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“Come for the kids - take home a lot!”

Roatan Institute for Marine Sciences - Anthony's Key Resort
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Roatan Institute for Marine Science (RIMS) is ideally located for marine study on the northwest coast of Roatan where over 30 miles of fringing and barrier reefs, seagrass beds, mangroves and shoreline are home to an astonishing profusion of life. Founded in 1989, the primary objective of this facility is the preservation of Roatan's natural resources through education and research. In the past decade RIMS has established itself as a dedicated teaching institution. Our facility is visited year-round by colleges, universities and high schools from abroad to study tropical marine ecosystems and the bottlenose dolphins we house at our facility. Many programs are for academic credit, some are in conjunction with other field research stations, and others are simply introductory courses to the ecology of coral reefs in the Caribbean.
Reviewed 19 August 2014

I have been coming to Anthony's Key Resort since 1992 and on many occasions have participated in the Dolphin Encounter and when it was added, the Dolphin Snorkel. I have also done the Dolphin Dive, which was an absolute ball. This time I went to RIMS at AKR to introduce my 17 month old granddaughter to the dolphins. The dolphin - Champ - was great, as was the trainer who provided us great explanations of the behaviors and training. My granddaughter had a great time and you would have thought that she wanted to ride the dolphin like a mini-mermaid. Because of her, we didn't do the snorkel, but we did stay at AKR and had lunch before my 8 yr. old grandson did the Dolphin Action Swim with Mr. French and Reggie. For a child his age, this is a fabulous experience and I would recommend this to most kids, if they have the opportunity. Swimming ability is a plus, but everyone is wearing a flotation device so the child does not have to be a swimmer. Three years ago, he was one of the first to do that at 5 yrs. old and I can't wait to compare the photos. When he was 6, he did the dolphin trainer for a day with his two older cousins and really enjoys the dolphins and the whole experience. There are plenty of opportunities for you to take pictures, but get the pictures at the photo shop. The RIMS photographers have better spots and have had a lot of practice taking the pictures. They are worth every penny and might possibly end up as your next Christmas card. Since my youngest grandson will be on Roatan in about four weeks, I know that the whole family will be back.

Thank Allen21096
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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117 - 121 of 321 reviews

Reviewed 16 July 2014

My son and husband thoroughly enjoyed the dolphin interaction, as did I. Very knowledgable staff and simply exceptional lifetime experience. The pics and videos is expensive so I do suggest you take your own water cameras to capture the moments. It's definitely a once in a lifetime worth it experience.

Thank Deepa P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 July 2014 via mobile

For 30-40 minutes we had the opportunity to play and learn about one of the female dolphins. From their anatomy to their environment to their lifestyle, it was a fun learning experience.

Bring your own camera (waterproof) as well as buy the photos that are taken by the fellow diver. Great results!

All natural environment, dolphins are not corralled into areas that are too small for their likes and lifestyle.

A+ adventure!

Thank Adam D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 July 2014

Our family, myself husband and two daughters (ages 10 & 13), stayed near Anthony's Key. We all went for the snorkel with the dolphins with the included encounter. While we found the encounter relatively basic it was still informative and my daughters do love their photos. The snorkel exceeded our expectations. My expectations have been building for a long time as this has been a lifelong dream. I've seen other places where the "interaction" is forced and the dolphins live in artificial settings and didn't want to perpetuate that. This is very different. The enclosure is in the ocean as pictured (at AKR, we didn't see the one on the south side of the island that I think the cruise ships go to). The dolphins choose to do what they do. During our encounter our dolphin was a little distracted and worried about her 2 year old. She would go and check on him and return. She wasn't punished and food wasn't withheld. We asked what if they don't do well learning the signs and expected behaviors and the trainer said food is never withheld. They just continue to work with the dolphin gradually shaping the behaviors. The snorkel was amazing! The dolphins were playful and curious and so much fun. The trainer showed us how you could dive down to a cement block to hold, roll on your back and blow bubbles the dolphins would play with. They also like to play keep away with the sea grass. When it ended it was shard to leave them. A bunch swam up to the shallows and brought sea grass to us to keep playing. Two days later my 10-year-old-aspiring-marine-biologist went back for the trainer-for-a-day. She said it was 100 times better than the snorkel, so while the price initially seems high, my math tells me 100 x $109 is $10,900 so $209 is really worth it! I could see her from the deck of the home we stayed at when she went out with the trainers. At the end of the day family can go out onto the boardwalk of the enclosure for your own personal show put on by your child. Priceless! She learned so much and immediately wrote notes on the commands to remember them all. It has inspired her even more now.

As I mentioned we stayed in a home nearby and walked near parts of AKR often and the trainers were always really friendly and helpful, even though we weren't guests and even before the dolphin activities. When we kayaked by the pens one day, there was a dolphin outside the enclosure. We initially thought it was a curious wild one, but it was a dolphin that goes out to meet the divers and then willingly goes back. They do shows outside the enclosure and the dolphins go back of their own accord. They could easily jump out and leave obviously. The trainers do seem to genuinely care about their dolphins. We talked with one trainer at length and anyone overhearing us would have thought she was talking about her precocious child. I was in awe and a little jealous. I have only good things to say about our dolphin experiences.

1  Thank soleil2jours
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 July 2014

This was so much fun! We did the dolphin action swim and it was worth the cost! We had one on one interaction with the dolphins for almost an hour doing everything from dolphin kisses, dorsal fin rides, foot pushes and other tricks. We have some beautiful pictures made by the hotel photographer which I felt were reasonably priced for what we got. And we have memories to last a lifetime! This is definitely something I would do again!

2  Thank rmseek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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