Diving with dolphin

Best Places to Swim with Dolphins in the US and World

One of the most popular activities that travelers want to do when they are vacationing somewhere warm is going out and swimming with the dolphins. This is also known as dolphin swimming enounters or simply dolphin encounters. And depending on where they are going, they might want to know – more about swimming with dolphins near me or best places to swim with dolphins. We can completely understand the reasoning, because these adorable creatures are so much fun to play with and get to know. Thankfully, there are numerous best places to swim with dolphins, so we can all do it safely with dolphins who are used to having people around.  


Best Places to Swim with Dolphins in the US

1. Swimming with Dolphins in Orlando, Florida

When you are looking for amazing dolphin encounters, you do not need to look any further than Orlando, Florida.  There are many places to swim with dolphins in Florida and the city of Orlando is where most of them are located.  

Discovery Cove at SeaWorld allows you to swim with dolphins in a private lagoon and the cost averages between $220 and $350.  Those prices are dependent on the residency of the person and the time of the year the swimming with the dolphin adventure takes place. 

Discovery Cove - Swim with Dolphins
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

The price includes thirty minutes with the dolphins, a wetsuit, snorkeling equipment, admission to SeaWorld, and time at the Discovery Cove beaches.  Children must be at least six years old and with an adult in order to participate in the fun.  SeaWorld swimming with Dophins program is something you should consider when going on a vacation to Orlando. 

Epcot also has a dolphin encounter, but only eight guests can participate in the program each day.  The Dolphin in-depth program offers a three-hour presentation, as well as a private in-water experience with the dolphins.  You must be at least thirteen years old and you must make your reservations well in advance. The cost for this dolphin encounter is around $199 per person.  So when looking for a place for an option for where to go swimming with dolphins Orlando, this is these places should make your list. If you are asking yourself where to swim with dolphins near me, or just want to know more Dolphin swim locations, and you’re in Orlando, then you have plenty of options. 

2. Swimming with Dolphins in Miami, Florida

Miami also has quite a few places to swim with dolphins in Florida, so you can choose the one that fits your needs the most.  The Miami Seaquarium has a dolphin tank you can enter to spend time with these creatures up close. If you want to extend your experience, you can reserve a table next to the dolphin tank for dinner.  

Over at Dolphin World, you can choose to spend time in shallow water with the dolphins for a half hour or you can enter the water for a swimming session with them.  If you choose the second option, you can ride the dolphin while holding its fin. Either option will include you having your picture taken with your new friends.  This is a great place to swim with Dolphins in Florida. 

3. Swimming with Dolphins in Tampa, Florida

There are no dolphin encounters directly in Tampa, Florida, but there are a couple options for dolphin swimming nearby.  Discovery Cove can be found in Orlando, which is one and a half hours from Tampa.

Dolphins Plus - Swim with Dolphins
Credits: Dolphins Plus

If you cannot get a reservation at Discovery Cove, you can always book a dolphin encounter at Dolphins Plus.  However, you must be aware that Dolphins Plus is in Key Largo, which is approximately a five-hour drive from the Tampa area.  So these are your options when you consider swimming with dolphins in Tampa.

4. Swimming with Dolphins in Key West Florida

Dolphin encounters in Key West will have you choosing from two different options.  The first is Fury Water Adventures and it will have you meeting dolphins in their natural habitat.  A knowledgeable guide will share tons of fun facts about these marine creatures, while you watch them play and snorkel in the water nearby.  

Dancing Dolphin Spirit Charters offers a different type of dolphin encounter in Florida, because you will be snorkeling on a dolphin water massage board.  While this might not seem impressive at first, it will be once a dolphin jumps on to join you.  

5. Swimming with Dolphins in Clearwater, Florida

In Clearwater, Florida, a visit to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium to see Hope and Winter is a must. That is, if you’re looking forward to swimming with the dolphins here. 

Clearwater Marine Aquarium - Swim with Dolphins
Credits: Clearwater Marine Aquarium

There are a couple dolphin encounters to choose from in between watching the other animals play in their natural habitats.  A poolside session while feeding the dolphins is a lot of fun, but so is the boat tour that you can take.  

6. Swimming with Dolphins in Panama City, Florida

Gulf World Marine Park is one of the best places to go swimming with dolphins in Florida, because the dolphins there will push you up in the air by the soles of your feet.  The dolphin encounter at this park will last for a half hour and your time will be spent getting to know the dolphins, interacting with them, and being pushed in the air.  

7. Swimming with Dolphins in Key Largo, Florida

Dolphins Plus allows people ages three and up to spend time with the dolphins.  While you can go swimming with the dolphins, you may need to choose the shallow water option if you are with smaller children.  However, that doesn’t mean you need to avoid the fun, because you will still be interacting with the dolphins and even getting kisses from them.  Both dolphin encounters include a dolphin trainer, so you will always know what you should and should not do when you are close to the dolphins.  

Dolphins Plus bayside - Swim with Dolphins
Credits: Dolphins Plus

Anyone who has a child with special needs will never need to worry that their child cannot experience swimming with the dolphins, thanks to Island Dolphin Care.  This company offers dolphin encounters that range from a half day to five days, so these children can get the experiences they deserve.  

8. Swimming with Dolphins in Destin, Florida

The local laws in Destin, Florida will not allow you to swim with the dolphins in Destin when you are visiting, but that doesn’t mean that you cannot visit nearby Panama City to enjoy a dolphin encounter or two.  The drive to Panama City is not too long, so you can easily make the trip once or twice during your stay.  

9. Swimming with Dolphins in St. Augustine, Florida

Marineland in St. Augustine, Florida is an amazing place to swim with dolphins on vacation in St. Augustine.  The dolphin encounter is perfect for kids ages three and up, although you will not need to pay for them until they are five years of age. 

marineland - Swim with Dolphins
Credits: Marineland

Your entire adventure will be on an underwater platform and you will be required to wear a life jacket, so you will be safe, even if you do not swim.  Your time will be spent learning about the dolphins, shaking their flipper, and even giving them a kiss. The length of this tour is about thirty minutes.  

10. Swimming with Dolphins Fort Lauderdale, Florida 

There is nowhere to swim with the dolphins in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, but you can easily make the trip down to the Miami Seaquarium or drive the two-and-a-half hours to the Florida Keys for an incredible experience. Here, If what you are looking for is swimming with dolphins.

11. Swimming with Dolphins San Diego, California

California is another area that is wonderful for swimming with dolphins, especially when you are in San Diego.  SeaWorld in San Diego has an amazing dolphin interaction program that will have you swimming with the dolphins in no time at all.  You must reserve your spot for this dolphin encounter in advance, as only certain days and times have availability.

SeaWorld - Swim with Dolphins
Credits: SeaWorld

If you cannot find an available slot for when you will be visiting, you may want to consider their dolphin encounter that includes being poolside with the dolphins and feeding them.  It is not as amazing as being in the water with them, but at least you can still interact with them during your vacation. You might be glad to know that this is a great place to go if you’re looking for more information on swimming with dolphins in San Diego.

12. Swimming with Dolphins in Hawaii – Multiple Islands

A visit to Hawaii will have you choosing from options of swimming with dolphins on Oahu, including the capital city of Honolulu, Maui, and the Big Island.  However, a couple of these destinations offer better swimming with dolphin experiences than the others.  

On the Big Island, you can swim with dolphins at the Hilton Waikoloa Village, but there are many other dolphin encounter options as well.  Imagine spending a little time painting with dolphins, kayaking with dolphins, interacting with the dolphins, and finally going to swim with them either early in the morning as the sun is rising or later in the day.  They even have programs just for kids, where the kids get into the shallow water and the parents stay back in the distance. The kids wear lifejackets, so they are safe with the guides and dolphins, at all times.  

Dolphins and You can be found on the island of Oahu and after you have your dolphin encounter, you can spend the rest of the day in the expansive ocean.  There is a boat water slide, stand up paddleboards, and so much more! Just make sure you do your dolphin encounter first, so you don’t miss out on the fun.  After all, who can resist a ride on a double-decker boat, followed by a swim in the ocean with the dolphins! So, if you’re looking for swimming with dolphins in Hawaii, then consider 

13. Swimming With Dolphins in Puerto Rico

There are many tour boats that go out into the water around Puerto Rico in search of dolphins and many of them have a guarantee that you will see them during your journey. 

dolphin

You can choose from a sailboat, charter, or a yacht, but they will all have you entering the water with the dolphins to go swimming and snorkeling with them.  

14. Swimming With Dolphins Las Vegas, Nevada

Not many people realize they can go to the Siegfried and Roy Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat to have a dolphin encounter when they are in Las Vegas.  Despite being far away from the ocean, this magical destination behind the Mirage Hotel and Casino offers the perfect backdrop for spending time with dolphins.  While you can swim and interact with these dolphins, you can also take a behind the scenes tour, paint with them, and even do a little yoga as the dolphins participate with you.  

15. Swimming with Dolphins Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

There is no official swimming with dolphin opportunities in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, but that doesn’t mean you cannot spend time in the water with these creatures. 

Dolphin encounter

Simply heading out into the water off the beach to do a little snorkeling or scuba diving will have you in the same area where dolphins swim in their natural habitat. It is important to remember that you should never get too close to these wild animals, because like all wild animals, they can be dangerous if they feel threatened.  

16. Swimming with Dolphins in Virginia Beach, Virginia

Swimming with dolphins is best done out in the water off the sandy beaches in Virginia Beach, because there are no available dolphin habitats in this part of the country.  While the dolphins out in the water are wild, there is an excellent chance you will spot many of them during a boat tour since they travel in pods. Depending on whether you are out on a boat on your own or on a tour, you may have the opportunity to jump into the water with the dolphins for a little swim.  

17. Swimming with Dolphins in Savannah, Georgia

In Savannah, the closest you will get with a dolphin is an encounter on a tour boat ride.  While these dolphin encounters are amazing, you might want to drive a couple hours to the city of Atlanta to spend some time learning even more about them.

swim with dolphins

The Georgia Aquarium has a dolphin encounter, which is offered three times each day. You still can’t swim with the dolphins, but you can meet them and feed them from the side of the pool.  

18. Swimming with Dolphins in Indianapolis, Indiana

There are not really any large bodies of water filled with dolphins in Indianapolis, but that doesn’t mean you cannot swim with dolphins during a vacation in this part of the country.  At the Indianapolis Zoo, you can do the Dolphin In-Water Adventure, which is ninety minutes in length. During this time, you will learn all about dolphins, watch a dolphin presentation, work with and feed the dolphins poolside, and have a few minutes of in-water time with the dolphins.  At the end, you receive a souvenir towel, as well as a photo of yourself with one of the dolphins.  

19. Swimming with Dolphins in Gulf Shores

Down in the Gulf Shores area, you will have ample opportunities to venture out in the water in a glass-bottomed boat to watch the dolphins in the wild. 

Gulf World Marine Park - Swim with Dolphins
Credits: Gulf World Marine Park

However, if you want to swim with the dolphins, you must drive to Gulf World Marine Park in Panama City, Florida.  

20. Swimming with dolphins in San Antonio, Texas

In San Antonio, all you need to do when you want to swim with dolphins is head over to SeaWorld San Antonio.  This is where you can take a dolphin tour, indulge in a dolphin encounter, or spend a little bit of time swimming in the water with the dolphins.  It is always best to reserve your spot well in advance, basically when you book your vacation, because these adventures always sell out quickly. In fact, you may want to book your dolphin encounter and then book your trip to San Antonio!


Best Places to Swim with Dolphins Internationally

1. Swimming with Dolphins in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Dolphin Discovery offers many different dolphin encounters in Punta Cana, so you can choose the one that meets your needs the most.  While you may be happy with a simple meet and greet with a few pets and kisses, you probably would be happier if you chose the encounter that allowed you to swim with these same dolphins and get pushed up in the air with a foot push from the dolphin.  

Dolphin Discovery, Punta Cana
Credits: Dolphin Discovery, Punta Cana

Over at Dolphin Island, you can spend forty minutes swimming with the dolphins out at sea, but you can also choose to swim with the manta rays and sharks that spend their days nearby.  Your time at Dolphin Island will be extra special with all the different options, but your favorite part will be the dolphins and watching all their antics! 

2. Swimming with Dolphins in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Cabo Dolphin Tours in Mexico will have your kids in the water with the dolphins during a kids’ tour.  As for yourself, you can enjoy a wonderful dolphin encounter, but you may prefer to choose being a trainer for a day, because it will give you even more time with these marine creatures.  

Dolphin Discovery also offers dolphin encounters in Cabo San Lucas, right at the beautiful marina.  From the moment you arrive, you will find that you have ample time to spend with the dolphins. There are many different encounters to choose from, so make sure you read what is included in each one before you make your reservations.  

3. Swimming with Dolphins in Cozumel, Mexico

Dolphin World offers many opportunities for swimming with dolphins when you are vacationing in Cozumel, Mexico.  The two popular options include the dolphin encounter and swimming with the dolphins. The first one allows you to stand in shallow water with the dolphins, as you learn more about them, while the second will have you deep in the water swimming right along side them.  

dolphins world cozumel mexico
Credits: Dolphins World

Swim with Dolphins also offers swimming with dolphins in Cozumel and you can choose from a dolphin encounter, a dolphin swim, and the royal swimming adventure, which is much longer since you perform many different activities with the dolphins.  

4. Swimming with Dolphins in Cancun, Mexico

Swim with Dolphins also has an area in Cancun, so you can easily swim with dolphins if you choose to vacation in that part of Mexico.  The same dolphin encounters and swimming options that are available in Cozumel are available in Cancun.  

During a vacation in Cancun, Mexico, you can also choose to swim with the dolphins at Dolphinaris.  The dolphin encounter is perfect for families with younger children, while the swim Fintastic session will have you swimming out in the water with the dolphins.  If you want to go deeper out into, and under, the water, then the dolphin swim ocean secrets is the one you must choose.  There is also a Dolphin Discovery down in Cancun, so you should always be able to find an open reservation when you want to swim with the dolphins when you are on vacation!

5. Swimming with Dolphins in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

In Playa del Carmen, Mexico, the best place to swim with the dolphins is Dolphin Discovery.  You can choose the basic dolphin encounter if you have smaller children, but older kids will want to be out swimming in the water with the dolphins. 

dolphin discovery playa del carmen mexico
Credits: Dolphin Discovery, Playa del Carmen

The royal swim option is the best, because it will allow you to do even more activities with the dolphins. One of the best is riding on the dolphin’s nose for a split second before they do a foot push and propel you into the air.  

6. Swimming with Dolphins in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

When you are vacationing in Puerto Vallarta, you will want to arrange all your dolphin encounters through Vallarta Adventures.  The Dolphin Signature Swim is for when you want to swim with a group of people and dolphins for forty minutes, while the Dolphin Adventure is a thirty-minute encounter that will have you swimming right along with the dolphin.  If that is not enough time, you will want to consider Dolphin Extreme, which is a sixty-minute encounter that will have you swimming under the water with these gorgeous creatures.  

7. Swimming with Dolphins in Nassau, Bahamas

The Blue Lagoon is one of the best dolphin encounter destinations in Nassau, Bahamas.  You can easily do a dolphin encounter during your visit, but it is better to go swimming with these dolphins, because the experience lasts a lot longer.  

dolphin cay nassau bahamas
Credits: Dolphin Cay

Over at Atlantis, you can spend lots of time at Dolphin Cay.  There are many different dolphin encounters available, so you can even choose to do more than one during your visit.  You can simply visit with the dolphins, swim with them, or be their trainer for a half-day or a full day. You can even choose to start your day with these beautiful creatures with a little sunrise fitness.  

8. Swimming with Dolphins in Bimini, Bahamas

Swimming with dolphins is possible with Bimini Adventures in the Bahamas.  Your adventure will begin at the Sea Crest Marina, where you will get on a boat and head out to where the dolphins are.  Once you reach the area where the dolphins spend most of their time, you can swim or snorkel with them.  

9. Swimming with Dolphins in Bermuda

When you plan your trip to Bermuda, you must make sure you make a reservation to swim with the dolphins at Dolphin Quest. 

Dolphin Quest
Credits: Dolphin Quest

You will find Dolphin Quest at the National Museum of Bermuda and it is the perfect place to get up close with dolphins and learn more about them.  They have many different dolphin programs available, but the popular ones are the encounters, interactions, and of course, swimming with the dolphins.  

10. Swimming with Dolphins in Cuba

If you want to swim with dolphins in Cuba, you must go to the Delfinario, which is a natural mangrove lagoon near the Chapelin Marina.  When you arrive at the Delfinario, you will have a chance to watch a dolphin show before entering the water to swim with the dolphins for approximately twenty minutes.  

11. Swimming with Dolphins in Jamaica

Dolphin Cove is the best place to swim with dolphins in Jamaica and you can find a couple locations on this island. 

Dolphin dive

At each location, you will have a chance to swim with the dolphins, learn more about them, and so much more. In fact, it would be easy for you to spend an entire day at this dolphin park.  

12. Swimming with Dolphins in The Red Sea

There are a few different tours available when it comes to swimming with dolphins in the Red Sea, but one of the best is Dolphin and Whale Connection.  You will be taken out into the Red Sea, to where the dolphins spend most of their time, and you will be allowed to jump in and swim right alongside them.  

13. Swimming with Dolphins in Akaroa, New Zealand

When you choose swimming with Dolphins in Akaroa, New Zealand, you will have the chance to see the New Zealand dolphin, also known as Hector. 

swim with the dolphins

Swimming with Dolphins will take you to where these dolphins can be found, so you can swim with them. The best part about this tour is you get a certificate at the end! 

14. Swimming with Dolphins in Azores

While many tours will take you out to go swimming with the dolphins in Azores, the best one is Azores Whale Watch.  Do not let the name fool you, because they specialize in dolphin tours the most. You will see many different dolphin species during this tour in the Atlantic Ocean.  


FAQS about Swimming with Dolphins

Is it Safe to Swim with Wild Dolphins?

While it cannot really be deemed as safe to swim with wild dolphins, some dolphin encounters down in the Caribbean have you out swimming with them during a tour.  It is important to know that all dolphins are considered wild animals, so even those in captivity are not really considered to be safer than any others. Therefore, you should always keep your distance and never let your guard down when you are swimming with any dolphin.  

What Countries Can You Swim with Dolphins?

You will find that you can easily swim with dolphins in the United States, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Bahamas, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic.  There are many other countries, including Jamaica, which is listed above, so you can always check to see if it is an option for your next vacation.

How Do You Swim with Dolphins?

It is usually best to only swim with dolphins when you have a guide present, because they spend lots of time with these animals.  You should stay nice and relaxed and never move too fast around a dolphin. You should also know where the dolphins are at all times.  

How Much Does Swimming with Dolphins Cost?

There is no set cost for swimming with dolphins, as each business sets their own rates.  However, you should expect to pay at least two hundred dollars if you want to swim with a dolphin. 

Diving with dolphin

Do Dolphins Bite?

Dolphins do bite, but they will usually head butt you and thrash around before they would sink their teeth into you.  This normally happens when the dolphins feel threatened, so as long as you don’t do anything to provoke them, you shouldn’t have to worry.  

What is a Group of Dolphins Called?

A group of dolphins is called a pod.  

Do Dolphins Drink Water?

Dolphins should only drink fresh water, and not salt water, so most of their water comes from what they eat.  It is believed that dolphins have a filtration system in their body, so that they can easily consume salt water when they need water and can’t get it anywhere else.  

Are Dolphins Friendly?

Dolphins are quite friendly, and are even considered outgoing, but that doesn’t mean you should get too comfortable around them.  You should still give them their space, unless you are told it is okay to approach a dolphin by a guide.  

If you have never gone swimming with dolphins before, you will love every minute of it when you choose to finally schedule a time to do it.  As you can see, you can swim with the dolphins in many areas of the US, as well as other countries around the world. So, as you are planning your next vacation, you may want to add swimming with the dolphins to your list of things to do.  It will definitely be an experience you will never forget!

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