Wish You Were Here: Cuevas Marmol (Marble Caves), Patagonia, Chile

by Owen James Burke


Photo: Kristen Aguiar

A short boat ride from Puerto Rio Tranquilo, Chile lies the aquamarine Lake General Carrera and her cuevas marmol, or “marble caves” so enchanting that, if you’re making your way up, down or around the Patagonian Coast, would be a pure shame to miss.


When the lake is low, there’s enough clearance to explore the caves with kayaks and even small skiffs. Photo: Kristen Aguiar


Photo: Kristen Aguiar

The formations are the result of calcium carbonate eroding over time by the temperamental winds and waters of the lake which, much like the rest of Patagonia, also happens to hold world class salmon and trout fishing.


Photo: Kristen Aguiar

Ideally you’d want to meander through these tunneling caverns in a kayak, but if you’re not up for the paddle or there’s a bit of a breeze as is often the case, there are skiff or panga tours for hire too.


Photo: Kristen Aguiar

Also known across the boarder in Argentina as Lake Buenos Aires, Lake General Carrera and her marble formations are just over 50 miles from the coast (but take note that it’s a 4-hour drive, give or take, around the mountains and back to the salt). — OJB


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