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Kayak the Marble Caves in Patagonia

Puerto Río Tranquilo, Chile

based on 1 reviews


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. 

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Kayak the Marble Caves in Patagonia Reviews

I was on a month long motorcycle journey through Patagonia, this was a must stop location. The caves were beautiful, due to the severe wind we were not allowed to kayak the caves, had to get on a larger powered boat. True to SA fashion, the price changed the morning of the tour. It did not take much to get back to our original price. an Exert from the days update " They call Patagonia Terra Extrema. A name, given rightfully so. High mountains, beautiful canyons, and swollen rivers, with severe and unpredictable weather. Perfect views anyway you look, if and when you can see. Usually we ride south " one tank at a time". Yesterday was our most extreme riding of the trip, 10 hours of riding, in drenching wind and rain. The type of rain, where even plastic forgets it can keep water out. We rode through mountain passes, and through deep canyons, every inch of the land drenched and flowing with water. Every river and water way in flood stage. Mudslides, roads closed and dirt track detours so steep and knarled, every fiber of our being had to focus on riding. The steep where 1st gear is at times too fast, and others not slow enough. A detour that added 2 hours to our ride, and brought us within a few hundred feet of the snow line. Through narrow bridges, and tiny farms, lakeside. A detour we saw only 1 local, for the two hour diversion. In fact we rode through and past some of the most beautiful sights Patagonia has to offer. However, for those who don't know- the face masks in our helmets fog up, making it hard to see. That coupled with the weather means, we did not see much at all. A rigorous 280km ride, if we could had been able to stop, and see the views we would of had pictures to share. We got here late last night, both drenched and soaked to the bone, our fingers and toes pruned from the prolonged moisture contact. The ladies, performed well dragging us through, up, and over anything we placed in front of them. Today, we are about to head out onto a lake, in pouring rain to continue our soggy journey." The ladies referring to the twin KLR Moto"s that were the steeds of the journey.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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