When people talk about their bucket list or dream vacations swimming with dolphins is nearly always an experience they hope for. I’m no exception. Growing up in California and now living just minutes from the beach, I have always been fascinated with the ocean and the animals that live in it’s depths. I can’t begin to describe how excited I was when I learned I would be visiting Dolphin Cove Negril as part of our VisitJamaica press trip.
This beautiful location is 23 acres of ocean front property with the largest natural dolphin lagoon in the world. Unlike many similar dolphin adventures, Dolphin Cove offers more than “just” swimming with the dolphins. There are enough activities to fill the entire day – like interacting with string rays (barbs removed), stunning shark shows, a touch tank and of course relaxing on sandy beaches taking in the tropical view. It’s literally an experience of a lifetime.
Have you ever dreamed of being a marine animal trainer? At Dolphin Cove Negril, you can work side by side with a professionally experienced animal trainers behind the scenes with the marina animals on site. Activities include: assisting in food preparation, intimate feeding and behavior interaction with dolphins, sharks and stingrays and learning hands on training techniques used by the professionals. Participants can choose between a 4 or 8 hour program.
Dolphin Cove Negril also offers 3 different types of Dolphin encounters. The “Encounter” includes standing in knee deep water with one of these gorgeous animals. They will give you a kiss and allow you to caress them. The “Swim” allows you to swim in the deep with a dolphin and includes more interation like kisses and dancing. Finally, the “Ultimate Swim” experience, like what we did, includes twice the fun with two dolphins.
Dolphin Cove won the World Travel Award for Caribbean’s Leading Adventure Excursion Operator 2012 and I can see why. One of the best parts for me was experiencing these amazing animals in what feels like their natural habitat. It felt like I had entered their world and left mine. While swimming (well, more like floating since we had life jackets on) we were able to interact and play with both dolphins.
We did everything you can thnk of that you would want to do – from petting, kissing and splashing
to dancing and dorsal pulls.
The experience was incredible, and truly an unforgettable one. I’m pretty sure I can say that no one wanted to leave when the time came – even Ann-Marie, who was petrified of the docile creatures and shied away when they came near.
I was sad that I couldn’t bring my waterproof camera in the water with me, but fortunately they have professional photographers on site who captured our experience. So don’t worry when you visit with your family – you’ll get a chance to purchase a CD with amazing shots like these to take home with you.
A huge thank you to Visit Jamaica and the Jamaican Tourism Board for covering my expenses to experience Jamaica first hand in order to share my stories with you. No additional compensation was received and all opinions are my own.