Travel and Leisure — May 16, 2014 at 5:00 am

6 Places to Interact with Amazing Marine Life

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Dtraveller Cancun | http://www.flickr.com/photos/dtravellercancun/4831009406/

Dtraveller Cancun | http://www.flickr.com/photos/dtravellercancun/4831009406/

Interacting with marine life such as dolphins, whales, and sharks can be mesmerizing and educational, not only allowing us to experience how majestic these creatures are, but teaching how important it is to appreciate and care for them. Here are 6 places in the world where you can interact with some of the largest marine animals on earth.

Swim with Dolphins in Marathon, FL
Add some educational fun to your one on one dolphin experience with the “Researcher for a Day” program at the Dolphin Research Center. Join the dolphin research team and spend your visit working with dolphins on dolphin cognition studies. Children are welcome as well, and can part take in the “Dolphin Dip” program, which allows them to meet the dolphins and learn special training signals.

Snorkel with Manatees in Crystal River, FL
Only in Florida can you find these gentle giants roaming the waterways and with River Ventures, you can snorkel with them! USCG licensed captains and manatee tour guides will take you on a journey in the beautiful Crystal River and will safely introduce you to wild manatees that gather in the year round 72 degree water. Not only will you learn about these endangered animals but you might get a chance to cuddle with one as well.

Visit the Humpbacks in Cape Cod, MA
After a long winter, humpback whales travel North to the gulf of Maine from the tropics to feed on plankton after giving birth to their calves. So many gather here in fact, that they were lovingly dubbed “Megaptera novaeangliae” which means “big-winged New Englander.” The best time to witness these giant beauties is from April to October. Get your fill of whale watching with Dolphin Fleet– one of the world’s most respected whale watching companies.

Experience Crocodiles in the Cage of Death in Darwin City, Australia
Feel like doing something a little more wild than viewing whales through some binoculars? How about swimming with crocodiles? Crocosaurus Cove in Australia let’s visitors do just that- safely enclosed in a large, Plexiglas cage of course. Take the plunge and get up close and personal with some of the biggest prehistoric reptiles on the planet!

Make a Splash with Whale Sharks in Utila, Honduras
Travel to this backpacker mecca where it’s not only cheap to dive, but it’s one of the cheapest destinations in the world to swim with whale sharks. Check in with the Whale Shark and Oceanic Research Centre and jump on a dive boat, then head to the north side of the island for some fun with these massive beasts. The best time to make the trip is March and April, with fewer numbers of whale sharks spotted from September to December.

Go Whale Watching in Vancouver Island, British Columbia
If you are looking to do some orca watching in the Pacific Northwest, head to the Gulf and San Juan islands- one of the places to spot those familiar black and white markings. Blue and humpback whales are also prevalent here, so jump on a boat and start scanning! The best time to visit is March to November.

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