Caves to rock your world... Part 2
There is something mysterious and primeval about being underground that draws us to see the wonders of caves the world over. Here are some more phenomenal ones that we wanted to share with you all.
1. The Mulu Caves, Gunung Mulu National Park, Sarawak, Borneo
At the heart of this UNESCO world heritage site is a remarkable cave system. There are over 295km of explored passageways and the awe-inspiring Sarawak Chamber is the largest known cave chamber on the planet. Be warned, to see this chamber is a challenge even for the most experienced caver! www.mulucaves.org
2. Cango Caves, Oudtshoorn, South Africa
This subterranean wonder of limestone rock formations is truly astounding. For novice cavers there is a short tour which takes you into the central cavern and for the more die-hard travellers out there is a guided tour through the narrow tunnels and chimneys of these caves.
3. The Puerto Princesa Underground River, Palawan, Philippines
This incredible place has actually made it onto the list for the New 7 Wonders of Nature. People travel to this fascinating underground world by boat, on the Puerto Princesa underground river, to see the unique rock patterns here. Just don’t forget your life jacket!
4. Barton Creek Cave, Cayo District, Belize
Belize is home to a huge number of breathtaking underground caves and Barton Creek is remarkable because of its huge domed chambers. To the ancient Mayans this cave system was a sacred place and today the caves are both an archeological site and a tourist attraction. You can take canoe trips here and you can actually swim in the cave’s waters.
5. Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico, USA
Located in the Guadeloupe Mountains, these amazing rock structures are like something out of a cartoon. One of the world’s biggest subterranean chambers is called ‘Big Room’ and is nearly 4,000 ft long (1219 metres). The ceiling is also an impressive 250ft high (76 metres). If you visit do not forget to see the Mexican freetail bats, heading out of the caves to look for insects at dusk. www.nps.gov/cave
6. The Mammoth Cave of Kentucky, USA
This is the longest known cave system in the world, stretching an impressive 400 miles (643.7km) underground. There are over 10 miles of caves for people to explore, whether done at a relaxed pace or on the ultimate challenge which is the 5 hour ‘Wild Cave’ tour. Don’t forget to look out for the rare blind cave fish. www.nps.gov/maca