Wild, wonderful Patagonia isn't easily compared to elsewhere.

The sprawling region, shared by Chile and Argentina, stretches across the whole of the bottom of the South American landmass, and is as wrapped in mystique and raw isolation as it is ripe for outdoor adventure. Its landscapes are unfailingly dramatic, marked by jagged mountain belts and steppe-like plains.

Patagonian history encompasses everything from dinosaurs and ancient indigenous tribes to Spanish conquistadors and cattle-raising nomads, but it's the timeless pull of the land itself that's the real star. Its various natural highlights include glaciers, beaches and national parks, notably including the sharp peaks of Torres del Paine National Park in Chile.

The hiking, horse-riding and mountaineering are world-class, and if you make the effort to get off the beaten track, the rewards are plentiful. Wildlife is another of the region's big draws, with whales and penguins key attractions. Patagonia is also the main setting-off point for Antarctic cruises.

Where is it?
At the bottom of the South American landmass, stretched across Chile and Argentina.

What is it?
A wild region of rolling plains and gnarled mountains.

Best time to visit?
November through to April are the best months to visit Patagonia, during the Southern Hemisphere summer.

Must see?
There are various established visitor highlights, but you won't want to miss Perito Moreno Glacier in Argentina or the Torres del Paine National Park in Chile.

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