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Cast against the vastness of the South American sky, an astonishing panorama of color and form and life reveals itself in the land called Patagonia. From the massive glaciated crags of the Andes Mountains through dense subantarctic forests, across the ancient sea bed that is now the barren steppe, the land drops precipitously to the sea. Everywhere the forces of nature have uniquely shaped this land, its plant life and bountiful animals.

The earth's most southerly landmass above Antarctica and the furthest reach of the Americas, Patagonia lies predominantly in Argentina with a portion in Chile. Because of its remote location, it has been the subject of lore for centuries. A land of often formidable extremes, it has dwarfed man and remained relatively untouched to this day, everywhere providing evolutionary clues in its remnants of petrified forest, volcanoes, glaciers, and coastal cliffs layered with fossilized marine life.

Stretching from the edge of the Argentine pampas along the Río Colorado in the north to Tierra del Fuego and the Beagle Channel near Cape Horn in the south, Patagonia ranges eastward from the Andes to the South Atlantic Ocean. Occupying over a quarter of the country, Argentina's Patagonia is 308,000 sq mi/800,000 sq km, including approximately 1200 mi/1920 km of mountain range and 1100 mi/1770 km of ocean coast merging at the southern terminus. This volume presents the three distinct geographical division of Argentine Patagonia: mountains, steppe and coast.



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