Paradise Cave is one of the few sights in the park that can be visited independently. Photo © Dana Filek-Gibson.

The Caves of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park

A labyrinth of subterranean tunnels and jaw-dropping, otherworldly landscapes, Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park may be off the beaten path for now, but its anonymity is fading fast. Decked out in eerie, alien rock formations and spindly stalactites, these tunnels are estimated at around 3-5 million years old. Here you’ll find the world’s largest cave, home to a thunderous river, clouds, and an entire jungle ecosystem.

Inside the Dau Go Cave in Ha Long Bay. Photo © Nikolay Grachev/123rf.

Visiting Ha Long Bay’s Caves

Ha Long Bay is home to caves, islands, a few small beaches, and sleepy fishing villages. Since the bay is accessible only by boat tour, you’ll have little to no control of which sights you see once you’ve booked your trip. Here’s an overview of the caves visited on tours to ensure your trip includes those you’re most interested in.

Two people floating in inner tubes with the dark entrance of a cave behind them.

Finding Adventure in Belize

Get your heart racing by exploring the largest cave system in Central America, more than 11 national parks, and numerous forest and marine reserves and wildlife sanctuaries. Author Lily Girma shares the exciting kinds of adventure that await you in Belize.

Fascinating Underworlds

If you’d rather not battle the summertime crowds at Yosemite or the Grand Canyon, remember that the National Park Service protects 391 units throughout the United States. To escape the heat, Laura Martone prefers delving into an underground cave, where the temperature is constantly cool.