One of Cuba's biggest tourist draws is its lovely beaches. An acitivity that is commonly associated with these beaches is swimming with its local wildlife, including dolphins and sea lions. Most tourists seek out this activity because it is not only much cheaper in Cuba than it is elsewhere, but the encounters are hands-on, educational and fun.
Many people find swimming with dolphins to be a very pleasurable experience in Cuba. Many of the dolphin facilities do not hold the animals in captivity, which puts most tourists' minds at ease. Cuba's vast beaches and tropical landscape also provide the perfect Caribbean backdrop to such an activity.
The dolphin encounters allow you to swim with dolphins after you learn how to properly interact with them. There is a short lesson on dolphin behaviour, as well as how they take to humans. After that, the instructors show you how to get the dolphins to interact with you, including how to stand on them, how to kiss them and how to have the dolphin pull you by grabbing onto its fin.
There are dolphin encounters in Varaderro, Cienfuegos and Holguin, for approximately £17. This is much cheaper than most of the encounters in other areas in and around the Caribbean, including the Bahamas, Turks & Caicos and Jamaica. Dolphin encounters in these places can cost up to £91 per person.
A standard dolphin encounter lasts for approximately 15 to 45 minutes. This can vary by facility, but can be extended if additional packages are purchased. There are packages that include lunch near the dolphin tank, a sea lion show and an excursion that takes you swimming with sea lions.
Though taking pictures with the dolphins is allowed, most facilities will charge you a minimum of £3. Most also offer their own photographer who can capture this experience for you. It is highly recommended that you pay the additional charge to have your picture taken. The dolphins are well trained, which allow tourists to capture a range of shots that feature themselves gliding, swimming and even being kissed by the dolphins. Again, this price is much cheaper than you would find elsewhere.