Nature never ceases to amaze us with its myriad wonders. However, one of its most spectacular and exciting creations is caves. When we think of a cave, the first thing that comes to mind is its hidden mysteries and how it is one of nature’s best-kept secrets. Every cave has a unique story to tell. A caving experience can offer you an adventure unlike any other, as you can see beautiful geological formations, caverns, stalactites, and other amazing sights.
Caving Adventures or spelunking is an adventure activity in which you discover and explore the wild caverns beneath the earth’s surface. Depending on the type of cave, spelunking can be pretty challenging, too. We have you covered if you want destinations with the most adventurous caving experiences worldwide. The following sections will provide you with our top recommendations for caving adventures. Let’s dive in.
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1. Carlsbad Caverns National Park in the United States
The best cavern systems are found in the Carlsbad Caverns National Park. They are located in the southern part of New Mexico. The corrosive action of the sulfuric acids has led to the dissolution of limestone in the cave, which has created a magnificent and unique landscape in the undergrounds. The cave system has over 100 miles of passageways and over 119 chambers. The most famous chamber is the ‘Big Room,’ which is approximately 4,000 ft long, 625 ft in width, and 255 ft in height. Two options are available to the visitors, one of which is hiking down the caves. The other option is an elevator that drops you 754 ft inside the cave within minutes.
2. Son Doong Cave in Vietnam
This cave is the biggest single cave located in Vietnam. The Son Doong cave measures around 8.8km in length. It was first discovered by explorers in 1991 and then later mapped in 2009. It was actually in 2013 that the Son Doong cave opened for tourists for the first time. The cave ceiling is almost 122 m or 400 feet from the base. The chamber is usually quite dark, even when visitors come in with bright flashlights. Visiting the Son Doong cave is a feat in itself, as it is located deep in the jungles of Vietnam.
3. Mulu Caves in Borneo
The Mulu caves are widely considered to be one of the world’s largest cave systems, especially regarding the total surface area. Located in the Gunung Mulu National Park in Borneo, the caves can be found after walking through the rainforests of Borneo. The most popular chamber in the Mulu Caves is the Sarawak Chamber, roughly 230 ft tall, 1,299 ft wide, and 2,300 ft long. It leads to Deer Cave, one of the most extensive cave passages ever. The name of the cave comes from the local deer population that often visits the cave to lick the salt from the rocks.
4. Mammoth Cave National Park in the United States
You’re mistaken if you think the only large cave system in the United States is the Carlsbad Caverns. Albeit, the largest cave system in the US is located in Kentucky, called the Mammoth Caves. It stretches for almost 640 km, standing apt to its name – these are just the explored passages of the cave. It has been found that every year, a new tunnel is discovered in the Mammoth caves. The passageways of the Mammoth Cave twist and turn, opening into numerous chambers. This cave should not be missed if you are a cave-spelunking enthusiast.
5. Cango Caves in South Africa
One of the major attractions in the Western Cape of South Africa is the Cango Caves. Although it is not as large as the cavern systems, as mentioned earlier, the caves present a magnificent sight to behold. It is located almost 900 ft below the surface, and the size of the caves is roughly around 25 km in length. These caves are popularly known for their stalactite and stalagmite formations, which can be found in all the caverns.
6. Škocjan Caves in Slovenia
The Škocjan Caves is an excellent option for a unique caving experience for adventurists exploring beneath the surface. Located in Slovenia, these caves are also a World Heritage Site. The caves are sublime and beautiful and stretch almost 6,200 m in length. They are famous for being the largest canyons located underground. Besides, the Škocjan Caves also possess a unique ecosystem that cannot be found elsewhere. Being one of the most accessible caves for travelers, they should not be missed if you are a caving enthusiast.
Now you have a list of the world’s best destinations for cave spelunking activities. You can plan your next holiday accordingly. Plan your trip with Travel-Wise for memorable experiences that will last you a lifetime. If you enjoyed this article, check out more adventure articles with Travel-Wise.