4.5 based on 429 reviews
The Caverns of Sonora is a National Natural Landmark and ranks as one of the most beautiful show caves in the world.
I wasn't sure which tour to book so I called ahead, asked a bunch of questions, and then made my decision. My wife and I went on the Discovery Tour. The cost was $125 per person. On our tour, we were paired with two other people (five total including the tour guide). Everyone in our group was great. We had many conversations and got to know each other a bit. Our tour guide was named Bill. He is an expert cave explorer. I think that is safe to say since he's been doing this about 30 years and been in 500+ caves. Bill guided us through the caverns and made sure everyone was comfortable. He did a magnificent job of explaining everything (history, formations, etc.) and answering all of our questions. We took tons of our own photos and Bill also used one person's phone from our group to take pictures during certain "highlight" points. Our tour took just under four hours. You'll get wet at the very beginning of the tour and be covered in mud and dirt as you low crawl and high crawl (hands and knees) throughout several holes. Remember this when deciding what to wear during your experience. If you bruise easily, be prepared for bruises to show the next day. You may even have a few battle scars to show after you complete your adventure. You need to be in decent shape to accomplish EVERYTHING on the tour, but Bill will make sure you are comfortable before trying to crawl through a tight space or navigate a difficult entrance. The most challenging part of the tour is a very narrow incline, maybe at a 40 to 50-degree angle. It is so narrow that you can't really use your upper body/hands to help move you up. You have to use your feet/toes to push your body up. There is a certain way to do it. Bill can demonstrate the technique if you are interested in attempting it. Something tells me most people don't make it all the way up, assuming they attempt it to begin with. Of course, when Bill told me how difficult it was, I responded, "challenge accepted!" I can't help it, I'm competitive! Two of us tried it and we both made it all the way up (cool photos await you so bring a camera), but it required some effort for sure! If you don't think you can accomplish a certain portion of the experience, you don't have to. I'm a small guy (5'4", 135 lbs, 31" waist) and I barely fit through the two tightest spaces during the tour. We did have a taller, skinny guy, (around 6 feet or so) in our group, who was able to make it through every passage, including the aforementioned steep incline. A stockier person wouldn't be able to fit in all the spaces, but there are alternate routes. Many of the reviews state how hot it was, but I didn't find it hot at all. Wear long pants, long sleeves, and hiking boots or combat boots. You can also bring a small towel if you sweat a lot. The Caverns of Sonora staff will provide the rest: helmets, headlamps, knee pads, and water. You can bring your own helmet, headlamp, and knee pads if you wish. I wouldn't bother with elbow pads as they will make it harder/impossible to get through the REALLY tight spaces. One of the last things you will accomplish is a 50-foot rappel, but for those that have no experience rappelling, the staff will show you exactly what to do. After the rappel, you climb a ladder and take a long walk through the cave to exit it. You'll take a lot of stairs so be prepared for that. Bill takes the safety of guests very serious! I'm super adventurous and an adrenaline junkie. A few times I asked if I could do something...uhhh, a bit more adventurous (some may say dangerous), and Bill was quick to say no just to make sure we all made it back conscious and in one piece. Highly recommended! May even come back to try a different tour!
4.5 based on 22 reviews
What a wonderful way to learn about the history of Sonora and this part of Texas. The memorabilia is top rate and we got a personal tour from the guide. Don't miss the old bank safe and the toilet that looks like a piece of furniture. Great little gift shop where we bought some wool socks!!
4.5 based on 15 reviews
While the Nature Center is open, it is an amazing place to learn about the types of rocks, fossils, minerals, and ancient people (such as native American Indians) that lived here. The living snakes that have been added to the animal exhibit room are rather interesting to look at, as well as the dead and or stuffed animals to see and realize what kind of animals and venomous snakes are indigenous to the region. Even when the Nature Center is closed, the Preserve and all its trails are available to walk around on. The sights to see at Jimmy's Frog Pond with all the cool frogs, snakes, tadpoles, birds, and different plants, are amazing to see. The rock quarry, a newer/rougher trail that has been opened, is an amazing sight to see as one might see all sorts of fossils in the trail and walls around, and it makes a great resting place. The overall Nature Center and Preserve are full of Life, be it alive now or a hundred years ago, it is a place to rest, think or clear one's mind, sightsee, study what's there, or just to have a place to get away for a while to relieve from stress or anything going on in one's life. Wonderful place to visit at the very least, once.
5.0 based on 1 reviews
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