St. Augustine, Florida is a place like no other. The oldest city in the nation, St. Augustine offers visitors a quaintness and charm that will delight people of all ages. Spend the day strolling old brick streets lined with historic buildings, take a horse drawn carriage ride, enjoy numerous boutiques, galleries and bustling restaurants, or spend your days looking for seashells on one of many pristine beaches.
A Video Tour of Marineland Dolphin Adventure, St. Augustine, FL.
A Magical Dolphin Swim or Encounter
No matter if you’re a child or a child at heart, you’ll find a dolphin swim program that makes you remember magic is real. Put your snorkel mask on and get in the water for a memorable experience. You’ll have the opportunity to swim and snorkel near the dolphins in shallow and deep water, and also out in deeper water where you can see these breathtaking animals twirling below you.
For those of you with an artistic side, you’ll no doubt be delighted with the Dolphin Designs program. You’ll be able to choose up to 3 colors for the dolphins to paint on a canvas which you’ll hold over the water. Talk about fine art! Once your painting is finished, you’ll have the opportunity to get into the water and interact with the dolphins up close and personal.
Maybe you’ll want to feed the dolphins? Well you can in the touch and feed program, an exhilarating experience the whole family will enjoy.
Trainer for a Day
Admit it, you’ve thought that training dolphins must be one of the coolest jobs in the world. Now is your chance to find out as you spend the day assisting Marineland’s trainers. You’ll spend the day preparing meals, feeding the dolphins, and taking part in the many wonderful behavioral programs at the park. At the end of the day you’ll be given a CD of photos from your day on the job. Not that you’ll need photos to remind you of the amazing time you had.
Take a Thrilling EcoTour!
How would you like to Kayak in and around some of the most stunning scenery in Florida? The Ripple Effect EcoTours will get you out on the water where you will learn about the various ecosystems in this part of Florida and the conservation efforts employed to keep them healthy and pristine.
Kayak around Faver-Dykes State Park, The Princess Place Preserve, and the Pellicer Creek Aquatic Preserve, a biologically rich area that has been described as “the cornerstone behind the nomination of the Matanzas River as the 25th National Estuarine Research Reserve of the United States”.
Happy Birthday to YOU!
Is your child celebrating a birthday soon? Why not give them a day they’ll remember for a long, long time. With its gorgeous ocean views and playful dolphins always looking to make new friends, Marineland offers a birthday program complete with dolphin interactions, educational programs and a photo keepsake.
If you’re headed to St. Augustine, Florida and looking for an adventure of a lifetime, you’ll want to spend the day (or several) at Marineland Dolphin Adventure Park.
Oahu is not a vacation destination so much as it is a lovely attack on your senses. Stepping foot onto the island, one is instantly seduced by the tropical aromas, balmy breezes, verdant rainforest and pineapple fields, turquoise waters, and the kaleidoscopic schools of fish just below the surface. As far as activities, Oahu has a ton of things to do for people who thrive on adventure. You can learn to surf and standup paddleboard, snorkel, scuba dive, windsurf, kayak, and parasail. But perhaps the biggest thrills are had swimming with dolphins in Oahu Hawaiiat Sea Life Park.
Overview of the Park Video
Dolphin Swim Programs
Oahu’s dolphin facility offers numerous unforgettable magical moments. Located only 20 to 30 minutes from the Waikiki hotel zone, the park features beautifully-designed lagoons, reefs, and pools. The dolphin programs offered are suitable for both adults and children alike.
This dynamic program allows park visitors to swim with dolphins and interact with them up close and personal. Receive an affectionate handshake and kiss on the cheek before holding on to their dorsal fin and being pulled around the pool. Talk about exhilarating! But it gets even better. You’ll then be able to experience a foot push from your new friend. You’ll absolutely feel like you’re flying. This program is suitable for strong swimmers 8 years and older.
If you’ve always dreamed of snuggling up to a dolphin, this is the program for you. When you meet your new pal, you’ll get to hug and kiss them. Then, you’ll snuggle up close to enjoy a belly ride. Afterward, enjoy simply splashing around with your new BFF during your free time together.
This is a non-swim program perfect for very little ones or those who aren’t strong swimmers. In this safe and fun environment, you’ll get to see these amazing creatures show off their agility as they perform tricks and “dance” around the pool. You’ll also get to hug and kiss your new friend, and learn all about their amazing behavior and personalities.
Beyond interacting with dolphins, the park also offers visitors a unique opportunity to interact with exotic sea life such as sea lions, penguins, rays and sea turtles. In one afternoon at Sea Life Park you can create limitless unforgettable moments.
Getting around the island is pretty straightforward and you have a few different options:
Oahu’s public transportation is fairly reliable and will get you to and from Sea Life Park. The downside is you must deal with someone else’s schedule. There are also taxis to get you around the island. This is not the cheapest option, but if your budget allows, it may be a good idea. Of course, you can pick up a rental car at the airport when you arrive on the island. While this option allows you and your family to come and go as you please, it’s often difficult (and potentially unsafe) to drive in an unfamiliar location.
When it comes to getting to and from Sea Life Park, your best bet is to take the free van shuttle. Waikiki guests will be picked up at their hotel and shuttled to the park in a clean and air conditioned van. Drinks and snacks will also be provided. At the end of your thrilling day, you will be picked up at the park and dropped off back at your hotel where you can pinch yourself to ensure the day wasn’t all a dream. < Travel Help >
Best Time to Go
When it comes to the best time to visit the island, there hardly is a “best time.” Oahu is one of those magical places that offers visitors near-perfect weather all year-round. Temperatures usually average low to mid 80s with sunny skies most of the time. Though there is little rainfall throughout the year, those months with the least amount of rainfall are May through October. When it does rain, the showers are usually light and brief.
Are you a surfer? Oahu’s North Shore is famous for its massive waves in the winter months. If you’re looking to catch perhaps the biggest wave of your life, head to the island between November and March – but ONLY if you are an experienced surfer.
As far as accommodations and getting the best deals, travelers should stick with the off-peak months of April and May and August through November, when demand for rooms is lower. Unless you enjoy crowds and overpaying for accommodations, food and souvenirs, avoid visiting Oahu during all holidays, particularly Christmas.
With all of this in mind, the absolute best time to visit the island is May through September, unless, again, you’re an avid and experienced surfer looking to catch “the big one.”
No matter what time you go, the dolphins will be waiting to meet you and swim with you.
Swimming with dolphins in a facility is exciting enough, but getting to be out in the open waters and watch wild dolphins in their natural habitat is something totally different and unique! And that’s why Dolphin World is pleased to introduce to you, the Wild Dolphin Encounter in beautiful Bimini, Bahamas.
The Bahamas are a collection of nice-sized islands, with the biggest being North and South Bimini. Though technically the biggest islands, a vacation to Bimini still has a quaint and charming feel, perfect for a relaxing destination.
But quaint and charming don’t even do justice to describe what your experience aboard a comfortable sailing boat for 6 days and 5 nights will be like on your wild dolphin adventure. Captain Geoff will personally greet you upon arrival and give you a brief explanation of the boat and your time upon it.
Once you and your fellow adventurers introduce yourselves, Captain Geoff will give you a weather report for the week and ahead. Then finally, it’s time to sit down to your first dinner on board. Meals are simple but tasty. After dinner you have the option of reading, playing board games, or going on deck to be amazed at the sky full of stars. Then it’s time for some shut eye because the next day will be a total thrill.
The one thing you must understand is that, as accommodating as Captain Geoff and crew are, they cannot predict or control the weather. You basically hope for the best and deal with what weather comes your way. Captain Geoff pays very close attention to weather reports, as well as the surrounding landscape, to always ensure your safety.
Depending on weather, you may find in the morning the seas are a bit rough and the captain does not want to take the dingy out in search of dolphins. This gives you an opportunity to practice your snorkeling in calmer, shallower water. When the weather is clear and the water still, you’ll hop into the dingy and motor around the islands in search of spotted or bottlenose dolphins!
You will NEVER forget the first time you see these dolphins out in the wild! They tend to swim around and around the dingy and leap into the air as if to show off. You’ll also get a chance to see dolphins feeding out in the open waters, and sometimes, it’s as if the dolphins want to race the dingy. Usually they win.
But perhaps the most spectacular and memorable experience is when you find yourself snorkeling in the morning in the crystal clear water and suddenly dolphins appear to swim with you. Simply unforgettable. You’re also most likely to see all kinds of sea life while snorkeling such as star fish, stingrays, nurse shark (they’re friendly!), blue fish, yellow fish and all sorts of tropical fish.
The wild dolphin encounter is truly a one-of-a-kind experience and memorable to boot!
Getting to Bimini
Although it is the outermost set of islands in the Bahamas, Bimini is actually less than 50 miles from the southern tip of Florida and very easy to get to. You can get to Bimini by air or by sea.
You have two options to fly into Bimini:
Silver Airways – A regional airline (and partnership with United Express Airlines) that departs from Fort Lauderdale. There is one flight daily, except on Tuesdays, which lasts for 30 minutes and lands you directly at South Bimini Airport. Travelers headed to North Bimini will have to take a five-minute taxi ride from the airport.
Take a seaplane– Tropic Ocean Airways offers flights from Fort Lauderdale as well as Miami on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays. They also offer private chartered planes. Other companies that offer private chartered service include Island Air Charters, Pioneer Air Service and RMG Flight Services. If your budget allows, this is a nice way to start your adventure.
Charter a boat – Why not charter a pleasure boat or even a yacht to get you to Bimini? Several Florida companies and private boat owners are happy to transport travelers from Miami and Fort Lauderdale to docks and marinas on North and South Bimini. Charter services to consider include Boat South Florida, Taylor’d Yacht Charters and Atlantic Yacht Charters.
The history of Bimini is quite varied and exciting. During the 1600 and 1700s, Bimini was a popular spot for pirates who hid out, waiting for the Spanish ships, laden with treasure on their route back to Spain, to pass by.
During the 19th century, shipwrecks were a frequent occurrence in the area and the first settlers to Bimini came to salvage the wrecks. Once lighthouses became common in the 1800s, the shipwrecking trade declined. Ever heard of Blackbeard? He was no stranger to the islands of Bimini.
Once the wrecking industry declined, the island was struggling with poverty. But, in 1919, The U.S. enacted the Volstead Act and the era of prohibition dawned. Everyone and their cousin was looking for a way to smuggle alcohol into America through Canada and The Bahamas.
Enter the rum runners, who flooded Bimini with cases and cases of rum, all headed to the United States. Bimini went from economically depressed to rolling in cash, seemingly overnight.
Many notable historical figures visited Bimini over the years, but perhaps the most famous was Nobel Prize winning author Ernest Hemingway, who had experiences on the island that would allow him to eventually write Old Man and The Sea.
Sights and Sounds of Bimini
Is it any wonder Bimini is a mecca for deep sea fishermen? This location is ideal for catching “the big one” as its where the Gulf Stream meets the Bahamas Bank. Anglers here are likely to catch snapper, tuna, and wahoo.
There are plenty of other activities besides fishing. There’s paddleboarding and kayaking, of course, and art and culture as well. Spend a day perusing Bimini Museum in Alice Town.
Those visitors who are looking for a real thrill can get into a dockside cage to get face-to-face with one of the ocean’s top predators – the bull shark.
Of course, there’s nothing to stop you from simply taking a leisurely stroll through town, enjoying some delicious local food, doing some shopping and people watching, or just lying in the warm sand with cool ocean breezes kissing your skin.
Bimini is truly a unique destination where magic awaits you at every turn.
Your Bimini Bahamas Experience and Feed Back
We would love to hear from you and what you did in Bimini Bahamas. In fact we are so interested in hearing what you have to say that we will entice you to comment, the first 5 comments will receive a $5 Amazon Gift Card by email. The only thing we ask that you comment has something to do about Bimini Island and your stay there or the nearby area.
The beautiful island of Anguilla is located near St. Maarten/St. Martin in the Eastern Caribbean. Though quite small, this Caribbean jewel boasts a rich history and culture, as well as a stunning landscape. Where else can you go that offers 33 pristine white-sand beaches and a plethora of sea-going activities? And, unlike some of its neighbor islands, who have become overrun with tourists, Anguilla has retained its local charm and authenticity.
Besides lounging on one of the many pristine beaches, you’ll find plenty of thrilling activities on the island like scuba diving, snorkeling, and horseback riding. But perhaps the most thrilling activity isswimming with the dolphins in Anguilla.
Dolphin Swim Programs
Closed for four years for renovations, the dolphin facility on Anguilla’s Blowing Point Beach has recently opened its doors to the delight of thousands of visitors. A trip to the facility will get you up-close-and-personal to some of the most extraordinary creatures on the planet.
You’ll have your choice of shallow or deep water dolphin experiences and a variety of programs:
The Dolphin Encounter
This is a shallow water experience, perfect for little ones or those who aren’t strong swimmers. Standing in shallow water, the dolphins swim up to you and you can touch and even kiss them. They will also perform tricks right before your eyes.
The Dolphin Royal Swim
This is one of the facility’s most popular swim program and for good reason, you get to interact with TWO dolphins, who will greet you with an affectionate handshake and a kiss on each cheek. Later in the program you will be able to enjoy an unforgettable ride as you hold onto their fins and are pulled across the water. You’ll feel like you’re flying! You’ll also experience a ‘foot-push’ where you’ll be pushed from the bottom of your feet.
The Dolphin Swim Adventure
Talk about unforgettable. Not only will you have an amazing meet-n-greet with hugs and kisses, but in this program, your dolphin pal will swim on his or her back while you float on their belly. Afterward, you’re allowed to spend some alone time with your new pal interacting and being affectionate. You will also be able to snorkel underwater to observe the dolphins swimming below.
How to Get to Anguilla
Most visitors to the island fly in, as it’s the quickest and easiest way to get there. And right now, I’m going to let you in on a secret that will save you time and money. Most travelers and travel agents will book a flight that lands in Anguilla’s local airport AXA. As a result, they end up flying through either Antigua (VC Bird Airport – ANU) or Puerto Rico (Luis Munoz Marin – SJU), which usually ends up costing more in money and time. Sometimes travelers even have to stay overnight before moving on.
So, the secret is, make sure you fly into St. Martin’s airport SXM, which is about one hour away. When you think about it, most major airports take 45 minutes to an hour to get to from your house, so it’s really not that big of a deal to hop in a taxi and drive into Anguilla. Again, you’ll save time and money. You’re welcome.
A final tip: when you begin your flight search, start by finding a city with non-stop service to SXM.
How to Travel and Where to Stay Around the Island
When it comes to getting around the island you have two main options: taxi or rental car. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons:
Rental Car – Compared to taking a taxi everywhere, a rental car will be a much more affordable option for you. Note that in order to drive on the island, visitors must be issued an Anguillan driver’s license. These are quite easy to get as most car rental agencies will have them.
The process is easy – simply pay a one-time fee of $20 and show your valid US driver’s license.
Taxi – As I mentioned previously, Anguilla taxi service is notoriously expensive, but, if you have the budget, it may be worth it. Because you’ll have to drive on the left-side of the road in an unfamiliar place, where street names are often not identified and roads are often not paved, paying someone else to get you around may be more your speed. Plus, as an added bonus, many taxi drivers can double as a tour guide.
As for where to stay, you have a variety of wonderful options. Here are two of our favorite resorts:
CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa
If you’re looking for an oasis of luxury set among azure water and white sand, look no further than the CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa. Accommodations are spacious and the views are incredible (Perfect to take they jealousy-inducing selfie).
Guests can enjoy the spa, or perhaps spend the afternoon playing a round of golf on the only 18-hole course on the island, designed by Greg Norman. At night, you’ll have your choice of extraordinary dining options. < More Info >
Carimar Beach Club
When in Anguilla, why not stay at a world-renowned beachfront resort? Carimar Beach Club boasts spacious villa suites that are located directly on Mead’s Bay Beach – considered one of the best beaches in the entire world.
Besides resting on the soft, pearl-white sands, guests can enjoy on-site tennis, golf, water sports, island excursion, and, of course, fine dining. < More Info >
Coming from St Martin to Anguilla
Getting to Anguilla from St. Martin is quick and enjoyable on the ferry. Oh, it’s also inexpensive. Ferries run all day between ports between the hours of 7:30am and 6:15pm (departing Anguilla). The last return ferry to Anguilla departs St. Martin at 7:00pm. Ferries run approximately every 45 minutes, and the trip takes about 25 minutes.
Regular one-way fare is US $20 or EC $55 for adults and children twelve years and older. Children under twelve years old are US $10.
Whether it’s your first time to Anguilla or your third, the island will no doubt enchant you and make you never want to leave. For an even more remarkable trip, be sure to check out those dolphin swim programs and make some new best friends.
Your Anguilla Experience and Feed Back
We would love to hear from you and what you did in Anguilla or near by St Martin. Did you do any of these activities that we have listed here? What places do you recommend to go stay in or eat at? In fact we are so interested in hearing what you have to say that we will entice you to comment, the first 5 comments will receive a $5 Amazon Gift card by email. The only thing we ask that you comment has something to do about Anguilla or St Martin and your stay there or the nearby area.
There are a plethora of vacation destinations within the Caribbean, but perhaps none quite as lovely as Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. Located on the north coast, the area boasts charming towns, spectacular hiking and mountain biking, lively nightlife, and miles and miles of beautiful white sand beaches. Plus, unlike other Caribbean vacation destinations, Puerto Plata offers tranquility without the hordes of tourists.
There are numerous activities to enjoy during your stay. As I already mentioned, the coastal region offers up some of the world’s most unspoiled beaches. Imagine spending the day strolling along with aquamarine water on one side and a thick fringe of palm trees on the other, gently swaying in the ocean breeze. Every day I spent an hour or more walking and simply laying in the sun – it was incredibly relaxing and just what I needed.
Outdoor Fun for Everyone!
I’m an outdoor enthusiast and I loved the guided hike my family and I went on that introduced us to the area’s astounding flora and fauna. Thrill seekers can explore the 27 waterfalls, where adrenaline junkies can white water rafting to diving from rock walls into the pools below. Although I didn’t have the stomach for it, I saw people having a great time of it. Puerto Plata has plenty of activities for everyone’s taste.
Puerto Plata also offers a rich and diverse blend of cultures to experience. Throughout the year, visitors can enjoy merengue, blues, jazz and folk concerts, as well as traditional dance performances. Puerto Plata even hosts a yearly International sand castle festival. I’d love to try and schedule my next vacation to experience the amazing sand sculptures.
Those seeking an exciting nightlife scene will not be disappointed. All of the resorts have their own bars and discos, so you can enjoy some cocktails and dance the night away, then simply head upstairs to your room when the exhaustion finally sets in. There are also wonderful lounges and cabaret bars that locals enjoy and are happy to share with visitors.
Ocean World – One Place Stop for Water Action
I can hardly talk about exciting activities without mentioning swimming with dolphins at Ocean World Park. Not only will you have a completely exciting and memorable day at the park like my family and I did, but it is so incredibly easy to get to. Any resort in the area will be able to set up transportation to and from your hotel for free. We took a clean and comfortable bus that dropped us off right in front of Ocean World’s ticket booth.
The staff at the park are incredibly friendly and can direct you to all of the shows and amenities that are offered like the dolphin show, sea lion show, bird show, bird aviary, shark show, tiger grotto, pools and lounge chairs, and the lunch buffet, which was even better than I thought it would be!
My first activity was enjoying the 30-minute Dolphin Show, which was a real crowd pleaser. Even though you’ve probably seen dolphins perform tricks on TV and in the movies, seeing them do it in person is unforgettable. I also thoroughly enjoyed the Sea Lion show because they are just incredibly adorable and funny at the same time. My family and I giggled throughout it.
At some point during the day you’re going to need a break. You can either get some lunch or just relax by the pool in a lounge chair, or do BOTH, which is what we did. As I said, the lunch buffet was really quite tasty and offered us salad, meatballs, rice, chicken, fish, cold cuts, bread and flan. As per usual, I ate more than I should have, which is why I needed to go take a short nap by the pool.
If you have very little ones with you, or even adults who are not strong swimmers, there is the Dolphin Encounter, which is in shallow water. Here you can pet, kiss and hug the dolphins. Trainer for a day is exactly what it sounds like – you get to experience what it would be like to be a dolphin trainer at the park.
I had swum with the dolphins before so I wanted to try something totally different and unique, which is scuba diving with dolphins. I will NEVER forget this experience. If you have diving experience, do not miss this opportunity.
Amber Port – the New Cruise Port
The Amber Port is very new and cost a total of $85 million to build. It was not here the last time I visited Puerto Plata. It has been over 25 years since cruise ships have been able to stop on the Amber Coast – called such because of its abundance of the translucent, burnt-orange stone.
The port is located on the northern coast right next to Puerto Plata and receives calls from various cruise ships like Carnival, Holland America, Costa, Cunard and P&O, among others. The port has a transportation hub that offers passengers access to taxis and car rentals. Cruise Ship Travel to Dominican Republic
Besides being a port of call, this is a great jumping off point for many day excursions such as a trip to the Amber Museum and the Malecon, a three-mile-long boardwalk in Puerto Plata. You can also connect to Ocean World dolphin swim programs, snorkeling trips, and ATV off-roading adventures.
I have visited Puerto Plata on more than one occasion, and each time, have always been incredibly happy with my accommodations. That’s one of the things that makes this area so perfect for vacationers: the variety of all-inclusive resorts.
For my most recent vacation, my family stayed at the VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort, which is located directly on the beach. My kids loved that the hotel had a kid’s club and three different swimming pools. My wife and I loved the feeling of ultimate tranquility. I don’t relax everywhere I go, but I could definitely relax here. It also didn’t hurt that the resort had an international selection of restaurants. Have you noticed I like to eat?! This resort was the perfect backdrop to our vacation.
In the past I have stayed at Iberostar Costa Dorada, which is about 10 minutes from the city of Puerto Plata. The thing I remember most about this resort were the lush, tropical gardens everywhere you walked. I remember thinking, “Okay, I am actually in paradise now!”
The staff was very friendly and helped my family and I set up day activities like tennis, kayaking and diving. My wife really liked this hotel because of the spa where she got many, many massages and facials.
Another resort I highly recommend is ClubHotel Riu Merengue. If you like stepping out onto your balcony and feasting your eyes on expansive and impressive views, you won’t be disappointed staying here. This resort has a fresh water swimming pool, a wellness spa, and even a gym. The neat thing about this hotel is that it shares facilities with the Hotel Riu Bachata, so you’ll also have access to their programs and activities like windsurfing, table tennis, bodyboarding and golf.
My vacation(s) to Puerto Plata was everything I hoped it would be and I have no doubt if you choose to vacation here, you’ll end up making memories of a lifetime as well.
Your Puerto Plata Experience and Feed Back
We would love to hear from you and what you did in Puerto Plata Dominican Republic. Did you do any of these activities that we have listed here? What places do you recommend to go stay in or eat at? In fact we are so interested in hearing what you have to say that we will entice you to comment, the first 5 comments will receive a $5 Amazon Gift card by email. The only thing we ask that you comment has something to do about Puerto Plata and your stay there or the nearby area.