After our first night and a good sleep, 7 of our group went on privately booked tour around Matanzas in a taxi. First stop was for a tour of cuevas (caves) de Bellamar. It was a very good guided tour with loads to see. It cost extra to bring along the camera into the cave and take photos so I opted not to take it with me. Anyway, if I had taken my camera down into the cave, I’m not sure I would have been able to capture what we saw very well. We walked down, down, down into the caves. They were huge. We saw plenty of stalagmites, stalactites, crystals, and sea fossils in the rock. The guide told some interesting stories and facts with a good sense of humour. Definitely worth the trip down and then the climb back up the stairs.
After the cuevas de Bellamar, we were driven through town through various areas. We saw quite an assortment of buildings and neighbourhoods. We drove up to the top of a hill – checked out the lovely old church from the 1870s (iglesia de Monserrat) and the wonderful view from the top of the hill.
The original plan was to stop in the town of Mantanzas and perhaps explore it a bit. However, our guide seemed to have forgotten or had better plans, because we didn’t stop. I did manage to get some photos from inside the vehicle as we passed different things. It looked like quite an interesting town. Perhaps a good town to explore on a return trip.
Our next stop was a market in Varaderos. It was an artisan market “Gran Parque de la Artesania” between Calles 15 & 16 and I think the biggest in town. Of course, I bought a few souvenirs. There were many old cars driving by either driving tourists around or looking for tourists to drive around.
On the way back to the resort, we stopped at Al Capone’s old house (used for storage). We also stopped at the old Dupont house called Zanadu.
We arrived back at the resort in time for a late lunch and a play in the warm water of the Atlantic Ocean. For dinner, we celebrated a special birthday of one of our party at the Cuban restaurant on the resort. Good food!