What is a dolphinarium? That’s what I said when I first read about Dolphin Discovery located in Cancun, Mexico. Sure I had heard of swimming with dolphins but never a dolphinarium. Basically, a dolphinarium is an aquarium for dolphins. Makes sense right? It is also the ultimate swimming with dolphins experience. It is the dolphin habitat recreated and put in a type of giant aquarium both dolphins and humans can enjoy. It is especially enjoyable at Dolphin Discovery because the habitats are located on Isla Mujeres in resort style pools that feed into the Carribean Sea complete with Palm trees and white sand.
When swimming with dolphins before it had always seemed kind of cheesy. It was not very personal and more like “take pose and smile for the camera!” I did not feel that I got to know them and the creatures remained a mystery to me. The experience at Dolphin Discovery seems to go way beyond that.
They still have the swim and play with dolphins aspect but they take it one step further. It is an educational experience as well. I have always heard that dolphins and humans make a good interspecies pair – much like humans and dogs – but are not as accessible since they are not land animals. It seems Dolphin Discovery explores that more than other swim with dolphins groups.
They take it beyond pictures and tricks by offering lengthy activities where you can spend extended periods of time and even help train the dolphins. This involves swimming with them in the actual Caribbean Sea, not just a pool, and establishing a bond of trust with the dolphin. The extent of your experience depends on which activity you choose, of course, but once you leave you will feel as if you really got to “hang out” with the dolphin group. Each of them has a unique personality you really get to know. Some are more playful, some want to be the center of attention, some are shy, some tricksters and some just want to be loved. The depth of these creatures’ personas is amazing and so is swimming with them in their natural habitat.
Between swimming with dolphins, riding the dolphins and playing with the dolphins you feel like you’ve seen another side of these magnificent creatures, a once in a lifetime experience. And I’m sure it doesn’t hurt that you are swimming in some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. I just wish I had fins so I could swim with them more!