Friday, December 2, 2016 Edition: U.S. & World | Regional

The Best Caves On The Planet

Want to maximize your vacation experience focused on cave hunting? Here are 10 hidden gems that are sure to surprise novices to the most experienced.

1    Waitomo Glowworms Cave – New Zealand

You will surely be amazed by the thousands of magical glow worms above, as you drift quietly by boat in the world of famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves. The Waitomo Glowworm Caves destination is a cave at Waitomo on the North Island on New Zealand, very well known for its population of glow worms. This species is found exclusively in New Zealand only and not anywhere else in the world.
Waitomo glowworms cave - 1 - The Best Caves On The Planet

2    Cave Of Crystals – Mexico

Cave of the Crystals is connected to the Naica Mine 300 m below the surface in Naica, Mexico. The main chamber persists of giant selenite crystals, some claimed to be some of the largest natural crystals ever found. The crystals were formed by hydrothermal liquids derived from the magma chambers below. The cave was found while the miners were drilling through Naica, which they were concerned it would flood the mine.
Cave of crystals - 2

3    Škocjan Cave – Slovenia

This extraordinary system of limestone caves comprises fallen sink holes, some 6 km of underground passages with a total depth consisting of more than 200 meters, many underground waterfalls and one of the largest known underground chambers known to men. The site, located in the Kras region, is one of the most famous in the world for the study of karstic phenomena.
Skocjan cave slovenia - 3

4    Carlsbad Cavern – US
Carlsbad Caverns National Park is located in the southern part of New Mexico. High ancient sea ledges, deep rocky canyons, flowering cactus and desert wildlife are just some of the amazing sights. It is situated in the northern Chihuahuan Desert. Hidden underneath the surface are over 119 documented caves – all formed when sulfuric acid dissolved the surrounding limestone leaving behind caverns of all shapes and sizes.
Carlsbad cavern - 4

5    Reed Flute Cave – China

The Reed Flute Cave is a local icon and tourist mecca in Guilin, Guangxi, China. It is a natural limestone cave with multi color lighting and has been one of Guilin’s most interesting attractions for over 1200 years. It rates as one of the top 4 travelers destinations in the region. The cave was named after a type of reed growing outside, which can be formed into flutes.
Reed flute cave - 5

6    Phong Nha Cave – Vietnam

Phong Nha Cave is located in Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park, Vietnam. Phong Nha Cave is 7,729 meters long and has 14 grottoes, as well as about 13,900 meter underground river. While scientists have surveyed 44.5 kilometres of passages, visitors are only allowed to explore just the first 1500 meters.
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7    Puerto Princesa Underground River – Philippines

The Puerto Princesa is a preserved area of the Philippines located about 80 kilometers north of Puerto Princesa, Palawan. This park has a spectacular limestone karst landscape with an underground river.
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8    Eisriesenwelt Ice Cave – Austria

Close to Salzburg, Austria, another kind of gem emerged thousands of years ago. The Eisriesenwelt is a natural limestone and ice cave situated in Werfen, Austria, about 40 kilometers south of Salzburg. This cave is located deep inside the Hochkogel mountain in the Tennengebirge part of the Alps.
Eisriesenwelt ice cave - 8

9    The Blue Grotto – Italy

The Blue Grotto is all natural sea cave, approximately 60 meters long and about 25 meters wide . This cave’s mouth is two meters wide but just meter high, so to enter, guests must take small rowboats that can transport a maximum of four passengers at a time. The Blue Grotto is a sea cave located on the coast of the island of Capri, on the south of Italy.
The blue grotto - 9 - The Best Caves On The Planet

10    Krubera Cave – Georgia

Krubera Cave is the most deepest cave known on the world. Krubera Cave was announced the globe’s deepest cave in 2001 when Ukrainian speleologists managed to reach depths of 1710 meters, exceeding the previous known record in the Austrian Alps. It is located in Georgia.
Krubera cave - 0 - The Best Caves On The Planet

Doesn’t matter which cave ends up to be the deepest, science will win because these deep spaces in the Earth contain a potentially huge amount of data for researchers. If you happen to be within proximity of any of these caves, they are worth the visit.

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