A cave is a large space in the ground that is mostly formed by the breaking down of rocks. This often creates fascinating natural spectacles which in turn means that many famous caves in the world have become popular tourist attractions.
If the inner speleologist in you is attracted by these exogenous spaces formed in a process that often took millions of years, then you’ll surely find the list of caves below extremely fascinating!
1. Mammoth Cave – Kentucky, United States
Mammoth Cave is part of the Mammoth Cave National Park, an American National Park located in the west-central part of the state of Kentucky, primarily in Edmonson County, with the park itself covering an area of 213.8 square kilometers (52,830 acres).
It’s the longest known cave system in the world as it has over 640 kilometers (400 miles) of documented passageways. The cave offers tours for visitors and is a very popular tourist attraction in Kentucky.
2. Blue Grotto – Capri, Italy
The Blue Grotto is a fascinating sea cave located on the north coast of the island of Capri in southern Italy. It can be accessed via an opening in a huge cliff and extends about 50 meters (164 feet) deep into it.
The sunlight shining into the cave creates a remarkable sight as it illuminates the entire space with a magnificent blue or emerald light, which is how the cave got its name as well.
3. Luray Caverns – Virginia, United States
Luray Caverns was originally known as the “Luray Cave” and is a cave located just west of the town of Luray, Virginia, United States. The cave system was only discovered in the year 1878 and has become a popular tourist attraction ever since.
The reason why this cave has become a popular place for visitors is because of its unique beauty in the form of countless amazing stalactites, stalagmites, mudflows, flowstone, and mirrored pools.
4. Cave of the Crystals – Chihuahua, Mexico
Cave of the Crystals is also known as the “Giant Crystals Cave” and this name pretty much explains the whole story. It’s connected to the Naica Mine near the town of Naica, Chihuahua, Mexico, and is situated at a depth of 300 meters (980 feet) below the ground.
This astounding cave is filled with enormous selenite crystals, also referred to as “Gypsum.” These are some of the largest ever to be found in the world with the largest measuring 11.40 meters (37.4 feet).
5. Hang Sơn Đoòng – Quảng Bình Province, Vietnam
Hang Sơn Đoòng is an enormous cave located in the Quảng Bình Province of central Vietnam and is considered to be one of the largest caves in the world by volume, created in a natural process that lasted between 2 and 5 million years.
This immense cave features a fast-flowing underground river that carved the cave to a depth of about 200 meters (660 feet), a width of 150 meters (490 feet), and a length of 5 kilometers (3.1 mi).
6. Lechuguilla Cave – New Mexico, United States
Lechuguilla Cave is another big cave located in Eddy County, New Mexico, United States, and is part of the Carlsbad Caverns National Park. It wasn’t until the 1960s that it was assumed the cave was much bigger than thought back then.
Digging happened in the year 1984 and an additional 222 kilometers (138 miles) of passageways was discovered, eventually culminating in 242 kilometers (150.4 miles) being mapped. This turned this obscure cave into the 8th-longest cave system in the world.
7. Fingal’s Cave – Isle of Staffa, Scotland
Fingal’s Cave is a sea cave located on the uninhabited island of Staffa in the Inner Hebrides archipelago off the west coast of Scotland. It’s not just one of the most famous caves in the world for its immense beauty, but also its natural acoustics.
The cave is owned by the National Trust for Scotland and is part of a national nature reserve. The cave was named after the main hero in a famous Scottish poem written by Scottish poet and historian James Macpherson (1736-1796) in the 18th century.
8. Marble Caves – Aysén, Chile
Marble Caves is easily one of the most amazing cave systems in the world. It’s located in Chile Chico in the Aysén region of Chile in South America. They are situated inside the cliffs of the “General Carrera Lake” in the Patagonia region of the country.
This fascinating feat of nature also referred to as the “Marble Cathedral” or “Catedral de Marmol” in Spanish was formed in a process that took over 6,000 years as the waves crashed into these calcium carbonate cliffs. This has created this unusual and spectacular sight.
9. Batu Caves – Selangor, Malaysia
Batu Caves is the name of a limestone hill that features a vast number of caves. These caves also feature several cave temples which are located in Gombak, Selangor, in the southwestern part of Malaysia.
The name of the caves was derived from the Malay word “batu” which translates to “rock.” The cave is considered to be one of the most famous Hindu shrines outside of India and therefore a popular place for Hindus and tourists alike to visit. The complex was dedicated to Lord Murugan, the Hindu god of war.
10. Melissani Cave – Kefalonia, Greece
Melissani Cave is also known as the “Melissani Lake” and is a cave located on the Greek island of Kefalonia off the west coast of the Greek mainland. The town of Sami is situated about 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) to the southeast of this magnificent cave.
It’s one of the most popular tourist attractions on the island as tourists are able to take boat rides inside this magnificent wonder of nature. The crystalline water appears to be so clear that it feels as if the boats are floating on air, a truly remarkable experience!