Those who know him say that he is something similar to a sleeping giant. General Carrera Lake looks from a distance like a calm and beautiful body of turquoise water. However, when navigating through it we can realize that there are days when its waters are rough, with huge waves of more than two meters as a result of the strong winds in the area. Its autochthonous name confirms this: Chelenko, which in the Tehuelche language means "turbulent waters". And it is that nature has been quite wise, since these conditions have allowed for centuries to shape the rock formations that we know today as Marble Caverns, which are the true natural jewel of the Carretera Austral Sur.
Our trip with Aysen Journeys begins at the Balmaceda airport, from where we soon connect with Route 7 in the direction of Puerto Río Tranquilo, one of the most touristic towns in the region. The adventure is total before reaching the destination, since we cross places such as the Cerro Castillo National Park, the Cuesta del Diablo and the Ibáñez River valley. During the peak season, Tranquilo (as its inhabitants affectionately call it) is full of tourists who come here to do adventure tourism activities, but mostly to do the one and a half hour navigation that the tour to the rock formations lasts.
Those who are more adventurous choose to explore the caverns in a kayak (an activity offered by Aysen Journeys), because its versatility allows you to get even deeper into the formations. The setting here is idyllic with the mountains in the background and the crystal clear waters of General Carrera. A true 50-hectare sanctuary that attracts Chilean and foreign visitors.
Upon arriving at the place, we learned that the geological formation is due to the fact that the rock was deformed and fractured by the erosion of the lake waters and the wind. This is confirmed by the cavities that can be seen on the surface of the rock, which is also covered by minerals that give it yellow, blue, black and white tones. The process of evolution continues its course. Plus, it is said that the marble here is quite young, so it would not be possible, for example, to make a table with this rock.
The caverns extend over 300 meters, but during the visit we can also discover the Marble Cathedral and very close to it, the Marble Chapel.