Kumistavi (Prometheus) Cave near Kutaisi
Opening hours: 10:00-18:00
Day off: Monday
Kumistavi cave, also known as the cave of Prometheus, is located near the Georgian town of Tskhaltubo, 20 km away from Kutaisi in Imereti region in the West of the country. The cave was discovered in 1984 and was almost immediately developed as a show cave. Kumistavi is the biggest cave in Georgia. Although only one tenth is open for tourists, it takes about an hour to explore it. Inside there are underground lakes and rivers; rather high humidity and a lot of bats, which, however, do not bother tourists, as they fly very high.
Today, surrounded by a 3km long specifically designed landscape area, Kumistavi cave is one of the most touristy spots of Georgia. It is a unique experience to feel the underworld atmosphere in all its glory and colors. Tourists may choose between walking tours along the 1600 meters route, and the boat ride along the underground river. Visitors are amazed with breathtaking views of stalactites, stalagmites, petrified waterfalls, underground rivers and lakes of the cave.
All of which are spectacularly highlighted by one of the most amazing feature of the place – an underground light system filled with LED lights. There is a constant comfortable 14 degree Celsius (57F) temperature inside the cave, which allows tourists to spend as much time as they want inside all year round.
Kumistavi owes a famous Caucasian myth about Amirani for the sonorous naming of the "Cave of Prometheus". The legend says that Amirani, like Prometheus, angered the gods and was punished. Days and nights eagle tormented him eating his liver; however, in contrast to the Greek giant, cruel gods chained Amirani not to the rock, but somewhere inside a huge cave. Presumably, it is in Kumistavi.
There is another famous cave near Kumistavi called Sataplia; prudent travelers often combine visit to both.