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For the adventurer in you: The top 10 exotic caves from around the world

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By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
2/16/2015 (4 years ago)
Catholic Online (

Caves can be a uniquely beautiful natural occurrence or a well-designed man-made structure.

The hidden treasures of the world captivate the adventurous hearts of common people everyday. Caves are unique; no two caves are the same.

The beautiful and hidden Actun Tunichil Muknal cave in Belize.

The beautiful and hidden Actun Tunichil Muknal cave in Belize.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) Ancient civilizations used caves for places of worship or hiding. These caves were preserved and exist to this day.

If you ever find yourself needing excitement and a thrill, visiting a cave is something to do. Here are the top 10 exotic caves of the world:

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St. Pauls Grotto, Malta

St. Pauls Grotto, Malta

Lengend says, St. Paul resided in this cave after being shipwrecked.

Named after St. Paul, this Maltese cave served as the home for St. Paul after he shipwrecked on Malta in A.D. 60. Former Roman prisoner, St. Paul is said to have survived a venomous snake bite and helped perform miracles on the local ill. "The Maltese, in turn, viewed him as a god," explained Perfect Vacation.

Sof Omar Caves, Ethiopia

Sof Omar Caves, Ethiopia

The Sof Omar Caves in Ethiopia are described as, "a natural architectural marvel."

"Sof Omar is an extraordinary natural phenomenon of breathtaking beauty," stated Ethiovisit. Legends says, Allah opened the gated to this amazing limestone cave system. He showed the beauty to Sof Omar in the 12th century. This cave was mainly used as a mosque for the sheikh. "Sof Omar caves is truly a natural architectural marvel," explained Perfect Vacation.

Bronze-Age Minoan Caves, Crete, Greece

Bronze-Age Minoan Caves, Crete, Greece

Part of the Bronze-Age Minoan Caves in Crete, Greece, the Dikton cave is believed to be the birth place of Zeus.

Crete is loaded with Greek caves, those of which are directly associated with Greek gods. There are more than 3,000 caves in the county, according to Perfect Vacation. One of the Bronze-Age Minoan caves, the Dikton cave, is assumed to be the birth place of Zeus.

Grotte de Font-de-Gaume, France

Grotte de Font-de-Gaume, France

The Grotte de Font-de-Gaume, France hosts many ancient paintings of bison, horses and mammoths.

Paintings of bison, horses and mammoths paint the walls of this 15,000-year-old cave. "A place to enjoy that will invoke deep thought," says Perfect Vacation.

St. Michaels Shrine, Italy

St. Michaels Shrine, Italy

The St. Michaels Shrine of Italy is located in Monte Sant'Angelo.

Situated in Monte Sant'Angelo, this cave system is said to have been chosen by the archangel Michael. "It is said that Michael appeared in front of the Bishop of Sipontum around A.D. 490 and declared 'Where the rocks open widely, the sins of men may be pardoned.'"

Dambulla Cave, Sri Lanka

 Dambulla Cave, Sri Lanka

Five Buddhist shrines sit in the middle of this Sri Lanka cave.

This spectacular cave is located at an elevation of 1,118 feet from the sea level rises a massive rock from surrounding plains of Dambulla of 600 feet high and over 2,000 feet in length, according to SriLankaView. Five

Buddhist cave shrines and many sculptures, paintings and murals are spread throughout this cave.

Corycian Cave, Greece

Corycian Cave, Greece

Commonly used for worship the Corycian Cave in Greece is located on Mount Parnassus.

Located on Mount Parnassus, this cave was a place of worship in ancient Greece. There is an alter-resembling rock perfectly placed in the entrance where, rumor has it, the god Pan and the nymphs worshiped.

Actun Tunichil Muknal, Belize

Actun Tunichil Muknal, Belize

Actun Tunichil Muknal, Belize provides explorers with a unique journey, including underwater traveling.

Reaching this legendary Mayan cave is not easy. "One must hike, wade and underwater swim," states Perfect Vacation. But if you make it, this is a life-changing view.

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Longmen Caves, China

 Longmen Caves, China

China's Longmen Caves is the home to 2,345 caves and nichings, 2,800 inscriptions and 40 pagodas.

Built into Xiangshan and Longmen Shan hillsides above the Yi River this temple of grottoes hosts a number of Buddhist carvings. The total number of artifacts adds up to 2,345 caves and nichings, 2,800 inscriptions and 40 pagodas.

Elephanta Caves, Gharapuri Island, India

Elephanta Caves, Gharapuri Island, India

The Elephanta Caves are an ideal destination for a half-day trip.

According to Via Fodors, "A quick 30-minute ferry ride from bustling South Mumbai, the Elephant Caves are an ideal half-day trip for anyone who wants a relatively quick glimpse of India's ancient history." Inside the cave, each wall had a "16-foot-tall rock carving of Lorda Shiva, the destroyer, in his many forms, depicting famous events from the Hindu epics," explained Perfect Vacation.


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