains to the south west towards the Pacific ocean and from the east of the cordillera to the valleys it follows south through Colorado River towards Carmen de Patagones in the Atlantic Ocean. To the west, it includes the territory of Valdivia through Tierra del Fuego archipelago.[1]


The name Patagonia comes from the word patagón[3] used by Magellan in 1520 to describe the native people that his expedition thought to be giants. It is now believed the Patagons were actually Tehuelches with an average height of 180 cm (~5′11″) compared to the 155 cm (~5′1″) average for Spaniards of the time.[4]

The Argentine portion of Patagonia includes the provinces of Neuquén, Río Negro, Chubut and Santa Cruz, as well as the eastern portion of Tierra del Fuego archipelago . The Argentine politico-economic Patagonic Region includes the Province of La Pampa.[5]

The Chilean part of Patagonia embraces the southern part of Valdivia, Los Lagos in Lake Llanquihue, Chiloé, Puerto Montt and the Archaeological site of Monte Verde, also the fiords and islands south to the regions of Aisén and Magallanes, including the west side of Tierra del Fuego and Cape Horn.[6]


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