If you travel to Puerto Natales you should visit the Mylodon Cave, located about 24 km north of the city. The cave is located on the slope of Cerro Benítez, within a protected area.
Getting to the Mylodon Cave from Puerto Natales
To visit the Mylodon Cave in one of the things to do in Puerto Natales. So you can book a tour with a specialized agency, which includes the round trip transfer from this city.
Check here the Torres del Paine Trip that includes a visit to the Mylodon Cave. Included: Hotel pick up and drop off, English speaking guide, entry to Mylodon Cave and entry to Torres del Paine National Park.
If you want to do the visit on your own, from Puerto Natales you have to take route 9 north and after 17 km take the detour to the left towards the Natural Monument Mylodon Cave. After 8 km, through a gravel road, you will arrive at the place.
Why visit the Mylodon cave?
The great cave or Cueva Grande is more than 200 meters deep, 80 meters wide and 30 meters high.
Its richness doesn’t only come from the rock formation and its natural environment, but also because it was the place where the remains of the great extinct mammal called Mylodon, which inhabited the area 15,000 years ago, were found.
The entrance to the cave is through a wooden footbridge, where you are welcomed by a replica of the Mylodon. Here you can appreciate the large size of this mammal, which is similar to a bear today, but much larger.
Inside the cave, there are posters explaining the different animals that inhabited the area more than 10,000 years ago, many of which managed to survive and still live in the Patagonian landscape.
The visit is complemented with the viewpoint of the cave, located on the roof of the Cueva Grande and where you can appreciate some beautiful views of the Eberhard Fjord, the mountains and the glaciers.
Also within the same Natural Monument Cueva del Milodón, there are two smaller caves called Cueva Del Medio and Cueva Chica that can be visited. They don’t have the extension of the Mylodon Cave, but they have great value from the historical point of view, being refuge of the first inhabitants of the zone.
Finally, another attraction if you are going to visit the Mylodon Cave is the rocky formation called the Devil’s Chair, which appears solitary in the landscape.
How to visit the Mylodon Cave Natural Monument?
There are three marked trails to visit the attractions of the Milodon Cave:
- Cueva Grande Trail: goes from the Visitors Center to the entrance to Cueva Grande. The duration of the walk is one hour.
- Mirador Trail: it goes from the Visitors Center to the roof of the Cueva Grande, with two viewpoints. The duration of the walk is 45 minutes.
- Caves and eaves Trail: it is the most extensive as it crosses the El Medio cave, the Chica cave and the Silla del Diablo (Devil’s Chair). The duration of the walk is from 3 to 4 hours.
Opening hours and services of the Natural Monument Cueva del Milodón
The Natural Monument is open every day of the year, but depending on the season its schedule changes:
- High season (October-April): from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Low season (May-September): from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Inside the reserve there is parking for vehicles, public bathrooms, sale of souvenirs if you want to take a gift and picnic area.
Entrance fee to visit the Mylodon Cave
Entrance fees to the Mylodon Cave National Monument vary depending on the time of year:
- High season (October-April): 5,000 Chilean pesos for foreigners (USD 7), 2,500 pesos for Chileans.
- Low season (May-September): 2,000 Chilean pesos for foreigners (USD 3), 1,000 pesos for Chileans.
If you want more information about the place, you can visit the official website.
For more information, visit the Mylodon Cave official website.