expedition "Proyecto Bellamar" 2013 - from 28 February to 24 March

Con il Patrocinio della Sociedad Espeleologica de Cuba, della Società Speleologica Italiana e della Federazione Speleologica Francese, il Team La Salle sarà impegnato a cuba dal 28 febbraio al 24 marzo nelle aree di Matanzas, Tope de Collantes, Cueva Martin Infierno, e Valle di Viñales. In programma, principalmente, documentazione video fotografica in 3D, ma anche la continuazione della topografia in Cueva Naufragio e Cueva Garibaldi, e la messa in sicurezza di una delle più belle grotte al mondo. Per questa ragione  terremo dal 9 al 10 marzo un corso sull’"etica dell'esplorazione e della frequentazione" presso la Scuola di Speleologia della Sociedad Espeleologica de Cuba. Durante questa spedizione il Team La Salle festeggerà il decimo anniversario del "Proyecto Bellamar".


Avec le soutien de la Société de Spéléologie de Cuba, de la Fédération Italienne de Spéléologie et de la Fédération Française de Spéléologie, l’Association La Salle Team Internationale organise, du 28 février au 24 mars 2013, une expédition spéléologique à Matanzas – Cuba pour l’exploration des grottes situées dans le « Parc de Tope de Collantes », à celles de Martin Inferno » et dans les cavités de la Vallée de Viñales. Le programme s’articule autour de deux grands thèmes, tout d’abord, la documentation photographique et vidéo en relief et ensuite, l’exploration, l’étude et la topographie de la grotte Garibaldi.  

Les spéléologues de La Salle Team International proposeront une réunion sur les moyens à mettre en ouvre pour protéger l’une des plus belles grottes du monde, la grotte de Bellamar.

Dans ce cadre, ils proposeront un séminaire sur l’éthique de l‘exploration spéléologique et la fréquentation des grottes qui se déroulera à l’Ecole de Spéléologie de la Société de Spéléologie de Cuba les 9 et 10 mars 2013.

Au cours de cette expédition, La Salle Team fêtera le dixième anniversaire du « Projet Bellamar ». 


With the support of the Cuba Espeleological Society, Italian Speleological Society and the French Speleological Federation, Team La Salle will be engaged in Cuba from February 28th to March 24th, in the areas of Matanzas, “Tope de Collantes”, “Cueva Martin Infierno“ and the Valley of the Viñales .In the program there are, mainly, photo and video documentations in 3D, but also the second part of the topography in Cueva Naufragio and Cueva Garibaldi, and a work on the safety of one of the most beautiful cave of the world. For this reasonwe will keep from 9th to 10th march a course on "ethics of exploration and attendance" in the School of Speleology of the “Sociedad Espeleologica de Cuba”.

During this expedition Team la Salle will celebrate tenth anniversary of the "Proyecto Bellamar".

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Scientifc expedition "Proyecto Bellamar 2012- news

While  the (OUR?) three Swiss companions were eating Pizza a la Lobster in Havana due to a late departure of our plane for Paris, the (WE?) two Italians had to spend the night  near “Charles de Gaulle” airport. Fortunately, Esteban had already organized -a day in advance in Havana- to meet the Heads of Staff of the Natural Science Museum.The meeting took place without problems,  and was highlighted by an interesting scientific discussion concerning the origins of the Mantazes underground cavern complex of and its concretions.During our trip to Matanzas, under a light tropical rain, Esteban’s motorcycle tire was punctured which hampered our movements for a brief time because a similar problem in Cuba  is usually quickly resolved within an hour.We finally arrived in Matanzas and were warmly welcomed in the Bellamar Gardens. Promptly  we found ourselves ready to follow-through on a  well-organized series of scientific research programs with Esteban e Osmanny. We,  as  particularily enthusiastic scientists,  gave  immediate priority to discussing the parameters  of the program and the research goals while our hosts graciously surprised  us with an excellent Bucanero beer to lightly “lubricate” our welcome!  On december 15th, we visited the Santa  Catalina “Cueva” to better understand the origins of the famous characteristic  “mushrooms” and the cavern itself. We had already- in   an earlier visit- collected interesting information and formulated observations that in order to be confirmed and transformed into verifiable scientific theory  would  require  further visits and  analyses. Therefore,  again today we are returning to Santa Catalina to visit the deeper, water-covered parts of the grotto.


15-19 Dec 2012


We spent the first two days in Matanzas to study Cueva de Santa Catalina and its famous mushrooms. There the concretions, geomorphological forms and structures discovered have been stimulated our discussions and thoughts. At the first analysis the mushrooms don’t seem to have a biogenic origin but they present some very interesting structures that probably could reveal much about the geological history of Santa Catalina and the area of ​​Mantanzas. On December 17th we went in Cueva Shipwreck, where we had the opportunity to observe a similar cave to Cueva de Santa Catalina but Cueva Shirpwreck was flooded. This gave us the opportunity to understand how Santa Catalina had to be a a few hundred thousand years ago. It was also discovered a new part of the cave hitherto unknown and very promising. On december 18th we spent the day to sample the marine terraces around the Matanzas to date them. We also visited the "sponge tunnel" in cueva Bellamar. Here many things could be much studied.

Maybe this will be another story. Now off to new question marks in the "Cueva Perdida" and "Cueva Garibaldi".


Invigorated by a tasty dinner with lobster and also by a good rest unfortunately interrupted by the singing of the roosters chain Cubans, on the 19th of December we continued to work for the sampling of marine terraces in the area of Cueva de Santa Catalina. From the lower terraces near the sea, where there are many fossils of coral and marine gastropods, up to the highest terraces, by now immersed in the cuban dense forest. After a quick lunch in Cueva Saturno we looked for the Cueva Perdida, and it was lost. So in the Cueva de Agua, and bath in the lake where it was installed a pumping system. Some nice pictures to majestic fig of the entrance and to the honeycomb of bees buzzing around us. "Dulcis in mushroom", after a change of cuban caving guide (Dr. Ortega), way towards the Cueva Garibaldi.We reached the Hall of underwater formations in few minutes, not before that we met the" guardian "of bats, a beautiful boa (or was it a python?). Really a unforgettable event. It was arrived already the last day of expedition.We still had a job to help our cuban friends: locate a possible artificial entrance of Cueva Jarrito using “ARVA”. "Tomase", "Ilenie" and "Joe” entered in the cave with "Estebanne"; out of the cave , with the other “ARVA”, there were "Osmanne", "Hile", "Nicole" and "Stefanoe." What effort to get to only three hundred meters from the entrance, but what reward to admire the many white crystalline landscapes "Blanca Victoria". The floor of the big hall, that is a likely future access to the cave, is located about 30 meters from the surface, so the ARVA told us. Now we should do a small survey in the identified point and hope to hit the underground environment.The work is done, at the same time our cuban friends are happy (both for his achievements but perhaps also because they finally get rid of us!), but also they are a bit sad. And a bit we too are.  We back home to celebrate Christmas, below freezing.

Scientifc expedition "Proyecto Bellamar 2012-2"

Since 2003 Proyecto Bellamar joins cavers from Cuba and the rest of the world delivering high quality 3D multimedia products. It is now time to increase the scientific content of the project. Therefore, a scientific crew has been setup to study the genesis of the concretions of Santa Catalina cave. Six people: Esteban Grau (La Salle 3D – Fundacion A. N. Jiménez - Sociedadad Espeleologica de Cuba), Stefano Torriani, Tomaso Bontognali (ETH Zurich - Società Speleologica Svizzera), Jo De Waele, Ilenia D'Angeli (Università di Bologna – Società Speleologica Italiana) and Nicola Tisato (ETH Zurich – La Salle 3D - Società Speleologica Svizzera) will be caving and studying the Matanzas caves between 12th and 22nd of December 2012. The aim of the expedition is to provide an explanation on the formation of the famous “Mushrooms of Santa Catalina”, and eventually to link it to biological activity. In addition the scientists will try to better understand the genesis of the Matanzas caves linking it to the recent uplift of the zone. At the end, the research will be part of the Master thesis of Ilenia.

Terra a Cuore Aperto a Nardò - la mostra è stata allestita

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The first photo shows underwater cave in the world

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Expé dans l'Ural (RUSSIE)

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3D photo exhibition - Underground of Enchantment

“Underground of Enchantment” is a 3D photo exhibit featuring the beautiful magic & microbial secrets of one of the most interesting caves in the world - Lechuguilla Cave in southeastern New Mexico. 

Lechuguilla Cave is the deepest limestone cave (486.9m) in the USA & sixth longest cave in the world (128miles/206km). The cave holds a spectacular but fragile ecosystem which was cut off from the surface until 1986. To protect this system, entry into Lechuguilla is restricted to exploration & science.

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- expedition Cuba 2011 - Proyecto Bellamar

Cueva de Farallones de Gran Tierra de Moa
Cueva de Farallones de Gran Tierra de Moa