Marble Caves: the most spectacular in the world

Spectacular and breathtaking natural attraction, the Marble Caves in Chile are a creation that enchants anyone who rushes to visit them. The beauty and peace of this place derive above all from its remoteness from everything urban.

Among South America’s most sought-after attractions, these caves were formed at General Carrera Lake in Patagonia, an isolated glacial lake that forms the border between Chile and Argentina, ranking Chile’s largest lake and Argentina’s fourth largest . The marble caves derive from the clash between water and calcium carbonate walls which took place cyclically over the last 6000 years: thus, naturally, the crystalline marble walls with very smooth edges were born, which reflect the numerous colours, from intense blue to turquoise, up to the lightest blue, that make up these caves.

what are the marble caves known for

Also known as Cuevas de Marmol, the Marble Caves are the most fascinating cave network in the world. Some call them “the Marble Cathedral”, due to the complexity of their formation and structure. The islet where the caves are located, by the way, is a formation of calcium carbonate that stands alone, adorned with its wonders. The splendor of the Cuevas derives above all from the fact that, over the course of over 6000 years, the currents of the lake have smoothed the marble that composes them and, whenever the light filters inside, the marble walls of the caves reflect the color of the waters below, making them a real spectacle of nature.

the waters of the caves

The waters of the Cuevas de Marmol are of a wonderful crystalline blue due to the small particles that remain suspended in the water during the melting phases of the nearby glaciers, but also from the mud deriving from the scraping and erosion action caused by the debris transported by the ice. The color of the waters in the Marble Caves changes continuously and this depends both on the light and on the water level, which varies from turquoise to more or less intense blue depending on the climatic conditions or the time of year. In spring, for example, the water is at its lowest level as the glaciers have not yet melted and the lake is of a very clear aquamarine colour. When the glaciers begin to melt, the water level rises by more than a meter, and the color of the water takes on an intense shade of blue.

how to visit: guidelines and advice

To reach the islet that preserves the Marble Caves it is necessary to overcome almost 2000 kilometers, almost as if nature had tried to hide the beauty of this natural attraction from prying human eyes. The tiny boats or kayaks that carry tourists from the shore to the caves are the only means of transport to reach them, starting from Puerto Tranquillo and Río Ibáñe. It is practically impossible to reach the Caves from the ground due to the steep wooded slopes of the coast which unfortunately force you to approach only by boat, a journey which is only possible when the weather forecast is favorable for navigation.

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