Cuevos de las Manos | Patagonia Unbound

The Cuevos de las Manos, or “Cave of Hands,” is a bit off the beaten path, but well worth the trip on the gravel road to get to this isolated part of Patagonia. It rests about 100 miles south of the town of Perito Moreno.

The cave is known for the paintings of hands on its walls. Several waves of people occupied the cave, and early artwork has been carbon-dated to about 7300 BC. The age of the paintings was calculated from the remains of bone-made pipes used for spraying the paint on the wall of the cave to create silhouettes of hands.

The images of the hands are stenciled onto the walls of the cave. Most are left hands, which suggest the spraying pipe was held in the right hand.

There aren’t just images of hands. There are also images of humans, guanacos, felines, geometric shapes, representations of the sun, and hunting scenes.

One can’t help but feel the incredible respect this place of beauty commands. A visit to Cuevo de las Manos is a way to connect to remnants of the very ancient past.