Swimming with dolphins is one of the world’s most popular bucket list items. And at these all-inclusive resorts, you can fulfill that dream.
Atlantis Paradise Island, Bahamas
Atlantis Paradise Island is home to Dolphin Cay, one of the world’s largest manmade marine mammal habitats. Dolphin Cay was built in 2007 to house 16 dolphins who were displaced by Hurricane Katrina. It now serves as a sanctuary for rescued dolphins, as well as being an animal rehabilitation hospital and animal pharmacy. And if you have any doubts about the ethics of swimming with dolphins, you don’t need to worry at Atlantis. Dolphin Cay is an accredited member of various marine and aquarium societies, and also has a partnership with the University of Florida’s School of Veterinary Medicine. As for the resort’s human guests, they get to experience shallow water interactions with these beautiful creatures. Atlantis is also one of the best all-inclusive resorts for water park lovers, so you can splash around to your heart’s content.
Sandals Royal Bahamian, Bahamas
Sandals Royal Bahamian offers trips to Blue Lagoon Island, one of the top attractions in the Bahamas. Here, you can participate in a range of dolphin activities, ranging from swimming with dolphins to being a dolphin trainer for the day. You can also swim with sea lions, making the ferry ride out to Blue Lagoon Island well worth the effort.
Luxury Bahia Principe Runaway Bay, Jamaica
The adults-only Luxury Bahia Principe Runaway Bay in Jamaica is just a stone’s throw from Dolphin Cove, one of the most famous marine parks in Jamaica. At Dolphin Cove you can swim with dolphins in the open ocean, rather than in a dolphinarium or manmade pool. You’ll also see stingrays and plenty of colorful birds. After half a day at the marine park, you can head back to your blissfully kids-free all-inclusive resort for a bit of paddle surfing, or you can let it all hang out on the nude beach.
Beach Palace, Cancun
Beach Palace is a great place for family fun in Cancun, Mexico. Families dreaming of dolphin interactions can use their resort credit for the Ultimate Dolphin Experience, which allows you to meet and greet either one or two dolphins. Along with a few dolphin hugs and kisses, you can also experience a foot-push, in which the dolphin pushes you along through and then out of the water.
Dreams Puerto Aventuras Resort & Spa, Riviera Maya
Dolphin Dreams is the largest dolphinarium in the Riviera Maya, and for guests at Dreams Puerto Aventuras Resort it couldn’t get any closer: it’s located on the resort grounds. Kids can take part in an educational encounter with the dolphins. Alternatively, you can get wet and go swim with the dolphins, with a belly ride and a boogie board push. Manatees also live at the resort. These big blubbery things are a sight to behold, and it’s easy to see why they’re also known as sea cows.
Grand Bahia Principe Tulum, Riviera Maya
Within the grounds of the all-inclusive Grand Bahia Principe Tulum is the Dolphinaris Tulum, a state-of-the-art dolphinarium. Resort guests can see a free dolphin show every day, while additional packages give you the chance to get closer to these friendly aquatic mammals. The basic package allows you to swim and interact with the dolphins, while the trainer-for-a-day option takes you behind the scenes and gives you more time to dive with the dolphins. Guests from the three other Bahia Principe resorts in the Riviera Maya region are also welcome at Dolphinaris Tulum.
Anthony’s Key Resort, Honduras
Here’s something a little different: Anthony’s Key Resort, an all-inclusive resort on the island of Roatán, about 40 miles off the northern coast of Honduras. Just across from the resort’s lagoon lives a pod of bottlenose dolphins, with no trained behaviors. They live in their natural environment, and you can swim and snorkel with them. If you want to learn more about the dolphins, you can sign up for a program with a dolphin expert. These include the Dolphin Trainer for a Day package, which lets you spend an entire day with the training staff at the Roatán Institute for Marine Sciences. Then there’s the Dolphin Dive, in which you’ll dive down along a reef wall to interact with a handful of curious dolphins 60 feet below the surface.