The first thing you notice when descending the stairs to the Jeita Grotto is the drop in temperature. The cooling sensation is almost instant and a little startling—until you look up and realize you’re inside a cave filled with Dali-esque stalagmites and stalactites. Since its rediscovery in 1853, Jeita has been a national monument, and widely considered one of the unofficial wonders of the world. The cave is divided into two sections: In the upper grotto, there are rock formations that resemble melted candles and giant mushrooms, best viewed from a winding pathway hundreds of feet above the bottom of the cave. The lower grotto has a freshwater spring that actually provides drinking water to the city; a boat ride below the head-skimming formations is the best way to see it.

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