The world’s largest known cave will soon be open for public exploration. Discovered by a Vietnamese local in 1991, the Son Doong Cave’s magnificent wonders remained hidden for 18 years from the public eye, Fox News reported.

The man who found the cave feared the huge precipice at its opening. So it wasn’t until 2009 that two British cavers descended into Son Doong, which proved to be the world’s largest known cave. It is located in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in the Quang Binh province of Vietnam.

At more than 5.5 miles long, the cave could accommodate a 40-story skyscraper within its confines. Waterfalls, massive stalactites, and even a jungle called the Garden of Edam with an assortment of native animals are housed inside the cave. It also features two large underground sinkholes with cliffs as high as 800 feet.

Luckily for adventurous tourists, the wonders of Son Doong will no longer be visible only through photographs. Beginning next year, the tour company Oxalis will run trial tours. It is accepting reservations now for seven-day, six night tours that will include exploration of the cave.


However, only 220 tourist permits will be available in 2014, Oxalis said on its online site.

During the journey, tourists will travel through the cave by day and sleep on its beaches at night. Early in the trip, tourists will pass by the giant stalagmite Hand of Dog -- so-called because it looks much like a dog’s paw.

If a little cavern exploration appears attractive as your next big life challenge, you can book a tour on the company’s site. But you should do it quickly, because it seems those 220 available spots may not last long.