The World’s 16 Most Incredible Caves

Category:  

Bucket List Worthy   Hot off the Press  

465841155

Beauty is often found beneath the surface, and caves are one of mother nature’s ways of proving it. These 16 incredible caves from around the globe are solid (and sometimes liquid) evidence that some of the world’s most enchanting places are found in the most remote areas and often below seemingly unimportant surfaces.

#1. Marble Caves, Patagonia, Chile

The turquoise water at the floor of the marble caves creates an unbelievable reflection of diverse blues and greens on the ceiling of what is also known as the Marble Cathedral (for its elegant natural arches).

178859179

#2. Glowworm Caves, Waitomo, New Zealand

Glowworms the size of mosquitos turn the ceiling of the Waitomo caves into a majestic scene that resembles New Zealand’s uninterrupted night sky.

Photo credit: Opticoverload
Photo credit: Opticoverload

#3. Son Doong Cave, Vietnam

Famed as the largest cave in the world (that we know of) — the Son Doong Cave in Vietnam is so big it is home to its very own weather systems and a variety of unique ecosystems. The Son Doong Cave is a natural wonder that one simply must see to believe.

Photo credit: Hugh Derr
Photo credit: Hugh Derr

#4. Reed Flute Cave, Guangxi, China

Travel back in time inside China’s Red Flute Cave, which is not only home to breathtaking rock formations, stalactites and stalagmites, but also features over 70 inscriptions that date back to 792 AD — during the Tang Dynasty.

153695809

#5. Naica Mine, Chihuahua, Mexico

Some of the largest natural crystals ever discovered were found in Naica Mine, 300 meters below the surface of the town of Naica in the state of Chihuahua, Mexico. The massive crystals are located in the Crystal Cave section of Naica Mine, which is actually off-limits to the public due to safety issues.

Photo credit: Paul Williams
Photo credit: Paul Williams

#6. Tham Lod Cave, Nam Lang River, Thailand

Admire the picturesque stalagmites and stalactites of the Tham Lod Cave as your drift through it along the Nam Lang River of Northern Thailand.

Photo credit: Elin Reitehaug
Photo credit: Elin Reitehaug

#7. Kungur Ice Cave, Perm Krai, Russia

When Peter the Great sent sent a well-known geographer to Kungur in 1703, he probably didn’t imagine the cave would be a popular tourist destination hundreds of years later. Breathtaking ice formations distinguish the Kungur Ice Cave, located along the Sylva River in Perm Krai, from other Russian ice caves.

Photo credit: Tony
Photo credit: Tony

#8. Batu Caves, Malaysia

While bat guano was once mined from the Batu Caves in Malaysia for farming purposes, the cave is now open to the public and features numerous man-made statues that make for some incredible photos.

161575679

#9. Onondaga Cave, Missouri, U.S.A.

Dripping stalactites, jagged stalagmites and a variety of active flowing stones draw plenty of visitors to the Onondaga Cave — an area which was long ago plagued by vandalism and land disputes.

Photo credit: Matt Lehrer
Photo credit: Matt Lehrer

#10. Ainsworth Hot Springs Resort, British Columbia, Canada

More glamorous than many caves — the Ainsworth Hot Springs Resort features a 150-foot-long cave filled with hot (up to 45-degree Celsius), waist-deep water. While bathing in the warmth of the natural spas, visitors can admire the vibrantly colored stalactites and flowstones.

Photo credit: Ainsworth Hot Springs Resort
Photo credit: Ainsworth Hot Springs Resort

#11. Vatnajokull Glacier Cave, Iceland

Europe’s largest glacier — the Vatnajokull Glacier in Iceland — is home to the ever-changing Vatnajokull Glacier Ice Cave, which can be dangerous due to the unstoppable melting and breaking of the glacial ice.

469108569

#12. Fingal’s Cave, Scotland

The odd rectangular basalt columns that compose the walls and ceilings of Fingal’s Cave are far different than the towering stalagmites and stalactites commonly seen in other noteworthy caves. Add the unique, eerie echo that the naturally arched ceiling creates, and you’ve got one of the world’s most interesting caves.

Photo credit: seth m
Photo credit: seth m

#13. Antelope Canyon, Arizona, U.S.A.

Thousands of years of wind, rain and floods carved the fluid walls of Antalope Canyon in Arizona. Flash floods still plague this desert atmosphere during the monsoon season — a time when tourists are not advised to visit.

Photo credit: James Gordon
Photo credit: James Gordon

#14. Puerto Princesa Underground River, Palawan, Philippines

Just four years ago, explorers found that the subterranean Puerto Princesa River actually has a second floor, which creates small but breathtaking waterfalls within the cave. Visitors of the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park also have the luxury of cruising through the cave and viewing the rock formations by boat.

Photo credit: Storm Crypt
Photo credit: Storm Crypt

#15. Jeita Grotto Cave, Lebanon

See the world’s largest stalactite in the upper grotto or explore the pristine underwater lake and river down in the 20,300-foot-long lower grotto. Both of these inter-connected, picturesque limestone caves — the upper and lower grotto — combine to create the world-famous Jeita Grotto Cave.

Photo credit: kcakduman
Photo credit: kcakduman

#16. Sea Cave, Algarve, Portugal

This stunning sea cave near Benagil Beach in Algarve, Portugal was formed simply by the waves of the sea, and it’s unique dome shape makes for an ideal place to sunbathe or just sit back and admire the scenery.

Photo credit: Victor Martin
Photo credit: Victor Martin

 

Related posts:

About the Author: Courtney McCaffrey

Courtney McCaffrey is a freelance writer and editor based in Wilmington, N.C. In addition to writing, she lives for travel - seeing new places, learning new cultures and surfing new waves.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *