Perito Moreno has a good range of services for a town on RN 40. However, don’t confuse this dull town with the jaw-dropping national park of the same name or the glacier near El Calafate – the only tourist attraction here is cruising the strip on Saturday night. It's a brief stopover en route to the more inviting Andean oasis of Los Antiguos, though area mining means hotels are often booked. Attractions Cueva de las Manos and Parque Nacional Perito Moreno are not far away. A dedicated archaeological museum, Museo Gradin, exhibiting discoveries from the Río de las Pinturas, was in the works at the time of research and promises to be a useful companion stop.
The town’s glory came in 1898, when explorer Perito Moreno challenged Chile’s border definition of ‘divortum aquarum continental’ (which claimed the headwaters of Pacific-flowing rivers as Chilean territory) by rerouting Río Fénix, which flows through town, to Atlantic-bound Río Deseado. The river and the area remained Argentine, and the town took his name.