By Taylor Fuller | Published on April 18, 2022
Jamaica is the land of sun, clear sea, good music and dolphins. Relaxing on the soft white sand beaches is made all the better by looking out on the horizon, spotting groups of dolphins dancing among the waves and soaring through the air. You may dream about being out there with these gentle mammals, gliding gracefully through the water. Lucky for you, you can do just that. One of the best experiences you can have is swimming with dolphins in Jamaica.
They may give you a hug, do a little dance, splash you, or even swim with you. Whatever they do, you'll have a smile stuck on your face and memories to last a lifetime.
Before you go swimming with dolphins in Jamaica, you need to do some research. First, it's important to ensure that the dolphins are treated humanely, aren't forced to perform, and aren't kept in cages. Tourism often negatively impacts wildlife, so you should ensure the company offering dolphin excursions is responsible. If you're unsure about what to look for, reading reviews is a good place to start. You can usually get a good idea if a facility is up to par and if the animals are properly cared for. When you arrive at a facility, don't be afraid to ask questions so you're fully comfortable with the experience. Are the animals given regular healthcare? Are they kept in cages? Are they given ample space to roam? These are all questions a trainer should be happy to answer for you.
And if you don't want to get wet, you don't have to swim with the dolphins. You can stay out of the water and let the dolphins swim up to you, ready for a pet on the head. In this situation, you'll get a glimpse of how they act in their natural habitat. This is also an option for families with young kids or anyone who may be pregnant. It's a great way to still interact with the dolphins without making them or yourself uncomfortable.
Whether you're in the water playing with the dolphins or onshore tossing them fish, you need to respect these animals. Remember, you're in their habitat. Always follow the trainer's lead, for your safety and the safety of the dolphins. Dolphins are incredibly intelligent, so let them call the shots and don't force them to come up to you. If a dolphin is feeling shy — always let them approach you first.
When you're going on an excursion, it's always important to pack some necessities. Pack a waterproof bag of only the essentials, like a camera (but don't use the flash around the animals, as this can really disturb them), some cash, and a change of clothes and a towel — you're going to get wet! Bring sunscreen, but don't put it on directly before you swim with or touch the dolphins for their safety. Opt for biodegradable, reef-safe sunscreen.
Once you're prepared, it's time to have some fun. Dolphin Cove is the place to go swimming with dolphins in Jamaica, with several locations you can travel to while on your vacation cruise, including Montego Bay and Ocho Rios. Here you can get some face time with these intriguing animals. At both locations, the dolphin experience takes place in a large lagoon, connected to the sea and surrounded by Jamaica's lush flora and gorgeous beaches. No artificial pools here, so it's a lot safer for the dolphins and more enjoyable for you.
Dolphin Cove Montego Bay is smack dab in the middle of one of the most lively areas of Jamaica. It's the third-largest city in Jamaica, so after your fun afternoon, you'll have tons to do. I recommend staying in Montego Bay for a few days. You can spend one day at Dolphin Cove, and then check out Doctor's Cave Beach, Montpelier Estate, or play a round of golf under the gorgeous Caribbean sun. And of course, enjoy the local cuisine and nightlife as you groove to the sounds of reggae.
Dolphins are some of the only animals in the world that may actually approach you in the wild. They're friendly, curious, and very smart. In fact, dolphins have the second-largest brains after humans. Because of this, it's important to remember that these animals are cognizant of what is happening around them. So if you're going to be swimming with dolphins in Jamaica, make sure you're following their lead. If you do that, you're bound to have an amazing experience. They'll play, come up for kisses, and even talk to you.
When you first arrive, you'll meet the trainers. Usually, after a brief presentation about interacting with the dolphins safely, the trainers may call the dolphins and let them show off a few tricks and flips. Then, it's time to head for the water. This is when your adventure really begins.
Swimming alongside dolphins is an awe-inspiring experience, and it'll make you feel like a kid as you twist and turn under the water trying to keep up with these quick mammals. Some dolphins will let you kiss them on the nose, give them a hug, and hold on to their fins while you fly through the water, all while a professional photographer captures the pure joy on your face. Splash around with your new friend and then spend the rest of the day exploring the other parts of the park, which includes other animals to meet like nurse sharks, stingrays, lizards and many bird species. At Dolphin Cove, you can visit the aviary where you'll be greeted by birdsong, colorful parrots and other tropical birds. You can spend a day here, taking a glass-bottom boat ride or having a swim in the lagoon. Then, cap an amazing day with a delicious meal of jerk chicken, hamburgers, or hot dogs before hitting the gift shop for some souvenirs.
Swimming with dolphins in Ocho Rios or Montego Bay will be fun for the whole family. As long as you do your research before you go, you'll end up having an epic day out splashing around with these kind and friendly mammals. You'll learn so much about dolphins and other marine mammals, their ecosystem, and yourself with this once-in-a-lifetime experience. And the best part? You'll take home some of the best memories of your life.
Dive in and book your cruise to Jamaica today..