An Exploration Tour of These Ten World’s Most Famous Caves Will Inspire the Explorer in You

Hidden mysteries, unmatched adventure and nature’s best kept secrets, these are the first thoughts that come to mind when we think of ‘caves’. Nature never fails to leave us awestruck with its splendour and myriad wonders, and caves are undoubtedly one of its most magnificent creations. When you enter one of the most famous caves in the world, you’ll surely be mesmerised by the spectacular geological formations, stalactites, lakes, caverns, and other amazing sights that await you inside.

Let us travel across the seven continents (virtually as of now) to uncover the mysteries of the most beautiful caves in the world that are worth adding to your travel bucket list.

Here’s a list of the ten most famous caves in the world that are so beautifully formed that just a glance at them will leave you awestruck and your mind boggled. Take a look!

1. Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky, USA

Mammoth Cave National Park

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This fantastic national park is home to the longest cave system in the world with numerous interesting sections and subterranean passageways. You can tour through the spectacular Frozen Niagra, Grand Avenue and Fat Man’s Misery features using one of the many guided tours. The Historic tour and the Domes & Dripstones tours are highly recommended as they allow you to explore some amazing formations. Amongst the most famous caves in USA, Mammoth Caves is a wonderful place to visit with the family.

Tour fee: The basic Mammoth Passage Tour starts from $7/adult

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2. Blue Grotto, Italy

Blue Grotto, Italy

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A brilliant blue like you’ve never seen before awaits you inside this popular cave on the coast of gorgeous Capri Island in southern Italy. An inter-play of sunlight, sea water and two holes in the cave create a magical blue hue that will leave you spellbound as you enter in a tiny rowing boat. It is a good idea to visit a little early to avoid long queues at the entrance, though 12-2 PM is considered the best time. The ticket can be bought at the pier and tipping the boatman ensures you can spend some extra moments inside the beautiful Blue Grotto, soaking in the incredible sight.

Ticket price: 14 Euros/person

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3. Fingal’s Cave, Scotland

Fingal’s Cave

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This breathtaking natural marvel on the uninhabited Staffa Island off Scotland is one of the most famous caves in the world, well-known for its amazing hexagonal basalt columns of volcanic origin. The shape & size of the cave along with its naturally arched roof give it the semblance of a beautiful natural cathedral. You need to climb up a few steep steps supported by a railing to reach this amazing cave, where you can also witness spectacular views all around. The adorable puffins are another highlight of the island and can be spotted opposite Fingal’s Cave.

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4. Carlsbad Caverns National Park, USA

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

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Home to more than 100 caves, the national park makes for an amazing & unforgettable experience with the min-boggling range of natural formations. You can either take a ranger-guided tour or follow the two trails: the magnificent Big Room Trail or the steep Natural Entrance Trail with formations like The Devil’s Spring and Iceberg Rock. The famous Lechuguilla cave known for its unique formations & geology is also part of the Carlsbad Caverns National Park.

Ticket price: $ 12/adult. Ranger-guided tours at an extra cost.

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5. Waitomo Glowworm caves, New Zealand

Waitomo Glowworm caves

Image Credit: 2il org by flickr

One of the most famous caves in the world, Waitomo presents the surreal experience of watching a glittering starry night inside the depths of the cave while you gaze in wonder from your boat. You can walk through part of the limestone cave-system along guided trails before embarking on your magical boat ride on the underground river. The ceiling is lit by thousands of spectacular glowworms, making it an unforgettable experience which the kids also wouldn’t want to miss!

Ticket price: 5 AUD/adult

6. Skocjan Caves, Slovenia

Skocjan Caves

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The jaw-dropping natural beauty of these spectacular caves makes you want to capture those moments forever. Located in the Karst heartland of Slovenia, the awe-inspiring stalactites and stalagmites formations have earned Skocjan caves a UNESCO world heritage status. The well-organised guided tour takes you through amazing natural formations and magnificent caves with a river and waterfalls. As you traverse through the heart of the earth, the entire experience is surreal and unforgettable. You can either take the funicular or the beautiful walking trail on your way back after the tour.

Ticket price: 24 Euro/adult in peak season (April-October)

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7. Reed Flute Cave, China

Reed Flute Cave, China

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Located close to downtown Guilin, this popular attraction is amongst the top famous caves in the world owing to its intricate limestone formations. The beautiful stalactite and stalagmite patterns are accentuated by the colourful lighting, making it a pleasure to walk through the well-maintained cave. Also known as ‘The Palace of Natural Arts’, the cave walls display inscriptions dating back to 8th century BCE. One of the grottos called The Crystal Palace of The Dragon King can hold 1000 people at at time.

Ticket price: 120 Yuan/person

8. Cave of the Crystals, Mexico

Cave of the Crystals

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Also called the Giant Crystal Cave, this surreal cavern features amongst the famous caves of the world for its giant selenite crystal formations. However, this out-of-the-world sight can be witnessed only with the assistance of specialists, as climbing the huge crystals is not an easy task. Special equipment is also needed to bear with the unnatural temperature conditions inside this unusual chamber housing some of the largest crystals in the world.

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9. Eisriesenwelt Cave, Austria

Eisriesenwelt Cave

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Located just 40 Kms away from Salzburg is one of the most famous caves in the world visited by more than 2 lakh tourists every year. Eisriesenwelt has the distinction of being the largest ice cave in the world, extending up to 42 Kms into the earth. When in Salzburg you shouldn’t miss out on this unique natural spectacle of rock and ice, formed by the Salzach river. Two small trails and a scenic cable ride take you to this amazing cave in Austria. Remember to wear warm clothes as it gets quite cold inside.

Ticket price (cave entry & cable car): 24 Euro/adult

10. Hang Son Doong Cave, Vietnam

Hang Son Doong Cave

Image Credit: vtoanstar by Flickr

This spectacular cave is at number one on the list of top 10 biggest caves in the world, with its two daylight windows spilling light inside and creating an otherworldly experience. Tall trees, taller stalagmites, huge rim pools and some of the best speleothems can be spotted inside this magical cave. There are giant cave pearls, unusual fauna and 300 million year old fossils adding to the allure of this natural wonder. You must embark on this adventurous exploration to be rewarded with one of the best experiences and sights in the heart of this magnificent cave.


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