Marble Caves is a cave in Crimea, located at the lower plateau of Chatyr-Dag, mountainous massif. In 1988, center of speleology tourism Onyx-tour established sightseeing tours, concrete paths were laid, and cave was as well equipped with lighting.
Tour goes through Fairy Tales gallery, Tiger Path with hundreds of various stalactites, Reconstruction Room, that is the largest cave room of the Crimea and one of the largest equipped rooms in Europe with its length of 100 metres and height of 28 metres; Pink Room with stone roses covering the top of the room, Palace Hall with “Queen” and “King” columns, Hope Room and Balcony Room; a stalactite “forest” leads to the Luster Room.
By the mid-1960s a number of advancements had been made in cave diving, by which method speleologists had extended their explorations into caves beyond the sumps that would normally have halted progress.
In December 1966 divers Dave Cobley and Mike Boon made preparations to dive Sump 1 in Skreen Hill passage. Before making the dive however, they investigated a small dry passage leading off on the left bank of the lake, finding the way on blocked by unstable boulders in the roof.
The cavers removed one of the boulders to reveal a way on, which led via a dry route to the far side of Sump 1.The new 200-metre (660 ft) section of river passage beyond was named Skreen Hill 2, and a further 800-metre (1⁄2 mi) inlet passage was named Legnabrocky Way.
Marble Caves are little known internationally but those tourists, who visits there are very impressed. Tourists can rent boats in Puerto Tranquillo and take a guided tour to the marble peninsulas and islands.
In some places boats go under the ground, through marble tunnels. Naturally, in bad weather boats cannot drive near the caves. Throughout the year the lights and colors in the caves change. In early spring the water is low and the caves have more natural-looking color. But in summer, when the level in the lake rises, the caves are partly inundated and get their eerie blue color.
This area has much sun – bad weather stays in the other side of Andes. The Marble Caves, Marble Chapel and Marble Cathedral are an unusual geological formation located at the centre of the lake. They represent a group of caverns, columns and tunnels formed in monoliths of marble.
The rivers that feed into the lake are in danger of being over-developed by the Chilean government. Ms Waide hofer feels strongly that this natural treasure needs to be protected so future generations can also experience its wonders.
‘Patagonia’s rivers including the beautiful rio Baker that flows from this lake are in danger of being developed into a system of dams if the Chilean government gives the go-ahead.
Even though the marble caverns of Lago Carrera have been named an official nature sanctuary by the Chilean government, they are not safe from the impact of these projects. The water itself can vary from turquoise to deep blue depending on the weather and the time of year.