Patagonia is a region located at the southern end of South America, shared by Argentina and Chile. The region comprises the southern section of the Andes mountains to the southwest towards the Pacific Ocean and from the east of the mountain range to the valleys it follows the Colorado River south towards Carmen de Patagones in the Atlantic Ocean. To the west, it includes the territory of Valdivia through Tierra del Fuego archipelago.
The name Patagonia comes from the word patagón used by Magellan in 1520 to describe the native people that his expedition thought to be giants. It is now believed that the people he called the Patagons were Tehuelches, who tended to be taller than Europeans of the time. The Argentine portion of Patagonia includes the provinces of Neuquén, Río Negro, Chubut and Santa Cruz, as well as the eastern portion of Tierra del Fuego archipelago and the southernmost department of Buenos Aires province: Patagones. The Argentine politico-economic Patagonic Region includes the Province of La Pampa.
As the 1775 map shown here indicates, the Chilean Aysén and Magallanes regions have long been regarded as part of Patagonia, including the west side of Tierra del Fuego and Cape Horn. More recently the government has included Palena Province in Los Lagos Region as part of Chilean Patagonia, and sometimes other parts of Valdivia and Llanquihue have been included as well.