Conquest of the Desert, by Juan Manuel Blanes (fragment showing Julio Argentino Roca, at the front)
Patagonian Steppe landscape
Mapuches during a malón raid
A satellite image of the Patagonian Desert by NASA World Wind
Map of the advance of the Argentina frontier until the establishment of zanja de Alsina
Astronaut photography of the Patagonian Desert (most of the view) contrasted with the Limay River, seen flowing eastward from the Andes.
The changing state of Argentina
Barren Patagonian Desert at the Bosques Petrificados National Park
Like Rada Tilly, on the Atlantic Ocean, most of the larger settlements in the steppe are located along the coast.

The Conquest of the Desert (Conquista del desierto) was an Argentine military campaign directed mainly by General Julio Argentino Roca in the 1870s with the intention of establishing dominance over the Patagonian Desert, inhabited primarily by indigenous peoples.

- Conquest of the Desert

Inhabited by hunter-gatherers since Pre-Hispanic times, the desert faced migration in the 19th century of Argentines, Welsh, and other European peoples, transforming it from a conflictive borderland zone to an integral part of Argentina, with cattle, sheep and horse husbandry being the primary land uses.

- Patagonian Desert
Conquest of the Desert, by Juan Manuel Blanes (fragment showing Julio Argentino Roca, at the front)

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Patagonia

Patagonia refers to a geographical region that encompasses the southern end of South America, governed by Argentina and Chile.

Patagonia refers to a geographical region that encompasses the southern end of South America, governed by Argentina and Chile.

Río Negro Province, Argentina.
Ainsworth Bay and Marinelli Glacier, Chile.
View of Punta Arenas, Chile, in winter
Santa Cruz Province
Black-browed albatross, near Ushuaia
Map of the indigenous peoples of Southern Patagonia
Cueva de las Manos site in Santa Cruz, Argentina
Nao Victoria, the replica of the first ship to pass through the Strait of Magellan
An 1840s illustration of indigenous Patagonians from near the Straits of Magellan, from Voyage au pole sud et dans l'Océanie by French explorer Jules Dumont d'Urville
Tehuelche warriors in Patagonia
Map of the advance of the Argentine frontier until the establishment of zanja de Alsina
Under General Roca, the Conquest of the Desert extended Argentine power into Patagonia
Tierra del Fuego sheep ranch, 1942: The region's primary activity then, it has been eclipsed by the decline in the global wool market as much as by petroleum and gas extraction.
Gauchos mustering sheep in Patagonia
Whale watching off the Valdes Peninsula
La Trochita on its Chubut Province route: Formerly the sole rapid transport means in the province, La Trochita is now a tourist attraction.

The region comprises the southern section of the Andes Mountains with lakes, fjords, temperate rainforests, and glaciers in the west and deserts, tablelands and steppes to the east.

As in the case of Calfucura, many other bands of Mapuches got involved in the internal conflicts of Argentina until Conquest of the Desert.