When we were recently on holiday, we were very excited to be invited to PortAventura Caribe Aquatic Park Salou for the day.
PortAventura was only a 20-minute walk from the hotel we were staying at. The resort is pretty massive featuring six of their own hotels plus two theme parks and the water park.
After getting our bags checked over by security we had the obituary photo taken in front of the water fountain (along with everyone else haha) and headed off to the main entrance to the water park.
Inside the main entrance, there is a shop which sells pretty much everything. In the event, you forget anything I’m sure you would be able to find it here – swimwear, sunglasses, suncreams, waterproof camera/phone cases, clothes, souvenirs…
The first thing we did was queue up to rent a locker for the day. The queue was pretty big and I advise you do this as soon as possible. By the time we were at the front most of the lockers had been reserved for the day and there were only a few remaining. Standard lockers are €6 and family lockers are €9 for the day. There is a €5 required but this is refunded when you return the key back at the end of your day. The queue at the end of the day was pretty busy. We did leave going until the park was due to close to maximise our day so perhaps if you went a little earlier it might not be as busy.
The locker key is given to you in a little wrist pocket which enables you to keep it on your at all times and safely on the rides. We wore it all day with no problems and it didn’t come loose once.
The lockers, toilets and changing rooms are situated inside and upstairs above the children’s indoor water play area. I did find the lighting quite dark up there and with it being quite busy with everyone getting organised it was a bit of a squeeze room wise. It wasn’t a huge problem though because we weren’t in there too long.
Our first glimpse of the water park and the rides/slides was the indoor children’s area. It’s looked very impressive with all of it’s theming. It’s a great idea to have some activities undercover especially on a very hot day – it’s somewhere to take a break from being in the sun, especially with little ones and they can still have fun. There were also two flume slides aimed at children and two for adults as well inside the indoor area. Lauren and Steve whet on the bigger flumes and said they were so fast and so dark, so they are definitely for thrillseekers! The lazy river can be accessed from the indoor pool area and you can join the river to swim around. The rings can’t be collected from this point though.
Once we were all changed and everything safely locked away we all wanted to go on the lazy river first (El Río Loco). We found the nearest entry point, waited for the rings and off we went. They are two types of rings to choose from, singles and doubles. I took and double with Caiden and the other two had their own singles. There are a good few exit and entry points dotted along the lazy river so you could get on or off at any point. We decided to go the whole way around. The current was pretty fast so we didn’t have to do much work at getting around and there were plenty of fountains and waterfalls to make sure you don’t stay too dry! We had a lot of fun on this and went on a few times throughout the day. You can opt to just swim around without the rubber rings too.
Our other favourite rides that day included Barracuda – a water flume where you ride in a single or double rubber ring. It was such a laugh, so much so we went on it twice, Rapid Race – again we enjoyed this so much we must have gone on it about 4 times. We had great fun seeing who would get to the bottom first! Steve and Lauren braved Ciclón Tropical, Caiden and I stood and watched, I definitely wasn’t brave enough for that!
Caribe park has lots more to offer other than just the rides and slides too. We thoroughly enjoyed the wave pool and catching a wave or two. It’s probably the biggest wave pool I’ve ever been too, it was massive! You can also have a more relaxing time in this pool if you like because the waves are on a timer so they’re not constant. It’s ideal for smaller children because the entry to the pool is gradual so you can stay really shallow and have a paddle or venture further in deeper.
Caiden really enjoyed playing the range of children’s areas. There was plenty to do for little ones if they aren’t tall enough for the bigger rides and slides. There’s definitely something for the whole family. I even had a go on the small slides off the pirate ship too!
One part of the day we all liked was a swim in what has to be the biggest pool I have ever seen! Playa Paradiso is beautiful and absolutely massive. With a decorative cave and waterful I could have spent the whole day in there alone. It was so spacious. There were even loungers in the shallow end for you to sit back and relax – the water was really lovely and warm too. Pictures just don’t do it justice at all with regards to the size of it.
There were a few more rides we had hoped to go on but we just ran out of time. The day went So quickly and it was so jam-packed. Another day would have been ideal.
Caribe offers lots of places to eat, there are sit down restaurants and fast food counters and lots of lovely food outlets selling ice-creams, slushies, cold drinks, frozen yogurt, warm waffles …. obviously I wasn’t going to give up the chance to buy a warm waffle covered in Nutella chocolate spread, was I?
Some points I did note throughout the day which I thought would be useful to pass on to someone who’s never visited Caribe Aquatic Park before are:
- Bring some kind of footwear to wear between rides – flip flops or water shoes. We visited in August on a very hot day and the flooring gets VERY very hot. I was hopping from foot to foot at times and trying to find some shade for a few seconds to let my feet recover. You won’t, however, be able to wear your footwear on the rides (even swim shoes) but you can leave them at the beginning of the ride by the ride operator and collect them again once you have finished.
- I put Caiden in a plain white t-shirt to protect his shoulders and back in the extreme heat (even though I had covered him in sun cream) because I was aware he would be exposed for most of the day to the sun and we got asked to remove it from a lifeguard. So you can only wear your swimwear in the park when you are in the pools or on the rides.
- You will be asked to remove your sunglasses on all the rides and attractions … including the swimming pools. The day was a bright one and the reflection from the water was a bit much at times.
- The flooring can be a bit slippy especially coming off the bridge over the lazy river so just go careful.
But despite all of that it wouldn’t put me off going again. Just make sure you regularly top up with sun cream and take some sort of footwear and you’ll be great. I had my sunglasses on between attractions and rides and just put them aside where everyone puts their shoes at the beginning of the ride so I had them on walking around the park.
The park very very clean and tidy and there were no shortages of lifeguards. There were absolutely plenty of them on every attraction and multiple around the swimming pools and wave machine which was nice to see.
We had a brilliant day and it has to be up there as one of our favourite water parks we have visited.
We were gifted tickets to the water park in exchange for this review. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.