Matanzas Things to Do

  • Jesus our Guide and myself
    Jesus our Guide and myself
    by bri4444
  • Things to Do
    by PeterPanandWendy
  • The crocodile and the jutia
    The crocodile and the jutia
    by PeterPanandWendy

Most Recent Things to Do in Matanzas

  • PeterPanandWendy's Profile Photo

    Rio Canimar - a beautiful place to visit

    by PeterPanandWendy Written Mar 8, 2014

    Most resorts have a Jeep Safari that includes a visit to Rio Canimar. A "native" show, a boat ride down the beautiful briny river (really nice to swim in), a traditional BBQ lunch at the Arboleda (park) - makes for a great outing. Horseback riding. Of course, you can go on your own as well. Check out the crocodile and the jutia (he's so cute). Meet some "real" Cubans.

    The crocodile and the jutia
    Related to:
    • Horse Riding
    • Fishing

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    Bellamar Caves / Cuevas de Bellamar

    by bri4444 Written Apr 23, 2013

    Took a taxi arranged by concierge at Memories Varadero, cost 60$ for ride in 1955 red and white Chevy. Left around 8am got there around 9am. Unfortunately didn't open in theory till 930am which ended up being closer to 1030 as they say Cuban time. There was 3 locals who were there before me at 9 and by time first group of around 50 went through there was another 50 that was ready to go once our group got in. The entrance is surrounded by a building guarding the slender stairwell that gets you down the first 10 or so feet into the actual Cavern. While they call it a cave it is actually a cavern as the total length is 3300 meters and caves are 1000m or less. 750 meters is about the total length of cave that you can travel and is developed, where you turn at the end you can see where would have to go if could however it would be a wet trip if were to continue off the dry path. The trip back is all up and they will give you a total for the number of steps, think it was 140 something but could of been more. The crystal formations are really cool and if you can make the trip would say worth going to from either Varadero or Havana as a side excursion. The cavern has been a tourist attraction from 1862 making it the oldest tourist destination in Cuba. One of biggest formations is over 12meters long and with these formations only growing 20 cm every 100 years. This being said it's sad to say that people are touching and breaking formations and perhaps this venue won't always be available to witness as all the visitors taking their tolls on the ecosystem underground. As with all of Cuba there is some fine forms of electrical enclosures being open and or unlocked and very accessible to people who should be keeping fingers out. Watch you kids, everywhere in Cuba as hazards like these exist everywhere.

    5 Cuban convertible peso's is what they charge you to go in, and they also ding you another 5 for a camera if have one can't sneak in your pocket like I did. We had Jesus for our guide and he was very knowledgeable and humorous which really made the trip for me. Of our group only 5 were English speaking tourists so we were held to the side of the group so he could go first in Spanish in a loud voice so everyone could here and then he turned to us and in a more conversational voice explained what he said in near perfect English. I brought with me a very small tripod that fit very easily in my pocket which helped me take many pictures with myself in it with use of 10 sec timer. Used it not just on this excursion but whole trip to Cuba and had many fellow tourists and native Cuban alike asking where could get something like this. I got it out of a cheap level and laser set that didn't work very well for true job designed for but the tripod worked perfect for me and my camera.

    At end of the trip gave guide a 5 cuc tip and he asked "if would like to take a picture with both of us", so for first time asked someone to take picture for me rather then set up my tripod in building guarding the entrance to cave. Luckily for me person picked saw that had tipped very well as he burst out laughing and said "you never paid for a camera." Out of all the people could of asked in the crowded entrance I picked the man who paid in the exterior hut to get in. I laughed and thanked him for taking our picture. On trip back had a little bit of a tour through Mantanz which I think is a beautiful little city that to me was the real Cuba that people say miss if just stay in Varadero. Highly recommend going to Bellamar Caves / Cuevas de Bellamar, very happy spent my last day in Cuba here.

    Jesus our Guide and myself
    Related to:
    • Backpacking
    • Adventure Travel
    • Hiking and Walking

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  • bri4444's Profile Photo

    Bellamar Caves / Cuevas de Bellamar

    by bri4444 Written Apr 23, 2013

    Took a taxi arranged by concierge at Memories Varadero, cost 60$ for ride in 1955 red and white Chevy. Left around 8am got there around 9am. Unfortunately didn't open in theory till 930am which ended up being closer to 1030 as they say Cuban time. There was 3 locals who were there before me at 9 and by time first group of around 50 went through there was another 50 that was ready to go once our group got in. The entrance is surrounded by a building guarding the slender stairwell that gets you down the first 10 or so feet into the actual Cavern. While they call it a cave it is actually a cavern as the total length is 3300 meters and caves are 1000m or less. 750 meters is about the total length of cave that you can travel and is developed, where you turn at the end you can see where would have to go if could however it would be a wet trip if were to continue off the dry path. The trip back is all up and they will give you a total for the number of steps, think it was 140 something but could of been more. The crystal formations are really cool and if you can make the trip would say worth going to from either Varadero or Havana as a side excursion. The cavern has been a tourist attraction from 1862 making it the oldest tourist destination in Cuba. One of biggest formations is over 12meters long and with these formations only growing 20 cm every 100 years. This being said it's sad to say that people are touching and breaking formations and perhaps this venue won't always be available to witness as all the visitors taking their tolls on the ecosystem underground. As with all of Cuba there is some fine forms of electrical enclosures being open and or unlocked and very accessible to people who should be keeping fingers out. Watch you kids, everywhere in Cuba as hazards like these exist everywhere.

    5 Cuban convertible peso's is what they charge you to go in, and they also ding you another 5 for a camera if have one can't sneak in your pocket like I did. We had Jesus for our guide and he was very knowledgeable and humorous which really made the trip for me. Of our group only 5 were English speaking tourists so we were held to the side of the group so he could go first in Spanish in a loud voice so everyone could here and then he turned to us and in a more conversational voice explained what he said in near perfect English. I brought with me a very small tripod that fit very easily in my pocket which helped me take many pictures with myself in it with use of 10 sec timer. Used it not just on this excursion but whole trip to Cuba and had many fellow tourists and native Cuban alike asking where could get something like this. I got it out of a cheap level and laser set that didn't work very well for true job designed for but the tripod worked perfect for me and my camera.

    At end of the trip gave guide a 5 cuc tip and he asked "if would like to take a picture with both of us", so for first time asked someone to take picture for me rather then set up my tripod in building guarding the entrance to cave. Luckily for me person picked saw that had tipped very well as he burst out laughing and said "you never paid for a camera." Out of all the people could of asked in the crowded entrance I picked the man who paid in the exterior hut to get in. I laughed and thanked him for taking our picture. On trip back had a little bit of a tour through Mantanz which I think is a beautiful little city that to me was the real Cuba that people say miss if just stay in Varadero. Highly recommend going to Bellamar Caves / Cuevas de Bellamar, very happy spent my last day in Cuba here.

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  • rafgys's Profile Photo

    Cueva Bellamar

    by rafgys Written May 8, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Bellamar is one of the main tourist attractions. It’s a cave 40 meters deep, and 750 meters long. It’s quite humid and hot… but it’s great! There are tons of light, so you can actually see around… it’s beautiful.

    The bad thing is that they charge you 5 CUC to get in… and another 5 CUC to take your camera with you. If you have a small camera, just hide it in your pocket… once you’re in, there’s no control.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Adventure Travel

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  • PeterPanandWendy's Profile Photo

    Bellamar Caves / Cuevas de Bellamar

    by PeterPanandWendy Written Feb 1, 2009

    The folks that run the souvenir shop are wonderful. Raquel and Angelito. Very sweet and helpful. Rum and cigars are inexpensive. Nice little trinkets to buy.

    Souvenir Shop at Bellamar Caves

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  • rafgys's Profile Photo

    Parque René Fraga

    by rafgys Written May 8, 2007

    This park is a few blocks up the hill from Parque Libertad. There’s nothing very special up there… just a beautiful view of the Matanzas bay!

    Related to:
    • Backpacking

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Matanzas Things to Do

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