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'Patagonia' comes from Patagones, the name Magellan gave to the native Tehuelches in 1520, most likely after a glimpsing the bulky fur boots they wore. ('Patagonia' is the Spanish word for 'big feet.')  
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Argentina's Valle de la Luna is often called the most desolate place on earth; the valley bares an uncanny likeness to lunar landscape.  
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Local myths say an evil serpent named Cai Cai caused a flood that killed the warrior tribe inhabiting Torres del Paine National Park. After the flood, Cai Cai turned the bodies of the two largest warriors into stone, creating the Cuernos del Paine, the park's ominous peaks.  
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Argentina's Spegazzini Glacier reaches up to 600 feet (taller than the Washington Monument).  
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Wildlife outnumbers people in this rugged region. The number of Patagonia's human residents is less than 5% of Argentina and Chile populations combined.  
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The Futaleufu River's deep blue and green hues come from aerated glacial meltwater. The intense rapids take paddlers through breathtaking Chilean landscape.  
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Valdez Peninsula is the vacation hot spot for southern elephant seals—it's their only habitat in continental territory. While they spend most of their lives in the water, they lumber ashore during the spring (to breed) and the autumn (to molt).  
 
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