The village of POSADAS is a loosely grouped assemblage of modern houses, and is listed on some maps as Hipólito Yrigoyen (or even, confusingly, as Lago Posadas), but locals use the old name of Posadas.
The village can used as a base for visiting the turquoise Lago Posadas, and the stunning lapis lazuli Lago Pueyrredón, set among splendid landscapes and famed for their fishing. The lakes are separated by the narrowest of strips of land, the arrow-straight La Península, which looks for all the world like a man-made causeway. It was actually formed during a static phase of the last Ice Age, when an otherwise retreating glacier left an intermediate dump of moraine, now covered by sand dunes, which cut shallow Lago Posadas off from its grander neighbour. Most places of interest around the lakes are accessible only to those with their own vehicle.
Cerro de los Indios
Cerro de los Indios
Three kilometres south of Posadas, the low, rounded wedge of Cerro de los Indios lies beneath the higher scarp of the valley. Bruce Chatwin’s description of this rock in In Patagonia is unerring: “…a lump of basalt, flecked red and green, smooth as patinated bronze and fracturing in linear slabs. The Indians had chosen the place with an unfaltering eye for the sacred.”
Indigenous rock-paintings, some almost 10,000 years old, mark the foot of the cliff, about two-thirds of the way along the rock to the left. The well-known depiction of a “unicorn” – now thought to be a huemul – is rather faded; more impressive are the wonderful concentric circles of a hypnotic labyrinth design. The red blotches high up on the overhangs appear to have been the result of guanaco hunters firing up arrows tipped in pigment-stained fabric, perhaps in an ancient version of darts. However, the site’s most remarkable feature is the polished shine on the rocks, which really do possess the patina and texture of antique bronze. There’s also no fence screening off the engravings and paintings here, leaving the site’s magical aura uncompromised.