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“Definitely worth a few hours”

Natural Bridge Caverns
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Natural Bridge Caverns Underground Walking Tour
Ranked #8 of 265 things to do in San Antonio
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Come on down (way down) at the largest underground attraction in Texas! Daily guided tours allow guests to explore large underground chambers and see huge formations. The largest room is bigger than a football field. Above ground, discover rocks, minerals, and rough-cut gems at the Natural Bridge Mining Company Sluice. The Canopy Challenge will test your agility on over 40 different obstacles while you are on our 4 story, 60 foot high Adventure Course. Then you can fly across the scenic Texas Hill Country on our zip-lines! (Canopy Challenge is open daily but weather dependent.)
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Marysville, Ohio
Level Contributor
19 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Definitely worth a few hours”
Reviewed May 30, 2011

We stayed downtown on the Riverwalk and already had a car for getting around and with a GPS had no trouble finding the place in about 30-40 minutes.

Buy your tickets online and then skip the ticket line on the way in. When we visited there were three lines for tickets. The two on the left were very long (stretching out into the sun) for people to buy tickets and then the one on the right had no line and was for people who bought their tickets online and just need to swap their "voucher" for their actual tickets. After seeing the line, I waited inside, bought the tickets on my iPhone and then used the short line to scan the barcode on my phone and get our paper tickets issued. Worked like a charm!

The caverns are very cool inside. There are numerous rooms (they get progressively bigger) and everything is artfully lit. Note I did not say "well-lit". It is very dim inside and you really have to feel around for your footing. They have put a path with a guard rail and a slip-resistant floor inside, but the place is soaking wet so you will slip a little here and there. For what its worth I didn't see anyone fall and even if you did you'd just fall down, you wouldn't fall over the side unless you were purposely leaning over the edge.

We took a 3 year old and a 6 year old. The 3 year old was a little scared but he did walk the whole way. Honestly it would have been more dangerous if I picked him up since I was more likely to slip than him and you really do need to keep a hand on the rail. We did hold his hand the whole way because he would easily fit under the rail. The six year old was safe, but slightly bored. I don't think they realize at that age how neat something like this is.

We went in May and with 99% humidity your shirt will be soaked by the time you get out and your calves may get a workout since the walkway is at about a 45 degree most of the time and the path is 3/4 mile long and the equivalent of 18 floors in elevation. There isn't a lot of steps, just steep inclined switchbacks pretty much the whole way.

We took the Discovery tour (they also have the Illuminations tour) which is a self-paced option. They have guides stationed periodically in the different rooms to say a few words about what you're looking at. All of them were kids (high school at most), most of them seemed very inexperienced and scared to death to be talking to a group, but they were trying and they did manage to get some interesting facts and tidbits out there.

Eat before hand! The food here is convenience store quality. Nachos, hot dogs, ICEE's, etc. and there is nothing nearby that I saw. Parking is very close so throw some drinks in a cooler for when you get out of the caves (you cant take any in) otherwise you're in for a $3 soda from the snack bar.

Bottom Line:
The caverns themselves are the attraction here and they are definitely worth seeing. You will not get a polished experience and amenities (i.e. food) like you might at a theme park, but this is not a day-trip, its a couple-of-hours trip and is worth it.

Visited May 2011
12 Thank Edgar V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Chesapeake, Virginia
Level Contributor
128 reviews
45 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 606 helpful votes
“Wow....completely different from any caverns I've been in before”
Reviewed May 11, 2011

I'm from Virginia and we've got lots of caverns in my part of the country so I thought I knew pretty much all there was to know. However, Natural Bridge Caverns surprised me. First, there was the heat. As other reviewers have pointed out, it's over 70 degrees and very humid in the caverns.....not what one expects. Second, there are HUGE open areas....not just one....many. Guess it just goes to show that everything really IS bigger in Texas! If you plan your trip, definitely do plan on wearing a pair of sturdy shoes. The floor can be very slippery and I would not want to have been wearing flip flops. The price, although higher than most caverns I've toured, was worth it for the amazing formations and for the amount of time spent in the cavern. The only negative to me was the cheesy 'stand here so I can get a picture to sell to you on the outside' moment. We had one very surreal moment when the group ahead of us....a music group from a college in Pennsylvania.....burst into song in one of the larger caverns. It was amazing and you just couldn't plan something like that.

Make sure that you check out the fossils of the animals and human that were found in the caverns before you leave the visitors center.

Visited May 2011
5 Thank Suzski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oldham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Nice day underground”
Reviewed May 6, 2011

I did both of the tours available and I have to say it was great.
The undoubted hightlight was on the Illuminations tour where all the lights were turned off and it was pitch black with only the sound of your tour group and the dripping of water for company.

The caverns are set in beautiful grounds, which means a lovely walk on a covered walkway when you emerge from the caverns to take you back to the main building.

The guides are helpful and friendly, and are willing to explain in even more detail if you ask them to.

Brilliant day out, and a welcome break from the searing sun!

Visited June 2010
Thank Bananasplit86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Plano, Texas
Level Contributor
194 reviews
56 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed March 20, 2011

This is a great place for anyone ages 10yrs and up. Any younger than that they get bored and its hard for the parents to keep up with them. Its a hike through a cave with 99% humidity but 70f. It takes about an hour and can be slippery so wear tennis shoes. Its really a unique experience, even my 12 and 14yrs old like it.

Visited March 2011
1 Thank rowley848
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Antonio, Texas
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Wonderful caverns”
Reviewed March 19, 2011

My husband and I went out to the Natural Bridge Caverns on a Saturday afternoon. The weather was nice for outdoor activities. We enjoyed the caverns. The temperature inside the caverns was nice and we were fascinated by the formations and how big some of the cavern room were. Coming back up required a little effort. Also certain spots can be slippery so beware.
They had food however we didn't buy anything to eat or dink. The restroom was clean.
They had zip lining and other activities outside that I'm sure if we had kids they would enjoy participating in. They also have an outdoor picnic area.I would like to visit the Wildlife park.

Visited March 2011
2 Thank scruples2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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