As we plowed across Banderas Bay to visit Las Caletas, a pod of bottle nosed dolphins chased our boat for a few minutes. They jumped our wake, raced us on the port side, and had fun.Puerto Vallarta (or anywhere else in coastal Mexico, really) is a popular tourist excursion and at Aquaventuras in Nuevo Vallarta, they take that experience and add an entire day of fun.
We had many debates with the boys before we went. “What does a dolphin feel like?” I’d ask. “Slippery and soft,” they replied.
When the chance to jump in the pool alongside the dolphins came, they showed no fear diving in, reaching out, and playing with these great creatures.
Zacharie was rattling off amazing facts about dolphins as he activated his creature power suit and jumped in to the water.
We stood on a ledge and learned some hand signals while rubbing their tummy and backs.
We waved, splashed, kissed, and then .. swam with them. Like really swam. “Us going to swim with them?” Charlie asked after we had been playing with them from the ledge for a few minutes.
So it was Charlie who was first to grab the dorsal fins and ride across the pool.
Yes, I was a little freaked out. I didn’t know if Charlie would be strong enough to hold on, or if he would get too scared and let go. He gripped on like a cowboy on the final Sunday of the Stampede and rode the full 6 seconds.
Then I took my turn, and Zacharie. I did a superman flight with a dolphin nose in each foot. It felt like two hard poles pushing me. I repeated it with each boy on a boogie board.
They call it the experience of a lifetime, and something I never thought I would do until I had kids. Their love of animals, and desire to be closer to them made this day happen. And I’m glad it did.
Aquaventuras offers more than just swimming with dolphins in Puerto Vallarta, it is a water park with 11 water slides, a lazy river, and kid’s area. It’s huge. Think of what you would find at your favourite water park and you will find it here. Oh, and dolphins. And sea lions.
Book ahead for the various dolphin experiences and then make a full day of it at the park.
Thank you to Visit Puerto Vallarta for helping arrange some of the excursions during our vacation.