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Things to Do in Ocho Rios Jamaica – Swimming with the Dolphins

By Tarek Khaleel
ocho rios tours

Sandals Grande Ocho Rios
Only a short drive away from the Sunset Jamaican Grand Beach resort, The Dolphin cove in Ocho Rios offers a wide variety of activities including the initial tour of the Facility, the dolphin swim, boat ride, mini jungle adventure, the sting ray experience, and much more. From the hotel we arrived in minutes to the facility, where we were greeted by a kind and warm staff, our tour guide took us through the facility and showed us where each of the features would take place, and showed us the countless gift shops, restaurants and beverage stands that were on the way, if we needed refreshments or got a little hungry. By the end of the tour we were fully acquainted with the facility and felt more at ease, and were ready for the main event, swimming with the dolphins in Ocho Rios Jamaica.

As I was only an observer I could only begin to understand thethings to do in ocho rios thrills that were taking place, my parents were the ones doing the actual swim so my eyes were always on them to see how they would act around the dolphins. The trainers divided the participants into several groups, each group had a different part of the pool, and each group had their own unique set of dolphins. As observers we were only able to watch from a certain area, which caused me to pace back and forth at times to experience different views. At first the participants were just getting to know the dolphins, petting them and touching them. The trainers had them do tricks, including clapping with their fins, various summersaults, and synchronized aeronautics. My favorite part was when my mom’s feet were on top of the dolphins’ nose, and the dolphins essentially catapulted her into the distance. This was known as the toe push, no wonder. Each of the groups seemed to have had a great time with the trainers and even the dolphins seemed to be having fun.

ocho rios travelNext up was the boat ride, where we were taken far off coast in motorboats and given a tour and even a history lesson of the facility. Including its original history and the circumstances, which caused it to become the facility it is today. With the boat ride we navigated through tough waters, constantly pounding away at the boats, we were all wearing life vests, and the boast had ropes we could hold on to. So the initial fear of just falling out the back was gone, once we got moving. Going at 10 miles an hour, the wind was blowing full blast in our faces, and the sea breeze was cool and refreshing. On the way back we docked with the pier and got off, ready and warmed up for the next activity.

Swimming with the Dolphins in Ocho Rios Jamaica is Lot of Fun!!!

ocho rios jamaica toursAfter the boat ride, our guide asked who would like to experience the swim with the rays. As usual my family was too nervous, but I stepped up to the plate, and tried it. What an experience indeed, I was first greeted by the swim advisor, a boy no older than I was, but his knowledge of the species was very impressive. I was especially glad to know that the sting rays in the facility were “de barbed”, which meant they could not attack, or sting you, which also meant it was completely safe. I told the trainer how my family was nervous of the stingrays, and he said, that even if the stingrays were not de barbed they would not attack you unless you seriously provoked them, or obstructed their path. He also enlightened me on the different mating rituals of the sting rays, how they reproduce, what they like to eat, and what habitat they are most commonly found in. I was able to hold in my hand 3 huge stingrays, all female. The female stingrays are said to be twice the size of the male rays, but the male rays are a lot faster and harder to catch. After the stingray adventure I found myself a little thirsty, and so I stopped and purchased a beverage, in one of the quaint little stands and shops that were ready to do business.

ocho rios attractionsAfter that short intermission, was the densely populate parrot jungle, where we saw a variety of different species including, snakes, iguanas, spiders, and several rare species of parrot. I was even able to have the parrot land on my shoulder and take a picture with him. The tour guide explained in detail, the different types of each animal, and how to tell the difference, and what to do in a real life situation where you might encounter one these animals in the wild. In most cases however similar to the stingrays story, rarely are any of the reptiles aggressive unless unprovoked. As the guide puts it, they would rather save their precious energy for food than to come after things that are three to four times their size. We also got a brief history lesson of all the animals and how they finally ended up at the facility.

attractions in ocho rios jamaicaDuring all of these activities, a professional photographer took our photograph. We were told we could see and purchase them if we waited a little while, so my family and I toured through the village, going into the many dolphin gift shops and exotic shops within the facility. That sold things from simple dolphin jewelry, to dolphin weaved baskets. With the time finished, we got our photos and headed on back to the hotel, with only a feeling of satisfaction, and a lot of new memories.

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