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 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 birth 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 he can see his surroundings. The curious creature comes face-to-face with its observers as you look at him.
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 year again, the season to join with family and friends and celebrate the holidays, reflect on the year past and look forward to what the new year will bring. 2010 was a busy year for Dolphin Discovery, new ventures, 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 make 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 of 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”.
–This animals are amphibious, they live on both land and water.
–Sea lions are “marine mammals”, meaning they do not lay eggs but do in fact carry and give birth to their young. Males are “bulls”, females are “cows” and babies are called “pups”.
–They have a lifespan of 10-15 years in the wild, but in a healthy zoological environment can live 25-35 years.
–Sea lion mamas gestate for 10-12 months. Their pups are born on land and will nurse from their mother from 4-12 months.
–This cute animals are warm blooded, covered in a layer of fat to protect them from cold temperatures.
–Sea lions breathe air, but can remain under water for up to 40 minutes if hunting for food, accomplished by squeezing their nostrils shut tight.
–They are very communal, usually living in large colonies of up to 1000, with smaller communities appearing within the group.
–Sea lions aren’t lazy, but they sure do 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 dangers to sea lions are fishermen, pollution and climate change. Their predators are killer whales and sharks, though they can swim faster than both they can be taken by surprise.
Dolphin Discovery invites you to get up close and personal with these sweet creatures, our sea lion friends can be found in the following destinations:
Sea Lions Isla Mujeres
Sea Lions Cozumel
Sea Lions Riviera Maya
Sea Lions Puerto Vallarta
Get a hug, a fishy kiss and you will most definitely walk away smiling from your Sea Lion Encounter with Dolphin Discovery!
Please remember to keep our oceans and beaches clean, plastic bags, six-pack rings, garbage of all kinds is very damaging to the sea lions and their environment. Do what you can to protect our precious marine life, go for a walk on the beach and pick up trash, educate your children, spread the word that if we each do our small part, all earth’s 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” celebrations. Young children create cards and gifts and adult children bring flowers and treat their mothers to very special dinners and parties. The traditional song “Las Mananitas” 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, 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! Treat your mom to an experience she’ll never forget, book now! Lots of love to moms everywhere from all our dolphins!
The tropical port town of Puerto Vallarta on Mexico’s Pacific coast is one of the most popular travel destinations in the country. Whether you plan to stay for a week or are just dropping in while on a Mexican cruise, it’s sure to be a memorable experience. There are so many options for day trips and Puerto Vallarta shore excursions that it can be difficult to decide on a tour. Aquaventuras Park makes the decision that much easier, offering a whole day of water park fun and animal encounters!
Your All-in-One Puerto Vallarta Dream Day!
Aquaventuras Park is a 15 acre park with attractions for the whole family. Feel the adrenaline of the ten exciting water slides, flying fast and landing with a refreshing splash then getting up and doing it again and again! If you’ve got a taste for something a little more sedate, take a relaxing ride down the lazy river or just pull up a lounge chair by the beautiful pools, soak up some sun and have an icy cold tropical refreshment. Kids love “The Little Water World”, an area designed for their enjoyment and safety with low speed slides, paddling pool and a pirate ship where they can let their imaginations run wild!
Having worked up an appetite with all the excitement, the whole family will enjoy the “Beluga Snack Bar” with hamburgers, hot dogs, snacky fare and beverages (yes, cold beer available!) and the a la carte restaurant “Aquamarine” with fresh seafood, Mexican specialties and more, including a full bar to quench your thirst. Beat the heat at the poolside “Heladeria” with delicious ice cream treats! No one goes hungry or thirsty at Aquaventuras Park!
If that’s not enough for you, let us introduce you to our animal friends. Laugh and learn at the shows featuring exotic birds, sea lions and dolphins or go one step further and take a swim with these incredible creatures! Swimming with dolphins in Puerto Vallarta will be a dream come true. The Dolphin Encounter is ideal for young kids and families, get a kiss, handshake and stroke your new dolphin friend from a safe platform in the water in small groups with maximum interaction. The Dolphin Royal Swim is the ultimate package for speed and thrills as the dolphins take you for a wild ride! For something really unique, the Sea Lion Discovery program brings you up close and personal with these funny, gentle friends of the sea, you’ll learn all about them, feed them and go for a swim. Whichever program you choose will leave you with memories for a lifetime, sharing time with the family, having a one of a kind adventure and learning a little something along the way.
So, what to do in Puerto Vallarta? Aquaventuras Park and Dolphin Discovery, the best way to spend the day with the family! Contact our bilingual customer service reps to book your Puerto Vallarta day trip or shore excursion now! Join us on Facebook at our Aquaventuras Park Fan Page and tell us all about your day in paradise!