Patagonia – Part 1 – The Origin

Patagonia region in Argentina

Patagonia is divided into 3 regions (Eastern Patagonia, Western Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego) with 5 provinces (Neuquén Province, Río Negro Province, Chubut Province, Santa Cruz Province and Tierra del Fuego Province).

Perito Moreno Glacier in the Santa Cruz Province

I have had the privilege to visit two provinces over the last couple of years and we are planning to visit another this year. For me, Patagonia must be one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Rio Negro province in Patagonia

It is very difficult to describe to people what makes it so beautiful. Each region is different in its own unique way. They offer the tourist a lot of opportunities to experience nature at its best.

Villa La Angostura in the  Neuquen Province
Tierra del Fuego Province

But there is so more to Patagonia than just nature, sea lions, whales, orcas and glaciers. It was also home to the first Indian people. The history surrounding the Indian people have fascinated me for a long time. I have recently published a review about the “Regional Museum in El Calafate” and the response was overwhelming. People wanted to know more. That included me!

Whale watching in the Chubut Province

My reasons are also of a personal nature. A big group of South African farmers settled in Patagonia more than a century ago. They were Afrikaans speaking, like me. I knew so very little of their existence and wanted to learn more.  So let’s start at the beginning.

The name “Patagonia”

Several indigenous groups lived in this region before the Spaniards arrived. The Yámanas, Onas or Selknam were in Tierra del Fuego and other groups included The Pehuenches, Mapuches and Tehuelches.

It is said that Patagonia owes its name to the Tehuelches. Apparently they were very tall and with a well developed physique so the Spaniards called them “Patagones”, relating them to a giant called “Patagón”, a very popular character in some novels of those times.

The Tehuelche Tribe

Another story make reference to the Tehuelches, but in this case it says that the name comes from the huge tracks they left on the snow, due in part to their physique and also to the fact that they covered their feet with skins.

One thing I am sure of…Patagonia leaves deep footprints in your heart!

I have been fortunate to have done quite a bit of travelling over the last 10 years. By heart I am an adventurer and I love exploring new places, cultures and food. Travelling can become stressful and expensive. Over the years I have learnt to travel as cost effective as possible, simply by travelling more clever. Nelmitravel.com is a Adventure and Budget Travel site where I review Airlines, Accommodation, Transport, Restaurants and give helpful travel information.

11 Comments

  1. What an interesting geography and fabulous history lesson combined! You’re right: you can’t describe to people the beauty of these places. But I can see from these glorious photos that you’d stepped foot in paradise. All these shots illustrate the grandeur of each place. My grandson Sam enjoyed the whale shot and the Pantagonia!

  2. Hi Debra, you are so right. It is hard to believe that each province is so different. Our next trip will be to Neuquen Province. I am so excited to be discovering more. I am glad your grandson Sam, has enjoyed it. I will be doing a series of 5 articles about Patagonia and the Indians. I hope he will like it :)Ps. I will be writing something about the whales and post a video of them..they are gorgeous!

  3. WOW! What beauty! I don't know that I have it in me to travel much anymore, but I'm so appreciative to have a blog that I can go to and see wonderful pictures of places like these. Great work!

  4. Hi Nelieta!That whale's tail with an orange hue sunset background is absolutely the most gorgeous photo I've seen so far… I love it! I haven't seen a whale for real that's why this one strikes me. Thanks for sharing..:) Patagonia goes to my dream list now… (i'm just being ambitious..hehehe)

  5. I'm glad you pointed out that the natives to the area also make this area so unique and amazing. I went to visit Patagonia a few years back and it was the most amazing trip I have ever been on. Loved seeing the glaciers, mountains, and penguins!

Thank you for visiting. Have a fabulous day!

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