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Hotéis e Gastronomia

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Hotéis e Gastronomia

Swimming with dolphins in Curacao

Swimming with dolphins has always been part of my bucket list. More than that, it was probably my oldest dream, the kind of dream we have as a child and grow up still wanting to make it come true.

When we started planning our trip to the Caribbean, the idea of swimming with dolphins was no longer just a dream and became a more real possibility. Naturally, several Caribbean destinations offer activities such as encountering or swimming with dolphins.

Although I really wanted to realize this dream, I also worried about the fact that dolphins are often exploited and forced into an unnatural life. With that in mind, we began researching places that offered swimming with dolphins, but we also assessed the conditions and the care that these places have with the animals.


nadar-com-golfinhos

That's how we decided to swim with dolphins at the Dolphin Academy in Curaçao. The Dolphin Academy has natural pools, unlike some other places that have a completely artificial environment. In addition, the philosophy of the Dolphin Academy goes against treating dolphins as mystical creatures or "statistics": all dolphins have unique personality and behaviour.

Before starting swimming with the dolphins, we watched a video about the animals' behaviour and how to help to preserve them. After that we were separated into small groups of a maximum of 6 people and received instructions. During the instructions I also noticed that the Dolphin Academy is concerned about the well being of the dolphins, since in a more serious tone the instructor commented that we should not try to climb on the dolphins or "hug" them. We should just swim and let the dolphins come to us if they wanted to. We also learned a few tricks to interact with them, but nothing that would make them uncomfortable.

As for the tricks, the instructor also said that all dolphins receive more fish as a reward for good behaviour  but that in no way they are deprived of food if they don't perform. That is, they earn something extra for their accomplishments but are not punished for mistakes.


nadar-com-golfinhos-no-caribe

After learning all this, we finally met our swim partners: the dolphins Tulum and Machu. We put on our flippers and entered the natural swimming pool. I was a little nervous and I got scared the first time one of them touched me. A little later I got used to it and I felt so happy to make my dream come true that I think the dolphins noticed my tranquility, so much that one of them always came to swim with me even though 5 other people were swimming around too.

Swimming with dolphins was an amazing experience but I highly recommend that you make a very comprehensive research of the conditions in which the animals are treated if this is also a dream you want to accomplish.

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