Marengo Cave, Marengo, Indiana

Description

One of only four show caves open to the public in Indiana, Marengo Cave has been described as one of the most beautiful caves in the eastern United States.
The cave has a variety of large speleothems.
The cave was discovered in 1883 by two children with no evidence to suggest it had ever been accessed by people before. It was quickly realized to be a cave of worth and was opened to the public in that same year.

There are two cave tours offered: The Crystal Palace,and the Dripstone Trail. The Crystal Palace Tour is an easy 40-minute walk through formation-filled rooms past huge flowstone formations. The Dripstone Trail Tour is 60 minutes, about a mile in length, with several unique formations. Delicate soda straws, stalagmites, and the unique penny ceiling can be seen on this tour. Cave exploring trips are also offered that go through undeveloped caves in the area.
Other activities at the cave include: canoeing, The Crawl; a winding maze the is a favorite of kids, camping, and gemstone mining.

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Fantastic Caverns, Springfield, Missouri

Description

Fantastic Caverns is the only cave in North America to offer a completely ride-through tour, which lasts 55 minutes and is done with a clean burning, propane powered Jeep-drawn tram. The tram holds about 25 people. The trams drive along a path left behind by an ancient underground river.
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Lehman Caves, Baker, Nevada

Description

Lehman Caves is a beautiful marble cave ornately decorated with stalactites, stalagmites, helictites, flowstone, popcorn, and over 300 rare shield formations.

Lehman Caves may only be entered with a guided tour. Park rangers lead all tours, explaining the history, ecology, and geology of the caves.
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Indian Caverns, Spruce Creek, Pennsylvania

Description

Indian Caverns is the largest limestone cave in Pennsylvania. The cave is still actively forming formations that include stalactites, stalagmites, soda straws, and more including the largest sheet of flowstone in the northeast refered to as “The Frozen Niagra”.
The tours cover nearly a mile of the cave which is illuminated by several electric lamps. The tour path is well developed with walkways and a few flights of stairs to allow access to explorers of every age.
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Aillwee Cave, Ballycahill, Ireland

Description

Aillwee is one of the most ancient caves in the Burren and perhaps in Ireland. The cave system consists of over a kilometre of passages leading into the heart of the mountain. Its features include an underground river and a waterfall as well as some large stalactites and stalagmites. The remains of bears can also be seen inside the caves and allusions have been made to it being the last bear den in Ireland. Roughly 300 meters (980 ft) of cave passage is open to the public, one third of the total length of the cave. The tours end at a point called the Highway and exit the cave via a 250-metre (820 ft) man-made tunnel. The cave is typical of the Clare caves, consisting in the main of stream passage and ending in a sump. The general direction is east–west but turns due south some 600 metres (2,000 ft) into the cave.
The cave is considerably older than most of the Clare caves and originally contained a large stream. The cave is now largely deserted of the stream and is heavily backfilled with glacial infill. The formations visible on the show cave tour are rarely more than 8000 years old but calcite samples in the recesses of the cave have been dated to over 350,000 years old.
Tours consist of a 30 minute stroll through the caverns – over bridged chasms, under weird formations and alongside the thunderous waterfall.
Other attractions at the cave include the Burren Birds of Prey Center, cheese making, Wood carving, Bow making, Forging, Willow Craft, and more.
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Cave of Swallows, Mexico

Description

The cave of swallows is one of the most famous caves in the world. It has the second deepest entrance drop of the world, 376m deep.
The Spanish name Sótano de las Golondrinas means Basement of the Swallows owing to the many birds which live in holes on the cave walls. Every morning the flocks of birds exit the cave by flying in an upward spiral until they reach the opening. In the evening, the birds circle the mouth of the cave and a small group of around fifty breaks off and flies straight down towards the opening. When they pass through the entrance the birds pull in their wings and free-fall, extending their wings and pulling out of the dive when they near their nests. Watching this has become popular with tourists.

Going down the into pit means a 20 minute abseil to the bottom. Getting back out requires a climb up a rope with rope clamps.

In the last few years the cave has become popular with base jumpers and parachutists.

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Mellisani Lake, Limni Melissani, Greece

Description

Μελισσάνη
The cavern that holds Mellisani Lake was once two big chambers, but it caved in several thousand years ago. Today the cave is B shaped with two big halls filled with water and an island in the middle. The first hall has a large opening in the ceiling that lets the sunlight in. When the sun is directly overhead the whole hall comes to life in a brilliant blue from the lake. So the best time to visit is on a sunny day, but it still is a great visit when the sun is not shining down into it. The second hall is a large cavern with stalactites covered in green algae and moss.
The cave is entered through a steep tunnel that leads to a small pier where the tours start. Tours are given on gondolas around the lake and last about 10 minutes. Then start in the hall with the hole in the ceiling and then around the island and into the second chamber that is lit with electric lamps.
The gondoliers sometimes sing, the acoustics of the cave are amazing.
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Lincoln Caverns, Huntingdon, Pennsylvania

Description

Lincoln Caverns is full of wide variety of speleothems (cave formations), including delicate crystals, sparkling stalactites, and massive flowstones.

Lincoln Caverns was discovered in May of 1930 during the construction of U.S. Route 22. Thirteen months later, on June 25, 1931, it was opened to the public as ‘Hi-Way-May Caverns.’ The family who farmed the land on which the cavern was discovered, were the original developers. After being purchased by Myron Dunlavy it was renamed Lincoln Caverns.
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Cave of the WInds, Manitou Springs, Colorado

Description

The Cave of the Winds was discovered in 1881 but was known to the Ute Indians long before that. The cave was named for the moaning sound, the air produces in the natural entrance. This entrance is high on the cliff face of William’s Canyon. The Visitors Center at the cave entrance provides a breath taking view.
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Rushmore Cave, Keystone, South Dakota

Description

Discovered in the mid-1870s by gold prospectors, Rushmore Cave is the closest cave to Mount Rushmore. The cave is decorated with numerous stalactites, flowstones, ribbons, and other formations.
The cave tour last about an hour and reaches the “Big Room”, which has the most stalactites in any room in the Black Hills.
Other attractions at the cave include a Soaring Eagle Zipline ride, a more extreme adventure cave tour, and gemstone mining.
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