When you go on an excursion to Torres Del Paine, you’ll have the chance to visit Cueva del Milodón, a natural monument near Puerto Natales that was under water years and years ago. Read my article on my trip to Torres Del Paine if you haven’t already:)! The natural monument is quite big with miradors, rocks, tunnels and various caves – big and small. Here’s a great map of the area if you want to check it out. Since there are a lot of points of attractions in this area, I’m only going to talk about a few.
First of all, what interested me when I visited this monument was a rock called “Silla del Diablo.” There are many stories to why they called this rock the devil. To me, I believe that it is because of its strange power to resist erosion and especially after all of the natural events that have happened to the area. Imagine, this area was covered by water and ice for over 800 million years! Throughout the years, the ice eroded the rocks and hills, carving the shape of this valley through its path. When you visit this rock, you can see that it was split in half! But even until today, this particular half of the rock still remains strong and steady. A lot of people also say that if you look carefully enough, you can see the face of the devil carved somewhere on the rock! Visit the place and check it out yourself!
In this area, archaeologists have also found signs of both humans and animals’ habitats! There are several miradors in this area, but when you walk up to the mirador of Seno Última Esperanza, you can see signs of 3 vegetation zones that used to exist: forest, bush, and prairie. Forest is self-explanatory but the bush came from forest logging and the prairie came from when the inhabitants removed the vegetation area to introduce new grasses to feed their cattle. I learned a lot from this visit and it was really interesting to see the natural changes and different habitats of both humans and animals that took place in the area. The view on this mirador, as well as the others were also incredible sights that you wouldn’t want to miss!
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Last but not least, if there’s one thing to learn from my visit to Cueva del Milodón, is that a bunch of animals used to live here!! Archaeologists have found fossils of animals such as tigers, panthers, horses and macrauchenia. But the most famous animal to be found here, is from an extinct ground sloth called Mylodon – that lived in the area 10,000 years ago! In the area, there’s a big cave with a statue of what looks like a bear, but it’s actually a statue of this extinct ground sloth. Who knew sloths came from these giant bear-looking creatures?! Evolution is incredible and amazes me every day! A lot of the fossils they found of this giant sloth are currently displayed in museums across the world; but some are still kept in the cave for visitors to see. Apparently, when they were alive, mylodon moved very slowly. They were herbivores so they probably weren’t a threat. But their large size and powerful claws definitely made them seem scary. Their fossils were only found in Patagonia in Chile and Argentina, which made them extremely unique to this region!
Overall, I very much enjoyed my visit to Cueva del Milodón. I learned a lot of new things and got the chance to enjoy some gorgeous landscapes; it was definitely worth the trip! A top recommendation while traveling in Chile!
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