Weave in and out of national forests and valleys to the lakeshore of a remote town where the mountains meet the water, you will find the enchanting the Marble Caves of Patagonia created by her very own, Mother Nature. Hop on a boat or rent a kayak to see the mesmerizing reflection of turquoise waters holding onto exposed marble tunnels in and above the water.
With no shortage of jaw-dropping natural attractions in Latin America, Marble Caves is a natural beauty that is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Destinations such as this allow us to understand the power and beauty of mother nature. Continue reading to find our detailed guide on one of Chile’s best-hidden gems in the Northern Patagonia region.
What Are the Marble Caves of Patagonia?
Spanning over 6,000 plus years the melted glacier water has pushed its way into General Carrera Lake. With the help of high winds, the waves have crashed against these rocks slowly exposing and shaping the smooth marble creations of Patagonia. In turn, it created a marble tunnel system, caves, and protruding rock formations which are now a part of this famous tourist attraction.
What Will You See Here?
The first sighting you will see is Capilla de Mármol (the marble chapel) which is a free-standing islet. In which, you will have your first surreal moment of stillness of the water matched with natural beauty as you see the results of thousands of years.
Similar in texture and color, Catedral del Mármol (Marble Cathedral) allows you to see how the years have worn her with the most vivid colors and patterns in every nook and cranny. Although you are not allowed to venture inside for preservation purposes, you can circle around.
The real showstopper, Cuevas de Mármol (the caves), are where you will be romanticized by the strength and tranquility of Mother Nature. If you are lucky here and the water levels are low enough, you will be able to disembark the boat or kayak and feel the water and Patagonia marble for yourself.
These three unique geological formations will take your breath away as your guide maneuvers the way through turquoise waters and texturized walls that have a hint of blue, yellow, green, and black lining them through more than the mere reflection of the light.
Where Are the Marble Caves?
In the Northern Patagonia region of Aysén, there is a small town named Puerto Rio Tranquillo. Here in the southern region of Chile, you will encounter Chile’s largest lake, General Carrera. Which is home to this magnificent natural beauty and a water border with Argentina.
Don’t be mistaken, these Marble Caves are not simply on land in Puerto Rio Tranquillo, rather they are a 30-minute boat ride away in the middle of the water. Although this attraction is only accessible from the Chilean side, it is well worth the treacherous route.
How To Get to Marble Caves
For such a jaw-dropping attraction, it is just as secluded. To reach this destination, you will need to have time and patience. If you start your journey from Santiago, it will be much easier to arrive here.
You will need to take a domestic flight to Balmaceda then embark on a 4-hour drive down the mostly gravel road alongside the mountain range to the town of Puerto Rio Tranquillo. In this small fishing town, you will be able to venture out on a boat or kayak to this mesmerizing location.
What To Do Here
While this is a stopping point on many trips towards the South, there are few, but outstanding activities to partake in. To actually arrive at the caves, you will have to embark on one of the two private journeys on the water for a surreal moment as you glide over the mineral-rich turquoise waters and stumble upon these creations.
– Boat Tour
The first and most popular tour is an enjoyable boat tour. Departing from Puerto Rio Tranquillo, there are two different options, the simple 1.5-hour or the extensive 3-hour tour. In the extended tour, you will be transported across to Puerto Sanchez for lunch after you have visited and learned about the Marble Caves. Whereas the 1-hour tour simply jets you out for a quick introduction and tour.
While the destination is the same, the way and experience will be different in a kayak trip. Starting from Bahia Mansa, this tour will depend on your speed and can take the whole morning or afternoon. However, if you take a kayak, you will be able to glide under the tunnels and through the caves close enough to touch these masterpieces. With this up-close experience, the paddling is not simple, but it is enjoyable and will get you closer to the formations than the boat can.
The Best Time to Visit
Your experience will depend on not just the weather, but the water level, sunlight, and season. For the best experience, we suggest visiting between December and March as the water levels are at their lowest and the sun is shining.
If you do not have time to visit between December and March, you will be met with high waters and some murky shades of blue due to the weather. Whenever you decide to go venture here, beware that the water can get choppy and cold when winds start picking up, so an early start time is best. If you are not a morning person, our best advice is it is preferable to visit on a sunny day to see the glistening blue reflections of the lake.
Where To Stay
Puerto Rio Tranquillo is faithfully a tranquillo (relaxed) town that has expanded solely for tourism. On the opposite side of the lake, Pared Sur Camp is an eco-friendly hotel built with the intention of participating in sustainable travel. Wake up in an eco-dome, cabin, or tent with a panoramic view and wooden hot tubs overlooking the piercing blue glacial lake flowing below.
However, if you do not mind staying overnight in a neighboring town, another great option is Hacienda Tres Lagos. Built with environmental conservation in mind, this hotel offers private hiking trails, a private waterfront, horseback riding, a starry sky, and the magical spirit of the outdoors.
How To Visit Marble Caves with Kuoda
Although it is a journey in itself to get here, the breathtaking views that match with the reality of the power of Mother Nature are worth it as our world continues to change with climate change. For that reason, Kuoda is committed to designing regenerative travel plans for locations like this and many more. It doesn’t end there, with Kuoda you can trust your informative tour guide will allow you as much time and history as possible.
On your trip to Patagonia, Chile will surprise you with breathtaking landscapes such as Marble Caves. Inspired to pack your bags and see this rare natural beauty for yourself? Contact us today to plan your personalized luxury adventure to the Marble Caves!