Uncovering the mysteries of the underground world: The thrill of Caving

Do you have a taste for adventure and a penchant for exploring the unknown? Then caving might be the perfect activity for you. This exciting activity takes you deep below the earth’s surface, into a world few have seen and even fewer understand.

The underground world is filled with fascinating geological formations, underground rivers and hidden caverns that will amaze you.

But it is not just the natural wonders that make caving so exciting. It is also the challenge of navigating through narrow passages, climbing vertical walls and overcoming obstacles that will test your physical and mental skills.

Tugar organises caving activities in the Luiz Saldanha Natural Park.

Introduction to caving

Caving is the scientific study of caves and other underground structures. It is an activity that people of all ages and skill levels can enjoy. Caving takes you to a world that would otherwise be inaccessible, and it is a great way to learn about geology, hydrology and biology. It also offers a challenge, both physically and mentally, and it can help you push your limits and boost your self-confidence.

The history of caving

People have been fascinated by caves and other underground structures for thousands of years. In the earliest times, caves were used as shelters and as sacred sites for religious ceremonies. Later, caves were used for mining and as refuges during wars. Modern caving began in the 18th century, when scientists began exploring caves to learn more about the geology and biology of the earth.

Types of caves

There are different types of caves, each with their own unique features and challenges. Karst caves are formed by the dissolution of limestone, while lava caves are formed by volcanic activity. Glacier caves are formed by meltwater under a glacier, and sea caves are formed by the erosion of the coastline by the ocean. Each type of cave offers its own unique challenges and rewards for the caving enthusiast.

The physical demands of caving

Caving is a physically demanding activity that requires strength, stamina and flexibility. Cavers must be able to cover long distances, often through narrow passages and over rough terrain. They must also be able to climb, abseil and squeeze themselves through narrow openings. It is important to be fit and train regularly to get the most out of caving.

Is caving also suitable for children?

Caving can be a great activity for children, but it is important to consider their age and abilities before starting. Younger children are best to start with simple caves and be guided by adults. Older children can handle more challenging trips, but should still be guided by experienced cavers. It is also important to consider children’s safety and comfort when choosing equipment and clothing.


Caving requires special equipment to be safe and comfortable. A helmet is essential to protect the head from falling rocks and other hazards. A headlamp or torch is needed to illuminate the cave and see where you are going. Climbing ropes and carabiners are needed to climb and descend vertical walls. A harness is required to be attached to the ropes and a life jacket may be useful in case of underground rivers or lakes.

Safety tips

Caving can be a dangerous activity if not done properly. Therefore, it is important to use the right equipment and know how to use it. It is also important to know the cave before you start, including the entrances and exits and any hazards. It is advisable to always cave with a group and make sure everyone is aware of the safety procedures.

Luiz Saldanha natural park

The Luiz Saldanha natural park in Portugal is a great place for caving. The park has several caves suitable for cavers of all levels, from beginners to experienced cavers. Tugar works with experienced cavers in the park, they offer guided tours as well as courses for beginners. This way, you and your family can safely learn about this fascinating activity. You don’t need to have your own equipment, these are provided by the guides.

The activity lasts half a day and is accessible to children aged 12 and over.

Other activities organised by Tugar

Tugar organises a wide range of (family) activities at various locations in Portugal. Including hiking, kayaking, surfing, coasteering, canyoning, river trekking, scuba-diving, snorkeling, dolphin watching and canoe rafting. We also arrange accommodation near the activities.

We tailor-make all proposals so that the whole family can enjoy an adventurous yet comfortable holiday!

For suggestions, also check out our Pick&Mix, Holiday Packs, Porto – Lisbon Round Trip or Off the Beaten Track Adventures pages.

Want to know more? Please send an email to

Tugar: the perfect place to book your active family holiday!