Added by Zee Lilani
Discover nature at its finest in one of the most unique caves in the world!
Patagonia is known for its outer worldly mountain ranges, stunning blue lakes and unharmed forests, but the largest lake in Patagonia is also home to a geologic formation so incredible it'll make your jaw drop. The marble caves were formed by wave action over the last 6,200 years.
The best place to start this adventure is in the little town of Puerto Rio Tranquilo. There are a few hostels but I opted to set up my tent in a communal camp site at the corner of town and save a few dollars. The town itself is rather small and has only one main street where everything is located. Tour agencies rent out single or tandem kayaks, or have an option to tour the caves in a motorized boat. My friend and I opted to each do a single kayak so we could explore the caves at our own leisure.
Head down the main road and talk to different tour agencies to see what their price is. I paid 35,000 CLP, which is around $52 for a couple hours on a kayak with a guide. It's important to realize that the winds can make the waters extremely choppy so having a guide and paying a little extra is worth the security of knowing you will be safe. The winds can pick up at any point so stay calm if they do! Other than that, the caves are not too far from shore so you don't need to be an expert kayaker to get there.
We were able to explore the caves at our leisure and take photos at almost every angle. It was absolutely stunning especially against the majestically blue waters.
Don't forget to pay homage while there to the late Douglas Tompkins, the owner of North Face, for it was this lake where his tragic kayaking accident resulted in his death.
- If you opt to go with a tour like I did, everything will be provided (life vest, waterproof shoes...etc.)
- Just wear your swimsuit and a jacket because it can get cold out on the water
- Don't forget your camera, but be extra careful if it's not waterproof
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