The Best Patagonia Books to Read Before You Go

5 Min. Read

From captivating stories of early explorers and modern day adventure to essential travel resources and field guides, these must-read Patagonia books dive deep into the history, natural environment and culture of Chilean Patagonia. If you’re planning a trip to this majestic and rugged region, you’ll surely want to put a few of these Chile travel books on your reading list.

Essential Patagonia Books

The Best Patagonia Books to Read Before You Go…

In Patagonia | By Bruce Chatwin

A masterpiece of travel, history and adventure, this award-winning book captures the spirit of the land, history, wildlife and people of Patagonia. There is no travel writer as engaging, insightful and just plain wonderful as Bruce Chatwin.

Idle Days in Patagonia | W.H Hudson

A handsome reprint of Hudson’s classic 1893 account of life, nature and adventure in southern South America, with paintings and drawings by Alfred Hartley and J. Smit.

The Whispering Land | By Gerald Durrell

A sparkling account of an eight-month jaunt on the trail of fur seals, guanaco, parrots and other Patagonian marvels. This book is excellent family reading.

Travels in a Thin Country: A Journey Through Chile | By Sara Wheeler

British author Sara Wheeler deploys her wit, intelligence and powerful investigative skills on the Republic of Chile in this insightful travelogue.

Forgotten Continent: A History of the New Latin America | By Michael Reid

Michael Reid, senior editor for the Economist, draws on his years spent in the cities, presidential palaces and shantytowns of Central and South America to paint a portrait of a region and provide important insight on Latin America’s future in the face of globalization.

Patagonia: A Cultural History | By Chris Moss

A journalist with the Buenos Aires Herald, Chris Moss follows a colorful cast of characters – from Magellan and Darwin to mad kings, gauchos, and Nazi fugitives – in this vivid overview of the culture and history of Patagonia.

Chile Travel Books & Field Guides

The Best Patagonia Books to Read Before You Go…

Insight Guides Chile & Easter Island | Insight Guides

This glossy guide put together by a team of travel experts provides a full-color introduction to the land, people, history and attractions of Chile, including brief background essays highlighting important topics and many local and regional maps.

Moon Patagonia | By Wayne Bernhardson

A practical guide in the Moon series, packed not only with travel necessities (hotels, restaurants, sights), but also with a good overview of history and destinations throughout Patagonia and the Falkland Islands.

A Wildlife Guide to Chile | By Sharon Chester

This splendid field guide, featuring more than 800 species, covers the wildlife, plants and natural history of Chile from the Atacama Desert and Patagonia to Easter Island and Antarctica.

Birds of Chile | By Alvaro Jaramillo

This compact, comprehensive guide features superbly–colored graphics and text on some 473 known species of birds found in Chile between the Andes in the north all the way down to Tierra del Fuego in the south.

Southern Patagonia Reading | Torres del Paine & Tierra del Fuego

The Best Patagonia Books to Read Before You Go…

Patagonia: the Camino Home | By Katharine Elliott

Follow along with the author of this travel memoir as she hikes the W Trek in Torres del Paine and into Argentinian Patagonia on a personal soul-searching mission.

Voyaging Southward from the Strait of Magellan | By Rockwell Kent

An illustrated account of the author’s foolhardy voyage with a madman through magnificent Tierra del Fuego in a jury-rigged lifeboat. Both the text and striking woodcut illustrations communicate this dangerous landscape’s dynamic character.

Cloud Forest: A Chronicle of the South American Wilderness | By Peter Matthiessen

With wit, insight and style, Peter Matthiessen recounts his odyssey to the Amazon and Andes, including Machu Picchu and Tierra del Fuego.

Uttermost Part of the Earth | By Lucas Bridges

Back in print, this beloved memoir by one of the first Europeans to settle in Tierra del Fuego is a harrowing account of pioneer life spent among  the Ona and Yahgan tribes who once populated the wild shores of this unforgiving land. It’s a book filled with adventure, anthropology, and frontier history.

Patagonia, La Última Esperanza | By MacDuff Everton

Spectacular panoramic photographs by Macduff Everton are paired with the meditative prose of book artist Mary Heebner to present a portrait of a lesser-known, but sublimely beautiful region of Patagonia: Chile’s Last Hope Province.

Other Compelling Patagonia Reads…

The Best Patagonia Books to Read Before You Go…

Andes | By Michael Jacobs

Travel writer Michael Jacobs follows in the footsteps of Simon Bolivar, Charles Darwin and other explorers on an epic 4,300-mile journey from Venezuela to Tierra del Fuego, uncovering the secrets of a region steeped in history, science, and myth along the way.

Darwin Slept Here: Discovery, Adventure and Swimming Iguanas in Charles Darwin’s South America | By Eric Simons

A refreshingly irreverent account of Charles Darwin’s adventures through South America that captures the exuberance and wide-eyed wonder of history’s most famous naturalist.

Chile: A Traveler’s Literary Companion | By Katherine Silver (Editor)

A compilation of 20 stories from a host of world-class writers introduces both the country and the diversity of its landscape.

Ines of My Soul | By Isabel Allende

Bestselling author, Isabel Allende, turns the amazing life of Spanish conquistadora and founder of Santiago, Ines Suarez, into a gripping novel.

Night Flight | By Antoine de Sain Exupery

This tale of a pilot who finds himself alone in a violent storm over the Andes en route to Buenos Aires captures the thrill and mystery of early flight.


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