1. Home
  2. >
  3. Cancun-Isla Mujeres
  4. >
  5. Dolphin Encounter

Swim with Manatees with Dolphin Discovery

This experience is like no other!

The experience of swimming with manatees means having gentle, large and non-aggressive marine animals as buddies, as well as learning more about their life and habitat. Manatees are located in their natural environment, therefore you will be the guest in their own world, but they will welcome you without feeling threatened, just as if they were naïf creatures with good hearts. Even if they may have slow movements, that doesn’t mean you won’t have great moments with them.

We are not very used to these marine creatures as we are to dolphins or sea lions, but swimming with manatees will give you interesting information about them, their habitat, reproduction and nursing. There are few places in the world where you can have this experience, but if you are lucky enough to swim with them, most programs include a funny manatee kiss from their upper lip -that acts like a shortened trunk similar to an elephant’s- that will probably give you tickles. And finally you will have the chance to feed them while they hold you to get closer. Remember that they eat 100% vegetables; they are like a big marine lettuce.

Live the experience of swimming with manatees in Sea Life Discovery Plus program.

About manatees

Manatees are aquatic mammals with a gentile, docile, curious and slow “personality”, also known as sea cows because of their totally vegetarian diet –not because of their physical appearance-. They have a paddle-shaped tail, two flippers with nails, a large body, and a brownish-gray colored skin; they breathe through nostrils, like seals and have funny whiskers on their snout.

Manatees are known to be gathered in warm and shallow waters, specially slow rivers, saltwater bays and coastal areas. Due to their low body fat they are susceptible to cold temperatures, therefore they migrate in winter through springs and estuaries. They are always resting, eating, and traveling. Actually, because of the manatee’s original location, the word “manatí” comes from the Taino’s, pre-columbian people of the Caribbean, meaning “breast”.

These creatures belong to the “Sirenia” family, having elephants, hyraxes and aardvarks as close relatives. There are 3 common types of manatees: the West Indian Manatee inhabits the shallow waters of rivers and coastlines of the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, the Amazonian Manatee inhabits the Amazon Basin, and finally the West African Manatee in West Africa.

  • Manatees weight about 400 to 500 kilograms (880 to 1,210 lb).
  • Female manatees are heavier and larger than males.
  • At Birdth baby manatees weight around 30 kg.
  • They are also called sea cows and long time ago were confused for mermaids by the sailors.
  • Manatees swim At an average speed of 5-8 km/h (3 to 5 mph).
  • They can be trained because they have long term memory.
  • An adult manatee eat 10% of his weight.
  • Manatees can't survive in cold waters they migrate to warm-spring rivers during winter.
  • Scientists believe that manatees can live 60 years or more.
  • Their reproduction rate is really low and eventual extinction is a probable future for this specie.