Published on : 08 November 20193 min reading time
Bordered between the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Andes Cordillera to the east, Chile extends over 4,300 km in length and offers a wide range of breathtaking landscapes in its vast territory. A mountain range with some mountains exceeding 7,000 m, deserts of salt and sand, multicoloured lagoons or geysers in the north, fertile valleys and sublime beaches in the centre of the country, islands, lakes and volcanoes in the Chiloé region, natural parks, straits or even glaciers in Southern Patagonia… The list of singularities that Chile is still long.
Chilean Southern Patagonia, for example, with its immense icefields, majestic glaciers, and a few isolated colonial villages in the hundreds of islands carved out by the fjords… This land at the end of the world has always inspired the collective imagination with its wild beauty and mythical landscapes. This beauty is now protected by the many national parks such as Torres del Plaine or Laguna San Rafael and countless reserves such as Lago Carlota, Lago las Torres, Cerro Castillo and Lago Rosselot.
For more information on Torres del Paine Park: http://www.routard.com/guide/code_dest/chili.htm
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However, Patagonia has partly emerged from its isolation thanks to the southern Carretera which currently crosses it for more than 1,000 km, from Puerto Montt to Villa O’Higgins. Beyond that, when you venture even further south, Chile becomes an isolated land trapped between an icefield and Argentina, with very few roads and infrastructure. Here you are in the heart of wild Patagonia! To continue the road to Puerto Natales and Punta Arenas, you even have to use the Argentine road network. But to push the expedition to Tierra del Fuego, it was necessary to cross the Strait of Magellan, and this time it was Chile that spilled over into Argentina until it touched the Atlantic Ocean, and it was the Argentinians who had to enter Chilean soil to reach the southernmost tip of the country.
On the coast and in the islands, the climate is maritime and very humid, while in the Cordillera it is continental and has harsh winters with a lot of snow, in the ice field that takes place in the regions of Aysén and Magallanes, it is then polar, and the extremely low temperatures are accentuated by the strong Patagonian winds that further lower the thermal sensation.
Chilean Southern Patagonia is undoubtedly one of the wildest regions on the planet. The mountain range is divided into micro islands, canals, steppes, lakes, glaciers, fjords and mountains. Human activity has spared this natural sanctuary and the region gives in places a beautiful idea of what the Earth must have felt thousands of years ago.