Dolphins in Cuba

If I go to a Cuban resort again, I’ll skip all the tours. Most of them seem like a waste of money. One of our tours was supposed to take us out to a coral reef for snorkelling, then off to “swim with the dolphins” like this guy:

But we didn’t swim with the dolphins as advertised in the brochure, and when we saw what the dolphins were living in — a concrete pen in the middle of the ocean — the whole thing felt wrong.

About 20 of us walked down into the pen with the dolphin and a trainer gave it commands.

The dolphin “kissed” everyone on the cheek, swam back and splashed us with its tail, “clapped” its front flippers and splashed us some more, and swam past us upside-down a few times so we could touch its belly and fins. Anybody would enjoy being close to a dolphin like that. Kids would love it.

It lasted about 10 minutes, and then we paid 10 pesos (about $10) to have our photo taken with the dolphin “kissing” us. Jenny and I tore up our photos when we got home. We enjoyed seeing the dolphins, but the more we thought about it — it just didn’t sit well with us. I’m pretty sure the dolphins would have been happier and better off swimming free in the ocean instead of doing tricks for a bunch of dumb tourist.

I’ll provide details on all the pros and cons of our trip, with specific links on what to go for and what to avoid, when I have time for it. For now, I’m just posting pictures.

Related posts for my trip to Cuba are filed under Varadero.

About Phillip

Phillip Cairns is a beekeeper in St. John's, Newfoundland, who writes about beekeeping at

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