After a few days delay, my trip report continues….
After two days at sea our first post of call was Puerto Vallarta. The first tour of the day started early at 8:30 am. We met our group at the pier, given colored wrist bands and headed by boat to the Dolphin Park. This park also offered encounters with sea lions.
The boat took us around the edges of the city and was a very pleasant trip. Apparently, traffic would have been really bad. I noticed along the way that there is a lot of construction in what appears to be condos, Time Share or apartments.
Upon arriving at the Dolphin Adventure Park we were taken to a seated area and separated into groups based on our wrist band. My group was doing the Dolphin Swim not just the encounter. With the encounter, you get to stand on a platform and touch the dolphin, with the swim, we got to actually be in the water with them! We were given lockers for our things and life vests to wear.
The water was a bit murky and I could see green floaty things but soon, I didn’t care. We were told to just “jump in”, so I did. As we floated in the water ( very deep pool) two dolphins would swim by us and we could pet them and touch their bellies. We had two female dolphins, I wish I could remember the names but they were very unusual. We had a photographer who took a ton of pictures of our group. We got photos of them “kissing” us. One on each side pressing against our cheeks. One with us with our arms around them like a hug. The swim lasted about an hour and they performed different tricks like singing and jumping. The swim ended with us being about to ride the dolphin. They flipped over onto their backs, we held onto the fins and they pulled us across the pool!! One of the coolest things I have ever done in my life!
While we were there, there was a film crew from Turista Loco (The Crazy Tourist). They had a private dolphin swim but at the end we all waved and yelled “La Turista Loco” for the camera. I haven’t been able to find the website yet but the video is suppose to be there and also on You Tube. I looked but haven’t found it yet.
After the swim we got a buffet lunch with some really good local food. While eating, I noticed a large Iguana. I went over to photograph it and saw many more, all coming up from the hill to the side. I threw fruit to them and got some great pictures and video. We also got see one of the Sea Lions go by. After lunch, we bought a disk with our photos and headed back to the ship.
A few hours later, we had our next tour, a sunset horseback ride at the Rancho Capomo. It took an hour bus ride from the ship to the ranch. We were given horses based on our riding ability. Since I’ve ridden horses since I was a child, I was in the expert class. My horse’s name was La Guapa.
The ride took us along a creek bed, very rocky at some points. We saw people swimming in the creek, some cattle along the way and beautiful plants like wild orchids. The ride lasted about an hour and when we got back to the Ranch they were preparing a Mexican BBQ for us. Before we ate we were given a toast with a shot of Tequila and then free drinks. By the time they served food, we were getting a little tipsy.
After dinner was a short show with a roper, a boy singing on a mule and a six yr old boy on a dancing horse.
After the show and a pass of the tipping hat, we got back on the bus and headed back to the ship. It was probably the best day we had on the trip.