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“paintings of 10000 BC in a fantasic Patagonian canyon”
Review of Cueva de las Manos

Cueva de las Manos
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Attraction details
Owner description: Cave of the Hands contains prehistoric paintings.
Reviewed 14 March 2017

Cuevas de Las Manos is a very interesting place to visit driving on Ruta 40. The site is fantastic with paintings (mostly left hands, but also guanacos, lesser rheas, cougars and hunters) dating back to 9000 years B.C. (and probably even 13.000 B.C., questioning the dating of the first transit of Bering till now accepted as 17000 BC). The visit of the painting and the view of the valley of the Pinturas River are really fantastic. During summer this cave is open from 8 AM to 7 PM and can be visited only with a guide (the cost of the guide is included in the entrance ticket). One side of the cave collapsed, so the cave is open and there is no claustrophobic problems at all. There are 2 roads to reach the cave, both unpaved. The easiest way is to refuel in Bajo Caracoles, proceed 3 km north on Ruta 40 and turn right on Ruta 97 driving 43 km till the cave. The parking space is next to the entrance. The alternative solution is to stay in Hosteria Cuevas de Las Manos, an excellent option (we selected this option), but some physical effort is required to reach the cave because the road from the Hosteria to the cave ends on the other side of the canyon and to reach the entrance of the Cueva it is necessary to walk under the sun for 40 minutes down from the edge of the canyon to the Pinturas River and then up to the cave. The trail is steep but not dangerous. On the other hand the short driving (less than 18 km) from the Hosteria to the Canyon is a African like safari with hundreds of guanacos and lesser rheas together with birds. At sunset the guanacos move to the top of the hills to spend the night in such a defensive position to reduce the effectiveness of cougar ambushes while small animals come out from their burrows. Coming from Caretera Austral we refueled in Perito Moreno (the town) and after driving 68 km South on Ruta 40 we saw on the left a very small sign indicating the access to the Hosteria which is not visible from the main road. The accommodation is very good in rooms with private bathroom and breakfast included. The dinner is available (you have to ask at the arrival) with good local food in a tasty menu without choice. A dinner in family where the few customers exchange information and travel tips. The generator is switched off at midnight and the sky becomes incredibly full of the Southern Hemisphere stars.

2  Thank bluebay06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 10 March 2017

Perito Moreno, sleepy and underwhelming, is the unexpected gateway to many wonderful sites, animals and stunning scenery in the NorthWest of Santa Cruz. Touted as a stop-over on the way between El Calafate/El Chalten and Bariloche,
I'm glad I decided to check out the Cuevas de los Manos.

The day I spent travelling to the Caves with a local tour company from Perito Moreno was delightful, seeing Guanacos and ostriches, and hiking through the striking CAÑADON DEL RIO PINTURAS to the Caves of the Hands (UNESCO World Heritage listed). It felt like a gateway, a perfect prelude to the caves, alive yet so still.

At the Caves, you have guided tours in English or Spanish, showcasing this UNESCO World Heritage listed site of ancient art and history on the rocks. The guides are passionate and dynamic about their site.

My guide spoke English as well as his native Spanish, and can cater for groups as well as individual travellers like me, and also organised my accomodation, assisting with my local travel. In retrospect, I would like to have stayed longer....

You can visit Cuevas de los Manos directly, however it is the tour companies that can take an average experience and make it excellent, suggest where else to go and organise where to stay....

1  Thank wellnessvb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 February 2017 via mobile

This UNESCO cultural heritage site displays amazingly well preserved cave paintings, the oldest dating 9000 years ago and the newest a thousand years ago. You should definitely include this in your itinerary, if possible. The paintings are clearly visible on the walls of a canyon, and the canyons themselves are amazing. If possible, go 9 am when the first tour starts. The light is beautiful and there are no crowds. It won't be that easy without a car, though. You probably need to get a tour from Perito Moreno or a horse tour from the estancia nearby.

Thank Sepisto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 October 2016

We visited here a year or two ago and loved it - one of the highlights of Argentina for us. It's not many places you get to see cave paintings from 10 000 years ago! We joined a group with a guide (guide is mandatory) and there was info in English as well as Spanish. The guide was very informative - we learnt loads more than if we'd just looked at the cave on our own. The scenery all around is also totally breathtaking. We came as a day trip from Perito Moreno - there's not much to do in the town but there are companies that will organise your transport to the cave. It makes a good stop off along RN40 between Bariloche and El Chaltén too.
One thing - if you are organising a trip from Perito Moreno like we did, avoid a company called Zoyen Turismo like the plague. In the back of their 4 by 4 all our stuff got soaked in petrol, and they didn't care in the slightest that everything was ruined. There are other companies - go with them instead!
If you'd like to read more about our 16 months travelling South America, check out our blog - search for joke-around blogspot.

Thank Thelastdodo2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 10 August 2016

Wow, it´s a long trip, and your stay there may only last two hours or less, but it´s worth it! the landscape and the pictogramas are impressive. You do have to walk 5-10 min to see them and pass a lot of stairs!

1  Thank Emiinfo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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