Bucket List: The Marble Caves of Chile

Bucket List: The Marble Caves of Chile

In the Patagonia region of South America, there is a sizable lake stretching across the Argentina-Chile border.  In Chile, that lake is called General Carrera Lake.  In Argentina, it is called Lake Buenos Aires.

The lake, formed by melting glaciers, is incredibly blue.  Combine that with the stunning marble cliffs and caves, and it’s a must see.

Apparently, marble is slightly soluble in water.  Over thousands of years, the lake water seeped into small cracks in the marble cliffs, the cracks grew larger and larger until a system of caves was formed.

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There are also two marble islands in the lake.  One is called Marble Cathedral, and the other (smaller) one is Marble Chapel.

marble chapel

Beautiful, isn’t it?  This is one of the places that I hope to someday see in person.

If you plan a trip to see the Marble Caves of Chile, here’s what you need to know:

  • Boats can be rented in the nearby town Puerto Tranquilo so you can get an up-close view of the caves.
  • The water level is lower in early spring (early autumn if you’re in the northern hemisphere), and the caves have a more natural hue (brown/gray).
  • In summer (winter for northern hemisphere folks), the water level is higher and the caves are more reflective, giving the marble an eerie blue appearance.
  • Don’t delay.  The area is in danger because a company by the name of Hydroaisen is seeking to build a dam on the Baker River (water from General Carrera Lake flows to the ocean via the Baker River).  The transfer of the energy to the cities would require a construction of new high-tension power lines and one such line is planned next to Marble Caves.

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