Beauty of Patagonia's Marble Cathedral Makes the Journey Worth it

April 03, 2012
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The landscapes of Chilean Patagonia are so impressive and brimming with sights that nature travel enthusiasts can’t absorb everything in just one trip. After you’ve explored the famed glaciers and landscapes of Torres del Paine, adventurers should consider venturing off of the beaten path to the Marble Cathedral near General Carrera glacial lake on the border of Chile and Argentina. The remoteness of this location makes it a bit complicated to reach, but once you get there, you'll be glad you made the effort.

The network of caves that make up the Marble Cathedral were formed by the tidal patterns of the glacier General Carrera. The sediments that give the water its surreal turquoise hue are also behind the distinctly colored stone of the caverns that give the location its name. When you see the caves, you may think the water is reflecting the ceiling, but if you look closer you'll notice you're actually looking down at beautifully colored stone below the water's surface.

Linde Waidehofer, a landscape photographer who has spent nearly a decade photographing and learning about the caves, explained to the Daily Mail that because the lake's water level changes throughout the year, no two visits to the Marble Cathedral will offer the same visions. Since these caves are on the water, the only way to really explore them is by canoe or kayak, making this one of the most unique adventures you could take when you travel to Patagonia.