After departing the port, a short drive leads us to Plaza de Armas - a pretty, tree-lined square in the centre of Puerto Natales. This is a typical Chilean small town with a church, town hall (Minicipalidad) and post office.
We then visit the Museo Municipal, a small museum housing exhibits on local archaeology and ethnology, as well as historic photos of early settlement and life on the estancias.
In 1896, a local resident, Captain Eberhard, found a scrap of skin and some bones in a large cave located near his property. The remains were later determined to be from a Milodón, a prehistoric ground sloth. The story of the Milodón was popularized by Bruce Chatwin's travelogue in Patagonia. While the Milodón is depicted by a full-size replica at the cave's entrance, most of the original Milodón's remains were shipped off to London.
Today, Milodón cave attracts a multitude of visitors due to its size. The 30 m high (98 ft) and 200 m deep (656 ft) cave, which has an eerie, shaggy roof, is surrounded by interesting conglomerate rock formations. An interpretative centre with Milodón bones and a display showing the geological formation of the cave provides interesting additional background.
There is also a historical display of the indigenous tribes who inhabited this and other nearby caves as far back as 12,000 years ago.