At the far southern tip of South America lie three countries: Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay. Together they not only form the region of Southern South America, but also one of the top travel destinations in the world. This region is home to Patagonia, one of Earth’s last remaining wild lands and undoubtedly one of the most gorgeous natural vistas. The history of Southern South America follows a fairly predictable path to those knowledgable about any of the history of the Americas. At first, the region experienced autonomous rule by its native peoples. Several different empires of Native Americans, including the Mapuche and Inca, traded control over the region. However, the arrival of Europeans in the 16th century brought new diseases and warfare to the region, and at the end of the day the Spanish populations took control over most of the region.

Iglesia Pilar Church in Buenos Aires ArgentinaIglesia Pilar Church in Buenos Aires, Argentina

In the early 19th century, all three of these countries began to vie for independence, which they all eventually earned. The region soon flourished, becoming one of the wealthiest areas in the entire world. However, political instability, especially in Argentina and Chile, would undo much of this progress. Though the countries slipped back in poverty, renewed efforts towards throughout the 20th century have seen the area largely return to prominence. This statement rings particularly true for Uruguay, which consistently ranks as the wealthiest, most peaceful, and as having the high quality of life in all of South America. The current culture in Southern South America celebrates a love of life and respect for the landscape and religion, making this one of the most pleasant regions to travel through. Furthermore, the untouched lands throughout Patagonia and the Andes go unrivalled as far as natural attractions go.

Parinacota Volcano reflected in Lake Chungara, ChileParinacota Volcano reflected in Lake Chungara, Chile
HIGHLIGHTS

Montevideo

As previously mentioned, Uruguay’s wealth and high quality of life are definitely worth investigating. The country loves its president, Jose Mujica, for being “the humblest president.” Besides living in a small shack on a plot of land outside the city, their president donates 90% of his income to poverty relief organizations. Mostly all of the residents of Uruguay match Mujica in kindness, making a trip to Montevideo quite pleasant. The capital city is known for its art and technology scenes, the city’s bubbling vibrancy makes every street corner feel alive with adventure. There’s little doubt this unique town will continue growth and take its place as one of the most travel friendly cities in the world.

Coastal avenue of Montevideo, UruguayCoastal avenue of Montevideo, Uruguay

Tierra del Fuego

At the very southern tip of Southern South America lie numerous national parks begging to be explored by travelers. Of particular is note the Tierra del Fuego. This archipelago boasts rocky, open landscapes and incredibly unique wildlife. It’s definitely one of the most attractive landscapes in the world and definitely worth a visit if one finds themselves in the area.

Ushuaia, ArgentinaUshuaia, Argentina
FOOD

Food in Southern South America largely revolves around the kinds of fish and game traditionally found in the area, including llama. However, consumption of beef and other livestock meats has largely replaced llama. Like much of South America, corn plays a significant role in the diets of locals. Fruits and vegetables are also common, more so in the warmer northern sections of the region than in the south.

Empanada Preparation at a Chilean BakeryEmpanada Preparation at a Chilean Bakery
WILDLIFE

The best wildlife sightings in Southern South America revolve around the coastline and waters. Sea lions can be seen in the wild in certain sections of the region, as well as king penguins. Additionally, the waters surrounding Southern South America enjoy a reputation as some for some of the best whale-watching in the world, with Humpbacks, Blue Whales, and Southern Right Whales all frequenting the area. In the warmer months, numerous migratory birds can also be found throughout Southern South America.

Powerful Whale in Patagonia, Southern South AmericaPowerful Whale in Patagonia, Southern South America

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