The schedule for the afternoon of the second day in Las Pampas was “swimming with dolphins” – and this was the activity so many of us had been looking forward to. It’s one of those magical, life affirming, activities that charities fly terminally ill kids to Florida to experience. People who’ve done it go all misty eyed as they tell you about their deep spiritual connection with the second most intelligent species on earth. Dolphins protect humans when they’re in danger and swim around with smiles on their faces (I also read somewhere once that their the only other species on the planet which has sex just for enjoyment, so they’re definitely smarter than your average trout). All this on top of the fact that it was pink amazon dolphins we were going to swim with meant we were all pretty excited…

As our guide cut the engines – announcing that we’d arrived – the giant alligators lurking on all the surrounding banks tempered our enthusiasm somewhat. There were also none of the big friendly mammals anywhere in sight, so we all sat tight in our swimming gear waiting for something to happen. Our guide banged the side of the boat a bit and remarkably that seemed to do the trick as a couple of big pink bodies emerged from the water spraying out their blow holes. The dolphins were about 15-20 metres away from us and unfortunately that’s where they stayed. We hung around for a good 15 minutes and in that time 4-5 dolphins circled us at a safe distance. Only one man on the boat was brave enough to jump in, but he wasn’t rewarded with anything other than wet trunks and eventually we gave up.

It did actually turn out to be a fantastic afternoon as, in part to make up for the dolphin disappointment I think, our guide took us much deeper into Las Pampas and we experienced the most amazing sights of the whole trip. Nobody else we spoke to saw sloths or porcupines – or heard a family of howler monkeys in full chorus. So all was not lost. It was also a nice reminder that none of these experiences are guaranteed and these are wild animals (even if they do see humans on a regular basis) – Las Pampas is not Sea World, Florida. Just seeing the pink dolphins up close was a special experience – although I have to say, they’re much uglier than you’d imagine a ‘pink dolphin’ to be (lets just say that this particular breed might not be so up for the free love their smiley grey sea cousins indulge in). They were more like something out of a dolphin remake of ‘The Hills Have Eyes’ than Flipper, all nobbly and fleshy, but pretty rare and really cool to see up close.

So in summary, we saw some pink dolphins, whilst wearing swimming trunks – but that’s as far as it went. Their shyness and underwater habitat meant I didn’t get any good pictures either, but here’s what I got…

Click here to see the full Las Pampas gallery

Some of the other things i got up to in Las Pampas
Late night alligator hunting
The amazing wildlife of Las Pampas
Anaconda hunting
Piranha fishing – eat them before they eat you