Itay Shkolnik and Shahar Perkal know that Israel offers literally much more than the eye can see. These two founders of the Israeli Caving Club know that under our feet, behind those hills, and inside that wadi (valley), there are caves, canyons, and cliffs more beautiful than you can imagine. They decided to share that beauty with the world through Exteriorate, a company dedicated to exploring the hidden beauties and extreme adventure side of Israel. On your next trip to Israel with Puzzle Israel, you might consider having some fun with Exteriorate!
Itay and Shahar: At a Glance
Itay had already been into caving for several years when he met Shahar. His love for caves originally blossomed while living on Easter Island, where he had the pleasure of not only exploring the caves on the island, but also discovering new caves and mapping them for future cavers. A few years later, after spending some time back in Israel, Itay received an offer to work for a company in Spain, and while there he discovered a global phenomenon called caving clubs. As it turned out, there were thousands of clubs of people in every corner of the world who love caving as much as he did. He also discovered new sides to the world of caving, like rappelling into caves from above. Itay knew that his original profession of graphic design wouldn’t be enough anymore, he was in love with caving. So, when he returned to Israel from Spain, he started researching caving clubs in Israel. That’s how he met his current partner, Shahar Perkal, and together they decided to establish a the Israeli Caving Club. The concept drew a real buzz in the media, as well as quite a few participants. Shahar and Itay set out on a mission not only to teach people to love and respect caves, but also to teach them how to protect and preserve caves, as well as techniques and safety for caving.
Exteriorate is Born
While running the Israeli Caving Club and teaching courses, Shahar and Itay understood that their love for caves was beyond just the caves, it was the truly authentic connection to nature and all it has to offer, especially here in Israel. They decided to establish Exteriorate – a company that would do more than certify cavers, it would take anyone looking to connect with nature in a different and more adventurous way, and show them Israel’s beauty through caving, canyoning, and rappelling. Soon after that, survival workshops, team building activities, and ziplining were also added to the list of activities.
Why Go Caving and Canyoning in Israel? Between the natural caves created by geological phenomenons, to caves created by Bar Kochba in his revolt against the Romans, Israel is not lacking in caving opportunities that are among the most beautiful in the world. Because of Israel’s location just above the Great African-Syrian Rift, Israel is filled with incredible natural caves, from Bat and Stalactites caves in the North to amazing Salt caves in the South.
In the Shfela area of Israel, you can find hundreds of man made caves from the days of Bar Kochba, and you can crawl in his footsteps through the incredible underground intricacy. Aside from caving, Israel offers amazing incredible canyoning, from rappelling into the Dead Sea scrolls cave, to the Black Canyon rappelling in the mysterious waterfalls of the Judea Reserve in the Galilee.
Exteriorate and Puzzle Israel
Puzzle Israel is always striving to show the authentic Israel, as is Exteriorate. So when Puzzle Israel’s co-founders Nir and Guy met Exteriorate’s co-founders Itay and Shahar, it was like a match made in heaven. The authentic Israel is beyond the cities and the sites. The authentic Israel is all about what you might not see at first glance – the people, the culture, the hidden natural phenomenons, and the opportunities hiding in each and every crevice of the country. Itay and Shahar have a passion for the hidden and the unknown, and we are so glad at Puzzle Israel that they are sharing this passion with us, and with our travelers!