Along the famous Carretera Austral sits a small town surrounded by a turquoise lake that is home to the magical Marble Caves. Overtime water has eroded marble cliffs to create this unique and beautiful cave system. The water has a strong indigo or turquoise hue to it, depending on the sun and weather of the day, and this colour is reflected up onto the smooth marble walls.
There are multiple formations that can be explored, with some looking like chapels, turtles and more (use your imagination).
A boat tour is a must, as it takes you across the gleaming Lago General Carrera to up close and personal with the caves. The guide will explain the formations to you, and guide you into the many crevices of these calcium carbonate creations of nature. This is one of our top experiences in Chile, that we highly recommend.
Bonuses of the town – Puerto Río Tranquilo
There are locally guided operations that can take you to walk on the nearby Exploradores Glacier, a unique opportunity which is about half the price of walking Perito Moreno Glacier. Expect to pay around $160 AUD, or $80.000 chilean pesos.
This town is small, and the main attractions are the marble caves, and glacier. However, enjoying the beach and lake itself is worth an afternoon.
How to organise a tour
No need to book in advance. Walk to the shore of the town Puerto Rio Tranquilo and local operators will offer you many times/options. The standard price is around $20 AUD or $10.000 chilean pesos per person.
How to get there
The Carretera Austral, or ruta 7, will reach Puerto Rio Tranquilo. From there you can find boat launches to the caves or expeditions to Exploradores Glacier.
Private transport or transfer is best, as there are very few buses available. Hitchhiking is also possible, but you could be waiting a few hours before someone picks you up.
Fly to Balmaceda, Chile and from here get a private car to Puerto Rio Tranquilo