In Photos: Patagonia’s Stunning Marble Caves
Chile’s Cavernas de Mármol, or “Marble Caves,” is one of those places, but that didn't stop us from curating some photos that showcase this system of caves in Patagonia.
The Marble Cathedral, as it’s also known, is a bucket list destination best seen at sunrise or sunset, when the rich light creeps into the caves.
For centuries, water from General Carerra Lake, South America’s second largest freshwater lake, has carved into the rock creating gentle curves and giving the sunlight even more surfaces to bounce around on.
Traveling to the caves is a feat. The caves are about 120 miles from the city of Balmaceda, which is a two-and-a-half-hour flight from Santiago. After driving those 120 miles, which include remote dirt roads, travelers will reach a lake, at which point a boat is then required to enter the caves.
Until you can make plans to visit the caves in person, here are a few angles to soak up the beauty.
Curved Walls in the Marble Caves
The constant waves rushing into the cave system have slowly carved these curved walls over the span of six centuries.
Ceiling Detail of a Cavern
The swirling blue hue of the walls and ceiling reflects the lake's blue water.
The vibrant General Carerra lake outside of the marble cave system.
Resting Water in the Marble Caves
General Carrera's water changes color depending on the weather and the season.
Ceiling Reflections Inside the Cave
The surrounding glaciers in Patagonia help contribute to General Carrera's water levels.
Underwater Look at the Marble Caves
Don't forget to look down when you're visiting the caves—the crystal-clear water makes it easy to spot the rock formations under the surface.
Crystal-clear Waters Inside the Cave
During the springtime, the cave's shallow waters appear more turquoise, as opposed to the summertime when everything is a deeper blue.
View of General Carrera from Inside the Caves
You need a boat to access the caves — there's no strolling inside for a quick photo opp.
Mouth of the Marble Caves
There's a reason people call this cave system the "Marble Cathedral."
Remote Island on General Carrera
You can't get much more secluded than this.