The Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site is an area of outstanding universal value. Its complex of fossil-bearing caves contains a superbly preserved record of the stages in the evolution of humankind over the past 4-million years. It's the world's richest early hominin site and is home to around 40% of the world's known human-ancestor fossils.
The area is also home to a diversity of birds, animals and plants, some of which are rare or endangered.
Matka - A gorge in which a rich complex of mediaeval building survives, including churches, monasteries and remnants of a fortress (the mediaeval town of Matka).There are dozens of caves and a large number of endemic plants and animals. The Canyon covers an area of around 5.000ha and is located 15km south-west of Skopje. By its morphogenetic characteristic, it is a breakthrough gorge. Krastic form deserve particular attention here-ten caves with their length ranging between 20 and 176 meters and two vertical chasms with a depth up to 35 meters. Matka was one of the largest refugee centers during the glacial period resulting in the presence of a high number of relic and endemic plants, 20% are endemic or relic spices. Among Tertiary relics, the most significant are the Kozani violet and Italy's Ramonda (Ramonda Natalie). It is also important to mention that there are 77 species of Balkan endemic small butterflies in area of Matka Canyon, while 18 other species are new to the science.
Take some time away from the heat of the day in the eerie, underground caverns of the Cueva Can Marça in Puerto de San Miguel. Spookily silent and illuminated in strange colours, the formations of stalagmites and stalactites make for a Jurassic backdrop to the tour of the cavernous galleries.
Originally used by smugglers to store contraband, the marks they used to guide them in the dead of night can still be seen on the walls. At the heart is a spectacular music and light show with a 10 metre cascade of water. Visitors also get to see the magnificent views out to sea from openings hewn into the cliff side.
The underground cavity has the longest horizontal run of the Region of Murcia and its more than 700 meters long. It has different astonishing rooms and spectacular rock formations with
three fantastic audiovisual shows.
Locution and synchronized lighting with LED technology and exciting walkways all provided. Also specialized guides for excursions.
The Cueva del Puerto Reception Centre of Calasparra has a cafeteria, a multipurpose hall also used for conferences, interpretative room, terraces for activities, parking lots, cave tourism centre, etc.
Spread over an area of approximately 15,000 m2, the Exotic Garden is home to a thousand cacti and other succulent plants with stems or hypertrophic leaves which store water. Originally from the planet’s main semi-arid regions, these plants still produce plenty of flowers. The principal flowering seasons are winter (January–February) for South African succulents such as Aloe and Crassula, and spring and summer for cacti, a family native to the American continent.
The enormous trees which line the paths of the Exotic Garden illustrate the age of the collection which served as the basis for the creation of the garden at the instigation of Prince Albert I. Opened to the public in February 1933, and supplemented in the 1960s by a botanical centre and specialist tree nursery, the garden is one of the Principalities most visited tourist attractions.
At the base of the cliff on which the Exotic Garden is situated (called “the observatory” due to the long-standing presence of a small astronomical observatory), at an altitude of 100 metres, there is a subterranean chamber equipped to receive visitors. The limestone rock, carved out by water containing carbon dioxide, is studded with caverns adorned with geological formations bearing evocative names: stalactites, stalagmites, draperies, columns, soda straws...
Expert guided tours of the cave are included in the entry ticket for the Exotic Garden. The tour travels from a depth of 98 metres to a depth of 40 metres (around 300 steps). The chamber plunges down almost to sea level and is regularly explored by local cavers.
The presence of prehistoric humans in the region of the cave is confirmed by the bones of the animals that they ate. These remains also illustrate the climate variations that have taken place over the last 250,000 years.
The salt mining is located about 2 km from the city, in the salt massif of Valcele – Slatinele, at 240 m depth and represents, by the microclimate of salt, an important natural factor of cure used to treat respiratory diseases.
The main feature of the microclimate of the mine is the constancy of physical, chemical and microbiological parameters (without daily or seasonal variations), unlike outside air. The climatic parameters of Romanian's salt mining are temperature( approx. 12 ° - 13 °), relative humidity (approx. 60-80%), airflow speed reduced (almost imperceptible), air pressure is similar to the outside pressure or with little difference.
The largest and most beautiful karst area in central Europe is a place where visitors have their breath taken clean away. The main attraction here is the famous Macocha Abyss, some 138m deep and steeped in terrifying myths and legends. Without doubt the Moravian Karst is one of the natural wonders of the Czech Republic, which will wow every visitor.
John Gray’s crew cares about you and nature; they speak a decent to exciting English and will tell you a lot about what you are about to see and discover. Boats never get crowded, and food on board is excellent. You’ll be asked to respect Nature around you as much as they do, which means no touching, no loud talking and of course no smoking while you are exploring the famous ‘Hongs’ (enclosed lagoons, usually only accessible through a narrow tunnel when tides permit). They also try to avoid crowded places: a Hong with a hundred canoes in it is not exactly a grand vision of nature at its best.
On the way, you will be amazed to see the size and the amount of these fantastic limestone formations rising straight up from the sea and covered with dense vegetation. While moving from one island to another, the crew will throw some chicken bits in the air, and dozens ‘Bramany Kites’ (some Sea Eagles) will flock and dive behind the boat.
The limestone of the Picardy plateau was dug out in many places to form refuges. These refugees were called "muches" (hideouts in Picard language). Those in Naours, rediscovered at the end of the last century, are the largest known: all the underground areas combined can house around 2,600 people with their livestock. The layout is remarkable: around 300 chambers, public squares, stables, wells, chimneys, and a chapel with three naves. These underground areas were used by the British forces during the First World War and were used as the headquarters of the German forces during the second world war. Exhibitions of traditional trades.
In the park: games, 2 windmills from the 18th century.
Mother Shipton’s is a beloved Knaresborough landmark and England’s oldest visitor attraction, open since 1630. This popular visitor attraction tells the story of Mother Shipton and the Petrifying Well. A picturesque mile-long walk along the River Nidd features the cave where famous Yorkshire prophetess Mother Shipton was born. It is situated next to the Petrifying Well, a unique geological phenomenon. Over hundreds of years, curiosity has drawn millions of visitors to the well to see cascading water turn everyday objects to stone - as if by magic.
People around the world visit the park, a remnant of the Royal Forest of Knaresborough with some of the oldest, tallest beech trees in the country.
Mother Shipton was born in a cave in 1488 and grew up around Knaresborough. As she grew older, her prophecies became known throughout England. She foretold the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 and the Great Fire of London in 1666. She made her living telling the future and warning those who asked of what was to come.
Great for all ages, there’s fun for families in the adventure playground, scenic picnic areas, interactive trails and actors during events, and petrified objects displayed in the museum and gift shop.
The world's largest limestone mine. An endless maze of galleries with caves as large as cathedrals and narrow paths where an adult man cannot walk upright.
An enormous 60 km labyrinth of passageways with caverns as large as a cathedral, and narrow tunnels where you have to walk doubled up. 2 km of the passageways are lit. A multi-media presentation shows the history of the mines. Exhibitions and films tell about bats, geology and mining.
Groups are granted admission all the year round with prior reservation.
Guided tours in Danish, English and German can be arranged.
Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park - is a national park in Quang Binh province in central Vietnam with an area of 885 km². The National Park has the oldest karst mountains in Asia, which has formed about 400 million years ago. There are hundreds of caves, underground rivers and long underground passages with stalactites and stalagmites. In 2005 the park has been discovered a new species of gecko. The park has about 300 caves and caverns with a total length of 70 km. British and Vietnamese scientists have examined 20 km. There are many underground rivers, streams and waterfalls in the park. Phong Nha - Ke Bang included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Serious exploration of the caves began only in the 1990s when it first Cavers forced deep into Phong Nha Cave, one of the longest cave systems in the world. Paradise Cave was discovered in 2005, and in 2009 a team found the world's largest cave - the Son Doong. In 2015, the public was given access to two cave systems.
Serious exploration of the caves began only in the 1990s when it first Cavers forced deep into Phong Nha Cave, one of the longest cave systems in the world. Paradise Cave was discovered in 2005, and in 2009 a team found the world's largest cave - the Son Doong. In 2015, the public was given access to two cave systems.
The Marble Mountains are a cluster of five hills made from limestone and marble in Da Nang. It's also a well-known pilgrimage site with peaks, caves, tunnels and temples all just waiting to be discovered. Named after the elements metal, wood, water, fire and earth, Marble Mountains exist in a coastal area that is renowned for stone-cutting and sculpture about 9km south of Da Nang.
The caves within the mountains hold many secrets including bullet holes from when troops used to spy on the US soldiers relaxing on My Khe Beach below and buildings standing within the caves and grottoes. There are also Buddhist sanctuaries and places of worship dotted across the mountains which are a much-visited spiritual site. You can even see a special circular cave here. It leads to the summit, where you can enjoy spectacular panoramic views.
The Perfume Pagoda, known locally as Chua Huong or ‘inner temple’, is at the centre of a very revered and sacred site featuring a maze of mainly Buddhist temples built into the limestone cliffs of Huong Tich. At the heart of this complex lies the Perfume Temple or Perfume Pagoda in the Huong Tich Cave.
It is believed that the first temple was built here in the 15th century, although legend declares that the site was actually discovered over 2,000 years ago by a Buddhist monk who was meditating nearby. The mountain foothills are an area of great natural and spiritual beauty filled with streams, tropical plants and temples.
There are many pagodas to visit, each offering a different shrine, most of which are Buddhist although one or two are animist. The Perfume Pagoda attracts pilgrims and tourists seeking good luck from the stalagmites and stalactites inside the cave which have been named according to the individual blessing they can bestow. Dun Tien offers prosperity and Nui Co offers the chance of giving birth to a girl whilst Dun Gao translates as a ‘rice stack’ to those hoping for a bountiful harvest.
Located in the Maros regency in the province of South Sulawesi, the Bantimurung Bulusaraung National Park is a mere 50 km from Makassar or 20 km from the Sultan Hasanuddin international airport. The Bantimurung National Park has a total area of approximately 43,750 hectares and is divided into three major types of ecosystems, namely the karst ecosystems, a lowland forest ecosystem, and a lower montane forest ecosystem.
The valleys of limestone hills and steep karts walls with tropical vegetation have made Bantimurung an ideal habitat for various rare and endemic species of butterflies, birds and insects. Although there are not as many butterflies today as there were during Wallace’s expedition, visitors can still observe the wide variety of butterflies within the Butterfly Conservation Captivity managed by the Center for Butterfly Breeding.
Within the national park, visitors can also find a butterfly museum which houses thousands of unique and rare butterflies that have and still inhabit the area. By the butterfly center, the fascinating Bantimurung waterfall draws visitors with its powerful rush of water and refreshing atmosphere. This is a favourite holiday destination, especially on weekends.
Due to its position on the Mid-Atlantic ridge, Iceland is one of the most active volcanic regions in the world. Its unique geological conditions make for some awe-inspiring rock formations, both beneath the surface as well as above it. Various tube caves—formed by magma flowing underneath the earth's surface after lava has solidified overhead—can safely be explored through guided excursions year-round.
For safety reasons, different caves are explored during different seasons. The most commonly visited caves are the Gjábakkahellir Cave near Þingvellir National Park in the summer months, and the Leiðarendi Cave in the Bláfjöll area in wintertime.
The Abbey Caves Reserve comprises of naturally sculptured limestone outcrops, bluffs, enclosed depressions, sinkholes and three significant caves, Organ, Middle and Ivy. Two distinct areas of native bush with well established podocarp-hardwood forest include particularly fine specimens of puriri trees.
Nathaniel and Amelia Clotworthy settled on 409 acres here in about 1860. Their house in the limestone outcrops resembled an Irish ‘abbey’ leading to the name. The house was destroyed by fire in 1920 but the site is still marked by chimney remains. A grave of one of the Clotworthy children also remains from 1884. The land was bought by the Golden Bay Cement Company as a site to establish a mine, but in 1989 they sold it to the then City Council as a reserve for the people of Whangarei.
Spectacular Crystal Caves located in a Lush Tropical Forest. Fully guide by local guides. One of Caymans newest and most popular tourist attrations: Situated in a lush tropical forest in Northside, Grand Cayman, Cayman Crystal Caves is the island’s newest nature tourist attraction All visitors receive guided walking tours. Tours are approximately 1 ½ hours and take you through the surrounding tropical forest area and 3 caves spectacular caves. When you visit Cayman Crystal Caves, you will be escorted with a knowledgeable Tour Guide, and you will join us on an adventure exploration of “Cayman Down Under”. You will venture into amazing caves where you’ll see stalactite and stalagmite crystal structures and otherworldly formations, formed by single drops of water and the slow passage of time. Tour through the unique tropical forest nature, under which the caves formed. Amongst the forest and caves is captivating tropical plant and animal life, including strangler balsam trees, air plants, parrots, and bats…. Winner of the Governor's Award - The Tourism Industry Conservation Award One of the very highest rated top "Things To Do in Grand Cayman"
The following is a first person account of one woman’s visit to explore the mysterious cave of the Maya underworld at Actun Tunichil Muknal – also known as the ATM Cave. This attraction is located in the western part of the country and is one of the more interesting places to visit.
The ATM cave is a hiking and adventure experience with the added dimension of being an educational trip for those interested in archaeology. Here you will find Maya artefacts just the way they were left by the Mayas hundreds of years ago. The cave is ranked as one of the Top Ten Caves Of The World by the National Geographic Society. National Geographic and the Discovery Channels and History have done documentaries on this spectacular cave.