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These Stunning Caribbean Caves Were Just Named One of the World’s Top Attractions by Tripadvisor

These Stunning Caribbean Caves Were Just Named One of the World’s Top Attractions by Tripadvisor

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The Cayman Islands have long lured visitors to its luxurious beaches and tropical forests. But in recent years, travelers have started going underground — literally — to the Cayman Crystal Caves, which was just named one of the top attractions in the world in Tripadvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Awards, announced this week.

Located on the Grand Cayman Island’s Northside, the attraction opened in 2016, with 1.5-hour guided tours leading visitors through a tropical forest and three caves. Formed millions of years ago, the caves were once underwater, as proven by fossilized shells and other signs of sea life. The slow work of Mother Nature, carving out the caves drip-by-drip with rainwater on the limestone has created stunning crystal-like stalagmites and stalagtites, giving the caverns an otherworldly feel.

The tour goes through an open-ceiling cave, a root one, and perhaps the most stunning, a lake cave, illuminated with lights. There’s also a chance to spot balsam trees, air plants, and even parrots and bats in the surrounding forests. For an even more unique adventure, there’s also the Dusk to Dark Evening Bat Tour, where bats fly directly over your head and away into the sunset. 

While the caves had long been there, it wasn’t until the late businessman Christian Sorensen came to the area in the 1990s to survey the caves that the idea of opening them up to the public began. After all, his father Ole Sorensen had developed Barbados’ Harrison’s Cave, and the younger Sorensen thought he might be able to recreate its success in the Cayman Islands.

According to local reports, he spent 1997 to 2011 buying land and building infrastructure for the Cayman Crystal Caves. He finally began work on the exhibit in 2012 and opened it to the public in March 2016.

Now amassing more than 2,700 five-star reviews on Tripadvisor, the Cayman Crystal Caves are the only Caribbean site to make the top 25 list, earning the No. 5 spot, after far more well-known attractions: New York City’s Empire State Building in first, Paris’ Eiffel Tower in second, Amsterdam’s Anne Frank House in third, and Barcelona’s Basilica de la Sagrada Familia in fourth. 

“This attraction was the highlight of our vacation,” one recent visitor wrote on Tripadvisor, also commenting on the tour guide’s knowledge mixed with a sense of humor. “The three caves were breathtaking and I would highly recommend this attraction if you’re spending time on the island!”





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