"Explore, learn, give, discover...wander"

Chile and Argentina

Wanderland Programs in Chile and Argentina 

                  'El Cono Sur'  -- The Southern Cone  











Cycling -- Patagonia, Lakes District and Wine Regions


Summit to Suds - Ride from the Andes to the Coast; Bierfest!

The Colchagua Valley - Chile's Premier Wine Valley

The Elqui and Limarí Valleys - Bikes and Vines

The Trans-Andes Tour -- Cycling from Chile to Argentina - Custom

Biking the Land of Perpetual Springtime - Atacama Region Bike Touring - Custom

Carretera Austral - Caleta Gonzalo to Tortel  --  And Further? - 15 Days - Custom


Service Learning Adventures

    Patagonia Community Gardens Service Project

    Cochamó Trails Voluntour - Chile's Very Own Yosemite

    Atacama Desert Cultural Resource Preservation



Trekking in the Andes

Cochamó Trails Voluntour - Chile's Very Own Yosemite - 10 Days

Trekking and Kayaking in Northern Patagonia - 8 Days - Custom

Trekking Cochamo to Rio Puelo - 8 Days - Custom

Trekking Pumalin National Park - 6 Days - Custom

Trekking Around the Villarica Volcano - 5 days - Custom




Archaeology and Rock Art of the Cono Sur

El Encanto

Atacama Desert Cultural Resource Preservation

The Rock Art of Chile -- Expedition - 12 Days - Custom

Rock Art of the Coquimbo Region - 4 Days - Custom

Rock Art of the Capricornian Andes -- Expedition - 14 Days - Custom



Want to Know More?  Follow Those Links!  And Read on.....

                    (Please Contact us for Complete Itineraries and Travel Info!)

El Cono Sur:  Like a giant compass needle pointing at the South Pole, the southern extensions of South America form a vast cone that includes the two countries Chile and Argentina.  The rugged cordillera of the Andes forms a 3000 km backbone that captures moisture from the Pacific in the form of snow and ice.  From the  snow-capped crests, great rivers tumble to seas.  To the Atlantic on the Argentine Side and to the Pacific on the Chilean side, with few exceptions.

Southern Cone Geography

We often hear the question from potential clients, “What is the weather like there in Chile and Argentina?”  The answer requires a quick geography lesson, so bear with me a second.

Most countries on our little blue planet are oriented somewhat East-to-West, especially those in the Northern Hemisphere.  In the Cono Sur you get that geography turned on its ear.  Chile, and Argentina, quite distinctly, are countries that you’ll find oriented on the North-to-South axis.

So, what is the weather like?  Thanks to the extreme North to South spread of these countries, from 18.5 degrees Latitude south to 56 degrees Latitude south, plus the extremes of elevation, from zer0, sea level, to 22,000 feet, we can assure you that there is a warm sunny day, and a cool blustery day, somewhere in either country on any given day of the year.

Imagine a climate zone that has everything from Cabo San Lucas at the tip of the Baja Peninsula, through California, Oregon, Washington, British Colombia, and on to Alaska.  Do you have an image in your head?  Now add an exotic assemblage of giant trees and flowers.  If you are more familiar with Europe and Africa imagine a swath from Morocco to Spitzbergen.  Now turn it upside down and you have the potential climate you will find on your travels to Chile and Argentina.

So, don’t worry about the weather.  Wanderland Travels programs follow a 'bubble', if you will, of ideal climate that moves up and down this vast region from January to December.   “What’s the weather like?”  Well, Santa wears shorts when he makes the rounds down south.


The name of this country has nothing to do with the elongated chili pepper it resembles.  Rather, it comes from the calls of the Southern Lapwing, heard throughout the country, its cry is the country's name chíle!, chíle!  This bird and the dominating spine of the Andes are just two of the common threads that link the vast north-to-south spread of Chilean geography.

Chile comprises a lean region of mountains, valleys, and coastline runs from the border with Peru in the north to the Drake Passage where it submerges for a bit and then resurfaces as the tail of Antarctica and runs all the way to the South Pole.  Chile claims Antarctica as its natural territory.  Chile is many worlds packed into a stocking.

In Chile the four directions are Norte-Sur and Cordillera-Mar, north to south , mountain range to sea.  Chile is isolated on all of its borders by some of the most extreme nature on the planet.  The Atacama Desert in the country’s extreme north, Norte Grande and Altiplano, is the driest rock desert on the planet.  Forty full degrees of latitude later the Andes dive under the Drake Passage and reemerge onto the Antarctic Andes as Tierra O’Higgins, Chile's claimed pizza slice of Antarctica.  Chilean Antarctica is actually larger than the entire rest of the votive country.   In Antarctica you will find the absolute driest desert on the planet, snow-covered, the windswept ice-fields and drifts of the continent of Antarctica.

On the second axis, a 2500 km string of 200 volcanoes and countless high peaks form the high Eastern crest of the country.  Chile and Argentina share the best kind of border, one defined by drainage patterns.  If it trickles East you are in Argentina and the Atlantic, trickling West welcome to Chile and the Pacific.

The length of a coastline is defined by the means in which you measure it.  If you measure the western coast of Chile from a satellite, it comes out around 5500 km.  However,  if your measuring device was your stride, and you walked the entire coastline, each cove and cleft, the length would be closer to 10,000 km.  Imagine now a snail making the same journey, sliming up and over each cobble from Arica to Punta Arenas, that snail would know that coast pretty well.  It’s journey?  More than 100,000,000 km.  The closer you look the more you will find.

Completing the Chilean scenario of isolation, just off the coast of Chile is the deepest subduction trench on the planet, the Marianas. 5 miles deep.

Another  question we hear often, “What is the culture of Chile?” has the same answer as the weather question, and for the same reasons. The culture of Chile is defined by this geography.  When a country is on an East-West axis its culture is fairly homogenous.  Countries aligned on the North-South axis are culturally very heterogeneous.  This means that as one shifts south or north, the climate changes so significantly that the traits and practices that define a people change drastically, mostly due to the demands of that climatic zone.   Imagine again the spread of modern and ancient cultures from Baja to Alaska and you get the idea.

This is what you might call the ‘island geography’ of Chile.  Sealed off from the rest of South America by parched deserts, impassable heights, and deep trenches the cultures of this region developed a very characteristic flavor that is unique and attractive.  In between the extremes you will find all the world’s geographic delights, deep temperate forests, wide lakes, fast-flowing rivers, lush croplands, glaciers, fjords, islands, bays, beaches and vast-snow-capped crags, a veritable wonderland of potential destinations for the traveler.

Great lodging, excellent roads, and surprises around every turn.


La Argentina - The Cono Sur's Great Orient

The wide cone of southern South America is dominated by the lands of Argentina, 'the argent land', a shining taper of endless pampas grasslands, spectacular deserts, and deep forests flanking its Andean backbone.  Tropics in the north and snowy glaciated valleys in the south bookend an encyclopedia of history, geography, and anthropology, not to mention adventure!

Again, this is a country oriented on a north-south axis and as such it contains wide variance in climate.  Desert and tropics await you in the north and boreal forests and ice fields await you in the south.  The cultures that span this deep cone are comparable to a mosaic.  Gauchos, guaraní, porteños, sureños, provincials, and Fueginos await you to share their cultures.  Each is a tile in the mosaic that makes Argentina a famous destination.

Argentina shares borders with Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil, Bolivia, and Chile.  The longest border is with Chile and for the majority of their shared border what flows East is denominated Argentina.  The Andean crest, reaching more than 22,000 feet at Aconcagua, is the defining edge that determines the separation between the very distinct and unique cultures of these two South American destinations.

Tell us your adventure interest we can find it for you in the Cono Sur.   Trekking?  Biking?  Touring?  Boating?  Rodeo? Weaving?  Teaching?  Spanish? Building?   Ruins?  Geology?  Botany?

Wanderland would like you to learn while you travel with us.  Don't worry, there's no final exam!  We hope that you have found these descriptions of the regions of the Southern Cone enticing.   Come and visit the deep South with us, we know you will love it as we have come to.

Wanderland is founded on projects that encompass the whole of the Southern Cone.  Our company specializes in adventure travel and educational travel to Chile and Argentina and looks to share this amazing mosaic of cultures, geography, and adventure with you.

No Comments

Leave a Reply

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.