Dolphin Cove is a theme park with man-made lagoons and pools that allow visitors to dive in with dolphins and see these always grimacing creatures do tricks with their handlers. The landscape of tropical rainforest and clear blue waters of the Caribbean Sea is part of a natural cove in which stingrays swim. The general ticket price includes mini boat trips, snorkeling, glass-bottom kayak tours, and a jungle trail with exotic animals.
The large lagoons and smaller pools at Dolphin Cove house bottlenose dolphins, stingrays and reef sharks. The Mexican dolphins in the two large lagoons are contained by a man-made barrier of rocks. Their habitat mimics the open ocean, with some fish even swimming in at high tide.
There are many dolphin interaction programs to choose from. There are gentle introductions from a platform and various dolphin swims, with the most exciting one involving you going for a ride while holding onto a dorsal fin. You can also walk underwater wearing a special helmet that allows you to breathe underwater. To learn that sharks can be docile, try the sharks encounter.
Get refreshments and lunch at the café and souvenir shops near the wharf or relax in a chair on the beach before taking the children to Treasure Reef. This mini version of Port Royal in Kingston lets children relive the old days of pirating and they can hunt for treasures and steer mini boats.
Cruise the Caribbean in a glass-bottomed kayak, snorkel with stingrays or take a walk on the lush Jungle Trail with its coastal views and encounters with birds and iguanas.
Dolphin Cove is located in St. Ann, a 5-minute drive west of the center of Ocho Rios. The park is open daily. Allow a day to make most of the diverse attractions and high-end ticket price. Children under 6 enter for free, but those who can’t swim cannot participate in the dolphin experiences. Bookings for all encounters are required. You can’t bring your camera to the encounters. Don’t wear sunscreens, oils or jewellery, which can harm the dolphins.