Monthly Archives: December 2013

Cuevas de Mármol


Shared by both Chile and Argentina is a lake which borders both countries in a region of South America known as Patagonia. Chile calls the lake ‘General Carrera Lake’ while the Argentines call their portion of the water ‘Lake Buenos Aires’—both are internationally accepted. Two-thirds of this 1,700 square-mile lake belongs to Chile as the waters can reach a maximum depth of 1,920 ft. Now although these waters are filled with clear, glacial waters produced by the runoff of the neighboring Andes Mountains, this is not why I have chosen it to feature in my phenomenologically natural beauties blog. Where the real beauty lies is what’s in and on the water, or more specifically, what the water has created.

Located at the geographic nucleus of the lake are marvelous Marble Caves created by 6,200 years of wave erosion. These monoliths of rock form caverns, columns, and tunnels naturally constructed of marble and calcium carbonate. The marble has been smoothed and uninterrupted by the swirling currents of glacial waters to produce a spiraling formation on the cave walls. The carved marble arches are truly a wonder of nature produced by the synchronicity of the currents and the constantly re-smoothing of the cave walls.

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Interestingly the waters’ tides are always changing, depending upon the outside temperature, affecting the amount of snowmelt from the bordering Andes Mountains. Therefore the caves appear to renovate themselves every day, accounting for a novel experience on each arrival.

The lake is also home to an abundantly thriving population of healthy salmon and trout.

The jointly shared Chilean-Argentine lake is home to some of the most beautiful caverns known throughout the world. These smooth marble walls have taken millennia to intricately carve the smoothed cavern barriers. With the altering tide levels, combined with the hourly changing sunlit rays piercing through the cave walls, this cathedral of natural beauty is certainly a cherished spectacle of the patience of natural construction.