Although many of the top Cuba tourist attractions are clustered in the major cities of Havana and Santiago de Cuba, visitors to the resorts at Varadero need not go that far to see one of the best sights on the island: the Cuevas de Bellamar.
The Cuevas de Bellamar (Bellamar Caves) are one of the oldest Cuba tourist attractions. The were discovered in the mid-1800s either by a slave working a limestone quarry or a shephard looking for a lost sheep (reports vary). Before long the Bellamar Caves were world-renowned and a must-see stop on any tour of Cuba.
Today, the Cuevas de Bellamar remain one of the top Cuba tourist attractions. Every year thousands of vacationers take a tour of this spectacular natural wonder. Tours of the Cuevas de Bellamar are readily available from Varadaro. Top tour companies include Cubatur, Havanatur, and Rumbos and can be readily arranged from any of the Cuban resorts. Independent travelers can get a private taxi or a train-bus from the town of Matanzas. Guided tours of the Bellamar Caves cost about $5 each (there is an extra charge to take photographs) and leave once an hour from 9 am to 8 pm. It is best to arrive with an arranged tour group to ensure an English-speaking guide.
The tour of the Bellamar Caves begins with a visit to an enormous cavern, with awe-inspiring structures of stalagmites and stalactites growing from the floor and ceiling. You then descend about 100 feet through the Bellamar Caves along narrow corridors and through wide caverns. Glimpses of the natural crystal formations are well worth the visit. Guides encourage visitors to drink from the natural fountains in the Cuevas de Bellamar: the “Fountain of Youth” and “Fountain of Love.”
Outside the Bellamar Caves visitors will find a small visitors complex, the Finca La Alcancia. This includes a playground for children and a restaurant serving dishes of traditional Cuban food. The tour of the Bellamar Caves is relatively short so a visit to the caves makes a good morning or afternoon excursion from the hotels at Varadero and an enjoyable outing for parents and children alike. The Cuevas de Bellamar are likely to be one of the top Cuba tourist attractions for many years to come.