My Favorite Caves

As an avid explorer, I can say with pride that I have seen some of the most beautiful parts of the world that Mother Nature has to offer and I am always amazed that there are so many beautiful things that I have yet to see in the world. My trips have taken me all over the world, from one natural landmark to another, each one seemingly more beautiful than the next. Lately, I have fallen in love with cave exploration and have traveled to quite a few countries where they are known for their expansive and majestic cave sites.

With so many different types of caves located throughout the world, I literally can go to any region of the globe and be assured of an awesome experience. Really, no two treks are ever alike and my favorites tend to change every year once I find a new location that really gets me excited. If you are a novice to cave exploration, here are just some of the places that I have gone where you can travel and soak up the beauty surrounding you.

The Blue Grotto – Capri, Italy

Capri is known as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, with so many famous people and billionaires traveling there to soak up the sun and sea. One of its most hidden treasures is The Blue Grotto, which is on the coast of the island and has gained popularity in recent years as more tourists clamor to the city and this site. I fell in love with the brilliant blues and emerald glowing and so would anyone.

The grotto gets its glow from a small opening that allows for one rowboat at a time, while the other source is a massive hole located underneath the entrance that is submerged under water. If you ever get a chance to get to this site, I highly recommend it.

The Cave of Crystals – Chihuahua, Mexico

Located just under a cave of swords is a cave of crystals in Chihuahua, Mexico that was discovered in the year 2000, its floor lined with crystalline blocks. In fact, this cave contains the biggest Selenite crystals in the world, with the largest coming in at 12 meters long and 4 meters wide. The area is extremely hot and people can only view at about 10 minutes maximum in the right protective gear.

The crystals formed because of a magma chamber that is located right on the cave floor. The groundwater was then heated and after 500,000 years and saturation and other magic by Mother Nature, crystals grew to massive sizes for us humans to now see and enjoy.

Krubera Cave – Abkhazia, Georgia

One of the deepest caves known to mankind, the Krubera cave was first discovered in 1960 and plunges over 2000 meters below. In Russian, Krubera cave means ‘cave of crows’, which it is so aptly named because of a large number of crows that stand outside the entrance.

Snork Shopping

I have an almost unquenchable thirst for adventure and I cannot seem to get enough of it. Some of my adventures include cave hopping and snorkeling, which requires me to explore new territories through the water. With each new adventure, it seems like I need to invest in new equipment, and one of the latest items I have added to my cart is a full-face snorkel that will allow me more freedom of movement in caves. Of course, I have had my mates advise me on a few brands and the best features from them all, and now I have to come to a decision and buy one. This is what I have come up with and the advantages and disadvantages to the various snorkels are included below.

There are many reasons that you want to have a great snorkel, but at the end of the day, the better your snorkel the more likely you are to enjoy your time spent on the water. There is a slew of options available on the market and the search can above all else, you want to ensure that the mask fits your face like a watertight seal that doesn’t allow for anything to seep in. If you have invested in the wrong size, the skirt will lead to leaking and additional discomfort. Water that seeps in would also have to be removed to keep visibility as high as possible at all times. With a full face mask, lift the head out of the water and then let water drain out. A fitting mask that is not closed directly can also cause up and/or dramatically reduce visibility.

Before investing in a new snorkel mask, it is a good idea to have your face and head measured before buying a new one. Of note is to check the face for width and length, and distance from the space between the eyes. All of these options should be taken into consideration before buying the mask. Of course, it always helps to be able to try on a product before you buy it. If you are able to do so, try it on in front of a mirror and note if any adjustments must be made. Check where the skirt foot lies at the juncture between lips and the nose. There should also be a gap between the eyes and skirt.

Now you can enjoy the view under the sea to the fullest.

A full face mask is an ideal way for a few reasons:


Visibility – there is no frame to alter your vantage point in this edition

Water barrier – with the mask sealed around the entire face, water leakage is significant to reduce to none of next to none.

Natural Breathing – being able to breathe freely on your own is one of the best parts of having a full face mask and the one I prefer to take the most advantage of. When you breathe naturally, you are far more relaxed and calm in waters, which allows you to snorkel for far longer.

The following are just some of the brands available that produce excellent products for those that are about to go snorkel shopping.

Seaview 180

Featuring an anti-leak seal made of silicone, the Seaview 180 keeps your face dry, with no chance of fog build-up inside before there is a dedicated exhale chamber to consider. With this product, users get an illustrious panoramic view. Advantages of this model include a GoPro Mount, easy breathing, and two straps that adjustable.

Read how to enjoy the water and learn the best men’s diving watches.

Vista Vue Mask

This is a dry snorkel that I can attest actually keeps you dry all day. With its fog-free ventilation, there is a panoramic view of that is of exceptional quality and it doesn’t fog up like many brands.  The disadvantages of this model is that it is not readily available in retail stores, which means you cannot try it out before you invest in it. Also, it is not as compact and lightweight as other models,


Ocean Quest

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With its GoPro Mount and exceptionally dry full face, the Ocean Quest is another impressively built snorkel that I was lucky to find. The benefits of this machine are numerous, but namely, it is extremely confident and doesn’t add any more pressure to the cranium. It also doesn’t lead to fog buildup, which increases visibility. Plus, when you are diving down, the snorkel feels up. But alas, no free diving with this model. But other than that, all the bells and whistles are here for this model and it would be welcomed by anyone interested in snorkeling.

Cavern vs. Cave – There is a Difference

For those that have a taste for adventure, it is always advisable to be fully prepared and armed with the right gear for the situation. I myself am a huge lover of adventure and I have spent a lot of my time recently cave diving as well as cavern diving. If you think they are one and the same, you are incorrect, and I have made it my duty to explain to people the differences between the two. Also, there is gear that one needs to bring along for each one that is specific to the activity. Once you have finished reading this, you will know what supplies are necessary for each experience to ensure you get the most out of it.  

While both adventures offer their own singular excitement, I can safely say that both are great experiences to be had, especially when proper precautions are made in advance to ensure safety. And though there are some that believe they are the same, they are actually quite different. You may end up using a full face snorkel in one of these cases! Here are the ways in which they are different and what you can get out of them.

Viewing Natural Light

While cavern diving, you can see the natural light while exploring a cavern for the entire time. For cave dives, it is possible to trek hundreds of meters past daylight and you may need a flashlight to guide the way. Basically, cavern divers stay closer to the light source of the entrance which allows for natural light to come in. Cave divers, on the other hand, have to fend for themselves at times when it comes to light, requiring that they protect themselves with the proper gear that includes lights, ropes, protective clothing, and more depending on the elements involved.

Take care with these precautions:

Train properly for cave diving, and remember to stay within your limits at all times

Stay connected to the exit of cave

Always exit the cave with 2/3rd of breathing remaining in tank

For greater depths, use the proper gas

Bring 3 light sources for each trip

You should understand innately how the two adventures can be different and one takes more planning than the other. If you want to cave dive, there must be some scuba diving equipment on hand that is specifically made for cave diving.  For cavern diving, however, standard diving gear is all that you need. Of course, you may need to make a few modifications to avoid tangling, but that is about all to get started. With the right modifications to your gear, you will have more accessibility for the entire five, which will boost the buoyancy control and improve positioning in the cavern. All in all, both are great experiences, but it helps to be prepared completely for whichever one you choose. I know that once I learned the ins and outs of each, I respected both of them all the more!