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Cueva de las Manos picture in Argentine Patagonia
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This bizarre Patagonian cave remains shrouded in mystery. Its walls exhibit three distinctive styles of cave art linked to a hunter-gatherer society that flourished in Argentine Patagonia around 10,000 BCE. Archeologists speculate that the small handprints etched on the cave walls belonged to the predecessors of the Teheulche tribe. Detailed murals predate hunting scenes with native guanacos and ostriches predate the handprints, complicating the cave's history. Today, the Cave of the Hands, an official UNESCO World Heritage Site stands as one of the most significant cultural sites in South America.

"I felt the presence of very ancient people, by the painting of their own hands [...] It's worth the hundreds of km of dirty roads to get there," remarks one TripAdvisor user.

The Cave of the Hands is located in Francisco P. Moreno National Park in Southern Patagonia. From Perito Moreno, the Cave of the Hands is located approximately 100 miles south on Provincial Route 97. We recommend booking an excursion with Estancia Cueva de Las Manos, which leads visitors roughly 13 miles up the Pinturas River's Canyon and into the cave by horseback or 4x4 jeep. These day-long expeditions are available Monday through Friday. Excursion prices start at approximately $130 ARS (about $30 USD). For more information, consult Estancia Cueva de Las Manos' website.

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#1 Argentine Lake District Stretching across northwestern tip of Argentine Patagonia sits the picturesque Lake District. Sandwiched between the Andes mountains with Chilean Patagonia to the west and Atlantic Patagonia to the east, the ... Read more » Fede Nuñez, Pixelado*Photo_Pro / Flickr

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#3 Atlantic Patagonia This beautiful Patagonian region (which skirts the Atlantic Ocean and sits just east of the Lake District and above Southern Patagonia) consists of wildlife havens and quaint Welsh villages. Here ... Read more » longhorndave / Flickr

#4 Perito Moreno Glacier At the southern tip of Glacier National Park in Southern Patagonia sits one of the region's most magnificent glaciers, Perito Moreno. Unlike 95 percent of Earth's glaciers that ... Read more » pclw / Flickr

#5 Punta Tombo Roughly half a million Magellanic penguins flock to Punta Tombo every year to mate. Located about two hours south of Puerto Madryn by car in Atlantic Patagonia, Punta Tombo contains ... Read more » furlin / Flickr

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#7 Cave of the Hands (Cueva de las Manos) This bizarre Patagonian cave remains shrouded in mystery. Its walls exhibit three distinctive styles of cave art linked to a hunter-gatherer society that flourished in Argentine Patagonia around 10,000 ... Read more » longhorndave / Flickr

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#9 Estancia Cristina Founded in the early 1900s by English pioneer and cattle farmer Joseph Percival Masters, Estancia Cristina offers both impressive views and excursions. Sitting next to Glacier National Park in Southern ... Read more » Courtesy of Estancia Cristina

#10 Egidio Feruglio Paleontology Museum This paleontological museum transports visitors to pre-historic Patagonia with four galleries that display over 1,700 fossils. Named after Egidio Feruglio—an Italian paleontologist who studied Patagonia's ancient Cretaceous ... Read more » Agamitsudo / Flickr

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Fede Nuñez, Pixelado*Photo_Pro / Flickr

John Spooner / Flickr

longhorndave / Flickr

From viewing platforms on Perito Moreno's southern border, travelers marvel at the glacier's spectacular ice formations. pclw / Flickr

furlin / Flickr

longhorndave / Flickr

The Cave of Hands (Cueva de las Manos), features handprints and vivid drawings speculated to have been etched in approximately 10,000 BCE. longhorndave / Flickr

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Courtesy of Estancia Cristina

Agamitsudo / Flickr

Dave Lonsdale / Flickr

At El Calafate's cattle ranches in Southern Patagonia, you'll find majestic horses saddled up and ready to transport riders across the district's rustic terrain. Alex E. Proimos / Flickr

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