Visitors from all over the world come to see The Cave of Hands in the province of Santa Cruz because it is an extraordinary and captivating location. It is one of Argentina’s most famous archaeological sites and a symbol of the rich cultural legacy of the nation.
The cave is a significant historical site that offers an insight into the life and beliefs of the people who lived there since it has rock art that was made by the indigenous people (maybe Tehuelches and their ancestors) of the region thousands of years ago (these particular paintings about 9.000 years ago).
Rock painting at “Cueva de las Manos”
The Cave of Hands differs from other archaeological sites due to its rock art. The paintings, which are created using a variety of paints, feature handprints of all sizes and forms as well as representations of animals like guanacos and other symbols with deep cultural meaning.
The main technique was “stencil”, using bones (with holes) as pipes to spray the paint over the wall. To produce the paint they probably used mineral pigments, having as a result a variety of reds, purples, brown, and block colors -among others.
The lifestyle and beliefs of the local indigenous people are fascinatingly depicted in these paintings, which also provide a window into Argentina’s prehistoric civilization.
Visiting Cave of Hands
Visitors to the Cave of Hands can take a guided tour of the location and hear from qualified guides about the significance and history of the rock art. The visit takes less than half a day.
The Caves are distributed along one of the slopes of the Río Pinturas Canyon (a beautiful canyon in the province of Santa Cruz), and have been declared UNESCO site and National Park. It’s located next to the iconic Ruta 40, about 50 km from Bajo Caracoles Village, 110 km from Perito Moreno Town, and close to the refuge Posta de los Toldos (Patagonia Argentina National Park). Many people use it as a stop on their way to El Chaltén or El Calafate (550 km).
Where to stay
La Posta de los Toldos, a lovely refuge situated in the Patagonia Argentina National Park, provides another access point to the cave. From here, you may take a puma sighting tour to see these majestic animals in their native environment and enjoy the breathtaking park terrain.
The area surrounding La Posta de los Toldos offers a wide range of additional attractions and activities in addition to the Cave of Hands. You can explore the Alero Charcamata (“Charcamata Eaves”), a rock shelter utilized by the local native thousands of years ago, or you can unwind and enjoy the spectacular views of the surroundings. For those looking to enjoy the outdoors and want adventure, there are several chances for outdoor pursuits including horseback riding and hiking.
La Posta de los Toldos is an excellent option for anyone searching for a cozy place to stay. It offers the ideal starting point from which to explore the Cave of Hands and the surrounding environment thanks to its roomy accommodations, delectable regional cuisine, and breathtaking vistas. The Cave of Hands and La Posta de los Toldos will certainly surpass your expectations, whether you’re seeking for a serene getaway or an action-packed tour.
Personalized tours in Patagonia
We offer custom tours in Argentina and Chile, and we love helping our travelers on their trips to Patagonia!
As a kick off, a great tour that includes Cueva de las Manos on it, is our Ruta 40 Argentina Road Trip