Ultimate Guide to Krubera Cave (Abkhazia, Georgia) (Tours, Pricing, History)
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Krubera Cave is a stunning, and historic cave in Georgia. It’s one of the deepest caves on Earth – with some sections being more than 2,000 meters deep! The name “Krubera” comes from the Georgian word for “cave”. Krubera has been around for at least 400 thousand years and was first explored by humans in 1956.
Since then, scientists have found many species of bats inside as well as other animals that live underground like blind salamanders and spiders. This post will give you all of the information about tours to Krubera Cave (Georgia) including pricing, history, how to get there, what to bring with you (hint: warm clothes!), and more!
Ultimate Guide to Krubera Cave (Georgia) (Tours, Pricing, History)
The Krubera Cave (also known as Voronya Cave is considered Earth’s deepest cave and is found in the Arabika Massif of the Gagra Range, Georgia. It features a whopping depth of 2,197 meters deep, which could amount to roughly six Eiffel Towers being stacked atop each other underground…impressive, right?
Krubera Cave is located in the Arabika Massif, a mountain range that comprises the eastern portion of Georgia. It’s one of only three caves on Earth deeper than nine kilometers (about five miles) – with most being closer to two or three kilometers deep.
History of Krubera Cave
Many people also consider the Krubera Cave as the “Everest of Caves, seeing it is pretty huge and sits on the edge of the Back Sea in Abkhazia. It was first discovered back in 1960, and since then, scientists have been trying to get deeper and deeper into the cave. With each visit, they set a new record on the depth they had gone. In 2001, the record for being the deepest cave in the world was set. The new record depth was achieved at 5,610 feet, beating out the record of the Lamprechtsofen by 80 meters.
Three years after achieving this feat, Krubera became the first cave to go deeper than 2,000 meters, and by 2012, the record was further cemented by Gennadiy Samokhin, a Ukrainian diver. He ventured all the way to the terminal sump – a portion of the cave fully submerged in water.
The cave features an underground waterfall that is frozen, a base occupied with water, and some tunnels small enough that it could be impossible to squeeze through. But, overall, the Krubera Cave is an amazing channel that keeps descending into the darkness. All credits go to Alexander Kruber, a Russian geologist who first explored the cave to 90 meters (roughly 295 feet).
Krubera Cave Fun Facts
- Krubera Cave is considered the deepest cave globally, with its lowest point reached in 2012 at 2,197 meters.
- The cave was first discovered by a Russian geographer named Alexander Kruber and later got its name after him.
- Research shows that the caves found in the Arabika Massif, of which Krubera is among five, started to form after the mountains in the area started to rise over 5 million years ago.
- In the 1960s, the Krubera Cave was discovered to go up to 310 meters deep, a record for caves at the time.
- The cave features are small and hard to pass through and are large enough to go through easily.
- When exploring the caves, divers ought to be prepared to wear scuba gear as the cave can be flooded periodically.
- The cave passages over time had to be widened for researchers and cave enthusiasts to go through.
- The cave consists of 12 arthropod species and a beetle called the Catops Cavicis, quite endemic.
- A 3mm collembola without eyes is the deepest living terrestrial animal found in the cave and can live well over 1,900 meters underground.
Krubera Cave Wildlife
The Krubera Cave is home to many different species of animals – 12 species of arthropods to be exact. You may come across different animals such as spiders, springtails, crustaceans, beetles, dipterans, and Opiliones.
Four springtails were discovered back in 2010 – Deuteraphorura kruberaensis, Anurida stereoodorata, Schaefferia profundissima, and Plutomurus ortobalaganensis.
One of these, the last of these four, was found up to 1,980 feet deep.
Now let’s talk Krubera Cave Bats…
In the summer of 2004, a group of scientists went to Krubera Cave in order to study bats.
They found that there are at least two species of bat inside the cave – one is small and can fly through cracks between rocks or feed on insects from below; while the other has large wingspan and cannot fly as well.
The scientific team also discovered something else: microbes! They found that this environment provides an ideal habitat for microbial life due to its lack of light, constant temperature, humidity, organic matter (e.g., guano), etc…
This discovery calls into question how deep living animals form ecosystems without any sunlight down here in these depths?
Krubera Cave Geological Formations
Inside Krubera Cave you will find a number of formations. These are caused by the creation and subsequent destruction of various carbonate minerals, which form slowly over time with the help of water and CO² from animals that live in caves.
In this area there is still much to be studied but scientists have been able to come up with some conclusions about how this cave was formed. The first conclusion they came up with is that it was not formed through an impact event like most others on Earth – these types usually only go down for 20-30 meters at best. Scientists believe instead that because Krubera goes as far down as 700 meters, that it must’ve been created through another process.
After studying different theories as well as evidence on the ground, scientists believe that Krubera is what’s called a “solution” cave. The theory behind this is as follows: at some point in Earth’s history, our planet was covered by an ocean with many dissolved minerals.
The water from these oceans eventually evaporated and left these minerals on the floor of the newly-formed landmasses.
These mineral deposits are porous which means they can be penetrated easily by water so over time it seeped into them until there wasn’t any more room to go down – thus forming Krubera Cave!
Unfortunately, we don’t know when or how exactly this process took place but one thing that’s for sure is now you have a little bit better understanding of how this incredible site came to be.
Like most others caves around the world, Krubera Cave does have its share of stalactites and stalagmites, even though it is a vertical cave. Interestingly, there are also curtains found in the cave, and with numerous water bodies flowing through the cave, it is not hard to see how they have formed.
The vertical setting of the cave gives way for miniature stalactites to form along the walls and overhead hanging of the cave. In addition, seeing the cave is flooded numerous times means many minerals are lodged on the walls of the cave. Also, the waterfall in the cave helps keep the minerals constantly flowing along the cave’s interior walls.
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Krubera Cave Tours
The territory of Abkhazia is currently occupied by Russia. That makes it very difficult to get permission to visit the area.
Russia has strict rules that are in place to make sure they know who is entering the country, and for what purpose. Tourists can visit Abkhazia with a Georgian visa, but you must have this before arriving in Russia or it will not be possible to enter through their border controls.
No visas are granted at any of the checkpoints throughout Russia’s occupied territory of Abkhazia unless you have already obtained one from Georgia beforehand, which requires an application process and approval by Georgian authorities. It should also be noted that only Russian citizens may access these areas without permission from both countries – so even if you live in neighboring Armenia or Azerbaijan your passport alone will not grant entry to Krubera Cave (Georgia).
Krubera Cave Prices and Discounts
The prices may vary depending on the time you are visiting, so it would be best to contact their information desk about all the details you need for the entrance fee. In addition, should there be other charges, you could be presented with this information as well.
Where to Stay Near Krubera Cave
Krubera Cave is one of the world’s most treasured caves as it holds the record for the deepest cave on earth. As such, visiting is a great opportunity and one that will create a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The next time you plan to visit the region, here are a few cool spots you can stop with friends and family…
This cool chill spot will provide you with a “home away from home” experience as it has the features and amenities to compliment your stay. It provides free parking, free internet, relaxation centers (picnic zones, hot springs, etc.), a family dining area, and so much more. Your children are definitely welcome, and you can take your pets for free. They are located in Gagra along the riverwalk. You are close to Sochi Olympic Park.
Guest House Mandarin
Located in Gagra, you are in for an amazing experience and getting the chance to bond with your friends and family away from home. The environment is serene and features a bar, a coffee shop, relaxing rest zones, free internet, and parking, and the staff is nothing short of excellence. In addition, it is in close range to some of the city’s most intriguing spots.
Krubera Cave Details
- Length: 2,197 Meters Deep and 8.346 miles
- Time recommended: A full tour down to the base could take over a week. Daily tours may run hours for just s select meters.
- Trail Type: unknown as it isn’t fully documented
- Difficulty: Extreme
- Kid-Friendly: No
- Dog-Friendly: No
- Accessibility: Parking Lot
- Fee/Permit: Varies
- Hours: Varies
How to Get to Krubera Cave
Being one of the most popular caves globally, Krubera Caves is certainly not hard to find. Getting access is the trick.
The best way to get there is to fly into Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. Although this may seem like a long and expensive journey for just one day’s worth of exploring – it is in fact quite affordable and easy!
Plus you’ll be rewarded with many more attractions on your itinerary while you’re here.
Once in Tbilisi, then take a taxi or public transportation (for example marshrutka) from the airport to Kutaisi station where you can purchase tickets for the next train bound towards Deep Capture Station via Gagra/Sukhumi . This route will require exiting through Russia at some point so keep that in mind when booking transit as we already mentioned that they do not offer visas without a Georgian visa.
The trip takes about 16 hours and is quite scenic so it’s worth the price of an overnight ticket!
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