Swim With Dolphins in Cancun
The trainer gives a quick command, and two dolphins race towards you. They circle around, and you feel them press into your feet. You’re lifted almost fully out of the water and carried across the pool faster than you could have imagined, waves rippling in your wake.
It started with a swim. Now you know what it feels like to fly.
A Unique Experience
Swimming with dolphins is a dream for many people, and in Cancun it’s easy to make this dream come true. You can plan a dolphin interaction as part of your day visit to parks like Xcaret or Xel-Ha. You can also plan a trip to dolphinarium--an aquarium specializing in dolphins--to encounter these incredible creatures face to face. There, you’ll be able to interact with the dolphins, making them perform tricks, swimming alongside them, and even having them take you for a ride.
A Whole Bag of Tricks
When you start planning your swim with dolphins in Cancun, you’ll notice different interactions listed at each dolphinarium. Here’s a quick primer on what they mean, so you can choose the ones that sound the most fun to you.
Hug & A Kiss
You’ll get up close and personal with a dolphin, as it pops out of the water to lean into a hug and deliver a “kiss” to your cheek. This is a low-impact activity that’s perfect for people of any age, and it makes a great introduction for getting comfortable with the dolphins.
Another ideal activity for both young and old, the hand target trick has the dolphin leaping from the water to touch your hand with its nose. You’ll feel like a full-fledged dolphin trainer as you get these delightful creatures to follow your commands.
The dorsal fin rises from the dolphin’s back, and makes an excellent handhold for a rider. Dorsal tows involve hanging onto the dorsal fins of one or two dolphins (depending on location) while they race through the water. It’s an incredible ride!
The dolphin rolls onto its back, and you grab a hold of its flippers. The dolphin then swims upside down, pulling you along in a gentler ride than you’ll find from the dorsal tow. Plus it’s a good way to sneak in some dolphin tummy rubs!
Two dolphins press their heads beneath your feet, then race through the water. You’ll be lifted almost completely out of the water as you go. It’s like water skiing without a boat, and it’s a unique experience you’ll remember forever.
Planning Your Trip
You’ll have a few tour options if you want to swim with dolphins in Cancun. Check out these popular destinations, and find the perfect balance of activity and location for you:
Before You Go
Plan out what particular activities you’d like to experience. Is it a foot push? A hug and a kiss? Make sure you choose a dolphin swim that offers what you’re looking for! If you’re bringing a small child with you, be sure to research what activities will be easiest for them to accomplish.
You’ll learn about dolphins’ life cycle and ecosystem, making this a good chance to mix education with fun.
Many of the dolphins used in these programs are captive-bred or undergoing rehabilitation from injury. In either case it makes it unsafe for them to return to the wild.
Some activities may be restricted for younger children, so be sure to check what’s available before signing up for your visit!
To be sure you choose a dolphinarium that treats its animals well, look for certification from the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks & Aquariums (AMMPA).
You Should Also Know…
You’ll be in a highly supervised situation and equipped with life jackets to ensure your safety.
Most dolphinariums are located close to the Hotel Zone, so they’re quick to get to. You can expect most dolphin swim programs to last around an hour.
Not a strong swimmer? No worries - many dolphinariums include a shallow water option where you can still interact with the dolphins.
Swim with Dolphins Tours