Milodon Cave. Puerto Natales - CHILE
Direccion: Ruta y-290 kilómetro 8. Pto. Natales.
Phone: + 56 61 360 485
Located 24 Kms. north of Puerto Natales, this natural monument is composed of three caves and a rock formation known as the Silla del Diablo (Devils Seat). The main cave is 150 meters above sea level, and it measures 30 meters high, 80 meters long and 200 meters deep.
In 1896 the scientific world was fascinated by the discovery in this cave of the skin, bones and other parts of an extinct animal, the milodon (Mylodon Darwini). Scientists originally believed the remains to be fresh, indicating that the animal still existed. But later test proved that the remains were thousands of years old. The milodon, a very large herbivore, is believed to have died out at the end opf the Pleistocene era.
Aside from the cave and its historical and scientific importance, the region has lovely landscapes because it is a transition area between the steppe and the regions forest. Some local threes and plants include the ñire, the calafate and the romerillo.
Just before the access road reaches the cave, it passes the Silla del Diablo. This huge rock formation looks like an enormous chair. When the milodon remains were discovered in this area, a folk tale was born that this was the milodons seat. Over time, the devil took the place of the milodon in the rock formations name.
The Corporación Nacional Forestal (CONAF, the National Forest Corporation), which oversees the area, has set up picnic areas that are popular with the inhabitants of Puerto Natales.