Dolphins are among the most intelligent marine creatures. They’re alert, playful and adorable. If you’d like to encounter them in a supervised environment, here are a few tips.

Don’t wear sunblock or sun tan lotion, as these can irritate the dolphin’s sensitive skin. Wear a life jacket, unless you’re snorkeling. Pay attention to the safety protocol and instructions given by your guide. Above all, remember there’s risk involved with these experiences.

Here are the top places to go swimming with dolphins.


Bring the family to Discovery Cove, an all-inclusive day resort in Orlando. The Dolphin Encounter is one of the many activities available. Friendly and knowledgeable staff will familiarize you with the behavior of bottle nose dolphins. After that, you’ll have plenty of time to immerse yourself in this magical experience. Please note all participants must be at least six years old.

If you want to meet other critters, try the Freshwater Oasis Experience. Here, you can swim alongside small-clawed otters, while curious marmosets gaze down at you from the trees. At the Grand Reef, snorkel with tropical fish and reef sharks.


You might catch a glimpse of a wild dolphin in the Sea of Cortes, if the conditions are right. This body of water is between Baja California and the Mexican mainland.

Organized dolphin encounters usually take place in a special pool or a lagoon. Cancun, Isla Mujeres and Cabo are three of the best areas for this activity.

Dominican Republic

In Punta Cana, take your dolphin encounter several steps further. The Dolphin Swim Adventure makes it possible for you to hug dolphins, rub them and get a “belly ride.” This entails holding onto the dolphin’s fins while he moves backwards in the water. Groups are kept to ten people, and the interaction takes places on a customized, underwater platform.


On the north coast of Jamaica is Ocho Rios. This is one of the premier marine attractions on the island. You can interact with dolphins, docile Caribbean sharks and stingrays.


The Bahamas consists of many islands and cays. Dolphin Cay on Paradise Island is a good choice. It’s the largest open-air marine habitat in the world.

If you’re a confident swimmer, book the Underwater Explorer experience. This allows you to see how agile they are up close. Wetsuits, beach towels and lockers are included, and photographs can be taken for an additional cost. Groups don’t exceed six people, and the minimum age is thirteen.