History of Perito Moreno

Perito Moreno, a city that today lodges 3,000 denizens and is the head of the district called Lago Buenos Aires, began in 1890, with a population made up by people of diverse origins: Spanish, English, Arabian, Italian and natives from the area. The prevailing activity back then used to be agriculture and cattle-raising.

In 1952, it was named after Doctor Francisco P. Moreno by Decree 10,471, as a tribute to the man who had carried out important tasks to consolidate Argentinian sovereignty in the area.

The city lies on the northwest of the Province of Santa Cruz, 403 meters MSL, within a territory named “Pari-Aike” by the natives (which means "a site with reed" or "source"), as it lies close to the Deseado River.

Perito Moreno is surrounded by cattle-raising venues and farms which produce fine fruit such as strawberries, cherries and raspberries, as well as vegetables. Fruit trees began to be planted in order to boost local economy, which had been impaired by the closing of the border to Chilean minerals that used to be shipped out at Puerto Deseado.

The proximity of this place to Cueva de las Manos (Cave of the Hands), where there are plenty of prehistoric paintings, caused Perito Moreno to be declared the Archeological Capital of Santa Cruz in 1981. Thus, the Pinturas River Ravine may be visited at this location, where the paintings at Cueva de las Manos -which date back from 9,370 to 13,000 years ago- may be appreciated. The cave paintings were expressions left by groups of hunters on the walls and overhangs. These drawings show human and animal representations and the prevailing colors are black, violet, ocher, yellow and red.

An important piece of information to consider: when we speak about Perito Moreno (the city), we must not mistake it for the popularly known Perito Moreno National Park, which lies towards the south (near Lakes Belgrano, Nansen, Volcán and Burmeister) or Los Glaciares National Park, where the Perito Moreno Glacier is located on Lake Argentino and whose nearest town is El Calafate, which is situated further south of the Province of Santa Cruz.

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