Swimming with dolphins is on everyone’s bucket list, isn’t it? We had the opportunity to swim with a 17 year old male rescue dolphin named Kaleche at Xel-Ha, and it lived up to all our expectations, and more.
We were a small group–only 6 people total–with a trainer and the dolphin. At first, the trainer had Kaleche just swim around us to get used to our group. Then we were taught several hand signals that Kaleche understands, and before we knew it he was playing ‘Ring around the Rosie’ and splashing us.
The highlight for most was swimming with Kaleche while holding his dorsal fin, as you can Chelsea doing in the picture above. We each got about a 10 yard ride, after which we gave the hand signal and Kaleche actually “stood up” and gave us his side fins to “dance” with. One more hand signal, and he very gently gave us a peck on the cheek.
The trainer told us that dolphins enjoy physical contact ( just not around their face), and Kaleche certainly seemed to. His skin was very smooth, not rough as I expected. I was surprised at how fast and gracefully he swam, with hardly any motion. It is easy to see why everyone loves dolphins!