From Los Cabos in Mexico to New Zealand’s Akaroa, the Dominican Republic’s Oceanworld to Ocho Rios in Jamaica, swimming with dolphins is a global phenomenon.
In some locations you can swim with wild dolphins, including off the coast of Australia. Most swims with wild dolphins are hands-off encounters, but at Monkey Mia on the Western Australian coast, wild bottlenose dolphins have been visiting the beach every day for the past few years to interact and swim with humans.
Around the globe, aquariums and water parks offer swimming with tame dolphins, with a choice of interactive programs that allow you to share handshakes, kisses and strokes. And if you’re really interested in getting to know dolphins, you can spend the day working as a trainer with a marine professional at a dolphin center.
Qualified, eco-certified operators have developed a rapport with the dolphins, and know where to take you for your once-in-a-lifetime dolphin encounter. Well-organized reputable tours provide all the necessary snorkel gear, as well as refreshments, commentary, assistance and wildlife information.
Most programs require that you can swim, and snorkel lessons can be provided if you’re a novice. There are some age and health restrictions, and tours can also be dependent on good weather, calm seas and clear visibility.
Swim with dolphin programs can also involve up-close encounters with sea lions, seals, manatees, stingrays or sharks.
We had the most fantastic time at Dolphin Cove. It is must for everyone that visits Jamaica. We booked the Dolphin Swim with an upgrade to the Ultimate Swim, if you go to Dolphin Cove the Ultimate Swim cannot be beaten.
Our only gripe is we wish we had been told about all the other activities onsite. We could have spent the whole day there. Although the photos and DVD are expensive they are worth every penny.
Reply by Viator, April 2013
Doing what: Swimming with Dolphins in Akaroa
We had a great time. The sights are amazing and the guides were helpful. The water was a little brisk, but the wetsuits were fine. The dolphins came around, but weren't very interested in sticking around very long with us that day, but we still enjoyed ourselves. We were very happy with the experience, but the guides said it wasn't a full enough of an adventure and gave us a partial refund! Great experience.
AMAZING!! So much fun! Boat rides, snorkeling and swimming with stingray were also available. This was the best day of our trip.