Travel with me #75 : Saying hello to Sharks, Stingrays, Sawfish at the Predator Lagoon! (photos + video)
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One of the things that made Atlantis stand out to me was their incredible Marine life diversity. As we've seen from our adventures to The Dig, this little island resort is the home of a huge array of aquatic life. Indeed, the hotel and more specifically The Dig is the largest open air Marine Aquarium in the whole world.
A simple stroll around Atlantis will reveal just how diverse the marine life is, not only that, you get a sense of how well the exhibits are integrated into the very foundations of the hotel.
In today's edition of travel with me, we'll be visiting a lesser known part of Atlantis, known as the Predator Lagoon. Although it doesn't feature very much beside the more popular attractions such as The Dig and the Aquaventure Water Park, it is certainly no less amazing.
From the Royal Towers, you can actually follow a path on the edge of the hotel, all the way to Predator Lagoon. It takes about 15 minutes and you'll have some terrific views of the vicinity along the way.
Our destination is the circular building with the seashell roof labelled Lagoon Bar & Grill. In the above map, you can see it is adjacent to a beautiful sea connected lagoon called Paradise Lagoon which is one of the best places to swim in natural sea water. (As opposed to the other swimming pools at Aquaventure)
Below, you can see the Lagoon Bar and Grill with its very distinctive seashell roof, and a lovely view of the Paradise lagoon. Because the lagoon is connected directly to the sea, there are many fishes in the lagoon which have settled around the natural reefs and plantations. It is a really nice place to do some light snorkelling or paddle boating.
This is a view of the Casino from the outside near the Predator Lagoon. Although not as formidable looking as the Royal Towers, it certainly commands it's own presence, especially with the waterfalls which themselves, circulate water from the dock side of the sea, to the paradise lagoon.
Together with the Royal Towers, it's simply an amazing view.
Just to give you an idea of the scale of the Casino building, this is me sitting on the ledge with the waterfalls only just out of the picture. I look so small!
Can you see the Casino building on the left? That's where I sat on the ledge! Doesn't look that big from a distance, especially beside the Royal Towers.
As I mentioned earlier, the Atlantis hotel has the largest open air marine aquarium in the world. Here are some of the interesting creatures I saw on my way to Predator lagoon!
Sea Turtles. Atlantis supports the conservation of sea turtles through their "Sea Turtles Conservancy Tour de Turtles" program.
I was amazed to see so many Saw-fish in the shallow pools.
There were actually quite a number of these saw-fish.
Atlantis is the first zoological facility in the world to have successful births of the critically endangered small-tooth Saw-fish.
There are also hundreds of Cownose stingrays in their shallow lagoon. During the day, people can snorkel with them or even feed them!
These are some shots of the fish at The Dig from the outside.
At night, the lights turn on, and the shoals of fish become like moving silhouettes.
I love how they form these circular vortex's.
How could I forget the cute little feral kittens running about the place.
After a lovely walk outside, we finally arrive at the Lagoon Bar and Grill which is the building behind me with the seashell roof. The Predator Lagoon is located right beneath it so a good idea is to grab a bite to eat and then proceed to the exhibit below.
The underside of the roof has magnificent artwork depicting many many of the creatures that inhabit Atlantis.
A walk down the spiral staircase and we're in the Predator lagoon!
Once we reach the bottom, we're treated to an absolute feast of gorgeous marine life. Hundreds of different kinds of fish swimming around, chasing each other's tails.
Some of the fish are ginormous. You'll find various kinds of sharks, barracuda's and tarpons to name a few.
Large shoals of fish swimming in near unison can be seen through the crystal clear glass.
There's also quite a number of large Stingrays. They are so impressive as they glide through the water with their wings propelling them forward.
Up close, you can get a sense of how large they really are. It's also a great opportunity to see their underside as usually we can only see them from the top.
I'm not sure why the fishes make this vortex formation. But it is remarkable to see.
Below are some of the other varieties of tropical fish you can expect to see here.
Perhaps the highlight of the Predator Lagoon and indeed any Aquarium, is the Tunnel.
It's a visual beauty as well as a treat to see Stingrays, Sharks, Saw-fish and lots of other fish swim over your head.
I was in the tunnel for quite a while because I wanted to catch a photo of the big saw-fish swimming over.
In case you didn't know, the saw-fish is often mistaken for being a Shark because of it's top down profile being very similar to sharks. Sometimes they are referred to as carpenter sharks because of their saw-like rostrum which is the primary tool they use to unearth buried crustaceans (their primary diet).
Sawfishes are actually classified as Rays. And like rays, the Sawfish's mouth and nose are flat on the underside.
I really like how they look from the bottom. Their mouths make them look like they're perpetually grinning!
Be sure to check out the video!
And that wraps up our visit to the Predator Lagoon at Atlantis. Even though it's not as popular as The Dig, it's definitely a hidden gem. Sure you get to see Stingrays and Sawfish in the open air aquarium, this is the place to go if you want to see them up close.
Hope you enjoyed my post!
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