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Aisen and the Carretera Austral: Marvel at Patagonia's marble caves

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Marvel at Patagonia's marble caves

The Carretera Austral, the lonely road carving its way through the wild mountain landscapes of northern and central Chilean Patagonia, is spectacular in its own right but en route you can detour to view some astonishing natural phenomena, such as the Exploradores Glacier, and, equally stunning, the surreal limestone rock formations in the ocean gulf at Puerto Rio Tranquilo.

Travel by motor launch to view, and even enter, pearl white limestone caverns, the dazzling contorted sculptures of which are reflected in the calm turquoise waters. This curiousity of nature has been named the Capilla de Marmol (marble chapel) after the lofty church-like vaults and pinnacles. Chiselled by wind and water, these extraordinary formations are streaked with a ghostly silver and blue, making them appear even more otherworldly.

This is a popular day trip. If you have your own vehicle you can follow a cliff-carved gravelled road to visit another set of similar, equally impressive caves close to the tiny, sleepy port Puerto Sanchez, where you can hire a boat and will probably be the only visitors.

Cruise the Chilean Fjords

Cruise the Chilean fjords

Self-Drive on the Austral Road

Self-drive on the Austral Road


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