With a little over four thousand inhabitants, PERITO MORENO is the biggest town in this part of the world, which shows just how thinly populated the region is. Lying 130km north of Bajo Caracoles, it’s a typically featureless, spread-out Patagonian settlement whose main point of interest is as a base for excursions to places such as the Cueva de las Manos Pintadas, some 120km south. When there is enough water, Black-necked swans and flamingoes pass their time at the free wildlife refuge in town, the Laguna de los Cisnes.

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