Best Caving Destinations: 17 Best Places for Cave Trips


Some of the best adventure vacations take place underground. Touring the best caving destinations offers an intriguing and extraordinary view of the mysteries deep inside the earth.

Also known as spelunking, caving is a unique and captivating adventure that almost feels otherworldly. The geological diversity in the depths of the earth holds secrets of fascinating life forms and natural formations. It is a whole new world of wonder right under our feet.

Do you want to explore some of the world’s best underground waterfalls or go diving in the dark? Or would you rather take a boat ride or explore a hiking trail? Whether you are a nature lover or an adventure junkie, there are so many things to do on a cave tour.

But with so many caves and caverns scattered all over the globe, you are likely wondering where to start. We have curated a comprehensive list of some of the world’s best places for a spelunking adventure. So put on your helmet and grab a flashlight, and let’s explore

Best Caving destinations for Nature Lovers


For a nature enthusiast, spelunking is not simply about the adventure. It also means an opportunity to connect with the environment and enjoy natural wonders. Here are the best caving destinations for fans of the outdoors:

Son Doong Cave, Vietnam

As the largest cave in the world by volume, Son Doong is 9 kilometers long, 200 meters high and 150 meters wide. The massive chambers in themselves a marvel of nature. It is also home to unique and diverse ecosystems, including an entire jungle. Sunbeams filter through the cracks into this jungle to support the vibrant animal and plant ecosystem.

It has an enchanting underground river and a number of hidden waterfalls that cascade from underground cliffs. Breathtaking limestone formations line the interior adding to its appeal. Due to its remoteness, it remains relatively untouched. Exploring this cave is an unforgettable adventure of at least two days that involves trekking, river crossings and camping.

Lechuguilla Cave, New Mexico

This is one of the longest and deepest caves on the planet. It consists of a maze-like network of passages that offer a fun exploration experience. Here you will find some of the most stunning mineral formations ever. These include rare helictites, delicate soda straws and gypsum chandeliers.

It is home to rare microorganisms that have attracted the interest of cave biologists and added to scientific discoveries. Remote underground passages make it a great destination for adventurers looking for a challenge.

Reed Flute Cave, China

Located in Guiling, Guangxi, China, this limestone cave is a spectacular work of art. It has a vast gallery of stalactites, stalagmites, stone curtains and rock columns. Some of the unique formations resemble well-known landmarks such as the Great Wall of China and the Statue of Liberty. Colorful lighting inside the cave transforms it into a dazzling attraction.

Rock art and inscriptions dating back more than 12 centuries give it cultural appeal and offer a peek into ancient Chinese dynasties.

Skocjan Caves, Slovenia

This is one of the best adventures for cave lovers. It takes you into a spectacular subterranean world with one of the largest underground canyons. Reka River cuts through this gorge creating a breathtaking spectacle.

The stunning landscape features intricate speleothems and dramatic sinkholes. There are cliffs, waterfalls and tunnels further enhancing the visual feast. Nature lovers will appreciate the variety of cave-dwelling plants and creatures here.  Due to its exceptional geological diversity, Skokjan is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Fingal’s Cave, Scotland

For all the sea lovers in the house, Fingal’s Cave is one of the most magnificent places to visit for a spelunking vacation. Formed by volcanic activity, it is famed for its striking landscape of basalt formations. These hexagonal columns join together like puzzle pieces for a distinctive visual effect.

The sea cave sits on the uninhabited island of Staffa with amazing coastal cliffs and extraordinary views. It is a remote area that connects you to nature in a pure, untouched setting. The echo of crashing waves inside the cave creates a mesmerizing acoustic effect.

Adding cultural depth to this location is the fact that it has inspired many creators. Among these are poet William Wadsworth, author Walter Scott and composer Felix Mendelssohn

Eisriesenwelt Ice Cave, Austria

This 42-kilometer-long mountain-side attraction is the world’s largest ice cave. Its name translates to “World of the Ice Giants,” describing the stunning ice sculptures that define the interior. Other intriguing formations include frozen waterfalls, thick ice walls, icicles and mind-boggling water droplets. The interaction between light and this icy scenery creates a mesmerizing ambience.

The entrance sits more than 120 meters above ground. You can take a 90-minute hike on a scenic trail to get there or take a cable car ride. Even in the heart of summer, the temperature here remains below zero degree; come prepared. Despite this, it supports a variety of plants and animals.

Best Caving Destinations for Family Vacations

If you are on a family vacation, you would want to pick a kid-friendly caving experience with fun things to do for the little ones. Here are the best caving destinations for families:

Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky, USA

Described as the world’s longest caving system, Mammoth Cave has passageways spanning nearly 390 miles underground. The name comes from this extensive interior and because of its sheer size, it has been named a Biosphere Reserve and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Its potential for fun is not simply limited to kids. There are cave tours for people of all ages. However, there is a wide range of kid-friendly tour options to match their curiosity level and abilities. The temperature is moderate year-round and kids can earn badges for completing tours. As a bonus, there is plenty of above ground activities such as camping and hiking.

Jenolan Caves, Australia

Known as the world’s oldest caves, Jenolan Caves are among the most outstanding destinations for cave trip lovers. These caves are highly reputed for their intricate formations which capture kids’ imagination. The interiors have a thick draping of crystal formations of wave crystal, helictites, crystal shawls, stalagmites and stalactites. A pure blue underground river hides in the depths and tracking the river bed is a fun adventure.

Some of the tours are so easy, there is no minimum age, while others are moderate. There are more adventurous options for teenagers and older children. Remember to dress warm – the temperature is about 15 degrees year-round.

Postojna Cave, Slovenia

One of the most fun cave tours for kids in the world takes you to the fairy-like underground world of Postojna Cave. The family-friendly destination boasts ramps and pathways that comfortably accommodate prams. Getting there is an adventure thanks to an underground train ride. It waves through scenic terrain to the breathtaking paradise.

There are huge cathedral-like halls, a sparkling river, ponds and tall mountains. The rare and mysterious olms that live here are an exciting spectacle for children. Due to their appearance, they are popularly referred to as baby dragons. Be sure to visit the nearby Predjama Castle to complete this experience.

Waitomo Caves, New Zealand

These caves are most famed for their glowworms, an enchanting sight for children and adults alike. The tours mostly involve scenic boat rides along an underground river.  In addition to observing the captivating creatures, kids will love the spectacular crystal and limestone formations. Some of the most outstanding of these are stunning pink, brown and white stalagmites and stalactites.

One of the best adventures here includes exploring the Troll Cave to try and find Tom the Troll. It is a one-hour adventure that involves solving puzzles and comes with plenty of surprises.

Best Caving Destinations for Underwater Adventures

For the adrenaline junkies among us, nothing beats the thrill of exploring underwater caves. While blue holes provide a high level of intrigue and adventure, they are also extremely dangerous. Most are restricted to highly experienced divers, but still claim lives.

If your idea of adventure involves jumping into a deep abyss, here are the best diving destinations for cave exploration:

The Blue Hole, Belize

In this unique geological formation, a ring of coral reef surrounds a huge, dark blue underwater sinkhole. Though it is about 130 meters deep, it offers remarkable visibility. Divers can therefore see chandeliers of stalactites and stalagmites as well as marine life in its mysterious waters. Among the forms of aquatic life found here are Caribbean reef sharks, hammerheads, Bermuda chub, hawkbill sea turtles and spotted eagle rays.

It is a great exploration adventure, best experienced by seasoned divers. The deepest sections of this amazing landscape are the most captivating. However, divers have less than 10 minutes worth of oxygen before they have to start on the ascent to the surface.

Eagle’s Nest Sinkhole, Florida, USA

Known as one of the most dangerous diving sites worldwide, the Eagle’s Nest is about 300 meters deep. What makes it particularly fascinating is its complex terrain with extensive submerged chambers and tunnels. The water does not look inviting from the top; it appears green and murky.

Visibility under the surface is not always great. But when conditions are good, it is exceptionally clear. The mazelike world in its depths consists of large chambers as well as tight passages where divers have to squeeze through. A major plus here is that the location is close to other famous cave systems. Divers can therefore explore multiple sites in one trip. Note however that the Eagle’s Nest is restricted to the most experienced divers.

The Great Blue Hole, Bahamas

Bahamas is home to the 40,000-acre Blue Hole National Park, which has hundreds of blue holes. Divers have explored only 50 of these. And among them, recreational explorers are only allowed to venture into seven. One of the best caving destinations among these is the Lost Ocean Blue Hole, accessible to all manner of divers, even novices.

Being a predominantly freshwater area, the formations here are mostly intact. It is therefore known to have fascinating fossils said to date back thousands of years. In the more complex blue holes such as Stargate, there are more intriguing prehistoric remains and rare endemic species. However, these require technical certification.

Samaesan Hole, Thailand

Known as the most perilous dive site in Thailand, the Samaesan Hole is 280 meters deep. It is known to have strong underwater currents that push divers off course. The site was also an explosives’ dump ground and still has unexploded bombs on the seabed.

Used as a passing out site for technical divers, the site is home to a rich marine biodiversity. In addition to spectacular coral reefs, there are diverse species of fish and other sea creatures. Visibility is excellent and there are plenty of fascinating geological formations. The site sits in a scenic location with a picturesque backdrop of stunning coastal views.

Best Caving destinations for Seasoned Cavers

In addition to the above blue holes, there are a number of other noteworthy sites for technical divers:

Krubera Cave, Georgia

From outside, this cave appears unremarkable. But it is the second-deepest in the world and one of the best caving destinations for extreme thrill seekers. Tunnels and dramatic chasms with depths of up to 100 meters in some places make it a challenging adventure. From the highest entrance point, the deepest point explored so far is about 2,200 meters deep.

Limestone erosion has created a labyrinth-like interior with challenging passages and chambers. The subterranean world has a frozen waterfall, small lakes and streams. Some of the areas are only accessible to underground divers.

However, some of the chambers are flooded and extremely hard to reach. Explorers require special equipment to access most of this sub-vertical terrain. It is therefore difficult to map it accurately. To date, no one has toured the cavern in its entirety.

Sistema Huautla, Mexico

Not only is this one of the world’s largest caves, it is also the deepest in the Western world. Its incredibly extensive cave system has miles and miles of chambers, pits and passageways. In addition to the maze-like design, it has captivating limestone formations and speleothems. It is among the best caving destinations for avid explorers.

The complex ecosystem has underground rivers, dramatic caverns and plenty of cave-dwelling creatures. This geological wonderland offers diverse experiences including cave diving and cave mapping – it is still under exploration. For cavers who love the outdoors, the scenic setting in the remote Sierra Mazateca region is a big plus.

Ogof Ffynnon Ddu, Wales, UK

One of the most popular extreme caving adventures takes us to Britain’s deepest and third-longest cave. Located under the Brecon Beacons in Wales, it is 275 meters deep at the deepest point. There are about 61 kilometers of passageways. These feature gaping chasms, massive chambers and river passages.

Some areas require steep descents down pitches, squeezing through narrow passages and crossing streams. There are a number of underground rivers and lakes for cave diving enthusiasts. Given the technical challenges of its terrain, the cave system is only accessible to experienced cavers. Some of its streamways rise rapidly in rainy weather and can be perilous. The complexity of its passages also poses a challenge to first-time visitors.

choosing the best Caving destinations for All Types of Adventurers

Whether you are attracted to the fascinating formations that define caves, the mystery or the challenge, there is a caving vacation adventure out there for everyone. A cave trip takes you into a new world beneath our feet with wonders that capture our imagination. It gives you a glimpse into the past and unravels the secrets of subterranean ecosystems.

Cave tours with kids can be educational and thrilling, great for young minds and certainly unforgettable. Whether you are an experienced caver, a thrill seeker or a nature enthusiast, these adventures promise an experience that few others can match. The underground world beckons!

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