Cliff Threadgold Photography


Capillas de Mármol - Marble Caves

posted on 2019-10-17 13:06:20 in Patagonia Preparation

Rest day, we’ll sort of. Rest doesn’t mean sit around twiddling our thumbs, in this case it meant traveling down to Puerto Rio Tranqillo and then taking a boat ride to visit the Capillas de Mármol, the Marble Caves.

These caves are claimed to be one of the most isolated natural treasures of the world, the Marble Caves are a series of sculpted caves on the shoreline of the Lago General Carrera in the heart of Patagonia. The Cathedral, the Chapel and the Cave are the three main formations that make up this natural spectacle.


To get to the caves we had travel by small boat as they can only be viewed from the water. The boats were like large rowing boats and our one was powered by a 90hp outboard engine attached to the back. After donning our tiny life jackets we boarded the vessel, there were only 10 passengers on board and fortunately being one of the first on board I managed to get a good seat, 2nd row on outside right. Once we left the dock the captain opened up the throttle, the bow rose up and we raced along following the lake edge.


The lake has 2 names with both being internationally recognised as it crosses the border with Argentina. It is the largest lake in Chile and drains to both the Pacific Ocean in the west and to the Atlantic Ocean in the east. Naturally made by glacial erosion it is around 600m deep at its deepest point. The water takes on a deep blue colour under the blue sky with water being very clear and pure. The lake contains both salmon and trout and is popular with fishermen.

The caves have been cut into the marble and rock by wave action over the past 6000 years creating the formation we currently can see.

Very lucky again today to see 2  Condor flying high above us while on the boat. i do enjoy watching the way they circle and glide around effortlessly.


While we were out the wind picked up and our return journey was like a roller coaster as we climbed the waves and fell into the troughs with large splashes as we took a more direct route back to the port and heading almost straight into the waves. This is why I claim I was in a “Good seat” being in row 2, the passenger in front was breaking the wind for me and protecting me from the spray.

We treated ourselves to a special typical Chilean meal, a form of pumpkin soup (not a creamy version) chicken with potato and  followed by a light sweet dessert. A welcome change to the pasta we have been eating a lot of to date.

Next we travel to Chile Chico via Peurto Ingeniero Ibáñez.  See you there!