Patagonia is one of the most sparsely populated areas on earth. Encompassing parts of Argentina and Chile, it is the southernmost portion of South America.
Patagonia's expansive landscapes include part of the Andes mountains, vast steppe-like plains and the largest ice fields in the southern hemisphere outside of Antarctica. The Valdez Peninsula and Los Glaciares National Park (famous for the Perito Morino glacier), are recognised as UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Characteristic wildlife includes the wild puma, grey fox and Patagonian cavy. Rare Andean condors glide over the windswept volcanic plateaus and herds of guanaco and Darwin's rhea roam the central plains; their last stronghold. The marine fauna includes Southern right whales, orcas, elephant seals and Patagonian sealions.