Caves are natural underground formations that can be found all over the world. They can be formed by various processes, including erosion, volcanic activity, and the movement of underground water.
There are many spectacular natural caves around the world that offer visitors the chance to explore underground wonders created by water, wind, and time. Some of the incredible caves in the world include :
1-Mulu Caves, Borneo :
These caves are located in Gunung Mulu National Park in Malaysia and are a UNESCO World Heritage site. They feature some of the largest underground chambers and the longest underground rivers in the world. The park features several caves that are open to visitors, including the Deer Cave, which is one of the largest caves in the world and home to millions of bats.
2- Waitomo Caves, New Zealand :
These caves are located in the North Island of New Zealand and are famous for their glow worms. The caves feature underground rivers and limestone formations that have been sculpted over millions of years. Visitors can take boat tours through the caves and see the glow worms, which are unique to New Zealand.
3- Jeita Grotto, Lebanon :
These caves are located in the Nahr al-Kalb valley, north of Beirut. They feature two separate limestone caves, the Upper Grotto and the Lower Grotto, both of which are open to visitors. The Upper Grotto features a series of spectacular limestone formations, while the Lower Grotto has a subterranean river that runs through it.
4- Lascaux Cave, France :
These caves are located in the Dordogne region of France and are famous for their prehistoric rock art. The caves feature more than 600 paintings and engravings that were created between 15,000 and 17,000 years ago. Although the original cave is closed to the public, a replica called Lascaux II is open for visitors to see the art.
5- Carlsbad Caverns, United States :
These caves are located in the Guadalupe Mountains of New Mexico and are a UNESCO World Heritage site. They feature a series of spectacular limestone formations and underground chambers, including the Big Room, which is the largest underground chamber in the United States. Visitors can take self-guided tours of the caves or join ranger-guided tours to learn more about the geology and history of the caverns.
6- Jenolan Caves, Australia :
These caves are located in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales and are one of the most ancient cave systems in the world. They feature a variety of limestone formations, underground rivers, and large chamber. Visitors can take guided tours of the caves and explore the many underground chambers and formations, including the famous Temple of Baal and the Grand Column.
7- Blue Grotto, Italy :
These caves are located in the island of Capri, in Italy. The Blue Grotto is famous for its electric blue water, caused by the sunlight passing through an underwater opening and illuminating the white walls of the cave creating a vivid blue effect. Visitors can take a boat tour to the grotto and even take a swim in the beautiful blue waters of the cave.
8- Vatnajökull Ice Cave, Iceland:
These caves are located in Vatnajökull Glacier National Park, in Iceland. They are unique in the fact that they are formed by glacial ice instead of rock. The caves are constantly changing, as the ice melts and refreezes every year. Visitors can take guided tours to explore the caves, and see the incredible ice formations, including crystal clear ice sculptures and frozen waterfalls.
9- Eisriesenwelt Cave, Austria :
These caves are located in the Tennengebirge Mountains, in Austria and they are the largest ice cave in the world. The caves feature a network of ice-filled caverns and tunnels, with beautiful ice formations throughout. Visitors can take guided tours of the cave to explore the icy chambers and see the frozen waterfalls, ice sculptures and underground lakes.
10- Fingal’s Cave, Scotland :
Fingal’s Cave, Scotland – Source : wildaboutargyll.co.uk
This sea cave is located on the uninhabited island of Staffa, in Scotland. It’s famous for its hexagonal basalt columns, similar to those found at the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland. The cave features a large central chamber and an impressive natural arch leading to the sea. Visitors can take boat tours to the island to explore the cave and see the surrounding wildlife and landscape.
11- Lechuguilla Cave, United States :
This cave is located in Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico. It’s one of the most remote and least-visited cave systems in the United States, but also one of the most spectacular. The cave features intricate limestone formations and it’s known for its unique cave pearls, delicate mineral formations that resemble pearls. The cave is not open for general public, it’s only accessible via specialized tour given by the National Park Service.
12- Phong Nha-Ke Bang, Vietnam :
This cave system is located in the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in Vietnam, it’s recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park features over 300 limestone caves, with the largest one, Son Doong Cave, is the largest known cave passage in the world. Visitors can take guided tours to explore the caves, which feature underground rivers, towering stalagmites, and vast chambers.
13- Cave of Swallows, Mexico :
This vertical cave is located in San Luis Potosi, Mexico and it is one of the deepest and largest vertical caves in the world. The cave is an enormous sinkhole, which drops approximately 1,094 feet (333 meters) from the rim to the bottom. The cave is known for being an important destination for base jumping and rappelling enthusiasts, but it’s not for general public.
14- Cueva de los Cristales, Mexico :
This cave is located in Chihuahua, Mexico, it’s famous for its giant crystals. It features some of the largest natural crystals ever found, some are over 36 feet long and weigh over 55 tons. The cave is closed to the public, but visitors can see the crystals on display at the National Museum of Natural History in Mexico City.
15- Reed Flute Cave, China :
This cave is located in Guilin, China, it’s known for its stunning limestone formations and colorful lighting. The cave features a wide variety of stalactites and stalagmites, as well as a large underground lake. Visitors can take a guided tour of the cave and see the beautiful rock formations and the underground lake, which is lit up in different colors to highlight the unique features of the cave.
16- Mammoth Cave, United States :
Mammoth Cave, United States – Source : Visittheusa.com
This cave is located in Mammoth Cave National Park, in Kentucky. It’s the longest known cave system in the world with over 400 miles of surveyed passageways. The cave features a wide variety of limestone formations, including underground rivers, domes, and passageways. Visitors can take guided tours of the cave to explore the different chambers and see the unique geologic features.
17- Hang Son Doong, Vietnam :
Hang Son Doong, Vietnam – Source : tripadvisor.ca
This cave is located in the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, in Vietnam. It’s one of the largest known caves in the world and features an underground jungle, towering stalactites and a subterranean river. The cave can be accessed through guided tours and is considered one of the most challenging and remote caves to explore.
18- Cueva de las Manos, Argentina :
Cueva de las Manos, Argentina
This cave is located in the Patagonian Desert, in Argentina. It’s famous for its rock art, which features thousands of hand stencils and drawings that date back to over 9000 years ago. The cave also features interesting rock formations and a natural cave system. Visitors can take guided tours of the cave and see the ancient rock art, as well as the unique geologic features of the cave.
19- Clearwater Cave, Malaysia :
Clearwater Cave, Malaysia – Source : adventurealternativeborneo.com
This cave is located in the Gunung Mulu National Park, in Borneo, Malaysia. It’s known for its beautiful limestone formations, underground rivers, and pristine water. It’s the longest cave system in Southeast Asia, featuring a network of interconnected caves and passageways that stretch over 70 miles. Visitors can take guided tours of the cave and explore the different chambers, featuring crystal-clear pools, waterfalls and rock formations.
These are just a few examples of the many natural caves in the world that offer unique and awe-inspiring experiences. Each cave offers its own unique beauty, showcasing the incredible power of nature. Some are easily accessible, while others require a permit or special arrangements to visit. It’s important to note that some caves, like the Lechuguilla Cave, are closed to the general public for conservation reasons, but it’s possible to visit through specialized tours.