Cancun is full of water-based excursions, but one unique to its cerulean waters that should not be missed is a swim with dolphins.
What are the best places to swim with dolphins in Cancun?
There are a number of ways to swim with dolphins in Cancun, from resort settings to the open ocean. Here are some of the best options:
- Delphinus Playa Mujeres
- Delphinus Xcaret Park
- Dolphin Discovery Cancun
- Dolphinaris Cancun
Getting into the water with these sentient marine animals is a once in a lifetime opportunity. It can be a life-changing moment for both adults and small children to experience wildlife like this up close. I’ve investigated the best options to let you check an item off your bucket list on your next tropical vacation to Cancun.
Best Dolphin Encounters Around Cancun
Delphinus Playa Mujeres
Highlights: A real beach experience with an open ocean pen for dolphins.
Delphinus Playa Mujeres is nestled in an all-inclusive resort on the beautiful Yucatan Peninsula.
Delphinus offers a wide range of interactive experiences that allow visitors to learn more about these amazing creatures while having fun and making memories.
The most popular experience is the Swim Program, which takes place in an open ocean setting, adding a natural ambiance to the experience.
This program allows participants to interact directly with dolphins and participate in educational activities such as body-rubbing, shaking fins, and kisses while supervised by experienced trainers.
Guests are also provided with educational briefings before they enter the water to familiarize themselves with how to interact safely with the dolphins.
There are programs tailored for singles, couples, and families that cater to specific needs. Amenities include lockers, dressing rooms, bathrooms and showers, parking, a photo store, and a souvenir shop.
Delphinius Xcaret Park
Where: Xcaret Park, Playa Del Carmen
Highlights: Nestled in a huge theme park on the Riviera Maya
Swimming with dolphins at Xcaret Park is definitely an experience that everyone should try at least once in their lifetime.
The beautiful setting and amazing animal interactions make it an unforgettable experience.
There are three core programs: Delphinus Interax, Delphinus Primax, and Delphinus Dolphin Ride. The packages offer different levels of intimacy with the animals, from groups to solo encounters.
Be forewarned; you will not be able to take your own photos. However, you’ll have a personal photographer, and you can opt to buy their shots.
Swim times are typically 60 minutes and involve fin shaking, kisses, tows, and free swim time.
Dolphin Discovery Cancun
Where: Isla Mujeres
Highlight: A two for one experience that includes visiting Isla Mujeres.
The encounter offered with Dolphin Discovery involves a short boat ride from Cancun to the beautiful Isla Mujeres.
They are billed as an all-inclusive adventure combined with one of the best dolphin encounters in the world. A ferry will pick you up in Cancun to whisk you away to this beautiful, charming, 4.5-mile-long island.
Once in the water, you’ll interact with the dolphins in open pens helping with trained behaviors, doing a kiss, and experiencing a “boogie push.”
One of the great upsides to this dolphin experience is that you’ll also be able to lounge by the pool and take in the beautiful surroundings of Isla Mujeres.
This excursion is sold in varying packages, but all of them include the following:
- Free Wi-Fi
Where: Outside the Hotel Zone, Cancun
Highlights: Access to sundeck and infinity pool
Dolphinaris Cancun offers several different experiences tailored to provide the best possible interaction with the dolphins. So whether you’re looking for something educational or just want a fun day out, there’s something here for everyone.
You can choose from various packages, ranging from basic swims to full-day programs that include everything from educational lectures on dolphin behavior and anatomy to hands-on activities like feeding and playing with them.
Best of all, this location has a brilliant museum space dedicated to the issues facing dolphin populations.
In addition, an interactive tour is available where you’ll discover the issues that endanger the survival of dolphins and countless other sea creatures.
This dolphin swim option is great for inspiring youngsters to take action and become stewards of the ocean and its marine mammals.
Why Swim With Dolphins
Swimming with marine animals is on a life list for many travelers. There are many reasons to make this a top priority when visiting Cancun.
Here are a few of the top benefits.
While there may be some reservations about captivity, all of the programs below have an element of conservation and learning within their programs. Many begin with a “briefing” about where the animals came from, their husbandry programs, and their biology.
Not only educational, but a dolphin encounter can also be a great bonding experience for couples who want a unique story on return home. There is no better honeymoon picture than one that involves a dolphin in a third-wheel kiss.
Lastly, it’s a fantastic family activity. Exposing kids to wildlife early helps build a new generation of ocean stewards.
In addition, the experience of swimming with a dolphin can bring a deep respect for marine wildlife and a lifelong responsibility toward conservation.
Many of the programs are tailored for small children, and some have options for private encounters with only your family.
There are also “Dolphin Trainer For a Day” programs that will allow children to get first-hand experience as a dolphin trainer.
- Cancun is a great destination with a wide variety of dolphin encounter programs.
- Several are in natural open ocean settings that involve a boat ride to Isla Mujeres.
- Encounters range from group-based to private solo experiences.
- Dolphin swims offer an excellent opportunity for families to learn about conservation.