Whether you’re visiting Mexico with children and are interested in animal-based family activities or if you are an animal lover at heart, Mexico has many animal encounters featuring both protected and non-protected species. The Tortugranja Turtle Farm is located at the Instituto National de la Pesca in Isla Mujeres. This high learning, low cost attraction offers visitors the chance to learn about protected sea turtles from a working turtle sanctuary. After visitors receive lessons on sea turtle reproduction and hatchling safety, visitors can see various stages of sea turtle development and tour the sanctuary’s aquarium.
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Flamingos can be viewed in their natural states at the Reserva Ecologica de los Petenes, in the Yucatan region of Celestun. The Petenes State Ecological Reserve, as it is known in English, is home to thousands of flamingos and during the winter months, is used as the flamingo’s breeding area. In addition to flamingos, other types of marsh birds reside here and if interested in birding, the preserve always hosts hundreds of native and visiting bird species.
Dolphin encounters seem to be in most Mexican resort towns. Whether visiting Cancun, Isla Mujeres, Puerto Aventuras or some other coastal area, dolphin swims and/or shows are never far away. Most of these dolphin experiences are geared towards tourists rather than people interested in marine biology. If interested in participating in a dolphin encounter, expect to pay around $100 to $150 for 25 to 35 minutes of dolphin contact. Some dolphin encounters also require transportation to and from their more remote locations (sometimes by ferry boat) which can add an extra $25 to the activity. Kids’ fees are generally half of adult fees although some children may be too young to participate. Before booking this activity, make sure all family members are old enough to participate or have alternate plans for the little ones.