Swimming With Dolphins In Playa Del Carmen

…why not make some new friends (the kind with flippers)…

The other day I was on the beach with some buddies and kept getting distracted.

No, not by all the pretty women in bikinis, although I’ll confess to a certain amount of eye wandering.

I was getting distracted by the pods of dolphins that kept swimming past.

So I did some research and discovered that rather than just watching dolphins swim by, you can actually swim with the dolphins in Playa Del Carmen.

Now, you might be thinking that swimming with dolphins is just something for kids and chicks, right?

But when I tried it out there were all kinds of different people doing it.

Swimming With Dolphins? Is That Really Possible?

This isn’t some concocted fantasy, like going for a leisurely swim with Arial from The Little Mermaid.

In Playa Del Carmen there are different places where swimming with dolphins is pure reality.

You can even be a trainer for a day and try teaching the dolphins some tricks.

Even Walt Disney couldn’t make that up.

And it doesn’t stop at swimming.

You can share a handshake, a hug, or even kiss the dolphins.

Yes, yes, I know….now you want to know where, right?

Where Can I Go Swimming With Dolphins In Playa Del Carmen?

Around Playa there are a few different places that offer this unique experience.

I’m going to provide you with a short description of each of the parks and also give you the contact information + locations of each.

You will also receive a small bonus – information about a dolphin training academy!

The basics:

  • Delphinus – Located in Xcaret Theme Park and only ~10 minutes south of 5th Avenue in Playa Del Carmen
  • Dolphin Discovery – Located ~12 minutes north of Playa Del Carmen at Maroma Beach w/incredible ocean views
  • Dolphinaris – This park is located only ~18 minutes south of downtown Playa Del Carmen
  • ABC Dolphin Training Academy – For the most extreme dolphin fanatics among you, the ABC Dolphin Training Academy is situated at the Dolphin Discovery facility in Puerto Adventures.
    • NOTE: THE ABC Dolphin Training Academy IS NOT FOR NORMAL TOURISTS. It was designed exclusively for people who want to become dolphin trainers. I included it here in order to be comprehensive.

Let me tell you what I know about each of these from my observations, email correspondence, and phone calls with them…

Map of Swimming With Dolphins & Dolphin Encounter Parks Near Playa Del Carmen


Dolphin Swimming Park #1 – Delphinus

This is the park that I greatly respect for one particular reason: they hold the Guiness Book of World Records title for their Dolphin breeding program.

I don’t know that much about the program itself, to be honest.

However, I do know that holding a title in the Guiness Book of World Records is very difficult.

Let me tell you a little story…

If you read my about me page, you know that I grew up in the state of Minnesota.

Well, In the late-80s and mid-90s, it became popular for Native American tribes to open up casinos in Minnesota.

They were open to anyone 18 years or older.

Thus, there was no alcohol served in the gambling area of the casinos.

Not surprisingly, many of my friends began gambling on weekends.

To them, it was a sort of “passage of rites” – losing a whole bunch of money at a casino somehow demonstrated their manliness and affluence.

Interestingly, some of us would tag along when we were not yet 18 years old, cruising around the city, and drinking as much as we could before going back to our hometown.

It was during one of these nights that I saw a guy walking backwards – that’s right, leaving his car and walking backwards all the way to the door of the casino (which I could not enter because I was only 17).

WTF?” I ask my friends while pointing. “What the hell is this idiot doing?

Everyone knew what he was doing but us.

Apparently, this guy was the talk of the town.

In the interest of brevity, and so you don’t feel like a fool guessing incorrectly, I will answer the question for you:

Why was he walking backwards? –

Because he wanted to be in the Guiness Book of World Records – and had been walking backwards for around six months at that time.

24/7/6 months – walking backwards everywhere!

Now that’s dedication (and one hell of a sore neck)!

My point is this: I know from witnessing this incident, and actually having one of these record books when I was a kid, that entering the Guiness Book of World Records is no small feat.

Consequently, if Delphinus is in the Guinness Book of World Records for dolphin breeding…THEY MUST HAVE DONE SOMETHING QUITE EXTRAORDINAY FOR DOLPHINS!!!

Thus, this is one of the reasons I have put them on the top of this list.

Anyone who treats dolphins with respect and kindness – even those in captivity – deserves respect.

Promo Video – Swimming With Dolphins At Delphinus

Here is a promotional video that was made at Delphinus.

From what I can tell, they care a lot about the environment and the living conditions of the captive dolphins.

Take a look at the video, and let me know what you think about it in the comments section at the bottom of this page.

Delphinus Phone Number / Contact Info / Etc:

👤 Contact Person: 100% English-speaking Guides

📞 Phone Number(s):

📱 US/CAN Toll-Free: +1 (888) 526-2230 ✆ – CLICK TO CALL ON MOBILE

📱 MX Number: +52 (800) 335-3461 ✆ – CLICK TO CALL ON MOBILE

🌎 Website: https://www.delphinusworld.com/en/swimming-with-dolphins-in-riviera-maya

✉️ Email: info@delphinusworld.com

👥 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DelphinusWorld/

⏰ Hours: 8:30AM – 5:PM, 7 Days a week

💰 Prices: $60 – $130 USD (This facility usually offers seasonal/frequent specials/group discounts)

📍 Location: SEE MAP ABOVE

Dolphin Encounter Park #2 – Dolphin Discovery Playa Del Carmen

Dolphin Discovery is another great option for many of you.

Not only is it close to Playa Del Carmen, but the dolphin aquariums are very close to a scenic and beautiful beach that makes the entire activity that much more refreshing.

For many of you staying at some of the resorts on the north side of town, Dolphin Discovery is practically your next-door neighbor.

For those of you staying in downtown Playa Del Carmen / south end of town (Playacar), you are still only 12 to 15 minutes away.

I haven’t heard of any extraordinary facts about this particular dolphin swimming facility.

However, from what I have personally seen, Dolphin Discovery is comparable in terms of how well the dolphins are treated in captivity.

If you find the price is too high at Delphinus or Dolphinaris, take a look here.

Promo Video – Swimming With Dolphins At Dolphin Discovery

Take a look at this video!

Remember the beach that I told you about above?

You get a good glimpse of it here – in addition to seeing how comfortable and beautiful the facility is at Dolphin Discovery.

I am always curious if these videos actually help people or if they just get in the way.

Please let me know what you think of this video on the comments section below.

Dolphin Discovery Phone Number / Contact Info / Etc:

👤 Contact Person: English Is King Here

📞 Phone Number(s):

📱 US/CAN Toll Free: +1 (866) 393-5158 ✆ – CLICK TO CALL ON MOBILE

📱 MX Number: +52 (998) 193-3360 ✆ – CLICK TO CALL ON MOBILE

🌎 Website: http://www.dolphindiscovery.com/playa-del-carmen/location-overview.asp

✉️ Email: info@dolphindiscovery.com

👥 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dolphin.discovery/

⏰ Hours: UNKNOWN – Idiots Didn’t Put It On Their Website!


📍 Location: SEE MAP ABOVE

Dolphin Swimming Park #3 – Dolphinaris

Out of all of the dolphin swimming parks that I checked on, this park has one advantage:

It offers the cheapest time with dolphins/cost ratio of all the others.

In other words, for the same dollars spent at this park, you get more time swimming with dolphins than any other parks listed on this page.

Why? – you might ask.

I think there are two reasons:

  1. Dolphinaris is the further away from Playa Del Carmen than the other two dolphin parks listed above – not by much, but every little second counts when you’re talking about vacation time.
  2. Dolphinaris is on the jungle side  of the main freeway that connects Cancun, Playa Del Carmen, and Tulum. Delphinus is located within Xcaret. Dolphin Discover is on beachfront real estate with a view of the sea to match the location. Thus, Dolphinaris rent/property cost/property tax must be a hell of lot cheaper than either Delphinus or Dolphin Discovery.

You can take advantage of this by paying less for each minute spet with dolphins than the other two options above.

Enough said.

Promo Video – Swimming With Dolphins At Dolphinaris

Here’s a great video that shows Dolphinaris in all its greatness:

Dolphinaris Phone Number / Contact Info / Etc:

👤 Contact Person: You Need To Speak English To Visit

📞 Phone Number(s):

📱 US/CAN Toll Free Number: +1 (855) 203-9863 ✆ – CLICK TO CALL ON MOBILE

📱 MX Local Number: +52 (998) 881-3030 ✆ – CLICK TO CALL ON MOBILE

🌎 Website: http://www.dolphinaris.com/

✉️ Email: contactus@dolphinaris.com

👥 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Dolphinaris.Official/

⏰ Hours: Dolphinaris Facility: 9:AM – 5:PM; Call Center: 7:AM – 9:PM (CANCUN TIME)

💰 Prices: $60 – $105 USD

📍 Location: SEE MAP ABOVE

What Should I Expect?

Fun! And lots of it!

The dolphins aren’t wild and plucked from the ocean.

They’ve been carefully trained to interact with humans and this is a perfectly safe activity for people of all ages.

Dolphin swimming takes place in a pool, and you’ll usually get about 40 minutes in the water with these incredible creatures (if you sign up for the basic package).

After a short briefing, you get in the water and the trainer conducts the proceedings.

They understand dolphin behavior and keep everything under control.

The dolphins do some impressive tricks.

I think they do them for everyone.

But maybe they were showing off especially for me (“Shut up Rufus with your dolphin fantasies”).

You’ll get to shake hands, have a quick cuddle, swim alongside them, and somebody will be taking photos so you’ve got proof of everything that happened.

And throughout it all you’ll be learning all about the ocean’s cleverest creature.

Are There Different Swimming With Dolphin Options?

Sure. There are two different options to choose from. Here they are:

  1. Go to Walmart. Buy an inflatable dolphin. Bring it to one of the dolphin encounter facilities mentioned above. Jump in the water with it. The other dolphins will instantly think the blowup dolphin is either for CPR practice or a dolphin blow-up sex doll. They will start  trying to rescue the inflatable dolphin – or start dry humping it. You will be an afterthought.
  2. Go to one of the dolphin swimming centers mentioned above. Pay the necessary fee. Have an extraordinary encounter with one of the most amazing creatures on the planet.

Come on, folks. Can’t you take a joke?

The standard dolphin swimming package involves an up close and personal experience with a dolphin.

You’ll play around with them and perhaps do some marine dancing.

And it’s essential to pucker up for that once in a lifetime sloppy kiss.

The highlight is the belly ride.

Hold onto the dolphin’s fins as they swim backwards and propel you through the water.

But with all this the dolphins aren’t even showing off.

A slightly more expensive tour also includes getting pushed out of the water from beneath by the dolphins.

This foot push is followed by an exhilarating ride through the water holding onto the dorsal fins of several dolphins.

But I Love Dolphins Too Much And Want To Spend More Than An Hour Swimming With Them

The short dolphin meeting was enough excitement and intrigue for me.

But I could see that most people didn’t want to leave the water.

In fact, some kids actually have TOO MUCH FUN and become desperate to stay with their new dolphin friends.

Imagine the fits the spoiled ones throw when they have to leave!

Kids crying, whining, saying, “Please mommy, let me stay here tonight“…..believe me when I say that the dolphin trainers have seen it all.

It’s also possible to spend a whole day with them and learn the tricks of the trade on a Trainer For a Day course.

If you’re very serious about learning how to interact, train, and eventually work with dolphins on a full-time basis, ABC Dolphin Training Academy also gives you 5 whole days of interaction.

More specifically, ABC Dolphin Training offers two courses:

  • Dolphin Trainer AcademyBASIC
    • 5-Day Training Course
    • Animal Training Packet
    • Professional Trainer Instruction
    • Hands-on experience
    • Certificate
    • Too much more to list…
  • Dophin Trainer Academy – ADVANCED
    • Additional 5 Days of Advanced Training
    • Work with Dolphin Discovery staff
    • Professional Trainer Instruction
    • Hands-on training
    • Behind-the-scenes look at the Dolphin Discovery facility and dolphin care
    • Certificate
    • Too much more to list…

You’ll learn the skills required for a career in dolphin training.

These workshops are either at basic or advanced levels.

ABC Animal Training Phone Number / Contact Info / Etc:

👤 Contact Person: Classes Taught In English Here

📞 Phone Number(s):

📱 MX Direct Number: +52 (999) 999-9999 ✆ – CLICK TO CALL ON MOBILE

📱 US/CAN Toll Free (UNKNOWN – No email response): +1 (800) 999-9999 ✆ – CLICK TO CALL ON MOBILE📱

🌎 Website: https://www.abcanimaltraining.com

✉️ Email: swood@abcanimaltraining.com

👥 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dolphin.training/

⏰ Hours: TBD Before Starting 5-Day Training Workshop

💰 Prices: UNKNOWN

📍 Location: SEE MAP ABOVE

What Do I Need To Bring To The Dolphin Swim?

Well, a swimsuit is a good idea.

Dolphins don’t wear clothes but they don’t like to be around people baring all.

Dolphins also don’t require sunscreen, but it’s an essential item in your day pack.

And not just the cheapo stuff that comes off in the water.

Make absolutely sure that you are wearing 100% biodegradable sunscreen!

A waterproof camera is ideal, but don’t worry, someone will be on hand to take photos – although they will charge you an exorbitant amount for them afterwards.

Isn’t It Really Expensive?

No, not at all.

Swimming with dolphins is definitely cheaper than some of the other fantasy-type activities you might have in your head.

For an adult, it ranges from $60 to $160 USD for a 45-minute experience — price depending on what you do and how personal the experience is.

Larger groups = cheaper prices; smaller groups (or even individual time with dolphines = higher prices. Make sense?

Kids are about $79 USD.

But to participate they must be over 1.2 meters tall (1-1/2 yards).

For a five-day dolphin training course expect to pay $1000 USD (plus accommodations), but think about how many new marine friends you’re going to make.

Some people don’t have five days to devote to dolphins.

At Delphinus they run a full day trainer for a day package that costs $199 USD.

Another option is to combine a dolphin encounter with the Xcaret Theme Park.

This combo will cost around $150 USD.

Anything Else?

I hope I’ve managed to convince you that I really wasn’t just getting distracted by the women on the beach.

I’m glad I investigated the dolphins because it’s one of Playa Del Carmen’s unique experiences.

And I’ve seen all kinds of different people doing it.

Get in the water and meet some new friends!

Talk to you soon…


Rufus signature

It’s your turn. Tell us about your experience swimming with dolphins! Leave your story in the comments below!

2 comments on “Swimming With Dolphins

  1. Love the website, Rufus. It’s been really helpful for planning our trip next year.

    I have a question for you about the dolphin swimming. Do you know the she limits at each of the dolphin parks? I have 2 children, and one is 3 years old. He would be absolutely heartbroken if his brother was swimming with dolphins and he was not able to

    Thanks again for the website, Rufus. Keep up the great work!!

    • Emily,

      Thank you for the comments on my website. I made this website for people exactly like you who want to plan their vacation ahead of time and want to get an idea of this city before arrival.

      In regards to your question about minimum ages for swimming with dolphins, I am really not sure.

      My advice would be to do this:

      1. Write a generic email asking the same question.

      2. Copy all of the email addresses from this page into the CC email address fields.

      3. Send the email off.

      In this way, all of the swimming with dolphins parks should receive the same email–and hopefully most of them will respond quickly to your question.

      It sounds like you have quite a bit of time before your vacation, so I’m sure you will hear back from them long before you leave.

      Hope this helps! and I also hope you enjoy your trip here! If you need anything else, don’t hesitate to contact me.

      Lots of love,


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