The Marble Caves of Patagonia, Chile, are beautiful vibrant blue caverns, partially submerged in the equally stunning turquoise waters of Carrera Lake. The lake itself is on the border of Argentina and Chile, with the caves located on the Chilean side. The caves are comprised of three main caverns: the Chapel (La Capilla), the Cathedral (El Catedral), and the Cave (La Cueva). Visitors to the caves can explore them in a small boat or kayak, but only when Carrera Lake’s waters are calm and gentle. A rare and invaluable natural wonder, the existence of these caves is currently threatened by plans to build five large dams in the area. If you visit these caves, please treat them with the utmost respect and care.
Fingal’s Cave is located on the uninhabited rock island of Staffa, off the West coast of Scotland. This fascinating cave is formed from hexagon shaped basalt columns. The basalt formed into hexagonal columns when a lava flow cooled in the ocean. The lava flow that created Fingal’s Cave also created the amazing Giant’s Causeway rock formation in Scotland. In Gaelic, Fingal’s Cave is known as Uamh-Binn, meaning “cave of melody”, due to the lovely sounds made by echos of waves crashing inside.
The breathtaking Reed Flute Cave, located 5 kilometers (3 miles) from the city of Guilin in Guangxi, China, is named for the reeds that grow outside the entrance which can be made into flutes. The natural limestone cave is lit with multicolored lights, creating an otherworldly landscape of beauty. The cave itself is over 180 million years old, and has seen visitors for over 1200 years, which is known due to the existence of over 70 ink inscriptions inside the cave, dating back to 792 AD in the Tang Dynasty. Visitors can take an hour long walk through the cave on a U-shaped path to observe the impressive stalagmites, stalactites, and limestone columns that have formed. Also, there is a lovely park outside the cave, with gardens, pagodas, ponds, and peaceful pathways.
Carlsbad Caverns National Park, named for the nearest town of Carlsbad, is located in southeastern New Mexico. It is part of the Guadalupe Mountains. The limestone cavern includes many chambers, the largest of which is called the Big Room and is 4,000 feet 1,219 m) long, 625 feet (190.5 m) wide, and 350 feet (about 107 m) high at the highest point. This chamber is the 7th largest in the world and the 3rd largest on the North American continent. Visitors can choose to explore the caves via a hike down from the natural entrance, or take the elevator directly to the Underground Lunchroom 750 feet (230 m) below the surface. Visitors can take a ranger-guided or a self-guided tour through the caverns. For hours of desperation and more information, see the Carlsbad Caverns National Park official website.