Jamaica is an island in the Caribbean near Cuba and the Cayman Islands. Montego Bay is the capital of St. James Parish and is the second largest city in Jamaica. It is a major tourist destination with hotels, restaurants, duty free shopping and many tourist attractions, one of which is Dolphin Encounter, a short ride from the harbour along the beautiful coastal road.
Montego Bay Jamaica
Montego Bay Jamaica Dolphin Encounter has a beautiful setting with decorative ponds housing large colourful koi, as well as bird gardens. A natural dolphin lagoon at the sea’s edge is the home of the bottlenose dolphins, some of whom have been successfully bred there.
The dolphins were presented in a safe and fun-filled environment. We were all surprised by their intelligence and friendliness.
A short orientation talk was given and then we decided our level of personal interaction (financially driven, of course!).
All the dolphins are trained to perform to varying degrees, with synchronised jumps, dancing and singing acts, as well as interact with visitors.
This is not something I personally like to see as I prefer animals in their wild and natural environments. But as they say, we only preserve what we know and love, so these types of venues do have a positive education role.
There were opportunities to observe the dolphins from a knee deep shallow platform at the water’s edge, or pet, take a handshake, caress or even grab a kiss or two.
They even allow you to get in the pool with them. You can take a memorable ride ‘one on one’ on a dolphin’s belly, or to be pulled along by its dorsal fin. Or even still, the thrilling ‘foot push’ as they push you across the water by your feet. A truly unforgettable experience!
There was so much to do with the dolphins, we almost forgot to visit their other attractions, which included a boardwalk and shopping for souvenirs.
There was a nature trail where we could interact with the rainforest birds and fascinating reptiles.
The bird aviary housed some amazing colourful tropical bird species.
Another special enclosure allowed you to pet or snorkel with gentle stingrays, and they also had a group of tawny nurse sharks which were being trained to being handled so they too can become ambassadors for their kind.
There was something for everyone, with many unforgettable memories to take home.
Irene Isaacson travelled at her own expense.
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