As I am on the road, traveling through Texas fairly often, I am lucky to see so much of the natural beauty our great state is blessed with. But as much as I see, Texas still manages to surprise me. I recently visited the Natural Bridge Caverns, about 30 minutes north of San Antonio and was awe-struck at the alien world that exists below the Texas soil.
180 feet underground, you enter a surreal, prehistoric landscape of magnificent limestone formations, six million years in the making. All your senses are on edge: the air feels wet and smells of earthy minerals. It takes your eyes a few minutes to get used to the dark. Every sound echoes in the acoustical chambers formed by the stone.
Natural Bridge Caverns offers three different cave tours. I took the "Discovery Tour", a 75- minute walk through awe-inspiring and beautiful stalactites, stalagmites, flowstones, chandeliers and soda straws. The cave rooms are enormous and each one is more impressive than the one before it. Our tour-guide was so knowledgeable and provided fascinating narrative and cool facts about these ancient, natural wonders. I found it truly humbling to think of the eons it took for small drops of water to create this subterranean wonderland.
If you are considering a trip to Natural Bridge Caverns, here are a few tips you may find helpful:
- You are not allowed to touch anything in the cave and they are strict about it. Before you decide to bring small kids on a tour, be sure they understand "no touching"!
- The cave is wet and the path is slippery at times. There is a handrail to keep you upright, but wear appropriate footwear, preferably with non-slip soles
- It can get hot and humid in the cavern. Really hot. Dress accordingly. Bring some cold water.
- You don't have to be an athlete to take a cave tour, but there is a lot of walking and some climbing and, as previously mentioned, it gets hot. It's not extremely strenuous, but just know your own physical limits before going.
- Stay near the front of the pack so you can hear your tour guide. While seeing the formations alone is amazing, learning about the geology and ecology makes the trip that much more enjoyable.
- In addition to a variety of cave tours, Natural Bridge Caverns offers several above-ground fun and educational activities for kids of all ages, including rope adventures, zip lining, and prospecting for minerals in a mining sluice. There is so much here to explore.
If you are planning a San Antonio vacation, I highly recommend exploring the Texas underground at the Natural Bridge Caverns.