Dolphin lovers will be pleased to know that there is now a dolphinarium in Cayo Santa Maria. It has opened its door in August 2011 and it is administered by the Cuban group Gaviota (Marinas). It is located near Cayo Ensenachos, few kilometers from Cayo Santa Maria. Previously, customers who wanted to swim with dolphins had to go in the neighboring province of Cienfuegos. A trip of over three hours including a city tour of Cienfuegos. The Sierra Escambray is beautiful. Visit the excursion pages of our site to learn more about the activities offered in Cayo Santa Maria and Cayo Ensenachos.
We visited the dolphinarium and it is quite impressive in size and services. In fact, it is the largest of all Latin America. Cubans have put a lot of effort in this project, and they were successful. First, it is the size of the pools (2.400 m2 on average) which are greater than many others. Dolphins can swim happily (it is not like in the wild but better than some we have seen).
The project is not quite finished, because there will be an aquarium and a lobster breeding farm (75 m2). Many of them will be for the restaurant! In total there will be six pools (for a total of 21 dolphins), a dolphin entertainment area (900 m2, 260 seats) with two shows per day and also a special area for sea lions (two shows per day).
Click HERE to see a map of the « Acuario-Delfinario Cayo Santa Maria » to guide you to the services and amenities of the dolphinarium. Click HERE for information about the dolphins (in English and Spanish only).
Click HERE to watch our Flash video (FLV) of the dolphinarium (Dec. 2011)
The dolphinarium also has a bar « El Vapor » (10 double tables, soft drinks and beer for 1.5 CUC and cocktails for 2.5 CUC. The Cubata is quite good!), restaurant (160 seats) « El Bergantin », a local medical center, a photo shop and bathrooms. You may visit the dolphinarium for 3 CUC per person. To get there, there is now a scenic bus makes a round trip between the hotels in the neighboring islands, the Pueblos and the Dolphinarium. The cost is 1 CUC each way (per person). It worths the trip!
For swimming with dolphins, you have three options ...
(99 CUC for adult and 52 CUC per child)
The catamaran excursion, after snorkeling, make a stop at the dolphinarium to swim with dolphins. This activity lasts about 15-20 minutes followed by a lobster meal served in an air-conditioned restaurant, the « El Bergantin ». There is always one drink included with the meal. You may purchase more for a reasonable price.
It is recommended not to use sunscreen on your legs and do not wear jewelry or other objects that could injure dolphins. No smoking (or course!)
Note that the interaction with dolphins is on a submerged platform in about one meter of water. In this activity, there is no option where you can be lifted in the air by two dolphins that sync perfectly. If you are looking for it, then you should opt for the interaction with the dolphins (the second option above).
When swimming, a professional photographer take many pictures of you and your friends. After your meal, you may visit the photo shop of the dolphinarium and buy the photos of you in the company of ... Kiki, Cacho, Pepe or perhaps Valentina (who was pregnant last November). The dolphinariums are always very popular!
Cayo Las Brujas, Cayería Norte de Villa Clara, Caibarien, Cuba
Phone: (53 42) 350 013