Despite its being toward the ends of the earth, Patagonia has been settled by humans for 15,000 years. Though scant remnants of this era remain, on a tour of the stunning Walichu Caves outside of El Calafate, it’s still possible to find primitive drawings emblazoned on walls of the caves. Believed to represent stories of creation and tales of life in these hills, the drawings sat here forgotten for centuries until Perito Moreno discovered the caves in 1877. Today, while some of the drawings have been defaced, and others are modern replicas, they still tell a tale of primitive peoples who wandered this rugged landscape, where hunting, foraging—and even art—were staples of daily life. Aside from the actual drawings themselves, the setting surrounding Walichu Caves is arguably just as impressive, where rock formations line the shores of crystalline Lake Argentino.
The Walichu caves are set 5 miles from the city of El Calafate. Most tours will bundle the caves with a tour of El Calafate, and since reaching the caves means hiking across some rocky, rugged terrain, be sure to wear closed-toed shoes for making the short stroll out to the caves.
Did You Know? In addition to the drawings, it’s common to find fossils and ancient arrowheads when making the walk to the caves.