Acuario Cayo Naranjo - Dolphins and Sea lions
Swimming with dolphins is just a dream for many people, especially children. This is your chance to make it real, not too far from the hotels in Holguin. Located on a man-made island in the middle of a bay. The Bahia Naranjo used to be the perfect hideaway for pirates and corsairs long time ago.
Cayo Naranjo is accessible from the nearby coast by boat (not actually speedboat! of 50 seats not really comfortable!) to transport people from the mainland to the island and enjoy watching marine life, and even to swim with dolphins (not sea lions).
The dolphinarium can be reach by boats AND also by catamarans. At the dolphinarium you will find a bar, restaurant, boutique, beach chairs, dolphins, sea lions and ... a nice crocodile!
The dolphinarium has been constructed in 1994 and its final shape in 1996. On 2005, the dolphinarium was closed for quite a long time. At that time, it was possible to swim with dolphins during the catamaran excursion, but not at the dolphinarium. They installed ponds around a small dock (2005) near the hotel Sol Rio de Luna y Mares. I can easily imagine the dolphins being happy to return to the dolphinarium, the pool was not particularly large!
Cuba has several dolphinariums, the largest Definario Cayo Santa Maria is located in Cayo Ensenachos, north of Cuba in the King's garden. The most recent is in Cayo Guillermo (near the marina). Almost every tourists destination offer this excursion. However not all are « real » dolphinarium like in Holguin, some are only fences in water where people can swim with dolphins.
There are nine trainers in Holguin, eleven dolphins (eight born in captivity) and five sea lions (four born in captivity). Dolphins and sealions do not share the same pond. These animals do not go well together!
It is a pleasant experience to watch dolphins and sea lions dances, jumps and make funny tricks. It is astonishing to see how high the dolphins can jump in the air or push you out of the water. Dolphins are lovely creatures, and it is crucial to follow these rules to avoid hurting them ...
No littering, always follow instructions, jewelry not allowed, wear a lifejacket, flippers and mask not allowed, please do not smoke, children under 3 years old and pregnant women are not allowed to swim, do not use suntan lotions while swimming.
You may visit the « Delfinario Cayo Naranjo » (no swimming) for 50 CUC per person. It includes open bar and access to the dolphins and sea lions show. The sea lions show is at 11h (no shade), and the dolphins show at 11h30 (shade). The price of this activity includes the transfer by bus from your hotel to the dock then to the dolphinarium by boat. It is possible to go to the dolphinarium to attend the show in wheel chair.
The bus picks up at 8h45 at your hotel, and the transfer is about 10 minutes (20 min from Playa Guardalavaca and Playa Pesquero). The boat trip is 10 minutes. As the dolphinarium is located inside a bay, the water is calm, so the transfer is « smooth ». After the show, your transfer awaits you to return to your hotels around 12h.
There is a professional photograph at the dolphinarium, so if you want a souvenir of this unforgettable event, you may purchase your photo at the shop located near the bar. The price is 10 CUC per photo. For those looking for a video, they can record this event for you, but you must first tell them before entering the pool. The price is 30 CUC for a DVD.
NOTE that there is no extra charge to use your own camera.
These are the excursions offer at the dolphinarium ...
Dolphins Tour: 108 CUC (adult) / 54 CUC (children)
. Transfer by bus to the dolphinarium, swim with dolphins and enjoy the shows (dolphins and sealions).
Langostada: price to come
. Transfer by bus to the dolphinarium, swim with dolphins and enjoy the shows (dolphins and sealions) and enjoy a seafood dinner and open bar.
Crucero del Sol : 129 CUC (adult) / 65 CUC (children)
. During your day-trip catamaran, stop at the dolphinarium to swim with dolphins (20 minutes), enjoy shows and eat lobster at the restaurant.
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