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With the goal of raising public awareness of ecological and cultural issues facing this region of Mexico. Xcaret has dedicated one of its areas solely to dolphins.
This section of the park is named Via Delphi and provides an experience that is both educational and enlightening: instead of watching just another trained dolphin show, here you can really learn about and actually swim with these intelligent creatures.
Dolphins have certain attributes that we humans cannot help but admire, including freedom, vitality, grace, playfulness, serenity, confidence and love. In their world, war does not exist.
Dolphins never kill one another, even though they are physically capable of doing so. And like some human beings, they would sacrifice themselves to save one their kind.
Like us, dolphins are warm-blooded, air breathing mammals. They appeared on the planet around 65 million years ago, about the same time the dinosaurs died out.
Dolphins Swim at Xcaret
They evolved on land and gradually moved into the sea. The dolphins we see today have been around for 10 to 15 million years, 200 to 300 times longer than we have.
The mother-child relationship is the most important for the dolphin. Dolphins nurse their young for one or two years. Even so, the other females of the pod also play an important role in the life of the offspring. Although the mother nurses and cares for her baby, she must also care for herself. When she goes out in search of food, it is the other females of the pod, the "aunts", who watch over the calf. As the African proverb states, "it takes a whole village to raise a child".
Swimming with the dolphins is a profoundly moving and transforming experience which has sparked growing interest. Currently, there are swim programs and research being conducted in Xcaret. The "dolphinarium" where the dolphins are housed is situated in an inlet in the ocean, sectioned off by several docks and meshes that permit the flow of water and fishes into the area. Of all the dolphins who call Via Delphi home, 10 came from the nearby island of Holbox. The oldest are named Holbox and Ixchel and their age has been estimated at 12-14 years. Four years ago, Xuna, the first dolphins born in captivity in Mexico to survive the critical first year, was born right here in Xcaret. This was a turning point in Mexico's scientific history, since keeping a calf born in semi-captivity is quite a challenge.
The mayor programs in the park include a lecture on the social, physical and mental characteristics of bottle-nose dolphins; then, visitors are taken into the waist-deep water to pet and feed the mammals. Guests receive a briefing by an expert trainers and biologists and are given an explanatory audiotape. Then, they are allowed to swim with the dolphins for half an hour and even rub their bellies. Finally, they are taken for a spin with the dolphin pushing them with his snout. The number of visitors who can participate in these programs is limited so as not to cause stress to these delicate creatures. If you're interested, make your reservation and pay the additional fee as soon you get to the park.