Journeying deep underground into unknown chambers and waterways is an exhilarating and adventurous pastime. You’ll be thrilled to find chambers that appear untouched by humans, with towering stalagmites or impressive, colorful displays caused by ancient mineral deposits. Spelunking is not for the faint of heart, but if you’d like to try it out, or if you’ve already got the bug, here are some of the world’s best caving sites.
The Cango Caves are an archaeological marvel with chambers reaching 50 meters high, buried 100 meters below South Africa’s Cango Valley in the Western Cape. There are two types of tour, the Heritage and the Adventure, each led by experienced guides and aimed at visitors of differing abilities. On each tour, you’ll get a chance to witness some breathtaking sights, from the stalagmites in Van Zyl’s Hall, to the 500,000-year-old Leaning Tower of Pisa formation and the exquisite, crystalline Fairy Queen’s Palace.
Discovered by candlelight at the end of the 19th century, the Luray Caverns in Shenandoah Valley, Virginia are a truly beautiful example of natural limestone architecture. Giant’s Hall is the largest chamber at 47 feet; it features a stunning example of a stalagmite and stalactite coming together to form one massive column. Elsewhere in the caverns, the delicate Titania’s Veil is a pure white example of an intricate, tiered calcite formation. Visitors can explore areas up to ten stories deep and view a scattering of crystal-clear underground lakes.
Phong Nha Cave
At a length of 44.5km, the Phong Nha Cave is one of the most celebrated networks of caverns in Asia. The rock formations are highly complex, with granite, layered stromatolites and limestone forming around a series of underground rivers. Many people explore the caves by boat, and after the ride, they climb the 330 steps to a mountainside aperture known as Tien Son Cave. Here, you can still see evidence of its 9th century inhabitants in the many altars and inscriptions that decorate the space.
If you enjoy remote landscapes and a high-octane vacation that keeps the action coming day after day, Outdoor-Traveler can help you find the ideal getaway. They have plenty of destinations for you to choose from and access to a huge range of adrenaline-fuelled activities, including many spectacular caving experiences. They are specialists in providing accommodation in some of the most awe-inspiring and unspoiled areas the world has to offer.