Whale watching with Dolphin Discovery
Weighing up to 73,000 pounds and measuring up to 50 feet, the gray whale in the Pacific Ocean is a spectacle to see. Every fall, the gray whale makes the longest migration of any mammal—a 6,000 mile journey from the cold waters of Alaska and Siberia to the warm ocean of Baja California. The whales leave their home and arrive in late December to escape the chilly winter and take refuge to give birth to their young. They make the Pacific Ocean their home from January to March, offering us the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see them up close in their habitat. Watching these awe-inspiring creatures is a sight not to be missed.
Breaching, whale watching in Los Cabos
During the tour, you might be a spectator to a number of behaviors. While you’re on the boat, keep an eye out for spouting: the visible exhaling of air by the whale. This is the first indication of the proximity of whales. Another whale behavior is breaching: when the whale leaps out of the water and falls back with a splash. Whales are constantly moving and can remain underwater from two to five minutes, meaning you have to keep your eyes open and anticipate their direction so you will be ready for the next breach and sprout. Your guides will also be able to tell you where to look as they have become experts in reading whale behavior. While on the tour, you might also see the whales showing their flukes, and hear them sounding their whale song. The most exciting and thrilling behavior is spy-hopping: the whale pushes itself up to the surface of the water until it can see his surroundings. The curious creature comes face-to-face with its observers as you look at it.
Spy-hopping Whale Watching Tour
Although the gray whale is the most popular species, Los Cabos whale watching tours are rich because there might be the chance of seeing an even greater variety of animals. The tour is also available in Vallarta.
Dolphin Discovery takes you on this exciting whale watching tour in Los Cabos and Vallarta on a small boat, zodiac, giving us the ability to move in closer and faster to get an eye-to-eye close up with these stunning and beautiful animals.
It’s that time of the year again, the season to join with family and friends and celebrate the holidays, think about what we did on the past year and look forward to what the new year will bring to us. 2010 was a busy year for Dolphin Discovery, new adventures, new friends and a whole lot of smiling faces. Let’s have a look at some of the highlights of 2010…
Cozumel Welcomes Sea Lions!
Dolphin Discovery Cozumel was thrilled to welcome sea lions into the family this year, with their feisty characters and silly antics, the sea lion program is a delightful addition to Chankanaab Park. Pingo and Karla makes us laugh every day, and little baby Taco has a huge personality!
Miss Caribbean World Pageant Tortola
Dolphin Discovery Tortola is a truly beautiful place, but the participants in the Miss Caribbean World Pageant made it gorgeous! These lovely ladies from all over the Caribbean took time out of their busy schedule to join us for a swim with dolphins in Tortola, we thank them for their visit and offer congratulations once again to winner Marcia Baptiste from Dominica!
“Por la Libre” Open Water Race
Dolphin Discovery was pleased to be a sponsor of the 10 km open water swim race from Cancun to Isla Mujeres. More than 500 international athletes hit the water in Cancun and made the ocean crossing to the finish line at Garrafon Park. Seventeen year old Fernando Betanzos finished first, with an incredible time of 1 hour and 33 minutes! Televisa Verde made this event extra special by donating 6000 mangrove plants to revitalize the Nichupte Lagoon.
Manatee Madness in Riviera Maya
Our little family of manatees in Puerto Aventuras had a fantastic 2010. In June we had a big first birthday celebration for our rescued manatee “Robert”, with a fruit and vegetable birthday cake and a visit from local school children. In September we welcomed the newest member of the manatee family as Julieta gave birth to a bouncing baby boy, another success for our reproduction program!
Merlin the iPad Dolphin
One of the biggest news stories of the year was the release of the iPad and our smart-as-a-whip dolphin Merlin was one of the first to give the tablet a whirl and make his own headlines. Researchers from “Speak Dolphin” introduced the touch-screen device to Merlin in an effort to bridge communications with our dolphin friends and learn more about these incredible creatures. The fame has not gone to Merlin’s head, he is as down to earth (down to sea?) as he has always been, a vital part of our Riviera Maya crew.
“Dive with Dolphins Cozumel”
Dolphin Discovery Cozumel introduced a unique new program this year, “Dive with Dolphins” invites our guests to join dolphins under the sea and discover a whole new way to play. Chankanaab Park and Cozumel are paradise to scuba divers all over the world, what better way to explore the underwater home of the dolphins? This was one of my personal highlights of the year, donning the mask and tank and playing with Titan near the ocean floor was a truly phenomenal experience.
Cruisers Delight, Dolphin Discovery Costa Maya
November 2010 we celebrated the grand opening of our newest dolphinarium in the cruise ship port of Costa Maya near the town of Mahahual. Located about 400 kms south of Cancun, Costa Maya is a HOT destination for cruise ships! Dolphin Discovery is excited about our new venture and we look forward to welcoming new friends from the cruising community in 2011 and the years to come.
This is just a taste of some of the great experiences we’ve had at Dolphin Discovery this year, I could write all day about new births and visiting celebrities and the numerous charity and community events that we were honored to be a part of. I would like to thank every member of the Dolphin Discovery team for all their hard work and smiles, let’s do it again next year!
To all of you, our guests, we thank you for making 2010 a special year and we wish you a happy and safe holiday season and a new year full of love, life, happiness and success. Dolphin hugs and kisses to everyone, see you in 2011!
Everyone loves sea lions, aside from being so handsome they seem to have a great sense of humour, always making us laugh. So, what do you know about sea lions? Let’s have a look at some facts:
– Sea lions are found all over the world, from the Arctic to New Zealand, usually found along rocky coasts where there are rich food sources such as sardines, herring, capelin and squid.
– They can be distinguished from seals by their visible external ear flaps.
– Sea lions are “pinnipeds’, meaning they have “winged feet”.
– – Male sea lions are called bulls, females cows and babies pups.
– They are marine mammals, meaning they do not lay eggs. They carry their babies in their tummy between eight to eleven months and their pups are born on land and will nurse from their mother from four to twelve months.
– Male sea lions are called bulls, females cows and babies pups.
– They have a lifespan of ten to fifteen years in the wild and in a healthy zoological environment they can live up to twenty five to thirty five years.
– This cute animals are warm blooded, covered in a layer of fat that protect them from cold temperatures.
– Sea lions can remain underwater for up to forty minutes if hunting for food, accomplished by squeezing their nostrils shut tight.
– They are very social, they usually live in large colonies or pods that are up to one thousand members, that are subdivided in smaller groups.
– Sea lions aren’t lazy, but they love to hang around on the rocks and bask in the sun.
– This marine mammal is intelligent and easy to train, the military has been training them for years for rescue operations in the sea.
– The biggest danger for sea lions are the fishers, pollution and climate change. Their predators are killer whales and sharks, though they can swim faster than both they can be taken by surprise.
We’ll love to invite you and get to know better this cute animals, you can find them in different Dolphin Discovery habitats like in; Isla Mujeres, Cozumel, Riviera Maya, Puerto Vallarta, Six Flags Mexico City and Gulf World.
Live this once in a lifetime experience with the adorable sea lions, get a hug, a fishy-smell kiss and even a hive five with our Sea Lion Encounters programs.
Please remember to keep our oceans and beaches clean, plastic bags, six-pack rings, and all type of garbage is very dangerous to the sea lions and their environment. Help us out and protect the incredible marine life, when you go to the beach pick up your trash and educate the little ones. Spread the word, if each of us do our small part all earth creatures will have a brighter future.
photo courtesy NYDailyNews.com
The city of Puerto Vallarta will be more festive than usual this week as it celebrates 42 years as a city and 92 years as a municipality. The May Cultural Festival is an annual event bringing nightly concerts, singing, dancing, art exhibits, fireworks and parades, a fantastic time to visit this Pacific coast paradise! The heart of the city will be filled with color, joyous sounds and of course, the tantalizing aromas of a Mexican feast!
For many years Puerto Vallarta was a quiet fishing and pearl-diving village called “Las Peñas¨. As early as the mid 19th century it became a place for people from surrounding villages to take a relaxing vacation. In 1918, the village was renamed after the former governor, Ignacio Vallarta and was given the status of municipality. The first airplane service began in 1932 and by the 1950’s Puerto Vallarta had begun attracting Americans, mostly artists seeking retreat on the shores of Banderas Bay. Puerto Vallarta changed forever after director John Huston brought production of his 1963 movie “Night of the Iguana” to a nearby small town. With the publicity of the film (and the scandalous behaviour of Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor), Puerto Vallarta became both famous and infamous and the tide of tourists began to increase. In 1968 Puerto Vallarta was elevated to “city” status and the state and federal government contributed to the development of the region as an international resort destination. Today Puerto Vallarta is one of the most popular vacation spots in the world, treating millions of visitors each year to a taste of its Mexican charm.
Here’s a look at the cultural events being celebrated this week in Puerto Vallarta:
May 25th 8:00 pm- The Arcos de Malecon come alive with the sounds of mariachi with local favourites “Los Tios” performing the traditional music made famous in the region
May 27th 8:00 pm- The restaurant “La Leche” hosts an evening with sommelier Agustin Rodriguez and chef Nacho Cadena with wine tastings and a lecture entitled “Food and Wine, a Beautiful Tradition” (Spanish only)
May 28 8:00 pm- The Arcos de Malecon is again the site of a fabulous musical presentation with famed local jazz ensemble “Proyecto Tacos”, a popular band which fuses pre-Hispanic influences with jazz and DJ music
May 29 8:00 pm- The Xiutla Municipal Folkloric ballet presents a Gala Performance at the Arcos de Malecon
May 31 6:00 pm- The big fiesta! The whole city will be out to celebrate the anniversary at City Hall, with awards presentations, musical performances and a fireworks display. This is the party of the year!
Dolphin Discovery would like to extend a very happy birthday, happy anniversary, felicidades to the city of Puerto Vallarta. We are thrilled to be a part of the community and we wish Puerto Vallarta, its citizens and visitors a safe and joyous celebration!
**with thanks to BanderasNews for event information
Mexico is a country known for its devotion to the family, and no family member is more revered than “Mama”. Every year on May 10th the entire country pays homage to matriarchs with the annual “Dia de las Madres” or “Mother’s Day” celebration. Young children create cards and gifts and adults bring flowers and made to their mothers very special dinners and parties. The traditional song “Las Mañanitas” is sung, often as a serenade outside of mother’s house with mariachis for accompaniment. “Mama” is the center of attention and the whole family shows her their appreciation on this very special day. Mothers have been honoured throughout the ages around the world, but the first official “Dia de las Madres” in Mexico wasn’t celebrated until May 10th in 1922, as a result of the petitions by Rafael Alducin Bedolla, founder of the newspaper “Excelsior”. We thank him for bringing us such a special day and we thank moms everywhere for all that they do!
Dolphin Discovery would like to show moms just how special they are by offering a 20% discount to mothers on all our swim with dolphins programs in all our locations for the entire month of May! Guests swimming with their mom get an additional 10% off their own swims too! Pamper your mom to an experience she’ll never forget, book now! Lots of love to moms everywhere from all our dolphins and staff!
Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico, is one of the world’s most inviting vacation destinations. Puerto Vallarta has been popular among tourists for decades, first brought to the attention of the public through Ava Gardner and Richard Burton’s famous film, “Night of the Iguana” in 1964. Since the 1960’s, Puerto Vallarta has grown into a thriving resort town with millions of visitors each year. So, why should you visit Puerto Vallarta? Have a look at our “Top Ten Reasons to Visit Puerto Vallarta” and see why so many people have fallen in love with this south of the border paradise.
1. Puerto Vallarta Hotels– Puerto Vallarta has a resort for you, whether you are looking for a 5 diamond luxury resort or a bargain off the beaten track, there are options for every budget and taste. Puerto Vallarta is a safe destination for a family getaway, a romantic honeymoon for two or a retreat for singles looking for a little fun. Sprawling all-inclusives that cater to your every need are extremely popular in Puerto Vallarta, a great home base for exploring all that the region has to offer. If your budget is a little tighter, there are plenty of options for more economical hotels and hostels for backpackers.
2. Cuisine- Food, glorious Mexican food! When in Puerto Vallarta, try some of the local dishes famous in the state of Jalisco, the “birria” (spicy meat stew), “tortas ahogadas” (literally “drowned sandwich” as it sits in a spicy salsa) and “pozole tapatio”, a corn and meat soup that is essential to the Mexican diet. Seafood is a must in Puerto Vallarta, here you’ll find some of the freshest “ceviche” you’ve ever eaten! Puerto Vallarta is full of restaurant options, from fine dining to street-side vendors, dig in and satisfy those taste buds!
3. Art and culture- Puerto Vallarta is famous for the sculptures found throughout the town, on the sea-side boardwalk and in hideaway places. Rafael Zamarripa’s “The Seahorse” has been a symbol of the town since it’s erection on the boardwalk in 1976. There are over 30 art galleries in Puerto Vallarta, featuring local, national and international artists, take your time and let the art envelop you. Perhaps you’ll even purchase that “perfect” piece that will fit right in to your home and act as a lifelong reminder of a great Mexican trip. Who hasn’t heard of “The Mexican Hat Dance”? Known in Spanish as “jarabe tapatio”, it is native to Jalisco and is often considered to be the national dance of Mexico. Look around Puerto Vallarta and you’ll be sure to spot dancers in the beautiful traditional costumes performing this dance of love and courtship.
4. The beach- Set on the second largest bay in the world (Banderas Bay), Puerto Vallarta is a beach lover’s dream. Most hotels have their own beaches and there are over 40 public beaches, each with their own characteristics and charm. Head to the north of Puerto Vallarta for some peace and quiet and beautiful sunsets, and the famous waves that make for some fantastic surfing. Snorkelers will find heaven on the beaches at Destiladeras and Los Venaderos. Playa de los Muertos is the most popular beach in town, a great place for people watching, soaking up the sun or participating in a wide variety of water sports. Play in the Pacific, build a sand castle or simply lounge on the beach catching some rays, Puerto Vallarta will satisfy any beach craving.
5. The weather- Surrounded by jungle and ocean, Puerto Vallarta offers up a sub-tropical climate very similar to that of Hawaii. The winter months bring some lovely temperatures, averaging around 26 C or 80 F, a far cry from the winters of the north! The summer months do bring hotter temps (in the 30’s C/90’s F) and rain. Rainy season is from June to September and you can expect some afternoon showers, just enjoy watching storms roll in over the moutains, it’s a beautiful sight to see!
6. Romance- Long walks on the beach, watching the sun set over the ocean, horseback rides for two through the jungle, Puerto Vallarta is a lush and romantic setting for honeymooners or people looking to spend some quality time with the one they love. Stroll hand in hand down cobblestone streets or take a cruise on the waters of the Bay of Banderas, hit the spa for a couples massage or simply relax side by side on the beach. Puerto Vallarta was built on the romance of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton and continues to put fires in the hearts of lovers from all over the world.
7. Adventure in the great outdoors– A visit to Puerto Vallarta would not be complete without experiencing one of the great adventure tours of the region. Kayaking, snorkeling, zip lines, jungle tours, cruises, scuba diving, the choices are endless for those looking for adventure in Puerto Vallarta.
8. Tequila and mariachis- Perhaps the two most recognizable symbols of Mexico, tequila and mariachis are native to the state of Jalisco. There is no better place to see truly authentic mariachi performances while sipping a tequila with sangrita or enjoying a classic margarita. Take a tequila tour and sample hundreds of varieties of this quintessentially Mexican treat.
9. Swim with dolphins Puerto Vallarta– The highlight of any trip to Puerto Vallarta! Swim with dolphins in Puerto Vallarta at Aquaventuras Park, you’ll be up close and personal with these amazing creatures and have the chance to spend the day floating down a lazy river or feeling the rush of the speedy water slides. Make a new buddy with our friendly sea lions too, they’ll be sure to put a smile on your face! Dolphin Discovery in Puerto Vallarta is truly the experience of a lifetime, something the whole family will remember for a long time to come.
10. Nightlife- After a day in the sun, it’s time to hit the town and paint it red. Put on your dancing shoes and visit one of the big discos like Christine’s or The Zoo or sit back and relax with a cold beverage in a small cantina, the bars are open late and are ready to party all night long. Salsa lovers must visit J & B Salsa Club for mojitos and great live music, dance the night away with Latin flare!
We could go on and on with reasons to visit Puerto Vallarta, don’t hesitate any longer, book your Puerto Vallarta vacation today and find out for yourself why it’s a top choice for a tropical getaway!