Most people unaware of the most breathtaking travel destinations in the ground beneath their feet. We can see some are human-made constructions, and others are fascinating natural wonders. Like scuba diving and space travel, a trip to underground places also gives us a much adventurous experience. It also provides the chance to find out the history and many mysterious things. Here we discussed the top ten amazing underground tourist spots to visit.
10 Ruby Falls, United States
Leo Lambert accidentally discovered these breathtaking falls in 1928. It is the deepest and tallest underground waterfall in the United States that open to the public. This waterfall got its name from Leo Lambert’s wife, whose name was ‘Ruby.’
The temperature inside the Ruby Falls is a cool 60 degrees Fahrenheit year-round. Experts estimated this waterfall around 30 million years old. More than half a million visitors visit this thundering waterfall every year, hidden deep within Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga.
An underground stream, 1120 feet below ground, formed this Ruby Falls. Both rainwater and natural springs fed them. Additionally, the officials opened Ruby Falls cave for tourism in 1930. These caves became the first to feature electric lights for tourism purposes.
The water of these Ruby falls contains a large amount of Magnesium that makes it a natural laxative. The cave also features many of the more popular types of cave formations such as stalactites and stalagmites, columns, drapery, and flowstone.
9 Luray Caverns, United States
Luray Caverns are the most massive caverns in Eastern America, found deep beneath Virginia’s the Blue Ridge Mountains. This one of the amazing underground tourist spots is one of the most visited in the United States since its discovery in 1878. It is also home to The Great Stalacpipe Organ, the world’s largest musical instrument.
What else will you see on this cave tour? Enormous chambers, weird shapes, and shimmering draperies are most popular here. We can find some chambers with 10-stories high ceilings, studded with towering stone columns. We can also see the crystal-clear subterranean pools and lakes.
The cavern system is one of the amazing underground tourist spots to visit, well-known with speleothems such as columns, stalagmites, mudflows, stalactites, flowstone, and mirrored pools. We can see Dream Lake, a spring of water that has a mirror-like appearance.
8 Wieliczka Salt Mine, Wieliczka, Poland
The Wieliczka Salt Mine lies within the Kraków metropolitan area in the town of Wieliczka, southern Poland. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site, begun in the 13th century. It attracts a million visitors to marvel at its amazing carvings and salt made statues every year.
The underground Wieliczka Salt Mine also boasts magnificent chambers, kilometers of walkways and ramps, underground lakes, museums, chapels, and breathtaking salt statues. Without a doubt, we can say it is one of the most popular underground tourist places to visit in Central Europe. The mine is currently one of the official national Historic Monuments of Poland.
Around 1.2 million people visit this place annually. We need to descend 140 meters below the surface on this more-than-700-year-old Wieliczka Salt Mine tour. The mine has a significant role in Poland’s colossal wealth. But we know it also becomes a cultural treasure trove, filled with natural wonders like underground lakes and elaborate salt carvings.
7 The Paris Catacombs, France
Paris Catacombs’ history starts in the late eighteenth century. Catacombs are the underground ossuaries, created from old quarry tunnels in Paris, France. Why catacombs exist? In the 18th century, cemeteries were often running out of space. Additionally, people did not bury some bodies properly. So diseases spread throughout the city.
It was time to move the city’s dead for such a significant public health threat. It holds the remains of over six million people. Catacombs were built 20 meters below Paris and stretch for around 200 miles. The officials opened it to the public in 1809. At first, people just threw the bodies into the crypt tunnels via cart.
Some workers decided to make its atmosphere lighter and more entertaining. So they started to display the bones in decorative shapes such as hearts and circles. The barrel is one of the most well-known decorations. We can find one of the oddest from them might be the mushroom cultivation.
6 The Waitomo Caves, King Country, New Zealand
They are one of the most famous natural attractions in New Zealand. People described it as a point of interest among visitors and locals alike for many centuries. Entering this super-popular New Zealand attraction is a real underground adventure. Additionally, Maori chief Tane Tinorau discovered the cave during the 1800s.
A gnat species, Arachnocampa Luminosa, are the New Zealand glowworms that reside exclusively inside these caves. Therefore, these Caves look impressive with their grottos of glowworms and crazy rock formations. Almost every corner of the roofs and walls of these subterranean marvels adorned with sparkling creations that we can see in pink, pale brown, and white.
Most people will only know about the three main caves, such as the Ruakuri Cave, Lucky Strike, and Tumutumu Cave in Waitomo. We can see the chambers of pure white limestone under the Earth’s surface, and the glow worms illuminated the stalactites and stalagmites.
5 Raufarholshellir lava tunnel, Iceland
Raufarholshellir is the magnificent lava tunnel, located just 30 minutes from Reykjavík. People can easily access it year-round. It is one of Iceland’s longest and best-known lava tubes. Journey through this one of the amazing underground tourist spots is a unique experience. Additionally, Seventh-day Adventist Church owned this land containing the cave.
The tunnel has a total length of 4500 ft and the central tunnel being 3000 ft long. This tunnel is reaching up to 30 m wide with headroom up to the height of 10 m, making it one of Iceland’s most expansive lava tunnels. Additionally, the longest cave formed as a lava tube during the Leitahraun eruption occurred at Blafjoll mountains’ east about 5200 years ago.
The cave has microbial mats that contain a wide variety of microorganisms like actinobacteria and acidobacteria. We can see spectacular ice sculptures every winter here, formed inside the cave entrance. Moreover, it also explores the rainbow-colored walls, holes in the ceiling, and stunning rock formations.
4 Mammoth Cave National Park, United States
An American national park, Mammoth Cave National Park, contains the world’s longest cave system Mammoth Cave. With 350 miles of mapped caves, explorers continue to discover new passageways. Over 2 million people visit this Mammoth Cave National Park every year. Moreover, its cave system began to form over 280 million years ago.
We can find some of the animals include deer, foxes, beavers, wild turkeys, owls, coyotes, woodchucks, and muskrats, in the park. We can also see around 100 fish species in the Green River. Additionally, the Frozen Niagara, the Grand Avenue, and the Fat Man’s Misery are some of the cave system’s highlights in the park.
Mammoth Cave National Park has 41 miles of cave trails that officials developed for tourists to explore. Visitors can also take an underground boat tour in Lost River Cave. This 52,830 acre Mammoth Cave National Park is one of the most amazing underground spots to visit, located in central Kentucky, United States.
3 Basilica Cistern, Turkey
Basilica Cistern is one of the splendid historical buildings in Istanbul. Byzantine Emperor Justinian I built this sizeable underground cistern in AD 532. Additionally, It is one of the amazing underground tourist spots and a giant underground water reservoir. People also called it as “Yerebatan Cistern” due to its underground marble columns.
As there is a Basilica in the cistern’s place, we also called it as Basilica Cistern. This underground structure includes 4.80 m high brick walls, bricks covered the floor, and a thick layer of brick dust mortar plastered for water tightness. Additionally, it is covering a total area of about 9,800 sqm.
One hundred thousand tons are the estimated water storage capacity of the cistern. Three hundred thirty-six columns supported this atmospheric reservoir, salvaged from other structures over the centuries. The cistern’s main attraction is the Medusa-head column bases. Moreover, the best time to visit this place on a hot summer day due to its cavernous depth.
2 Eisriesenwelt, Austria
It is the world’s largest ice cave system in the world. The cave system extends an enormous 26 miles deep into the mountain. This natural ice cave is a part of Hochkogel Mountain in Werfen, Austria. The Salzach River created this natural limestone, which flowed through the mountain. Additionally, a scientist named Anton Posselt discovered it in 1879.
We will also find Alexander von Mork Cathedral, one of the largest areas inside the caves. This area is also the resting place of his ashes. Only the first one kilometer, the area that officials allowed the tourists to visit, covered in ice—the remaining part of the cave, made of limestone. Around 200,000 tourists visited the Eisriesenwelt cave every year.
The Great Ice Embankment is one area where we can find the largest and tallest ice growth. From the entrance, the first stop in the cave is the Poselt Hall for the visitors. Here, we can see the magnificent Posselt Tower Stalagmite. The cave temperature also remains below freezing point in the summer. Moreover, it is still growing, too.
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1 Coober Pedy, Australia
This whole city exists in the underground! The population of this area stands at around 3,500 residents from about 40 various countries. Also, it is better known for its underground houses. But people around the world noted here for something else: its opals. People referred to this town as the “opal capital of the world,” where we can find most of these precious gems.
Many jobs in this Coober Pedy revolve around opal mining. Most people choose this town to live underground in dugout houses to rescue from the high temperatures during the summer months. Additionally, Coober Pedy has an opal gallery, Museums, around 30 shops, Umoona Opal mine, the Old Timers Mine.
It also has fantastic natural landscapes, including the Breakaways, the painted desert, the Moon Plain, etc. Moreover, Coober Pedy is the most famous stopover point when we are traveling to Alice Springs. The graveyard and the underground churches are the most popular tourist destination. It also holds the position in the list of most amazing underground tourist spots.