I have a bucket list. I think everyone does, really. Mine isn’t written down (maybe it should be, but it isn’t), but in my head there is a list of things I’d like to do in my life. It changes a lot, and it grows as I learn about new things, but one thing that has always been on it is swimming with dolphins.
I’m pretty sure this is on a lot of people’s lists – dolphins are such intelligent, beautiful and friendly animals, and there’s something so life affirming about swimming with them. So when Ian and I discovered you could swim with them in the sea – in their natural environment – we knew we had to go.
We got a boat to the Isla Mujeres, the only place in Mexico where the dolphins are kept in the sea rather than in a pool (which was important to me). The boat itself was actually really good fun. The views were beautiful.
We went down to the bar and ordered two cola lights. The barman repeated our order…and handed us two beers. At 9am. Still…we were on holiday, after all!
We arrived at the premises, which were beautiful, put our stuff in provided lockers and excitedly followed our instructor into the water where the dolphins were splashing around!
There was a mum and her baby in together. They keep families together which really pleased me to see. The course instructor told us that although the mum would interact with us as normal, we had to be patient and accept that she might get distracted by looking after her baby! If anything I was just pleased that they don’t separate them and it was so cute to watch! We stroked the dolphins and they did some little tricks for us before we got to interact with them on a one-to-one basis.
The dolphin gave us a kiss…
And we had a dance…
And gave them a little high five on the nose…
And played some quick games of basketball!
The instructors were brilliant, alternating between Spanish and English with ease and making both us and the dolphins feel really comfortable. Afterwards, we were offered the chance to buy the photographs. I’d read reports that this was really high pressured selling and that the photos were really expensive. We paid about £50 for 31 photos – I know this might seem like a lot, but bear in mind that two photos at the Harry Potter experience cost £24! There was absolutely no pressure at all to buy anything – you could’ve avoided the photo kiosk entirely if you’d wanted to.
We got free lunch – all you can eat buffet, which was amazing – and a chance to explore the island…more of that tomorrow! If you ever get the opportunity to swim with dolphins you should grab it with both hands. We only went for the most basic encounter (you could also let a dolphin lift you up and jump over you and so on) and it was more than enough. It was one of the most enjoyable things I’ve ever done!