Photo Fave: My little snake charmer, Jamaica

My little snake charmer, 5 years, at Dolphin Cove, Jamaica

Continuing the “In like a lion, out like a lamb” animal theme this month, I just had to slip in this photo from one of my most terrifying moments of family travel. Suffice to say I had no idea that our day trip to Dolphin Cove in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, would involve someone wrapping a sizeable snake around my 5-year-old daughter  (she had consented with delight, but I wasn’t so sure).

When I look back now, I know this was the very moment I realized my offspring might grow to have interests beyond those within my own comfort zone, including the scaly and slime-coated. She was completely overjoyed that she had the opportunity to hold the snake by herself and already had questions about it. Since then, both of my daughters’ enthusiasm and passion for animals and wildlife have often shaped the scope of our travels, and we have all enjoyed the ride.

In fact, just a few months ago they convinced even me to hold a rescue python named “Valentine” in my own two hands, though I had to pass on the tarantula that each of my daughters held with fascination.

Parenthood is every bit as much about growth as childhood is. And so is traveling together as a family.

This post is part of the Photo Friday fun at For more tips on travel to the Caribbean and Central America with your young children, visit our Destinations page. Enjoy your weekend!

Safe journeys,

Shelly Rivoli
Author of the award-winning Travels with Baby and Take-Along Travels with Baby
Curious about this content? See my editorial content disclosure.


  1. Terumi

    You are a brave momma! Snakes terrify me too. Why do our kids delight in finding love in things we fear most?

  2. Sonja

    I have a photo of my daughter about the same age covered in snake. Unfortunately it gives her the creeps now that she’s a teenager.

  3. Andi at The Particular Traveler

    Yikes! She looks really proud of herself 🙂 Isn’t it so fun to watch our kids develop their own little personalities and interests right in front of our eyes? Awesome.

  4. Jan's Travel and Tours

    ooh…you have a very brave little girl…and your trip with your family is really amazing!

  5. Costa Rica Wildlife

    I love snakes, they are beautiful animals, too bad that they are demonized all the time! There are relatively few venomous snakes that will attack people without being provoked, and their poor non-venomous cousins are maligned too because of them. Snakes deserve some slack, heh.

  6. Camels & Chocolate

    Oh my goodness, she’s so brave!!

  7. Jan's Travel and Tours

    I enjoyed reading your articles, so interesting! I doubt if my kids would want to let snake to be wrapped around their neck or even just to hold it…

  8. Amy

    Oh my god! You and she are both so brave!

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