Chile travel blog by Mark Berman -
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The amazing Marble Caves are the main attraction that brings people to Puerto Rio Tranquilo, a small town on the Carretera Austral road 4hrs south of
Coyhaique. The town sits on the shores of Lake General Carrera and is very basic with just a few shops, several hostels and hospedajes and a bunch of tour
companies on the lakefront. Buses coming from and going to the north and south stop at one of the cafes on Dagoberto Godoy Street. I enquired at a few of
the hospedajes before settling in, most if not all of them serve food, the one I stayed at included both breakfast and dinner for the price. In October
while I was here it was very cold indeed, luckily fireplaces are common anywhere inside! The plaza has nice views of the snow-capped mountains all around,
the church is beside and there's a monument to the boat people that glistens golden at sundown.
Capillas de Marmol (Marble Caves)
Morning is when most of the tour boats take people out
onto the lake to see the marble caves (Capillas de Marmol), the waters get too choppy by the afternoon. It takes about 20mins to get out to the caves, my
hands and face were frozen after this journey, this is October remember! The marble caves are like prehistoric geologic formations created from thousands
of years of erosion by the wind and water. The shapes, textures and contours of the marble has created a masterpiece of natural art. The waters of Lake
General Carrera are transparent emerald green and there are many caverns and tunnels to see! The caverns have interesting light and shadows and you can
make some amazing photographs inside them. The only other people we saw out around the caves were a group of people on kayaks, they were extremely brave
and well prepared because it was freezing out there! You may see some wildlife out around the caves on the cliffsides also - birds nesting etc. The Capillas
de Marmol are definitely worth a stop in Puerto Rio Tranquilo and are an amazing sight to see! A tour on a small motorized boat costs $10,000 pesos ($15USD),
there was 3 people on my boat plus the guide and captain.
Bus to Cochrane
111kms further south on the famous Carretera Austral road is Cochrane
which is where I travelled to next, 2hrs 30mins by bus.