Sataplia Nature Reserve – Georgia - Atlas Obscura

Sataplia Nature Reserve

The cave holds a spectacular array of stalactites and stalagmites, including one shaped like a giant human heart. 


Nestled within a dense pocket of forest is the Sataplia Cave. This subterranean wonder lets you slip into a world packed with gorgeous geological formations, making it feel like you’ve just stepped into nature’s own art gallery.

Head underground, and you’ll enter a space full of fascinating cave formations and an underground river. Many of its impressive stalactites and stalagmites are dramatically lit, giving the cavernous space an eerie atmosphere. Keep an eye out for the one that’s in the shape of a giant human heart.

The nature reserve holds some above-ground treasures, too. Before you enter the cave, you’ll come across the conservation building. There, you’ll find remarkably well-preserved dinosaur footprints. The footprints came from the various herbivores and raptors that once roamed this part of Georgia.

The reserve also has an observation deck with transparent floors. Located at the highest point of the reserve, it offers sweeping views of the beautiful scenery. To reach the platform, you’ll get to walk along trails that wind through lush Colchic forest.

The Sataplia Nature Reserve is named after the nearby Sataplia Mountain, which itself was named after the tradition of collecting honey from its resident bees. Its name translates to “place of honey.”

Know Before You Go

The entrance fee is 7GEL for Georgian citizens and 15GEL for foreigners. Guide service (in English, Russian, and Georgian language) is included. 

The closest town is Kutaisi (Georgian: ქუთაისი), Georgia’s second largest city. The cave is a 45-minute drive from the town square (about 15 Lari taxi fare). Driving from Tbilisi will probably take three hours.

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