Bellamar Caves

Don Ramon Pargas bought a small farm near Matanzas with the intention to  make lime. One of his slaves missed a cart that was "swallowed by the earth". Mr. Ramón ordered to dig in the spot...

One day he went with people at the spot andf they had just opened a little space when an air stream of a terrible smell, hot and smoky hit them.  Mr. to Parga continued the work convinced that this was the entrance to a cave and continued to widen the opening, Ramón went down with all means of exploration and he found not just a cave, but also magnificent crystallizations. His biggest merit was that he believed the idea that the first discovery was worth to further explore this dark region, that the public would appreciate the discovery and his explorations and hos great expenses would be paid.


estructuras-de-las-cuevas-de-Bellamar


Mr. Parga built a house on the entrance of the cave and a very comfortable wooden staircase, a bridge to go to through a slit, trace of an earthquake that occurred in that locality, and finally made stairs in the rock for inviting the public to visit the wonderful place. The cave is two miles from Matanzas and must climb a very rough and muddy cave. 
The entrance is a wooden staircase of 23 steps, ending in a platform. 



Cuevas-bellamar-4

Bellamar Caves


The crystallization of a coraloidea, as abundant as portentous, sparkles in places the same as diamond, splitting the light into thousands and thousands of beams. Stalagmites and the pavement is uneven. At some points in this gallery are three pieces of wall and ceiling with naked crystallization. At intervals through the wall you can find henequen leaves. 

 

Drops of water falling on the clay give rise to a coarse crystallization it is a yellowish surface, crystal and opaque on the bottom. The roof of this vault is of coarse limestone, there is no evidence of releases and calms the mind and heart, gives new breath to continue his exploration. The low ceiling with has large areas of crystallization coraloidea and big beautiful flakes that look like porcelain.


Two thousand dollars was offered  to Mr. Parga by an  American gentleman for some of the formations, but Mr. Parga rejected the offer, which speaks much for his taste and generosity. 


For the traveler educated in natural sciences, the cave is a great book for study the problems that arouse a strong desire to research, because everything there is a matter of deep consideration. In the 1860's, a traveler, the American Samuel Hazard, hereby sentenced "Who has not seen Bellamar Caves has not seen Cuba". The Caves of Bellamar, the oldest active turistic attraction in Cuba, is one of the most beautiful of any on the island, not in vain, became a strong attraction for tourists just a while after they were discovered.


bellamar18Visitors in the caves

 

This place brings two more highlights in the history of the area, as was in Cave Bellamar where electric light was lit for the first time in Matanzas, which occurred in 1864, this cave system is the largest contributor of more than 90 dens that surround the city, a number that exceeds any other place in Cuba.