There are 2 water parks in Benidorm and often visitors are baffled as to which one to go to during their stay. Aqualandia is certainly bigger, has more slides and is great for the older kids or those that are more adventurous. However, if you have younger children, say under 12 or are not too keen on giant slides I would definitely recommend Aqua Natura - and I was surprised to discover a little secret there too ...
Aqua Natura is located beside Terra Natura Wildlife Park and you can purchase a combined ticket allowing you to visit the animals first then go on and enjoy the water park - it makes a fabulous day out.
|Slides at Aqua Natura|
Lifeguards are positioned at the top and botton of each slide to ensure safety and that the previous fun seeker has cleared the drop zone - they are certainly safety conscious which is reassuring. If you are unfortunate enough to require any medical assistance then there is a large first aid station located in the park.
I was surprised to discover that twice daily they have a Sea Lion show there too - at 1.30pm and 4pm... I never realized that they even had sea lions. It was certainly very popular and almost every seat was taken for the 1.30 show that I attended. The voice over is in both English and Spanish but its really a visual show so you don´t need to be able to understand anyway.
When the trainers came out with the two sea lions the crowds let out a very loud "ahhh" and they proceeded to perform several tricks and routines. They started by dancing to "Lets do the Twist" which got the crowds excited and cameras clicking.
The skills exhibited by both the sea lions and the trainers was incredible.. they obviously have a very close bond - but the fish treats they were fed between routines encouraged them too I should think!
The show lasts a little over half and hour and at the end you can have your photo taken with the sea lion. There was certainly a lot of families queuing up.
After all the photos were done I noticed a group that were changing into wetsuits so went over to enquire what they were doing to discover you can have a "Sea Lion Experience". For this there is a charge of 30 euros per person - the show which we watched beforehand was free.
They each had a turn to have their photo taken with it then the trainer lined them all up so that they could touch and play with him whilst he taught them a little about sea lions... so educational too.
|Performing the "push"|
|Having an extra snack after the show!|
They have 2 different breeds of sea lions here - Patagonian and Californian. The Patagonian are bigger and calmer and have a flat nose whilst the Californian ones have long noses. In the wild they use their long whiskers to detect fish under the water, which is useful if the water is murky and they cannot see too far ahead. The blind sea lion uses its whiskers to detect the edges of the pool so that he doesn´t bump into them!
I asked Miguel how much fish they needed as during the show they seemed to be fed after each trick or performance. The largest sea lion they have weighs 300kg and he gets through about 4.5kg a day but in the Winter that goes up to about 12kg - as with humans they eat less in the heat! (I bet Captain Birdseye would love that contract) They rotate the sea lions they use for each show as the water temperature in the performance pool gets up to around 30 degrees and the direct sunlight is not that good for them.
|Miguel with Walter|
|Mother Lola and her new son|
For an opportunity to win 2 tickets for Aqua Natura and to watch the sea lion show answer the following two questions:
What are the two breeds of sea lions kept at Aqua Natura?
What is the weight of the largest sea lion?
Email your answers by Monday 6th August to:
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