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Beat the Devil: 9 Journeys Underground

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Going below the surface is what travel is all about—these experiences take that sentiment literally. Orpheus, Odysseus, Aeneas—just a few of the ancient heroes who journeyed to Hades and back according to legend. So, if you want to call yourself a hero afterward, you've earned it (kinda).
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Waitomo, New Zealand
I’m not afraid of heights, but I’ll admit that peering over the ledge into the 100-metre (about 330 feet) decent awaiting me sends me into a bit of a panic attack. I can’t see the bottom of the cave, as a thick layer of mist fills the gaping...
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PORAT 00, Biševo, 21485, Biševo, Croatia
When sailing from the town of Vis to Komiža on Vis Island, we stopped at the Blue Cave (Modra špilja), or Blue Grotto, on the nearby island of Biševo. Visitors can enter the cave entrance for a minor fee and only by small boat. As we...
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98200 Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia
After a 1 -hour walk through Borneo’s rainforest, I find myself at the entrance to Niah’s Great Cave. The terrain changes, and I feel like I’m beginning a journey to the center of the Earth. As I enter, the air grows damp and thick, and the...
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Matavun 12, 6215 Divača, Slovenia
A tour of the massive World Heritage site Skocjan Caves affords the singular experience of peering into a glowing subterranean river that flows beneath a blanket of snow. 386/(0) 5-708-2100. This appeared in the November/December 2012 issue.
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Caves Rd & Conto Road, Forest Grove WA 6286, Australia
There are many caves, of varying sizes and features, within Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park in Western Australia. It's an area known for its cave network, drawing tourists year after year. All are supported by a terrific museum network and...
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W4852 US-2, Vulcan, MI 49892, USA
It is dark as a dungeon down in the mine; but for those who want to experience a taste of what it takes to build America this is the place to start from below ground up. Visitors take a rail car into the depths of the mine, water dripping on them...
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Hummingbird Hwy, Belmopan, Belize
This is just the beginning of the beauty and adventure you'll experience at Actun Tunichil Mukna Cave. Skeletons, waterfalls, sink holes, and experiencing the majesty of total darkness just as the ancient Mayans did.
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Caribbean
Originally found by western sailors in the 1600s, Preacher’s Cave has long been an important spot on Eleuthera and served as a makeshift church for more than a century. Today it’s more known for its natural beauty than for its historic...
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Balkans
There are 346 registered caves in Macedonia - a heaven for adventurers and high-adrenaline lovers. Their number is believed to be between 400 and 500. Many of the Macedonian caves have underground rivers, waterfalls, and small lakes, while most of...