Delfinario
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.0
2,594 reviews
Excellent
1,118
Very good
806
Average
402
Poor
129
Terrible
139

josieg1102
New York City, NY12 contributions
Mar 2022 • Family
The show and talent were excellent and well worth the 50 Cuban pesos paid however the bleacher seating was overcrowded and very loud making it difficult to enjoy the show.Nearby food was fresh and at a very great price. Next time we will not go on a Sunday. The entrance process was organized and fast. Shows are at 11am and 3 pm.
Written March 15, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Beatrix F
Ottawa, Canada22 contributions
Jan 2020
This is my third time to visit the Delfinario. We took again different grandchildren there. The price is steep but I believe this is a once in a lifetime experience. The show is always slightly different. Where the real value lies is the small group activity of Swimming with the Dolphins. Other excursions have swimming with dolphins portions but this one goes beyond the kissing and swimming with a dolphin holding the fin. The dolphins seem to enjoy people's company though they do the activities for the fish reward. I had to go back to the holding area by myself and a dolphin swam to me and jumped up for a petting. Video can be done during the show but the small group swim video is done by a local professional. The purchase price of the videos and photos is 55 pesos - I just hope that some part of the high fees goes to a conservation fund.
Written January 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

GerryRailBaron
Toronto, Canada109 contributions
Feb 2020
We had a great time at the Delfinario. We just did the show, and that was a great time. The dolphins and trainers put on a great demonstrations of what they can do. Come a few minutes early to get a bench seat closer to the water. There's none of the "Seaworld - get soaked in the first 5 rows" silliness here. So being closer lets you see a little better. Also, you can access all the rows from various aisles at the side and back of the theatre, so you do NOT have to climb over rows of seats. This can be handy, when you're sixty years old, like me.
Written May 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Tamrad34
Penetanguishene, Canada6 contributions
Feb 2020 • Couples
Just finished swimming with the dolphins and it’s a highlight of my life. They seem happy and very friendly. We went to the 9:30 swim and we had three dolphins to ourselves. Loved the hugs and kisses. My husband had two dolphin push him up in the air. Trainer is well educated. Pictures and video were only 55 CUC and amazing quality. Will do this again when in Cuba Veradero again.
Written February 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Howard K
Toronto, Canada229 contributions
Feb 2020
We arrived at Delfinario and it looked as if a hurricane had passed over. The cement embuckments were all broken with the exception of la tienda where they sell soveniers. We were escorted to the water and when we looked at where we were expected to enter the water, we felt ill from the thought of having to swim in water conditions so gross we decided right then and there to leave.

The entire waiting area included furniture so filthy, we could not imagine having to sit there and wait.

The photos online look nothing like the actual local.
Written February 21, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

tomco99
Toronto, Ontario528 contributions
Mar 2022 • Family
Came back to again swim with these beautiful creatures after two long years of this pandemic life. Our three girls were the only ones to show up for a swim and the experience was unforgettable. This is absolutely the best venue to swim with dolphins anywhere. Can't beat the natural beauty of this lovely cove. Will definitely visit again and always recommend this experience to family and friends.
Written March 22, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

hil222
Sydney, Canada18 contributions
Feb 2013 • Friends
PLEASE if you love dolphins do not support this horrific establishment. I was forced to go as part of a catamaran tour and I knew it would be heartbreaking but was not prepared for what I witnessed. The dolphins are in a small dirty pond. Tourists taunt and throw things into the water. The trainers yell at these majestic creatures and force them to do tricks. The reviews contain complaints of how the water is to dirty to swim in - imagine spending your life in there. There was an iguana in a tiny cage with no food, no water and to add insult to injury he was tied to a fence by a shoe lace and was only able to move 30cm in any direction. Disgusted by the show I left and waited for the bus by the iguana cage and a Cuban man had the nerve to untie the iguanas leash and rip the limp creature up into his arms by the string. He wanted to know if I wanted a picture with it. I almost spit in his face. The iguana was obviously sickly as well as the alligator located next to him in an even smaller cage with a puddle to swim in. I kid you not when I say the turtle was dead in the water. Stupid children poked the alligator. I pray these reptiles die quickly. No living organism should suffer as horrifically as these animals are suffering. They literally have no mental stimulation, food, water, or even a natural habitat to relieve stress. PLEASE dont be another stupid, ignorant, selfish tourist claiming you love dolphins and its your dream to swim with them!!! This place attracts idiots by the hundreds. ALL are ignorant to the suffering of the animals. I beg you to not support this dolphanarium. The dolphins came from the ocean (wild) and will soon commit suicide as they can not take the stress of having had millions of miles of ocean to swim, play and interact in to maybe one mile of hot stinky water, as well as the ache of being torn from their family pod. DONT SUPPORT !!! Dont be another ignorant selfish tourist claiming to "love" dolphins - you create this problem. Educate your children on the suffering of these animals, and go to the nature reserve instead!
Written February 25, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Losicar
4 contributions
Mar 2015 • Couples
As it was my wifes 50th birthday & shes always loved Dolphins ,I thought it would be a treat for her to visit the Dolphinarium in Varadero. I asked before we paid & went in if I could take photos of my wife swimming with the dolphins as I am a professional photographer & wanted a memory for the wall ,which i was told I could take photos.

My wife entered the water with half a dozen other people & as I took my 1st photo I was shouted at rudely by a member of staff saying "No Photos" I kindly explained that I had asked before hand & I was told I could which I ended up rowing with two members of staff who were very rude spoiling my wife's enjoyment . It turned out that they wanted to take everyone's photo & charge you a fortune for it at the end.I wasn't the only one being stopped from taking photos.

My wife did have mixed feeling beforehand about being entertained by these wonderful creatures that should be swimming free in the ocean where they belong. She did enjoy her experience but we both thought that the areas where the dolphins were kept seemed very small.

We loved our whole 2 weeks in Cuba Especially Havana . Its such a shame it was spoil t by our Dolphinarium visit due to what I would describe as money grabbing people.

There are other ways to swim & see Dolphins on a boat trip which are in the sea (but still penned off) but have been told it is a very good trip.

Would I visit Cuba again .... Yes we loved it

Would I visit the Dolphinarium again .... NO !
Written March 19, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Stuart S
Collingwood, Ontario, Canada64 contributions
Apr 2014 • Friends
I wanted to swim with the dolphins again this time in Varadero but I did not want to spend the whole day on a Catamaran trip .
This excursion is available thru the tour operators at most hotels for 89 CUC pesos
There are three time slots at which you can take part .
Morning , Lunchtime and early afternoon.

The bus (usually a smaller one) picks you up at your hotel and takes you to the Delfinario which is located approximately in the middle of the Hotel string of the pennisula...directly South of the Hotels Iberostar Tainos and Belive Turquesa (after picking everyone else up at the other hotels of course .. which can be time consuming)
Upon arrival you will be escorted through the gates and the ticket taker ..
Yes, you can go by taxi and avoid the BUS and pay the exact same amount as the tour operators at the ticket window. ( The taxi will be 10 to 20 pesos depending on how far away from the Delfinario your hotel is
You fill out a form signing all legal rights away should you be injured while on the property.LOL
( I think it is only if you are actually swimming with the dolpins)
You can arrange to just watch the show and not swim if you like ..slightly cheaper.
There is a gift shop and a cigar/Tshirt/ Rum shop on the grounds of course.
A show schedule will let you know how much time you have to kill before the actual Dolphin show starts.
Make your way to the bleachers and check out the 20-30 min show of the dolphins doing some jumps and tricks with balls and interacting with the trainers . It would be nice if the trainers got into the water to show you what YOU are about to experience in your swim shortly.

After the show , those that have paid for and arranged to SWIM with the dolphins assemble and are given life jackets.. Usually already dry from last show.. (nothing like a cold damp life jacket)
You split into smaller groups of 8-10 depending on overall numbers and go to one of 6 smaller enclosures that each have a dock and floating platform where the attendant/trainer will be instructing the dolphins and yourself from.
There is also a photographer and videographer for each areas that will be doing their thing so as to be able to Sell you photos or videos at the end of your time there.
With this in mind, it is stated on signs that cameras are not permitted to be taken into the enclosures .
They want you to purchase THEIR photos and videos of your experience.
I had a GOPRO waterproof video camera with me and I was not asked to leave it behind .

You start off with a meet and greet of the 2 or 3 dolphins in your enclosure while you sit on the edge of the platform with feet in the water and the trainer calls the dolphins to you to pet and rub their bellies.
Probably intended to calm the guests more than the dolphins and to get you used to them..
Some folks are nervous while some are over excited.
Not sure if every visit is the same routine but here is what I experienced.

You take turns swimming out toward the middle of the enclosure where a dolphin will jump OVER you and then tow you back to the platform while you hang onto the dorsal fins of two of these rather rubbery feeling, calm, lovely,and highly intelligent mammals. (yes folks Mammals .. not fish) Quite fun.
You also get to do a circle while laying on their bellies as they are laying on their backs and tow you in a large circle around the enclosure.
As you are all taking turns doing this , it takes some time to go thru the whole lineup of 8-10 guests, and only the first person to go each time is oblivious as to what to expect . The others have that person's experience to know what is expected.
You then get a PHOTO OP with the dolphins where you are called to the front of the platform where you will be joined by two dolphins who will Give You A Kiss ( all with the toot of the trainers whistle)
The photographer will be in the right place at the right time for this and a few other keepsake photos that you can purchase from the shop in a few minutes.
I must say that in the past 5 years they have embraced technology enough that they have laser printers on site for this and you can see on their computer monitor the photos that they have of you and you can purchase them in various sizes.( one Large and two smaller photos was 20 pesos . about $22 CAN) (yes they have Credit Card machines)
They also have a VIDEO of the whole Groups experience that you can purchase for 35 pesos.
I should have bought the Video and then SCREEN CAPTURED the photos I wanted when I got home. ( and of course the kissing dolphin photo.)

The last trick that you perform with the dolphins is that you swim out and lay on your stomach with the legs locked straight out behind you .. Do not bend your knees .
Two dolphins will come up and put their noses in the balls of your feet and propel you forward and then UP INTO THE AIR 8 to 10 feet ( depending on how balanced you can keep yourself)
One in the group who had obviously done it before and had some balance actually got about 15 feet into the air .
All this time the photographer is in the right place for a shot and video person is capturing the whole group's experience which you can preview before purchasing .They have 6 flat screens running the 6 groups videos when you go to the Photo/Video shop on site...
Some visitors will notice how GREEN the water seems to be .
Not sure if this affects the Dolphins or not .
The area is an inlet bay off the ocean so this is salt water .
Probably not filtered as well as it could be ..
We did have a single Jelly Fish float through the group on this occasion ..
We all simply avoided it by fanning it away toward shore. no drama..
Once you are done swimming and Showering off.. you should be able to see your photos and videos at the designated shop nearby.
The Tour Operator will not leave without everyone accounted for.
You then return to your Hotel .. in the reverse order that you were all picked up at the various hotels.
Overall this excursion lasts about 3 hours in total including travel to and from .
Hope this helps to enlighten you as to what to expect.
Written July 1, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

jodiannemh
Thunder Bay, Canada6 contributions
Jan 2011
We booked the show for our family of four and swimming with the dolphins for our sons, ages four and six. My husband and I had done it the previous year in Jamaica. First mistake - we made assumptions based on our own experience in another place. Our experience in Jamaica had been fantastic. I am not a very strong swimmer, and they tailored people's experiences based on their needs and abilities. Lots of kids had participated and we wanted our kids to have the same experience we had.
Our rep assured me that swimming with the dolphins was the highlight for kids visiting Cuba and that they had proper life jackets for children, and that it was definitely aimed at kids.
The show itself was entertaining, fun and good value for the 15 cuc. Then we moved over to the other side for the kids to swim with the dolphins. The woman who took our tickets seemed a little offish, looked at us and said two boys? and then waved us in. The kids were properly fitted with life jackets and they both walked out to the floating dock. They were the only kids there, the rest were adults. My youngest was nervous, especially as the floating dock was very tippy. He decided he didn't want to do it and that was fine. I walked down and brought him back up. My oldest son was not nervous and still wanted to stay.
This was right about when I noticed their sign, stating their safety policy. And included in that list " Participating children must be accompanied by an adult". No one told us this. Not our rep and certainly not anyone at the Delfinario. If we had been told by our rep, first of all, we would have booked for all of us to go(I am not blaming Delfinario for misinformation). And if that is Delfinario'spolicy, why didn't they uphold that policy instead of accepting our tickets?
As for the dolphin's habitat, semi-captivity they call it, the dolphins are kept in a river that flows out directly into the ocean. However, it is not right on the shore so, of course, there is not much tidal action. Hence things are a little stagnant and there is quite a quantity of dolphin feces floating around. Just saying.
If you have a dream to swim with dolphins, you could choose a better place to do it. And if you have small kids and you really want to go while in Cuba, the show is fine but the swimming, even when accompanied by an adult, is not really geared to younger children.
Written February 6, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Delfinario (Varadero) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

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