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.





3 thoughts on “Cuevas de Mármol

  1. Jennifer Taylor

    These are really awesome, but I’m surprised there would be a noticeable difference in the caves every day. Is this kind of erosion going to eventually destroy the site, or are there constructive forces at work as well as destructive ones?

  2. Nate Walborn Post author

    Or because the ones we generally hear about are native to our own country–something I attempt to stray away from.

  3. Tad Abramowich

    Those caves are amazing. I’m always impressed by the places you dig up for your blogs. We hear so much about a few of the world’s “natural wonders,” but the one’s I’ve read about here I’ve never even heard of. A lot of them look like they might be just as worthy of a vacation to see as The Grand Canyon or Niagara Falls. Maybe the difference is simply these landmarks’ size.

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