Caving or spelunking, as it is popularly known, is an adventure activity that involves exploring natural underground formations such as caves and caverns. It is an activity that attracts adventurers from all over the world. If you are thinking of exploring subterranean landscapes, then here are some of the best caving places in the world that you should consider visiting.
1. Waitomo Caves, New Zealand
Located in the North Island of New Zealand, Waitomo caves are some of the most picturesque caves in the world. The caves are known for their unique glowworms that line the walls, providing a mesmerizing and surreal experience. Visitors can float down the underground river on a raft while marveling at the twinkling lights of the glowworms. Other activities in the caves include abseiling, black-water rafting, and exploring the impressive stalactites and stalagmites formations.
2. Mammoth Cave National Park, USA
Situated in Kentucky, USA, Mammoth Cave National Park is one of the largest cave systems in the world, stretching over 400 miles. The caves were formed over millions of years by water erosion, and visitors can explore various geological formations, including the Frozen Niagara, a stunning waterfall formation. There is an extensive network of trails for hiking, and visitors can also go on cave tours of varying difficulty levels.
3. Cango Caves, South Africa
Located in the Western Cape of South Africa, the Cango Caves are one of the most visited cave systems in Africa. The underground world is characterized by impressive limestone formations, including the spectacular “Cleopatra’s Needle,” a huge stalagmite over five meters tall. Visitors can go on guided tours of the caves, as well as participate in adventure activities such as abseiling, crawling, and climbing.
4. Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, Vietnam
Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in Vietnam is home to some of the most spectacular cave systems in the world. The caves were discovered in 1991 and have since been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The highlight of the caves is the Son Doong Cave, which is the largest cave in the world, measuring over five kilometers long, and includes a fast-flowing river, vast caverns, and towering stalagmites.
5. Sistema Ox Bel Ha, Mexico
Sistema Ox Bel Ha in Mexico is one of the less explored cave systems in the world and is therefore a perfect place for adventurous cavers. With more than 270 kilometers of mapped passageways, Ox Bel Ha is one of the longest underwater caves in the world. Visitors can dive in the cave’s crystal-clear water and marvel at the unique geological formations and diverse underwater flora and fauna.
In conclusion, caving is an exhilarating adventure activity that allows visitors to explore the hidden depths of the earth. The above-highlighted destinations are just a few of the best places to go caving in the world. Each destination offers unique attractions that will leave visitors in awe and wondering at the power and beauty of nature. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced caver, there is always an underground adventure waiting for you in one of the world’s numerous caves.