Dominican Republic: Day 2 (Part 5)

July 15, 2011

Then it was back to the water, the place where I feel most comfortable.  While I have on numerous occasions during my dives around the world encountered stingrays and sharks, I have never actually touched them.  At Ocean World in Puerto Plata, they have both a stingray and shark pool where you can touch, feed, and if your brave enough hug them.  Yes, I was crazy enough to do all three, although not crazy enough to kiss them!

I preferred the sharks to the stingrays, so much so, that I found myself to be the last person in the shark pool.  I was completely enamored by them; I had forgotten about everything and everyone else.  I eventually looked up from the water to see it was just me and about fifteen nurse sharks.  I decided at that point it was probably time for me to leave as well!

My last animal date of the day was the one I was most looking forward to and I am delighted that Ocean World saved the best for last: The Royal Dolphin Swim.  Imagine being in a tropical lagoon by yourself with two incredibly affectionate dolphins.  Sounds like Paradise?  Well, I can assure you it was.

This experience brought me right back to Cuba, where I had my first encounter with dolphins.  In fact, the dolphins that I interacted with were indeed from Cuba.  All of the dolphins that are found in the Dominican Republic are brought in from other countries.  Ocean World proudly housed the first birth of a dolphin in the country several years ago.  I was told it was a spectacular event in the middle of the night and that every single trainer acted as though it was their own child being born.

Of course, I did not want to leave my new friends, however I was comforted by the fact that I would be returning days later for an even more intimate encounter with them.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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41 thoughts on “Dominican Republic: Day 2 (Part 5)

  1. Camels & Chocolate

    People don’t realize how friendly nurse sharks are–I, too, spent a good half an hour with about 20 of them on the dock in the Bahamas when I was at Compass Cay. They’re actually kind of cute, though the beady eyes freak me out a bit!

  2. Erin in Costa Rica

    Oh that is so awesome! I haven’t checked swim w dolphins off my list yet and here you are with multiple encounters – lucky lady! Can’t wait to read about your more intimate encounter 🙂

    1. Andi Perullo Post author

      And I can’t wait to share it with you! Being next to dolphins is incredible!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m obsessed with them now! I hope you can swim with them soon. Are there places in CR that you can?

  3. Alex

    Andi, you need to get yourself to Stingray City in Grand Cayman! You can pet, kiss and play with the stingrays and the best part is they are totally wild!

    1. Andi Perullo Post author

      I’ve heard about that place! I definitely will check it out. I want to start traveling to more places in the Caribbean. I feel like it’s such a gem and it’s so close that it’s silly for me to not travel to it more!

  4. Arti

    Hi Andi,
    These are just amazing pics, what an adventure it must have been for you!! Swimming with sting rays feels scary though!! Dolphins are just amazing, so cute!
    I am from India, loved your blog…
    Do visit my Travel Blog when you are free…
    Have a fabulous weekend:)
    My Yatra Diary…

    1. Andi Perullo Post author

      Hi Arti! Thanks for your wonderful comment. Always nice to hear from new readers. People were really scared about the sting rays, but they were very docile. And yes, the dolphins were the best!!! I’ll definitely check out your website. Big hugs, Andi

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  6. Sebastian

    Dolphins are one of the greatest mammals. I got invited to a boat tour in December last year in Australia and we swam about 1 hour with wild dolphins in the pacific ocean. I loved it and didn’t want to get out of the water!

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  9. matt

    Looks like you are having the time of your life! I recently got back from Sea World in FL, the whole time I was thinking how much I wanted to dive in and play with all the animals. It was fun but I gotta admit Ocean World is in a league of it’s own. By the way, all you dolphin lovers should know about what’s going on in Japan They really are special animals.

  10. Emily

    Obviously that guy’s a pro, and I know not all sharks bite, but it still seems a little crazy to see someone just holding a shark!


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