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SPELEOLOGY

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SPELEOLOGY

How strange it seems, exploring this world of mysterious shades, due to the absence of light and wind. Caverns and caves are refuges charged with enormous cultural and historical wealth, and have become favorite places for all those who like to lift the veil of the hidden and ignored.

The study of caves and caverns is called speleology, a discipline which also includes the study of the flora and fauna found in their interior. It is a "world without light", of colorless plants and animals that have adapted to the perpetual dimness, a reason for which they have developed a series of senses and strategies that have allowed them to survive in a complex and even hostile environment.

But the caverns also have served as refuges for the first existing human groups on our continent, that found shelter in their interior and painted on the stone walls scenes of their every day life; a life full of dangers, discoveries, efforts and sacrifices.

In the Andean countries, many caverns exist that are perfect for providing unforgettable days of adventure and emotion. In Bolivia, for example, in the Torotoro area (department of Potosi), there is the Cave of Humajalanta, well known for its fascinating structure. In Tacna, Peru you can find the Cave of Toquepala, where there are invaluable cave paintings done by the first inhabitants of the region more than 10,000 years ago.

This magic darkness continues in the mountains and forests of the lands of the Inca. An example is the grotto of Rumichaca with its venerated image of the Virgin Maria, sculpted by the artist Daniel Reyes, in the small chapel found inside it, in the county of Carchi in Ecuador.

Without doubt, the Andes' generous geography will allow you to carry out numerous explorations in the "world without light" that not only stores history, but also mysteries and legends capable of satisfying the desires of any one looking for adventure and knowledge.

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