Chile, Argentina and its coastal waters harbor many interesting and unusual species of animals and plants. These two countries encompass an exciting and colorful land that contains almost every imaginable landscape and climate, from lush rainforests to hard, arid deserts to the pristine ice fields and lakes of Patagonia.
This wide range of climates and the diverse geography of the region make it a refuge for travelers who have a special interest in native flora and fauna. Those who have a more informal interest in the kingdoms of animals and plants will still find much to marvel at.
Some of the highlights of wildlife and the must-see tours of the region are the following:
The right whale: whale watching trips can be organized from May to November in the South Atlantic. A really impressive sight when one of these giant whales emerges next to your boat.
the Alerce: These huge trees can live up to 4000 years, which makes them one of the most alive trees in the world, or in any way of life.
The Camelid family (llamas, alpacas, guanacos and vicuñas in danger of extinction) that played an important role in the culture and economy of the region for millennia. All these species can be seen in the Altiplano, the versatile guanaco can also be found in Patagonia.
The huemul, a small Andean deer that is a national emblem of Chile. The destruction of their natural habitat has put this shy creature on the list of endangered species
The Rhea, a great bird that does not fly, that lives in the Altiplano and Patagonia.
Chilean flamenco: this colorful bird seems in some way incongruous with its natural habitat in the lakes and salt flats of the Altiplano.
The Araucaria, Commonly known in English and the "Monkey Puzzle Tree", this captivating and strange looking tree lives up to 1000 years. It is more frequent in the region of the Lake District of Chile that shares its name.
the Condor: A fully grown male has a wingspan of 10 to 12 feet, which makes it one of the largest flying birds in the world. The majestic condor can be sighted at various latitudes throughout The Andes.
The Penguin: both the varieties Humboldt as the Magellan can be found in large colonies around the coast of the Patagonia and further north.
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TAGS: argentina, chile, desert, fauna, flamingos, magallanes, penguins
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