A Mystery or Puzzle geocache is a type of cache that gives the cache owner a lot of latitude on how and where the cache is hidden. This is considered the “CATCH ALL” category of geocaches. In most cases the cache IS NOT hidden at the listed coordinates and the container itself could be many miles from the listed coordinates. The basic rule of thumb is that if the geocache has a container and logbook, and has additional requirements other than going directly to the cache and finding like a Traditional geocache or one that takes you to a number of stages to find clues like a Multi Geocache it must be a Mystery or Puzzle cache . These kinds of caches often stump newer geocachers because they try to go to the listed coordinates but it is impossible to get to them , or, when they arrive at the coordinates there is no container and no clue for another stage.
Many times with mystery geocaches you will need to solve a puzzle which could be easy or extremely difficult. Solving the puzzle will give you the coordinates to the final cache location, another stage of the cache, or a hint for another puzzle!
Some mystery or puzzle caches require you to first meet certain criteria. For example having to find a cache on everyday of the calendar. Here is an example of a cache like this in Nebraska: 366. Others may require you to find a cache from 100 different cache owners. The possibilities are only limited to your imagination!
Here is a very challenging mystery cache very close to my home ….frag doch einfach Hugo! (Simply ask Hugo). The description is in German but what you have to do is chat with the cache owner online. You have to ask him questions and if you ask him the right one he will give you the coordinates to the cache!
Others are used to create cool designs if you look at them on the Geocaching map. Check out this series of mystery geocaches at the Frankfurt International Airport in Frankfurt Germany! Obviously you cannot hide a cache on the runway but you can put a mystery cache there!
The second example is a perfect circle of mystery geocaches around the city of Prague in the Czech Republic.
So after you get tired of doing all the easy Traditional and Multi Caches in your area check out some of the Mystery or Puzzle caches. You just might get hooked!