Where is Patagonia?
- Patagonia (Spanish pronunciation: [pa.ta.ˈɣo.ni̯a]) is a sparsely populated region located at the southern end of South America, shared by Argentina and Chile. The region comprises the southern section of the Andesmountains as well as the deserts, steppes and grasslands east of this southern portion of the Andes. Patagonia has two coasts; a western one towards the Pacific Ocean and an eastern one towards the Atlantic Ocean.
Map of Patagonia
What does Patagonia mean?
- The name Patagonia comes from the word patagón used by Magellan in 1520 to describe the native people that his expedition thought to be giants. It is now believed that the people he called the Patagons were Tehuelches, who tended to be taller than Europeans of the time.
- The Argentine researcher Miguel Doura observed that the name Patagonia possibly derives from the ancient Greek region of modern Turkey called Paflagonia, possible home of the patagon personage in the chivalric romances Primaleon printed in 1512, ten years before Magellan arrived in these southern lands. The hypothesis was accepted and published in the New Review of Spanish Philology in the 2011 article.
The Political Divisions of Patagonia
- At a state level, Patagonia lies inside two countries: Chile and Argentina. Both countries have organized their Patagonian territories into non-equivalent administrative subdivisions: Provinces and departments in Argentina; and regions, provinces and communes in Chile. Being a unitary state Chile's first level administrative divisions—the regions—enjoy far less autonomy than Argentine provinces. Argentine provinces have elected governors and parliaments, while Chilean regions have government-appointed intendants.
- The Patagonian Provinces of Argentina are Neuquén, Río Negro, Chubut, Santa Cruz, and Tierra del Fuego. The southernmost part of Buenos Aires Province can also be considered part of Patagonia.
- The two Chilean regions indisputedly located entirely within Patagonia are Aysén and Magallanes. Palena Province, a part of the Los Lagos Region, is also located within Patagonia.
We hope that this has cleared up any confusion that you have had about Patagonia and has answered some of your questions about the area. Follow us at our Social Media outlets on Facebook and Instagram for more information, tips, and tricks on fly fishing Patagonia.