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This region in the Andes mountains is nothing if not enchanting. Cobalt lakes, azure-tinted glaciers, emerald trees, and turquoise skies stretch as far as the eye can see. In fact, Argentine Patagonia's vistas are so sweeping that Charles Darwin once described the region as "boundless." Visit Argentina's Lake District and you'll discover villages brushing against snowy mountain peaks. Travel east and you'll find whales gliding through Peninsula Valdés' marine wildlife sanctuary. Venture to Southern Patagonia, and you'll stumble upon deserts extending into rugged estancias (cattle-ranges) and melting glaciers. And, if you continue downward to the Chilean border at Cape Horn, you'll come across an expansive horizon reaching out to Antarctica's frosty edge. Patagonia's beauty knows no bounds.
With its aura of remote romance, wind-whipped Chilean Patagonia attracts those travelers with an eye for beauty and a zest for adventure. Icy glaciers plunge into emerald lakes; wild fjords snake through hardwood forests; and the Andes' dramatic peaks ascend into swirling clouds and mist. It's hardly surprising that Chilean Patagonia's fabled lands have lured Magellan, Darwin, and even Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Spend a day getting acquainted with the quirky Magellanic penguins congregating on Isla Magdalena. Then, continue south for jaw-dropping views of Tierra del Fuego's sky high mountains, pristine glaciers, and verdant forests. When you're ready for some R&R, retreat to your cozy lodge to get energized with some fresh Patagonian air and a hearty supply of seafood and wine.
Cusco, known as the archaeological capital of the Americas, is home to a storied history that included the rise and fall of the Inca Empire followed by the invasion of Spanish conquistadors in the early 1500s. Today, remnants of both eras share the narrow city streets – from centuries-old baroque cathedrals to exquisite stone masonry – creating a rare collision of Andean and Spanish styles that makes Cusco like no other place on earth.
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