Cuevas de Bellamar

Matanzas Province

Cuba's oldest tourist attraction, according to local propaganda, lies 5km southeast of Matanzas and is 300,000 years old. There are 2500m of caves here, discovered in 1861 by a Chinese workman in the employ of Don Manuel Santos Parga. The entrance is through a small museum, and a 45-minute Cuevas de Bellamar visit leaves almost hourly starting at 9:30am. The caves on show include a vast 12m stalagmite and an underground stream; cave walls glitter eerily with crystals.

Well-maintained, well-lit paths mean it's easy for kids to imbibe the stupendous geology, too. Outside the Cuevas de Bellamar are two restaurants and a playground.

It's 5km from central Matanzas – you can walk, take a taxi or hop on bus 12 from Plaza Libertad.

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