Santiago de Cuba’s Baconao Aquarium

Janis Hernandez

HAVANA TIMES, Jan 8 — The Baconao Aquarium is a beautiful facility located in the park of the same name in the coastal area to the east of Santiago de Cuba. Situated between the Sigua and Cazonal beaches, it’s a must see. To simply view it from the road, it appears as an imposing building skirting the Caribbean Sea.

Since its opening in 1983, it has welcomed an infinite number of visitors. Nestled in this beautiful touristic area, the aquarium offers attractive features that make one’s stop there more enjoyable, but the trained-animal show is one of the most striking.

Amazingly intelligent dolphins and friendly sea lions with their coaches delight children and adults alike.

A hall of tanks with many species of fresh and salt-water fish was designed in a truly original fashion. Likewise, the reef tank that allows one to witness the realm of those majestic aquatic specimens, and a shark tank permits us view these fearsome creatures in their domain.

If you want you can even swim in pools along with sea turtles and dolphins. There’s also a café-restaurant offering sea food and a stunning exhibition hall that, while frequently changing, always exhibits objects, pictures and elements alluding to life in the sea.

On the occasion when we took these accompanying photos, the exhibit was on marine archeology, the world’s oceans and famous ships.

Near the end of my visit to the aquarium, I participated in the first training session of two young dolphins that had recently arrived. However, since they were still a little wary, I wasn’t able to stroke or play with them.

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