Dolphinarium Cayo Naranjo

Swimming with dolphins is an activity that frequently makes it to the top of many a bucket list. In Cuba, Acuario Cayo Naranjo is a popular dolphinarium that offers a fun day out for anyone wanting to enjoy this magical experience. Situated 6 km west of Guardalavaca, it's one of the region's most popular attractions. The dolphinarium is also set within a natural ocean cove, offering an incredible opportunity to swim with dolphins in their natural environment.

Just a short drive from the tourist resort of Guardalavaca is Acuario Cayo Naranjo – a dolphinarium set along a 19-mile stretch of coastline featuring gorgeous beaches, secluded caves and fantastic scuba diving opportunities.

Long ago, the cove in which the dolphinarium is now set was used as a safe haven by marauding pirates and corsairs, but today it serves a more leisurely purpose.

Sea lion and dolphin shows
Acuario Cayo Naranjo puts on an entertaining sea lion show to start the day before the dolphins take their turn with an expertly rehearsed acrobatics performance that sees them pirouette, splash flippers, leap majestically through the air and generally show off to the crowds.

Of course, many visitors come here for the opportunity to actually get in the water and take a swim with the dolphins, and the natural ocean setting of Acuario Cayo Naranjo makes this experience extra special.

Swimming with dolphins
While designated pens have been built to encourage the dolphins to remain close to shore, the pens are both substantial in size and low enough to allow them to easily leap over should they wish.

While in the water, the dolphins perform various tricks, obediently listening to their trainer’s requests before being rewarded with a mouthful of fish. Everyone also gets to hitch a ride around the pool – one of the highlights of the day. The trainer instructs two dolphins to position themselves either side of a swimmer who must then grab hold of a fin with each hand and hold on tight.

For those who wish to capture memories of the day, the dolphinarium has its own photographer and photos can be purchased at the shop near the on-site bar. It’s also possible to have the experience recorded on DVD.

If you fancy ending your experience with a local meal, Acuario Cayo Naranjo has its own seafood restaurant serving up freshly-caught lobster. A table here is pretty much the perfect way to relax after an afternoon in the water.

It’s easy to book an all-inclusive tour to Acuario Cayo Naranjo and many of the local hotels can arrange this for you. Along with access to the shows and a swim with dolphins, tours often include a catamaran trip with a free bar and snorkelling.

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