Discovery of the Week: Marble Caves, Chile
This post is part of a weekly feature called Discovery of the Week. By discovery, I mean a place, a custom or dish that is not widely known. See, I love to read travel magazines, websites and books. Very often, I find beautiful and interesting gems that not a lot of people seem to know about. That is why I thought about introducing this feature because I am sure it will expose a lot of astonishing places. Additionally, I enjoy learning about the many amazing places in the world. I believe my readers also enjoy this activity.
Discovery of the Week: Marble Caves
Where it is located: In a lake shared by Argentina and Chile. The Chilean side is known as Lake General Carrera and the Argentinean side is known as Lake Buenos Aires. The caves are located on the Chilean side.
What it is: A unique geological formation featuring a group of caverns, tunnels and pillars created in monoliths of marble and formed by wave action over a period of thousands of years.
The unique beauty of this place is due to the natural light show it plays for its visitors. Since the caves are filled with water, the marbled walls reflect the azure surface of the lake. This effect creates stunning blue, turquoise and emerald colors that have to be witnessed in order to comprehend.
The caves are comprised of three main caverns: the Chapel (La Capilla), the Cathedral (El Catedral), and the Cave (La Cueva). Visitors to the caves can explore them in a small boat or kayak, but only when Carrera Lake’s waters are calm and gentle.
A rare and invaluable natural wonder, the existence of these caves is currently threatened by plans to build five large dams in the area. If you visit these caves, please treat them with the utmost respect and care.
The remoteness of this place make it very difficult to visit. One way to reach it is by flying from the capital of Chile, Santiago, 800 miles to the next nearest large city, Coyhaique, and then drive on challenging dirt roads (with high clearance vehicle) 200 miles south to the lake. Ferries departing from the small town of Chile Chico will take you to through the caves and tunnels. If you visit the area, it may be a good idea to set apart some time to enjoy more of the Patagonian landscapes.
Did you know about the Marble Caves?