New Zealand is home to 11 types of dolphins, and there are a handful of places in the country where you can swim with the playful creatures. Have you ever wondered where else in the world you can swim with dolphins? We have! We did a little research and came up with this round-up of our top 10 picks for swimming with dolphins around the world.
10. California, USA
Sunny California is home to any number of theme parks, and a few of these offer guests the opportunity to swim with bottlenose dolphins. Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo and Seaworld in San Diego are the most popular.
There are two places to swim with dolphins in the tropical paradise of Jamaica: Dolphin Cove in Ocho Rios and at the Half Moon Resort in Montego Bay, however the latter is only available to guests of the resort.
8. Cancun, Mexico
You’re be spoiled for choice looking for a dolphin experience in Cancun. Shop around online for discounted rates: with so many locations there’s usually a special deal on somewhere. Look into the Wet’n’Wild theme park, Swim with Dolphins Cancun, and Dolphin Discovery. The nearby Riviera Maya offers even more choices: Delphinus Xcaret, Delphinus Xel-Ha and Delphinus Riviera Maya.
Off the east coast of Egypt, the Red Sea is home to a population of wild Spinner dolphins. These acrobatic animals are known for entertaining observers by spinning in the air when they jump. Sharm El Sheikh, a large resort city offers possibilities for swimming with these dolphins both in the wild and in a marine park.
6. Florida, USA
With about 1,926 kilometres of coastline along the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, Florida is a great place to see and swim with dolphins. The Dolphin Research Centre in the Florida Keys is a popular location for dolphin swimming. This is also quite possibly the only place in the world where you can have a dolphin paint you a t-shirt.
Considered the Las Vegas of the Middle East, Dubai has every attraction you can imagine: from indoor ski slopes to an underwater hotel. Naturally, Dubai has opportunities for dolphin swimming too! There are two options: the Dubai Dolphinarium and the Atlantis on Palm Jumeirah. Definitely the most extravagant swimming with dolphins experience in the world!
4. Bali, Indonesia
The island of Bali is home to several organisations that offer encounters with tame dolphins. The Dolphin Pool at the Melka Excelsior Hotel in Lovina is a peaceful rehabilitation centre for dolphins that have been injured in the wild or mistreated in captivity. Playing with humans is part of their exercise and healing, so you can be sure it will be a great experience for both you and the dolphins.
3. Hawaii, USA
Hawaii is chock full of opportunities for dolphin swimming. Bottlenose and spinner dolphins live around the island chain, and a number of boat companies offer charter cruises that will take you to where they tend to congregate. If you’re looking for a guaranteed encounter, there are also several parks and resorts… Try Dolphin Quest at Kahala Resort and Sea Life Park on Oahu.
2. The Bahamas
Swim With Dolphins Bahamas and Dolphin Encounters both offer dolphin swimming at a dolphin sanctuary on Blue Lagoon Island. The dolphins are friendly and trained to play and interact with people. If you have a full week to devote to dolphins, WildQuest on Bimini does groups retreats where dolphin swimming is combined with yoga and meditation classes.
1. Akaroa, New Zealand
New Zealand’s South Island is the only home to the small and playful Hector’s dolphin. Black Cat is the only dolphin swim operator on Banks Peninsula, where many Hector’s dolphins live. Set in beautiful Akaroa Harbour, swimming with these dolphins in their natural habit is an experience unlike any other!