Cuevas de Bellamar (Bellamar Caves)
Address: Carretera Cuevas de Bellamar, Matanzas, Matanzas
Phone: (53 45 ) 26 1683 / 25 3538
Opening hours: 9 am to 5 pm, daily
They are located in the city of Matanzas, 65 km (40 mi) west of Varadero. These caves are considered to be one of the oldest tourist attractions in Cuba; they are open to visitors since the 1860s. It’s also one of the longest and deepest natural caves of the country.
The impressive halls and galleries are filled with beautiful stalactites and stalagmites, krastic crystals, underground stream, fountains, crystallized domes and some other unique limestone formations. Indigenous paintings and fossils have also been found here. The explored area is 3 km (1.9 mi) long and contains 28 rooms; the area open to visitors is about 1 km (0.6 mi) long.
The entrance to the caves is through a small museum and outside there's a restaurant, a snack bar, a playground and a souvenirs shop. Upon entering the cave you first go down several steps (man-made stair), then the rest of the tour is on a relatively flat and well-lit path through the galleries and halls. The cave is humid and warm, so good walking shoes and light clothing are suggested. You can go the Bellamar Caves by yourself (admission is 10 CUC per person, extra 5 CUC to bring a camera, a guide is compulsory, ), or with an organized tour from Varadero (25 CUC including transportation and a panoramic tour of Matanzas).